Research skills team principles

The Research Skills Team provides workshops, online resources and one-to-one appointments to support postgraduate research students, academic staff, research staff and research support staff to become more effective researchers.


  • We provide research skills training in a variety of formats to develop the effectiveness of research students and staff throughout their careers.
  • We work alongside PGR leads and colleagues in other professional services to embed skills development into the research lifecycle and career development offering.
  • The services we offer are developmental and inclusive.
  • We acknowledge the broad range of disciplines researched at the University of Birmingham and consequently adopt a coaching approach, encouraging researchers to develop transferable skills linked to career progression within and outside academia.

What we can offer

We enable PGR students, academics and staff to research effectively, through development of their:

  • Literature, data and other resource discovery skills
  • Reference management skills
  • Ability to curate their online identity
  • Publication strategies and use of social media
  • Knowledge of open access and research data management
  • Understanding of research metrics (including citation metrics and altmetrics); how to obtain them and how to use them responsibly
  • We enable PGR students in particular to develop their skills in:
    • Writing
    • Preparing for thesis and viva activity
    • Networking and presenting
    • Working effectively with supervisors

We do this through

  • Workshops open to all PGR students, academics and staff
  • Workshops aimed specifically at PGR students
  • Lectures or workshops embedded in existing programmes
  • Bookable individual appointments for library skills (limited to 4 sessions per academic year)
  • Online training (particularly Canvas modules)

What we can’t offer

  • Proofreading services or quality judgements of work
  • Carrying out of complete systematic and other literature reviews
  • Advice on research methodologies
  • Support with non-bibliographic subject data retrieval, and data analysis


Professional Services