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OSDS Interim programme for Research staff

This stream of interim Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities has been put in place to support research staff during the current home working period. The aim is to provide a community of support, some sense of normality, continuity of learning and time and space to focus on those areas of research which can be continued whilst working from home.

Keep in touch with your Research Staff Developers, Diane Munday (08.30-13.00 Monday to Thursday) and Marie Paterson (1 day per week). Phone calls will be forwarded to our mobiles. Diane and Marie can also be contacted via Teams and Skype for Business.

Bookmark the OSDS homepage,  and the OSDS interim Programme for Research Staff

Look out for e-newsletters Developing News- contract research & teaching staff or Aspire - academics, visit Staff Memos, join the Research Staff FB Page, PRF Online Community  and the Research Staff Online Community.

All events offered by OSDS can be booked via the University’s online course booking system PDMS (Personal Development Management System). Search by audience or programme.


Open programme

Over the past few weeks your Staff Developers have been working hard to coordinate with presenters to convert as many personal and professional development activities as they can into a format suitable for online delivery, including via Teams and Zoom.

Please continue to book your place on activities via PDMS. Search by audience or programme

Passport to Research Futures Programme – now online

Structured around Vitae’s Research Development Planner (RDF) the Passport to Research Futures (PRF) is a structured development programme for research staff and early career academics, designed to focus thinking about career planning, professional development and employability and is recognised by the ILM. 

You can pick and mix or join the Programme.

Most of the Programme activities will now be delivered virtually up until the end of May. The delivery method is indicated in the activity description on PDMS and booked participants are being contacted about any changes that have occurred (re-scheduling /transferring to virtual delivery).

Learn more via the Passport to Research Futures webpage                                                                            
View all the Semester 2 activities in PDMS

Sign-up to the Passport via PDMS - Passport Orientations will now take place virtually via Teams 

View the latest PRF interim programme guide (PDF, 1,324 KB)

Join the PRF Participant Online Community - this has been set up by the Programme Coordinators Diane and Marie and is open to current PRF Programme participants and Alumni to connect, discuss their continuing professional development (CPD) ask any questions they may have, keep up to date with changes to the PRF during the home working period and hold virtual meet-ups.

Public Engagement Portfolio – now online

Structured around the public engagement lens on the Vitae Research Development Planner (RDF) and developed through a collaboration between OSDS, CEED (formerly CAPOD) and the Public Engagement with Research (PER) team, the Public Engagement Portfolio (PEP) is a training programme in public engagement for University..

  • Research postgraduate students
  • Academic & Research Staff
  • Professional staff

This training portfolio brings together all the workshops and practical sessions you need to cover the practicalities of engagement and develop the personal and professional skills needed to organise, deliver, evaluate and reflect upon your activities.

You can pick and mix or join the training portfolio.

Most PEP activities will now be delivered virtually up until the end of May. The delivery method is indicated in the activity description on PDMS and booked participants are being contacted about any changes that have occurred (re-scheduling /transferring to virtual delivery).

Learn more via the Public Engagement Portfolio webpage                                                                      
View all the Semester 2 activities for PEP - Academic & Research Staff PEP, via PDMS
Sign-up to PEP via PDMS

Remote Writing Retreats

Do you need to allocate time and space for focussing on the work you can continue from home?  Why not try joining one of our weekly, remote writing retreats? The first Remote Writing Retreat took place via Teams on 19th March with much success, and the feedback was please run more!  The aim of the writing retreats is to provide participants with a virtual, face-to-face community, structure and allotted time to focus on the projects they can continue to progress from home over the next few months.

Remote Writing Retreats will run weekly at either 09:30-13:00 or 13:00-16:30 until the end of May 2020. 

View all the dates and book as you normally would via PDMS – check regularly to see new dates as they are added.

Lunchtime Legends

Your Research Staff Developers are currently working with their wonderful Legends to convert as many of these informal panel sessions they can into a format suitable for online delivery, including via Teams and Zoom. The next of these sessions ‘Lunchtime Legends: Engaging with the Public - Working with Broadcast Media’ will run online 12:00 - 13:15. Please book via PDMS. Participants will be emailed a link in advance to join on the day.

View the upcoming Lunchtime Legends sessions via PDMS

Online networking courses hosted by OSDS

How to become a more effective and confident networker. 

These online courses by Kintish on ‘How to become a more confident and effective networker’ focus on Business Networking Skills training but the skills of effective networking are the same no matter whether it's for business or higher education, so no matter your reasons for wanting to network more effectively, these courses should be helpful. 
The topics covered are: 
1. The Secrets of Great Networkers 
2. How to Work a Room with Confidence 
3. How to Spot Business Opportunities when Networking 
4. How to Follow Up after a Business Event 
These courses are freely available to all members of the University via Moodle. Select this self-enrolment link and then click the rectangular blue button marked "Enrol", and you will automatically be entered into the Moodle course. (If you are not logged into Moodle you will be asked to login before you see the "Enrol" button). 
Passport to Research Futures and Public Engagement Portfolio Participants: once you have completed the courses notify your Research Staff Developers by e-mailing and the course will be added to your training record.

Online communities

Reach out to your University friends and colleagues in the ether, stay social virtually, share experiences and support one another.

Research Staff Online Community – hosted on Teams

Join other members of Research Staff from across the University via the new Research Staff Online Community, set up by your OSDS Research Staff Developers in Teams, with the intention of the reigns being handed over to the community once fully established.

The St Andrews PostDoc Community - closed Facebook group

If you prefer FaceBook, feel free to join the St Andrews PostDoc Community a closed group established by a member of research staff and co-hosted by OSDS.

Other online communities based in Teams:

Converge Funding Competitions

Calling all budding entrepreneurs in the ether! 

At this moment of global crisis, the world needs entrepreneurs more than ever to find new solutions to our most pressing problems.

That's why Converge, the leading entrepreneurial development programme for all Scottish University staff, students and recent graduates, is open for business! Their 2020 programme remains on track and St Andrews will continue to work in collaboration with them, albeit virtually!

Applications are now open for 3 different Converge Challenges: 

Converge Challenge is aimed at new or prospective businesses that demonstrate strong intellectual property, high commercial potential and scalability. The Impact and Creative Challenges are for mission-led businesses and creative sector businesses, respectively.  

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak however, Converge have made a number of changes including:

* Extending the application deadline to Thursday 14 May (12 noon)

* Taking all face-to-face workshops, Converge events and business training online (see box below)

For more information visit the St Andrews - Converge Collaboration webpage.

Also visit University collaboration with Converge for information on activities.


Converge online events

#Converge Enterprise Sessions

Taking place every Tuesday at 11.00 am from 7 April through to 5 May 


#Online equivalent of the PRF subunit 9.5.

Over the next few months, staff, students and recent alumni with an early-stage, innovative business idea are invited by Converge's University collaborators (Careers Centre, RIS and OSDS) to a join in Converge' weekly Enterprise Sessions. Perfect for if you have bright business idea and are thinking about applying for this year’s Converge, Impact or Creative Challenge,

Delivered by members of the Converge Enterprise Team, sessions will take place every Tuesday at 11.00 am from 7 April through to 5 May.Find out what Converge's judges look for in a successful proposal and ask specific questions relating to your application.

*  View the full list of dates and register

*  The Converge Team are also able to offer 1-2-1 sessions either via Zoom or on the telephone. 

For more details, e-mail: 

#The Converge Enterprise Sessions align with PRF subunit 9.5. St Andrews participant registration details will be passed onto OSDS and PRF participants will subsequently receive credit for this subunit in their training record.

For more information visit the St Andrews - Converge Collaboration webpage.

Also visit University collaboration with Converge for information on activities.

Career Management for Early Career Academic Researchers

#Online equivalent of PRF subunits 3.1 to 3.4.

This external online offering is a collaboration between the University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh, and the University of Sheffield.  

Career Management for Early Career Academic Researchers aims to support researchers to explore their career options and make career plans.    

The course is divided into 4 sections with the idea of doing one section a week. It is aimed at PhD students and Post Doctoral Researchers and covers careers beyond academia as well as academic and HE career options. 

The content is divided up into;

  • Week1 - Making Career Plans

  • Week 2 - Exploring Career Options

  • Week 3 - Careers in Higher Education

  • Week 4 - Job Search and Application Processes

Through a series of articles, videos, discussions, and reflective exercises, researchers are encouraged to consider what they want out of a career; to explore the academic career path and many other career options; and increase their confidence in job search and applications.

It’s a free online course and open to research students and early career research staff at any institution in the UK and beyond.

*  Visit the Career Management for Early Career Academic Researchers webpage to learn more and enroll.


Credit for PRF and PEP subunit equivalents

To offer some alternatives to participating in the OSDS-led online activities associated with the PRF during the current period of home working, please feel free to participate in other free PRF and / or PEP subunit equivalents.

#Once you have completed an online activity which closely aligns (in terms of content) with one or more of the PRF / PEP activities, please notify your Research Staff Developers by e-mailing proof of completion (screen shot, completion certificate etc) and the course will be added to your training record.

On this webpage you will find a range of online activities marked with # to indicate that they align with one or more PRF / PEP subunit). There are activities hosted internally online by either OSDS and / or CEED, and offerings from external presenters who are well known within the Research Staff Development community.

Please share any further suggestions for online CPD opportunities via the PRF Participant Online Community.


Diane Munday
Staff Developer (Research Staff)

T: (01334) 46 2241

Marie Paterson
Staff Developer (Research Staff)

T: (01334) 46 2561

The University of St Andrews is an institutional member of Vitae (the UK body which champions professional and career development for researchers in HE). This demonstrates our commitment to researcher development and provides us with access to a wide range of resources, events and support for our researcher development activities.

Learn more about the support available from Vitae.

Additional links

CoRe Skills Leaflet (PDF, 750 KB)

- Athena SWAN
- HR Excellence in Research
- Research Staff Forum