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Early Career Researcher Development Programme

ECR

This ECR Development Programme is created to supports our ECRs in important aspects of their personal, professional and career development. More precisely, by providing them with a wide range of training opportunities, its aim is to help them meet the development needs identified in their Career Development Plan (CDP) and their Training Needs Analysis (TNA).

As the TNA is based upon Vitae's Researcher Development Framework (RDF), which is a nationally endorsed tool designed to support researchers' personal, professional and career development, the courses and workshops of Aston's ECR Development Programme are largely mapped against the four domains, 12 sub-domains and the set of descriptors outlined in the RDF. 

To know more about the wide range of courses available to research staff at Aston, please also visit the University Course Directory.

Domain A: Knowledge and Intellectual abilities

This domain contains the knowledge and intellectual abilities needed to be able to carry out excellent research.

This new two-hour workshop focuses on the key aspects of Vitae's Researcher Development Framework (RDF) and its RDF Planner. It will help ECRs understand the requirements and the skills needed to pursue a career as a researcher. If you are interested in the workshop, please contact Staff Development.
On this one-day course you will explore EndNote, software used to manage bibliographic citations. For further information, click here.
This one day course introduces spreadsheets through Microsoft Excel. To find out more and book a place on it, click here:
This one day intermediate Excel course gives participants an in-depth look at spreadsheets. To find out more and book a place on it, click here
This advanced, two day Excel course will enable attendees to get started in making use of the VBA programming language to automate processes using Excel. To find out more and book a place on it, click here:
This half day course is for individuals who wish to gain a better understanding of using and manipulating Data in Microsoft Excel. To book a place on it, click here.
This 1 hour long workshop focuses on creating interactive forms in Microsoft Excel 2010. To book a place on it, click here.
This 1 hour long workshop focuses on the basics of recording simple Macros to automate repetitive tasks in Microsoft Excel 2010. To book a place on it, click here:
 This 1 hour long workshop focuses on using pivot tables/charts in Excel 2010. To book a place on it, click here:
This 1 hour long workshop focuses on creating interactive forms in Microsoft Word 2010. To book a place on it, click here:
This 1 hour long workshop focuses on the basics of using Microsoft OneNote 2010. To book a place on this workshop, click here.
This one-day course aims to provide the skills necessary for writing papers and reports. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This two day course is for individuals who wish to gain a good understanding of the basics of Microsoft Project. To book a place, click here:
This one-day course will build on your skills to create more advanced presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This one-day workshop introduces NVivo 9 qualitative data analysis software and provides guided hands-on experience of using it. For further information, click here.
In this 2 day long introduction to databases, participants will learn the value of Access as a database software tool. To book a place on it, click here.
This intermediate-advanced level course will provide you with the necessary skills to design, produce and maintain high quality and complex databases. To book a place, click here:
This one-day course will build on your skills to create more advanced presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint. For more information, click here.
This one-day course will provide an introduction to best practice in designing these research instruments in order to avoid the pitfalls and get the best possible data from the study. To book a place on this course, click here.
This one-day workshop will provide an overview of the management and conduct of qualitative research interviews with both individual research subjects and groups of research subjects. To book a place on it, click here.
This one-day workshop offers participants the opportunity to reflect on their qualitative research interviewing/facilitation skills and to practise these further. For more information, click here.
The course examines VAT with a particular focus on how it affects research. The course will provide a brief introduction to VAT and explore how it affects both income and expenditure. The main focus will be on the relationship between Research and VAT. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.

Domain B: Personal effectiveness

This domain contains the personal qualities, career and self-management skills required to take ownership for and control of professional development.

ISA has created a tutorial specifically for managing the Aston website that should take about 45-90 minutes to complete, depending on experience. To book a place on it, click here.
It is for anyone who wants to understand more about their own preferred ways of interacting with other people, taking in information, making decisions and how they work best. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This two hour session focuses on the art of making applications. For further information, click here.
This course is for contract research staff and is delivered by the Careers and Employability Centre. This practical half-day workshop will try to allay fears and attempt to de-mystify the practice of interviewing. For further information, click here.
PDR (Professional Development Review) is your opportunity to discuss your job and the support that you receive in a confidential and supportive environment with someone who is able to help you to achieve your personal and professional goals. In order to get the most from this process, it is important that you are fully prepared so that you can contribute to the discussion. This short session will provide you with an understanding of how to gain the most from your PDR. To book a place on it, click here.
This course will enable participants, through a variety of activities and exercises, to develop more effective approaches to their interactions with others. For more information, click here.
This half day course will offer practical advice and guidance on how to write minutes, including preparation before the meeting, note-taking techniques during the meeting and the writing up of minutes afterwards. To book a place on it, click here.
This short course will be of interest to any member of staff who wishes to manage his/her time more proactively. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This short session will be practically based and provide participants with an opportunity to explore ways of managing stress, both at work and in personal situations. For further information, click here.

The course will provide an opportunity to consider how we manage anger in our lives. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.

This half day workshop will explore a range of skills and techniques which can help us reduce negative thinking about ourselves, and help to develop self confidence and self belief. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This half day course is designed to provide staff with a clear approach to running effective meetings in order to ensure that they achieve the objectives. To book a place on the course, click here.
This half day course will enable staff and postgraduate researchers to gain a clearer understanding of how to plan and conduct a negotiation. To book a place on the course, click here.
This is a two session course (two half day sessions, one week apart) which is highly participative and designed to build confidence and improve presentation skills. To book a place on it, click here.
This is an opportunity for staff and students who are about to give a presentation or planning to do so in the near future to try their presentation out in front of two facilitators. To attend it, click here.
Communicating effectively is an essential skill in today’s complex working environments. This half-day course is for anyone who wants to review their skills and techniques and provides ideas for effective interactions with others. To book a place on it, click here.
Delegates will understand coaching techniques and their application in the workplace. This short session will look at identify how to identify the optimum learning style for individuals and how to evaluate the effectiveness of coaching. To find out more, click here.
Effective feedback to others is a skill that, if done properly can result in better performance and improved relationships. Good feedback has specific characteristics that can motivate and support colleagues. To book a place on it, click here.

Domain C: Research governance and organisation

This domain contains the knowledge of the standards, requirements and professional conduct that are needed for the effective management of research.

An introductory training course devised and monitored by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and presented by Aston University’s Health & Safety Unit. For further information, click here.
This half-day course ensures that anyone involved in the process has the depth of understanding necessary to carry out the risk assessment process. For further information, click here.
The aims of this course are to raise employee awareness of the health and safety issues associated with using and handling hazardous substances. To book a place on this, click here.
This workshop will help participants to understand the basics of copyright law, and advise on the exceptions and licences which apply at a University. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This full-day workshop will equip academic members of staff with the skills and knowledge to explain patents, Intellectual Property Rights, trade mark, design rights, copyright, infringement, patent protection and prosecution to their students and early career researchers. For further information, click here.
This day-long course will enable participants to plan and manage projects with greater ease and effectiveness. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This two-hour session will help researchers to plan their funding strategy over the next 5 years and equip them with strategies for success. For further information, click here.
This three-hour workshop is delivered by the Careers and Employability Centre. Researchers and post-docs usually have two career plans – to be an academic or not to be an academic. What strategies are required to achieve either goal? This three hour workshop is designed to help in answering this question. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This course is for research active academic staff and is delivered by the Research Support Office.  This interactive session provides advice on how to plan your personal strategy for obtaining research funding. To find out more and book a place on it, click here. 

This two-hour workshop will give general but useful advice on key issues relating to research grants. To book a place on this workshop, click here. 

This session is aimed at those new to writing research grant applications. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This two-hour workshop is aimed at all of those looking to gain an insight into the UK research environment. To find out more and book place on it, click here.

Domain D: Engagement, influence and impact

This domain contains the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage with, influence and impact on the academic, social, cultural and economic context.

This short course looks at the way a team is formed and the various aspects that make it successful. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
The session will help delegates to understand the process of effective delegation and its role in empowering staff. Delegates will look at barriers and support mechanisms as well as techniques to monitor the outcomes. To book a place on it, click here.
This course is for staff only and is provided by Staff & Graduate Development. Using popular motivational theory, delegates will understand what motivates people at work and the differences in individual motivation. For further information, click here.
This half-day course will explore the nature of mentoring and the skills required to be an effective mentor. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This session is designed to give an overview of the key equality and diversity issues in Higher Education and at Aston University in particular. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This half day session is designed to offer staff an overview of mental health issues, and how they may affect students.To book a place on it, click here.
This one-day course will consider the role of the supervisor, the nature of the relationship between the supervisor and the student, and how to support the student to make good progress. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This short course is a refresher for the Research Student Supervision course, which you should have undertaken previously. For further information and book a place on it, click here.
This session is for those who are still new to the field of producing publications. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This one-day workshop looks at the process of writing and publishing papers in peer reviewed journals. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This half-day session provides the opportunity for those who have a demonstrating role within a laboratory setting to consider ways that they can help in improving the learning experience for the student. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This half-day session provides the opportunity for those who have a demonstrating role within computer laboratories to consider ways that they can help in improving the learning experience for the student. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.
This course will look at the variety of methods of tutoring small groups, and the skills teachers require to ensure that students are helped to learn in these settings. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.

This course is run by Aston's Centre for Learning Innovation & Professional Practice (CLIPP). It gives an introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and enables participants to develop an informed and appropriately student-focused approach to the delivery of teaching and learning support. To find out more and book a place on it, click here.

Other relevant courses

There are other courses and workshops, which can be available to ECRs at Aston.

The ECR Development Programme offers customised training courses to meet the needs of the ECRs who are undertaking research projects, e.g. Marie Curie ITN. If you need training in any specific areas, please contact us. 
Vitae runs a number of courses and workshops, e.g. Research FuturesManaging Your Academic CareerEffective ResearcherEngaging Researcher and Leadership in Action. If you are interested in these courses and wish us to run them at Aston, please contact us.