Introducing… The Liverpool PGR Toolbox

What is it?

An online area dedicated to PGRs contained within the new Luminus portal, which will consolidate many of the current University systems and provide a single location where you can:

  • Book your formal training through SPIDER student web.
  • Access the new software that replaces the current PDR, including the new Record of Supervisory Meetings,  PGR Portfolio of Activity and Record of Formal Training.
  • Explore the Graduate School online resources currently in Vital
  • Discover information about upcoming events and other relevant announcements in one area, combining information from the PGR News @Liverpool blog and the @livuniGSSP Twitter account

Our Aim:

To provide a central online area that offers all the information and links to support PGRs throughout their research degree.

What has changed in the PDR?

The software supporting the PDR has been completely rewritten to produce a significantly more reliable system based on modern technology.

You will still be required to:

1.    Complete a record of 8 formal meetings per year (June to May, or pro-rata if you begin after June), through the Record of Supervisory Meetings.
2.    Complete a record of additional training, events and achievements, through the new PGR Portfolio of Activity, which is submitted to your supervisor each May.

Record of Supervisory MeetingsThe new date selection functionality

This area will include facilities to arrange dates for supervisory meetings through your Outlook Calendar.  Here you will also be able to set agenda items for your meeting.

The PGR Portfolio of Activity

This section replaces the current Record of Informal Training and will offer an area to record all generic training, further activities and the achievements made during your research degree.

This new facility makes use of the new Researcher Development Framework, which provides descriptors to assist you in recording, reflecting and planning your development activities.

As a result, you will be able to assign your own descriptors to each activity, which will assist you in building and preparing your CV.

Record of Formal Training

The Record of Formal Training will align your completed modules to the requirements of the Postgraduate Skills Programme, and so to clearly display your record of your progress in completing the programme.

In this section there will also be support for the generic components of First-Year Training, Poster Day events and Career preparation.

Online resource centre

The Liverpool PGR Toolbox will also provide central access to a range of online resources  to help you develop skills in research methods, presentation skills, poster preparation research writing, and preparing for your viva.  This area will also include the current ‘Career Management Skills’ resource, which we hope to develop as a central area for advice on careers preparation.

When will this happen?

The full development is being completed in three phases, and, initially, the new software will only contain the Record of Supervisory Meetings from June 2012. Further functionality including the revised Record of Training will become available in the second phase, to be implemented in September 2012. The full system will become available in November 2012.

What do I need to do now?

Nothing for now.  But if you are planning a PDR meeting for June 2012, please contact as soon as possible for advice.

To keep up to date on this development, subscribe to this category, “Toolbox”.

One Day Events Summer School

The programme for our 2012 Summer School is now available.

The skills workshops will take place over 2 weeks, from 12th – 22nd June, and are guaranteed to motivate and enthuse all! The Summer School covers a range of useful and stimulating topics, specifically designed to complement the work of our Postgraduate Research Students and inspire new ways of approaching and managing research.

Conference Abstracts & Posters (ThinkWrite) – Tuesday 12th June, 9am – 4pm

Scientific Writing (Susan Mitchell) – Wednesday 13th June, 9am – 4.30pm

Scientific Writing (Susan Mitchell) – Thursday 14th June, 9am – 4.30pm

Project Management (Fistral Training) – Tuesday 19th June, 9.30am – 4.30pm

Communication & Leadership (Fistral Training) – Wednesday 20th June, 9.30am – 4.30pm

Structuring an Argument (Dr Richard Hinchcliffe) – Thursday 21st June, 10am-12pm

Starting Writing (Dr Alan Greaves) – Thursday 21st June, 2pm – 4.30pm

Intellectual Property (Impact Science) – Friday 22nd June, 9.30am – 12pm

Viva Survivor (Dr Nathan Ryder) – Friday 22nd June, 1pm – 4pm

All events are open, free of charge, to all PGR students and operate on a first come, first served basis. Booking will open for Scientific Writing courses on the 23 April, and for all other courses on the 8 May. For further details and information on how to book on to a workshop, visit

However, as demand for these events is high, please make sure that you are free to attend a workshop before booking a place.

All workshops will take place in the Graduate School Suite (2nd Floor, University Lecture Block). Refreshments will be available.