Advanced training opportunities for PhD students

In today’s academic world it is becoming increasingly important to present your ideas effectively to the outside world. Even though you might have the very best academic credentials, if you cannot present your ideas in a convincing fashion then you are missing out on opportunities.

It is precisely this thinking that drives this project which has funded a series of specialist training opportunities to enhance learning experiences and employability.

The project has included: a presentation skills course for second-year PhD students; a research training seminar on publishing, getting cited and creating impact for all PhD students; and a specialist course on advanced applied econometrics for Accounting & Finance PhD students.

The presentation skills course attracted up to 40 second year students, a cohort that was deliberately chosen as the second year can be a particularly tough year for the PhD student. While the first year concentrates on setting a firm foundation for future study, in the second year students are much more left to their own devices to explore their research areas.

Every student said they found the skills course useful, and particularly valued the individual coaching that was offered on the day.

In time it is hoped to repeat the sessions at some point in the future, and also maybe offer them to academics too.

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A second related Alliance-funded project has addressed gaps in the Research Training Programme (RTP) that is currently offered to PhD students.

Firstly, prior to the pilot projects that we conducted in the academic year 2015-2016, research training was heavily concentrated in the first year of students’ PhD. Students have consistently indicated, in reviews of the RTP, that they would like AMBS to offer further training opportunities in a more advanced stage of their PhD as well.

Secondly, students received little or no practical training on how to effectively present and disseminate their findings across an academic and practitioner audience.

Thirdly, within the Accounting and Finance division, there was a strong and long-standing demand for an Econometrics course tailored to the specific research needs of our PhD cohort. A solid foundation in Econometrics is a key requirement for becoming a successful Accounting or Finance researcher.

Overall, this investment in doctoral research training will further build on the continued success of the AMBS doctoral training programme.