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Module code: GST1
Credits: 5
Semester: Year-Long
International: No
Overview Overview

The Graduate School, in partnership with academic and support units at MU, offers research students the opportunity to enhance their understanding of their current professional competence profile and to work in a coherent and structured way to develop their skills over the course of their research programme. This training is offered within the graduate skills module GST1: Professional Development & Employability, which is comprised of the following mandatory sessions:

1) Reflective Writing & Appraisal of Skills – Dr Adeline Cooney, Centre for Teaching & Learning
This initial workshop will provide research students with the opportunity to develop their reflective writing skills and the ability to appraise their own competency profile. Research students will learn what reflective writing is, the value of reflective writing, how to write reflectively, models for structuring reflective writing, and how to address global reflection with an emphasis on self-appraisal of skill and abilities. Students will also have the opportunity to practice reflective writing and engage in an in-class review and peer feedback.

2) Working with your Supervisor – Dr Bernie Grummell, Adult & Community Education
The focus of this workshop is for research students to learn about the role, purpose and possibilities of supervision in doctoral studies and beyond. The workshop explores expectations, experiences and supportive structures for diverse supervisory relationships, as well as supervision policies, practices and feedback processes.

3) Developing Resilience – Deirdre McDonagh, MU Counselling Service Team
This workshop aims to provide research students with guidance on how to build their own resilience and cope in the face of challenges and change in light of the increasingly dynamic nature of the research and the world of work. This workshop will also highlight the services offered by the MU Counselling Service Team.

4) Legal Aspects in Managing your Research – Dr Miriam Ryan, Research Development Office, & Ann McKeon, Freedom of Information Office & Data Protection Office
This workshop will focus on the legal aspects of conducting research in a university setting and within industry, including topics such as contracts and obligations, funded research and working with collaborators. There will also be a Q&A session with the objective of providing practical advice on the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Law on research and on any issues specific to research students regarding data collection and processing, transparency, security and accountability.

5) Unconscious Bias, Diversity & Inclusion – Sam Blanckensee, Office of the Vice President for Equality and Diversity
The focus of this workshop is to inform research students about how unconscious bias can affect behaviour and decisions in the workplace and create barriers to diversity and the formation of inclusive relationships. Attendees will also learn about the Athena SWAN charter and the advancement of gender equality and intersectionality in research and more broadly.

6) Communicating your Research – Dr Patrick Boyle, Research Development Office
In this workshop, research students will learn about communicating information effectively and in a way that is accessible to various audiences; vital to getting your research funded, published and to making it influential. There will also be a focus on how these skills transfer to other sectors.

7) Considering your Future Career – Brendan Baker, Career Development Office
The aim of this workshop is to assist research students in developing self-awareness regarding their own skills, abilities, interests and personality, empowering them to identify diverse opportunities and plan for careers in multiple sectors.

Research students must speak to their supervisor before registering for this module. Students can register via their Student Web Portal or by emailing

Open Learning Outcomes
Open Teaching & Learning methods
Open Assessment
Open Timetable
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