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Academic development

Information about academic development opportunities (e.g. courses, events and workshops) in departments, which are open to all MRC-funded students, can be found below.

department of chemistry

The Department of Chemistry currently offers two academic development sessions:

  • Thesis Writing Session - Hilary Term
  • Training for Teaching and Lab Demonstrating - Weeks -1 and 0 of Michaelmas Term

These sessions should be available to book through the Researcher Training Tool but if you have any difficulties contact Nicholas Green

department of computer science

The Department of Computer Science hosts a session titled 'How To Give A Talk' to prepare students for seminar and conference presentations. This currently takes place during Trinity Term. For further information contact Julie Sheppard


The Department of Experimental Psychology offers a series of seminars on the Analysis of Research Methods. There is an introduction in Michaelmas Term followed by a series of weekly seminars in Hilary Term at All Souls College. For more information or to sign up please contact Rebecca Cardus


The Department of Materials offers a range of academic and research skills courses. These include courses such as:

  • Academic Writing (for overseas students)
  • Induction Course for Postgraduate Students
  • Information Skills
  • Introduction to the MPLSD Graduate School and Graduate Academic Programme (GAP)
  • Managing Your References
  • Patent Literature
  • Poster Presentation Skills
  • Presentation Skills
  • Project Management
  • Teaching Skills: Junior Demonstrating in the Materials Teaching Lab
  • Teaching Skills: Lecturing A Taught Course
  • Teaching Skills: Materials Options Classes
  • Teaching Skills: Senior Demonstrating
  • Teaching Skills: Tutoring Materials Science
  • Teaching Skills: Tutoring Maths Classes
  • Writing Skills and Keeping Laboratory Notebooks

Further information on the 2017/2018 training courses will be made available shortly. These courses are typically available for booking via the Mathematical Physical and Life Sciences Division GAP on the Researcher Training Tool.


The Radcliffe Department of Medicine offers some academic development opportunities throughout the academic year. These include:

For further information and bookings, contact Graduate Enquiries


The Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology offers two academic development sessions. These are:

  • Giving Oral Presentations
  • Scientific Writing

These workshops typically take place in Hilary Term and further information can be found by contacting Graduate Studies.


The Department of Oncology offers several training sessions and workshops to assist with academic development. These include:

  • How To Confirm - Michaelmas Term
  • How To Get Your Post Doc - Trinity Term
  • How To Plan Your 4th Year - Trinity Term
  • How To Transfer - Trinity Term
  • How To Write Your Thesis
  • Setting Up A Thesis Committee

For further information, please contact Graduate Studies.


There are a range of academic development sessions and workshops provided by the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences. These include:

  • Grant Writing
  • How To Manage Your Supervisor
  • How To Transfer Your Status
  • How To Write A Systematic Review
  • How To Write/Review A Scientific Paper
  • Viva Preparation

For further information about dates and bookings, please contact Sam Burnell

 Department of physiology, anatomy and genetics

There is a range of academic development opportunities in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics including:

  • Applying For Research Grants - Varies
  • How To Chair A Talk - Trinity Term
  • How To Plan, Produce, Present A Poster - 0th Week of Michaelmas Term
  • Managing Your Supervisor - Hilary Term
  • Planning Your Final Year - Trinity Term
  • Public Speaking - Varies
  • Research Techniques - Varies
  • Transfer of Status Process - 2nd Week of Michaelmas Term

These sessions are advertised at reception in the Sherrington Building and booking is not required for these sessions. For further information contact Graduate Studies.


The Department of Plant Sciences has a range of training workshops based on academic development including:

  • Biological Sciences Graduate Teacher Training Course:
    This training programme equips graduate students and early career researchers for assisting with undergraduate teaching in Oxford and is compulsory for anyone wish to act as a Demonstrator in undergraduate practicals or offer tutorial classes in Biological Sciences. The course takes place annually prior to the beginning of Michaelmas Term. Total contact time 4 hours.
  • Getting The Public Excited About Your Science:
    Communicating science to non-scientists is an important demand on research active scientists today. This allows you to bring your science to a wider community and also helps in writing persuasive grant and fellowship applications. The aim of this course is to teach students the fundamentals of scientific outreach and to provide experience in communicating science to the general public.  The course will consist of an introductory session in October, a one day workshop in January and then an afternoon of practical outreach in February. Total contact time 12.5 hours.
  • Reading / Writing / Speaking:
    The aim of this course is to (1) make students aware of the need for these skills, (2) develop reading, writing and speaking skills and (3) demonstrate how to develop competence independently. This course will help students to critically read papers and evaluate data and make conclusions. Students will develop skills in making presentations and discover for themselves what it takes to make a good presentation. Students will write concise pieces on a scientific topic every week and other members of the class will assess these texts. The class will consist of 10 two-hour sessions between October and Christmas. Total contact time 20 hours.
  • Technical Presentation and Poster Skills:
    The aim of this course is to provide guidance in the visual display and interpretation of quantitative information for scientific publications and effective oral and poster presentations. This course consists of 6-8 one-hour sessions in Hilary Term. Total contact time 6-8 hours.

For further information, contact the Department of Plant Sciences

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