Start to build networks of support including family, friends, fellow postgraduate researchers (PGRs) and other researchers at all levels working in your field of research, who will all be able to provide different types of help and advice.
Having identified any skills gaps using Vitae's Getting Started in Research Lens, look for relevant training courses available through SkillsForge and any School-specific or external training opportunities. Your supervisor may also have helpful suggestions.
Find out who the PGR representatives are for your School and on Graduate Council and consider becoming one yourself. For an up to date list of Graduate Council PGR representatives, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For School-level PGR representatives, contact the PGR administrator in your School.
Begin a record of all the training, development, conference attendances/presentations, initiatives or events that you have attended and/or helped to organise. You can use SkillsForge for this using the ‘Other Development Activities’ section under ‘Training and Development – Development Summary’, or use a Word document or OneNote.
Include information like dates, times, names of facilitators, copies of any certificates you receive and a short paragraph summarising the content and what you learned. Starting this early on in your research will make it much easier when you are updating your CV and applying for jobs. Training, development and conference attendances may also come up in your viva.