Postgraduate researcher workshops

The Researcher Development Programme offers workshops to help you develop transferable and employability skills that will be invaluable for your doctoral research and broader professional development.

You will need to register your place on a workshop through Surrey Self-Service, under the tab 'Researcher Development Details.' You can find out how to book a workshop through this guide

Workshop registration

What's on offer

We update our core schedule in January and July; if you cannot see a particular workshop on our schedules below, please be assured that all of our workshops run regularly throughout the year, and further sessions will be scheduled in due course.

If you are particularly interested in a specific workshop but have been unable identify a convenient session, we would encourage you to let us know by emailing We always endeavour to be responsive to demand, and we may be able to let you know when the next session will be scheduled, provide you with slides and supporting materials, or offer you a one-to-one discussion of the workshop content.

Virtual workshop delivery 

All workshops continue to be held as virtual events via Zoom. You can still register for workshops and download course materials from Surrey Self-Service as normal. A Zoom link will be emailed to you on the morning of the workshop, once we know the definite attendee list. You do not need to download Zoom for this to work, just follow the link in the email. If you are new to using Zoom, TEL have provided a ‘Zoom student guide’ on SurreyLearn.

Virtual support

We have produced a booklet summarising virtual key support and resources available to postgraduate researchers, which you can view on SurreyLearn.

Throughout this time, we would like to reassure you that the Researcher Development team is here to support you. We monitor the RDP inbox throughout normal working hours and the team is available to have one-to-ones by phone or Zoom for those wanting bespoke skill development/planning, academic writing and careers coaching support, or even if you just need to talk something through with someone. 

We will also be looking at new and innovative ways to extend and enhance this virtual support. If you have any suggestions or ideas of how we can better support our researchers virtually, send the team an email:

Virtual researcher café

Our virtual researcher café takes place over Zoom, and operates on a drop-in basis – no need to book a place. Every Friday between 11am and midday, members of the Researcher Development Programme team will be available to chat with whoever wants to join in. 

Online training modules

Race equality

The University runs an Introduction to Race Equality training module, which is available not only to staff and ECRs, but also PGR students. Visit SurreyLearn to find out more and complete the module.

Open research

Whether you are new to Open Research or already engage with open practices, this module encourages you to turn knowledge to practice and to share your own knowledge and experience with the researcher community. Find out more on SurreyLearn.

Compulsory workshops

There are three compulsory workshops all postgraduate researchers (PGRs) attend during their doctorate. These typically run at least every six weeks throughout the calendar year.

For full workshop details and to register please log into Surrey Self-Service. You can find out about how to book workshops using this guide.



10-01-2210:00 - 12:00The Viva examination
18-01-2210:00 - 12:00Confirmation Process
25-01-2210:00 - 12:00Welcome to your Doctorate


08-02-2210:00 - 12:00Welcome to your Doctorate
15-02-2210:00 - 12:00The Viva Examination
15-02-2214:00 - 16:00The Confirmation Process
22-02-2210:00 - 12:00Welcome to your Doctorate


15-03-2210:00 - 12:00The Confirmation Process
21-03-2210:00 - 12:00The Viva Examination


05-04-2210:00 - 12:00Welcome to your Doctorate
27-04-2210:00 - 12:00The Confirmation Process
27-04-2214:00 - 16:00The Viva Examination


10-05-2210:00 - 12:00Welcome to your Doctorate
27-05-2210:00 - 12:00The Confirmation Process
31-05-2214:00 - 16:00The Viva Examination


06-06-2210:00 - 12:00

Welcome to your Doctorate

21-06-2211:00 - 13:00The Confirmation Process
28-06-2214:00 - 16:00The Viva Examination


13-07-2210:00 - 12:00The Confirmation Process
19-07-2214:00 - 16:00Welcome to your Doctorate
25-07-2213:00 - 15:00The Viva Examination
26-07-2210:00 - 12:00The Confirmation Process


06-09-2213:00 - 15:00The Confirmation Process
06-09-2210:00 - 12:00The Viva Examination


04-10-2210:00 - 12:00The Confirmation Process
06-10-2210:00 - 12:00Welcome to your Doctorate
13-10-2210:00 - 12:00The Viva Examination
18-10-2210:00 - 12:00Welcome to your Doctorate
01-11-2210:00 - 12:00The Confirmation Process
03-11-2210:00 - 12:00Welcome to your Doctorate

Compulsory workshop descriptions

Optional skills development and workshops

View the schedule below of upcoming RDP events and training. Use the subsequent menus to learn more about the training on offer for PGRs.

For full workshop details and to register please log into Surrey Self-Service. You can find out about how to book workshops using this guide.



10-Jan-2211:00-13:00Writing a Confirmation Report
12-Jan-2214:00 - 16:00Managing your Supervisory Relationship
14-Jan-2210:00-12:00Mentorship Training 
14-Jan-2210:00 - 17:00Writing Retreat - Virtual
17-Jan-2214:00 - 16:00Demonstrating in Laboratories and Practicals*
18-Jan-2211.00 - 12.30Introduction to Endnote
18-Jan-2211:00 - 13:00Driving your Doctorate
19-Jan-2214:00 - 16:00Research Funding: The Basics
20-Jan-229:45 - 16:00NVivo Two Day Course
20-Jan-2211:00-13:00Writing Critically
20-Jan-2214:00 -16:00Building your Professional Network: An introduction
21-Jan-229:45 - 16:00NVivo Two Day Course
21-Jan-2210:00 - 11:30Data Management Plans
24-Jan-2211:00-13:00Writing Coherently
25-Jan-2213:00 - 14:30Research Data Management
26-Jan-2210:00 - 13:00MINI Writing Retreat - Virtual
26-Jan-2214:00 - 16:00Time and Project Management for PGRs
27-Jan-2214:00 - 16:00After the Doctorate, what next?
28-Jan-2211:00-13:00Getting Started with Thesis Writing
28-Jan-2213:00 - 15:00How to develop Research Integrity: A Virtue workshop
31-Jan-2211:00 - 12:00Plan It, Do It


01-Feb-2210:00-12:00Demonstrating in Laboratories and Practicals*
02-Feb-2211:00-13:00Writing Concisely
03-Feb-2210:00-12:00Presentation Skills Essentials
03-Feb-2215:00-17:00Presentation Skills in Practice
07-Feb-2210:00-12:00Unconscious Bias Training: Understand, Identify, Act (On campus)
08-Feb-2210:00-12:00Introduction to Scopus
09-Feb-2214:00 - 16:00Poster Presentations
10-Feb-2211:00-13:00Thesis Writing: Literature Review
11-Feb-2210:00 - 17:00Writing Retreat - Virtual
14-Feb-2210:00 - 12:00Presentation Skills Essentials
15-Feb-2214:00-16:00Effective Job Search: techniques and tactics
15-Feb-2214:00 - 16:00Demonstrating in Laboratories
17-Feb-2210:00 - 12:00Engaging with your Literature: Critical Reading and Thinking

Critical thinking in Research Integrity. Governance and Ethics

21-Feb-2210:00 - 13:00MINI Writing Retreat - Virtual

Making the most of your doctorate: career planning and professional development for PGRs

22-Feb-2210:00 - 12:00Introduction to Endnote
25-Feb-2214:00 - 16:00Research Funding: The Basics
28-Feb-2210:00 - 11:00Plan It, Do It
28-Feb-2213:00 - 15:00Managing your Supervisory Relationship


01-Mar-2211:00-13:00Getting Started with Thesis Writing
01-Mar-2211:00-13:00New to Research? How the Library can help
01-Mar-2214:00-16:00Preparing for a Postdoc
03-Mar-2211:00-13:00Writing a Confirmation Report
03-Mar-2213:00 - 14:30Data Management Plans
07-Mar-2210:00 - 17:00Writing Retreat - Virtual
08-Mar-2214:00-16:00Marketing yourself: CV workshop
10-Mar-2211:00-13:00Writing Critically
11-Mar-2213:00 - 15:00Driving your Doctorate
15-Mar-2210:00 - 12:00Mentorship Training
16-Mar-2211:00 - 12:30Research Data Management
17-Mar-2211:00-13:00Writing Coherently
21-Mar-2211:00 - 13:00Writing a Conference Abstract
22-Mar-2210:00 - 12:00Introduction to Web of Science
22-Mar-2211:00-13:00Writing Concisely
23-Mar-2210:00 - 13:00MINI Writing Retreat - Virtual
23-Mar-2214:00 - 16:00Preparing for Online Interviews
23-Mar-2214:00 - 16:00Time and Project Management for PGRs
28-Mar-2211:00 - 13:00Writing a Conference Abstract
29-Mar-2211:00-13:00Thesis Writing: Literature Review
31-Mar-2210:00 - 11:00Plan It, Do It


04-Apr-2210:00 - 12:30The Focus Zone
05-Apr-2210:00 - 17:00Writing Retreat - Virtual
12-Apr-2213:00 - 14:30Data Management Plans
21-Arp-229:45 - 16:00NVivo Two Day Course
22-Apr-229:45 - 16:00NVivo Two Day Course
25-Apr-2210:00 - 13:00MINI Writing Retreat - Virtual
26-Apr-2214:00 - 16:00Presentation Skills: Essentials
28-Apr-2215:00 - 16:00Plan it, Do it


02-May-2210:00 - 12:30The Focus Zone
03-May-2210:00 - 12:00How to Develop Research Integrity: A Virtue Workshop
03-May-2213:00 - 15:00Research Funding: The Basics
03-May-2214:00 - 15:30Research Data Management
06-May-2210:00 - 12:003MT Training
09-May-2210:00 - 12:00Engaging with your Literature: Critical Reading and Thinking 
09-May-2209:00 - 11:00Mentorship Training
10-May-2210:00 - 12:00Introduction to Endnote
11-May-2214:00 - 16:003MT Training
12-May-2210:00 - 12:00Getting the Most out of Your Progress Reviews
16-May-2210:00 - 12:00Managing Your Supervisory Relationship
16-May-2210:00 - 13:00MINI Writing Retreat
17-May-2210:00 - 12:003MT Training
19-May-2210:00 - 11.30Introduction to Ethics & Governance for PGRs
23-May-2211:00 - 12:30Data Management Plans
24-May-2210:00 - 12:00Introduction to Scopus
24-May-2214:00 - 16:00Postgraduate Funding: Considering the Alternatives
25-May-2213:00 - 14:00Bright Club Training: Presentation Skills 
26-May-2211:00 - 13:00Driving your Doctorate
31-May-2209:00 - 11:00Mentorship Training
31-May-2210:00 - 11:00Plan it, Do it
31-May-2210:00 - 12:00Poster Presentations


06-Jun-2210:00 - 12:00Poster Presentations
06-Jun-2210:00 - 12:30The Focus Zone
07-Jun-2211:00 - 13:00Presentation Skills: Essentials
07-Jun-2210:00 - 12:00Introduction to Web of Science
10-Jun-2210:00 - 11:30Research Data Management
14-Jun-2210:00 - 17:00Writing Retreat - Virtual
15-Jun-2211:00 - 13:00Getting Started with Thesis Writing
16-Jun-2210:00 - 12:00Presentation Skills in Practice (In Person)
28-Jun-2211:00 - 13:00Thesis Writing: Literature Review
29-Jun-2211:00 - 13:00Writing Critically
30-Jun-229:45 - 16:00NVivo Two Day Course - Day 1 of 2
30-Jun-2215:00 - 17:00Time and Project Management
30-Jun-2210:00 - 11:00Plan it, Do it


01-Jul-2210:00 - 13:00MINI Writing Retreat - Virtual
01-Jul-229:45 - 16:00NVivo Two Day Course - Day 2 of 2
04-Jul-2210:00 - 12:30The Focus Zone
06-Jul-2211:00 - 13:00Writing Coherently
11-Jul-2210:00 - 17:00Summer Writing Retreat Day 1
12-Jul-2210:00 - 17:00Summer Writing Retreat Day 2
13-Jul-2211:00 - 13:00Writing Concisely
14-Jul-2215:00 - 16:30Research Data Management
18-Jul-2210:00 - 12:00Managing Your Supervisory Relationship
19-Jul-2211:00 -13:00Writing a Confirmation Report
20-Jul-2214:00 - 15:30Data Management Plans
29-Jul-2210:00 - 11:00Plan it, Do it


02-Aug-2210:00 - 12:00Editing
24-Aug-2210:00 - 17:00Writing Retreat - Virtual


05-Sep-2210:00 - 13:00MINI Writing Retreat - Virtual
05-Sep-2210:00 - 12:30The Focus Zone
12-Sep-2213:00 - 15:00Demonstrating in Laboratories
20-Sep-2210:00 - 17:00Writing Retreat - Virtual
27-Sep-2210:00 - 12:00Demonstrating in Laboratories
28-Sep-2211:00 - 13:00Writing a Confirmation Report


03-Oct-2210:00 - 12:30The Focus Zone
11-Oct-2210:00 - 12:00Demonstrating in Laboratories
25-Oct-2210:00 - 12:00Demonstrating in Laboratories

*Demonstration workshops are compulsory for PGRs who will be demonstrating.

Optional skills development and workshop descriptions

Academic writing

Analytical skills

Career and professional development

We run a number of workshops for preparing for your professional life after the doctorate. The careers team within the RDP offer a range of workshops to support you with your professional development and transition to employment after the doctorate, both within and beyond academia. Tailored workshops can be offered on request.

Research and information skills

We provide a number of tools and training for managing your research literature and data.

Publishing and presenting

Publishing and presenting are essentials skills for researchers. RDP run a number of workshops to support researcher development in these areas.

Project and self-management


If you are planning on teaching during your doctorate, or wish to pursue an academic career, you may consider the teaching training on offer through RDP and the Department of Higher Education.

23 Things: Digital tools for your professional and personal development

23 Things international is a unique annual collaboration between universities around the world, offering participants fantastic opportunities to build their network, develop skills with research tools, and establish their professional profile. The Universities of Cambridge, Otago and Florida, Auckland University of Technology, and Avondale University College invite you to explore some amazing connections. The course is also open to members of Techne and SeNSS institutions, and the Africa Research Excellence Fund. 

Our aim is for this course to suit researchers at different stages of their careers, including doctoral researchers, early career researchers and supervising academics. Whether you’re looking for project management tools, careers coaching, or a refresher in new apps and websites, there will be something for you. With the right support and community discussion, this should be valuable for everyone from beginner to expert.

The course consists of 23 ‘Things’, each of which is a useful tool or technique that you may not have encountered before, or may want to develop further. We release a blog post each week with two new Things (plus a couple of break weeks), so you can work through them to a simple regular timetable, or at your own pace. Most of the Things invite you to complete a short task to trial or reflect on the tools.

We also put you into 'pods' with researchers from other institutions who work in a related field - instant global network! By the end of the course we hope you will have your own professional academic website and profile, as well as hands-on experience with the tools discussed.

Learn more on the 23 Things website.

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