Environment YES

Environment YES – raising awareness of commercialisation in postgraduate and postdoctoral scientists

There are a few places still available on the Environment YES competition, an innovative  competition aimed at raising awareness of commercialisation of research amongst early-career researchers. It’s a great way to raise your profile and complete your career skills training. Entrants participate in teams to form imaginary companies and formulate hypothetical business plans which they then present to a panel of equity investors. Through a 3-day workshop, participants receive training from entrepreneurs, patent lawyers and industry representatives in the business skills necessary to recognise, protect and harness the commercial potential of scientific research outputs.

Environment YES runs alongside the hugely successful Biotechnology YES competition which has provided entrepreneurial business training for over 3500 researchers from across the UK since its launch 17 years ago. A recent review (see http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/web/files/reviews/1007-biotechnology-yes-review.pdf ) of the scheme has highlighted that many former participants found YES to be very influential in developing their careers, with several starting their own companies and many more becoming business professionals within the bioscience sector.

Environment YES particularly welcomes applicants from the environmental sciences but is open to post grad students and early career post docs from most disciplines.

Please contact Tracey@biotechnologyyes.co.uk or visit http://www.nerc.ac.uk/funding/available/schemes/yes/  for an application form. See the Graduate School web pages for information about expenses:http://www.liv.ac.uk/gradschool/events/cs/yescompetitions.htm

Invitation to Test the New Features of the PGR Toolbox

The second phase of the Liverpool PGR Toolbox is due to be released on 1 October 2012.  The new features that will be implemented include:

  • Setting Supervisory Meetings with your second supervisor
  • Document upload
  • PGR Portfolio of Activity (replacing the Record of informal training)
  • Record of formal training

Before these new features are released, we are offering an opportunity to learn more about the PGR Toolbox.  We invite all PGRs to join us for a testing and Q&A session on:

Tuesday, 11 September 2012 at 13:00-15:00

Testing will take place in Training Room G.07, in 126 Mount Pleasant, building number 114 (grid reference C4) on the University Campus Map.  G.07 is located on the ground floor. From the main door to the building, go through the first internal door and G.07 is the room directly opposite you.

This is a great opportunity to ask questions about the system and test the new features.

Please email pdrgrad@liv.ac.uk to confirm your attendance.

If you are unable to join us on 11 September, we will be offering four PGR Toolbox training sessions throughout October.  We will announce the dates of these workshops on this blog.  If you haven’t already done so, you might wish to subscribe to this blog in order to receive updates directly to your email address.

First-Year Development Workshop: Booking Now Open!

Booking is NOW open for all First-Year Development Workshops.

For important instructions on booking a place visit:


The PGR Development Workshops are a formal requirement of the PGR Development Programme and you are recommended to attend one of these workshops early in your degree.

The Structure of the Workshop

During the workshop participants will work in teams to devise a novel inter- or cross-disciplinary research project. Each team will write an abstract outlining the need for the project, deliver a persuasive group presentation and take part in a peer review at the end of the workshop. This workshop provides:

  • Opportunities to network with researchers from other disciplines and tolearn new approaches towards research
  • Occasions to communicate your research and ideas with peers
  • Discussions concerning the wider research environment
  • A safe and supportive environment where you can practice the skills and behaviours to enhance your research career

For information on what happens during the workshop and pre-workshop tasks, please visit:


Date Workshop No. of places
26-28 September Open to PGRs from all Faculties 28 fully booked
31 Oct-2 November Open to PGRs from all Faculties 24
14-16 November Open to PGRs from all Faculties 24
28-30 November Open to PGRs from all Faculties 24
12-14 December Open to PGRs from all Faculties 24
9-11 January Open to PGRs from all Faculties 24
22-25 January School of Physical Sciences 28
6-8 February Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences 28
20-22 February Faculty of Health & Life Sciences 28
13-15 March School of Engineering & EEE 28
17-19 April Open to PGRs from all Faculties 24
1-3 May Open to PGRs from all Faculties 24
15-17 May Open to PGRs from all Faculties 24

Announcing the NEW PGR Development Programme

There have been some important changes to the Graduate School Skills Team that we would like to share with you. Firstly, we have changed our name to PGR Development. We feel this reflects the wider scope of what we offer to postgraduate researchers across the University of Liverpool. This change is in line with national directions concerning PGR development, such as those reflected in the Researcher Development Framework.

Secondly, we have changed the names of various element within our programme that you should familiarise yourself with before September 2012. We’ve created a handy table below as a reference for you.

Previous Name (2011-2012) New Name (from September 2012)
Graduate School Skills Team PGR Development
Skills Programme PGR Development Programme
First-Year Skills Workshops First-Year Development Workshops
Online Skills Course First-Year Development Online
PDR Annual Progression Requirements
PDR Meetings Supervisory Meetings
Record of Training & Generic Skills Activities PGR Portfolio of Activity

The name of the ‘Personal Development Record’ or ‘PDR’ has been changed at the request of the University to avoid confusion with the Staff PDR. We will instead use the term ‘Annual Progression’ to refer to the two requirements students need to complete annually, which are the record of 8 Supervisory Meetings and completion of the Portfolio of Activity in May.  The records are to be completed online in the new Liverpool PGR Toolbox which is temporally located in Spider: http://www.liv.ac.uk/gradschool/toolbox.htm

We are also planning a complete re-organisation of the Graduate School website, with a proposed re-launch of mid-September. This process will separate out the functions of the Graduate School Office and PGR Development and will also allow us to present the PGR Development Programme in a much more transparent manner than was possible on the old website. We will make a further announcement on these changes when the new site is ready, so watch this space!

Remember, if you want to keep up-to-date with PGR Development and PGR news, subscribe to this blog. You can also follow us on Twitter @livuniPGRDev.