External engagement

main content

Strathclyde’s PG Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PG Cert RPD) is a revolutionary award that supports the discipline-specific skills and personal development needs of the student within a unified framework that can be applied across the institution, providing a consistent experience for students and a clear structure for staff.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PG Cert RPD) was created in response to a number of internal (PRES results, stakeholder needs, changes to doctoral training programmes, strategic targets) and external (Concordat to support Career Development of Researchers, launch of the Researcher Development Framework, 'SET for Success' report, RCUK statement of expectations, UK QAA Quality code) drivers with an aim to excel in supporting the employability of postgraduate researchers at Strathclyde.

The PG Cert RPD aligns with the University's vision to become a leading international technological university, and contributes to the five strategic themes by enhancing the research and professional development attributes of our postgraduate researchers and providing an outstanding student experience.


We have produced a range of materials and documentation to help students understand how the PG Cert RPD works, including a PG Cert RPD leaftlet. The content and structure of these materials was heavily influenced by the students, who provided feedback through a tracking project. It is equally important that staff and supervisors understand the PG Cert RPD, and we have produced an equivalent range of documentation for them.

Student engagement

How many students are engaging with the PG Cert RPD, and how they are engaging is monitored continuously. This helps to ensure satisfactory progress and compliance, but it also helps to understand the needs of the students and any areas where we need to provide more provision or additional support. This PG Cert RPD infographic demonstrates the very encouraging engagement with the PG Cert RPD over the first 6 months, from October 2013 to March 2014. 

What our stakeholders say

Our students, staff and industrial collaborators have given us very positive feedback on the initial implementation of the PG Cert RPD, in the form of PG Cert RPD testimony.   

Spreading the message about the PG Cert RPD

We have presented the PG Cert RPD at a number of international conferences, and been invited to present the PG Cert RPD by a number of Universities in Europe and Australia. A collaboration with the Australia National University, Dublin City University, University of Waikato and the University of Strathclyde will help place the PG Cert RPD in the wider context of frameworks to support the career development of postgraduate researchers. You can read more about our engagement with the wider HEI community.

What others have said about the PG Cert RPD

The PG Cert RPD has sparked great interest whenever it has been presented, and prompted a number of people to contact the PG Cert RPD team at Strathclyde to let us know what they thought of it. You can read what others have said.

What others have said:

"A lot of UK universities would very much like to implement the Strathclyde model"

Gill Clarke, Vice-Chair UKGCE

"There is no doubt that Strathclyde is leading the way in developing this model"

Hugh Kearns, Flinders University

"The PG Certificate in Researcher Professional Development helps me to plan and to carry out my research in a more effective way; at the end of your PhD, you not only get a doctoral research degree but also become a professional in your area of research."

Meryem Horasan, PG Cert RPD student