Training and Mentorship

Research Skills and Training Induction Event

The induction event is designed as an opportunity for you to develop key skills, especially those that are necessary in the first stages of a research degree, and for you to foster connections with the other members of your cohort.

A number of team-building activities, training workshops and presentations will be organised within an informal setting, likely to be one day in each partner institution. It is the opportunity for you to ask questions and develop your early stage researcher networks.

Attendance is compulsory, unless valid reasons for absences are given to the Programme Manager in advance.

As part of the programme, we ask fellows to complete a research competency skills matrix at regular intervals. This provides a Pre-PhD benchmark and enables the tracking of skills acquisition during the fellows time on the programme.  Current skills score increase to March 2021.

Core and Specialist Research Training

A wide range of core and specialist training modules are available for fellows to access, from which they can build a ‘toolkit’ of skills required to support their research and academic career ambitions.

Fellows complete a training needs assessment form at the start of their PhD and with guidance from their supervisory team develop a training plan to build and strengthen their research skills.

A £5,000 training and travel budget per fellow is available to pay for specialist training courses and travel.

‘Honestly, these cohort days are the best I’ve ever been a part of. The speakers are always really useful, and thank you for listening to our comments on what we would like to learn!’ Feedback from GW4-CAT Fellow, Cohort IV.

GW4 Transferable Skills Training

Table of Training Opportunities

GW4-CAT HP Fellows also have access to a wide range of transferable skills training, including communication, writing skills and project management, at all of the participating GW4 universities (subject to availability). You will be responsible for your own travel costs. Please discuss any course fees with the GW4-CAT HP administrative team.

It is expected that Fellows will access a minimum of two transferrable skills training sessions per year as part of their GW4-CAT HP PhD.

A full list of training for postgraduate researchers is available at each of the respective universities:

University of Bath:

University of Bristol:

Cardiff University:

University of Exeter:

As you will be registered as a student and a member of staff at your respective institutions, i.e. where your lead supervisor is based, you should also have access to a variety of academic staff development courses, including learning and research skills. This may not count for all courses at all universities so please email the relevant administrative contact to enquire about your eligibility for a specific course before booking.

University of Bath:

University of Bristol:

Cardiff University:

University of Exeter:

To access workshops and training at institutions other than your own, you will need to email the relevant contact for the course that you would like to attend, explaining that you are part of the GW4-CAT Programme and outlining the workshop details.


All fellows will be required to select a clinical mentor, who will offer career guidance and play a crucial supportive role throughout the PhD process. This mentor should be carefully chosen to best match the GW4-CAT HP fellow’s career ambitions and mentoring needs. The mentor does not have to be employed by one of the four GW4 participating institutions.  We have produced guidance for mentors/mentees to aid understanding of the relationship.

GW4-CAT HP Mentor-Mentee guidance

Post PhD Support

Successful trainees will have an opportunity to apply for a post-doctoral Academic Clinical Lectureship as part of a ‘run-through’ training scheme which is core to the training philosophy of GW4-CAT HP.

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