Free Business Start-Up Events

The University’s Enterprise Champions Project has a new series of free business start up events taking place over the summer. These sessions are excellent opportunities to refresh your business skills and think about self-employment as a career alternative. Most importantly, the skills and learning that these events cover are those used by the best researchers – to create business plans and bring in research funding.

This should be of special interest to all postgraduate researchers that are entering Young Entrepreneur Schemes such as Biotech YES and Environment YES and for those that have entered Engineering YES or thinking of doing so next year. These events will also appeal to you if you’ve been on the recent North West Enterprise School.

REGISTER NOW via the Eventbrite page

or through the Careers & Employability Service

The Enterprise Champions Project will also be out and about over the next two weeks, touring the University on their Enterprise Roadshow.

This initiative is partially funded by the NCEE HE Enterprise Champions ERDF Project and is open to all Students and Graduates currently living within the Merseyside area.

If you would like any more information call Simon on 0151 795 3814, email or look out for the Enterprise Champion Project in the Guild and Libraries over the next week.

You can also keep an eye on what we’re getting up to on our twitter and facebook pages: @UoL_Enterprise &

Annual submission of the PDR, May 2012

To all Postgraduate Researchers who are using the Personal Development Record (PDR) system.

If your registration started on or after 1st September 2004, please read and act on the following request to complete your PDR. Annual submission of the PDR is a pre-requisite for the completion of your Annual Progress Report Form (APRF) . An upgrade to PhD or/and re-registration for the next year of research is not possible unless the APRF has been fully processed.  Please see the website for further details –

The annual PDR submission deadline is the 31st May and requires completion of the following two items:

1.         Emailing to your Primary Supervisor 

your Record of Training and Generic Skills Activities – PDR credited training sections

2.         Checking that you have:

At least the minimum number of formal PDR meetings recorded within your PDR and that these have been signed off (i.e. ‘Targets’ have been agreed by your Primary Supervisor) for this academic year or if this is the 1st year of study since registration.

(Use of the Skills Audit is optional for this year)

Both full-time and part-time students must record a minimum of 8 meetings per academic year. The minimum number of formal meetings required by May 31st in the 1st year of study for students registered at Oct 1st will be 5 and this requirement will be adjusted pro-rata for students who have registered after October. For example, if your start date was January then a minimum of 3 formal meetings would have to be recorded by the May deadline.

Your record of PDR meetings will be automatically downloaded into your Annual Progress Report (to be released to you in June) once they have been signed off by your primary supervisor. Please be aware that if your Progress Report shows that there are insufficient PDR meetings listed in your report, this will result in a delay in processing your report and in re-registering you for the next academic session.

If you need any further information on how to do any of the above, please see the ‘PDR guidance for students’ document If this does not answer your questions, contact


2012 dates for GRADschool – now open for booking

We have just received notice of the following announcement about National GRADschools, which is one of the options by which you can fulfil the Career Skills Requirement for your PhD.  Places on these schools are free for Research Council funded students. If you are not research council funded you can still attend but you’ll have to find the fee (£580) from somewhere else.

You will need to book your place directly through Vitae. For details on travel expenses and claiming credit, see our notes on the Graduate School web-site.

2012 dates for GRADschool – now open for booking

30 October – 2 November 2012, Windermere

20-23 November 2012, Windermere

GRADschool vision:

To create an inspirational, challenging and experiential learning environment in which all participants will learn something new about themselves and take away skills, tools or information which will motivate them to complete their studies, further realise their potential, and enable them to make more informed choices about their future careers

Why attend:

GRADschools are experiential learning courses designed to develop your transferable skills as a postgraduate researcher. Many researchers who attend the course have a transformational experience, empowered to take charge of their own learning and career.

GRADschools will help you to:

  • develop your personal effectiveness
  • identify ways to communicate effectively
  • make more informed choices about your future
  • own and manage the next step of your career

Feedback from previous participants:

A GRADschool offers the opportunity to:

  • ‘I feel this is a pivotal point in my life – I now have the self-confidence and skills to hopefully shape my life.’
  • ‘The sense of genuine achievement was very tangible. I can honestly say that the course has changed my attitude to work, research and work colleagues quite fundamentally.’
  • ‘I never thought that I could learn so many things about myself: the way I work and how to improve, in such a short time. Even though I was quite cynical about the whole thing to start with, I realise that it has helped me a great deal’
  • ‘It probably made the difference between finishing and not finishing, and certainly made my third year bearable.’

For more reasons to get involved see the extensive feedback and testimonials from other researchers and the article in The Independent Out of the ivory towers – how PhD students are training for the real world

For more information on what is involved in taking part on this course and what is in it for you please see our section on GRADschools

Entry requirements:

  • National GRADschools are open to all postgraduate researchers in their 2nd year or above.  If you are research council funded you will be eligible for a funded place on a GRADschool subject to availability.
  • If you are a non-research council funded researcher you may apply for a national GRADschool but you or your institution will need to cover the cost of your place and you will need to provide invoice details.
  • Once you have received a place on a GRADschool your accommodation, meals and course materials are covered –  however you will have to pay your own travelling expenses.

Book your place:

For more details and to book your place on a 2012 national GRADschool, visit