Recording Your Development
What constitutes development?
Professional development for research takes place in a variety of forms. Continuing professional development (CPD) is supported by a continuous cycle of activity based on:
- Identifying goals and objectives
- Defining the action to be taken
- Action taken and recorded
- Reflection on outcome and evaluation of achievement/progress
Becoming a reflective practitioner is an important part of the research process. It is crucial that researchers approach their training strategically in order to achieve an appropriate balance.
At the beginning of the PhD programme, researchers are required to identify their training needs and to develop a training plan, in consultation with their supervisor(s). The training plan should be updated at the beginning of every academic year and provides a record and a framework for discussing and documenting process and development with the thesis.
Maintaining a Research Diary/Blog
Alongside maintaining a training plan/log, researchers are actively encouraged to keep a research diary or a blog. Reflecting on every aspect of the PhD Experience helps researchers to record their progress and develop a greater awareness of knowledge and expertise.
Research diaries allow space for assessment of strengths and successes as well as enabling researchers to identify any weak areas and make steps to manage these, and perhaps overcome them completely. This method of self-appraisal is a valuable attribute for researchers at all levels. The RDF lists self-reflection under Domain B as a crucial personal quality for research.
A blog is an excellent way to reflect and record progress