The University of Cambridge offers a Transferable Skills Training programme for its graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. The aim of the programme is to help you, as a researcher, broaden your horizons above and beyond the focus of your research work and to provide you with some key skills for your future career.
The Research Councils have provided guidelines of the skills they hope their students will develop over the course of their research. These include, amongst others: career management, problem solving; communication skills, teamwork and leadership, and can be found under ‘Skills for Postgraduate Students’ on the University website.
The Transferable Skills Training programme at Cambridge is offered at a departmental level, and so available courses will vary between departments within the University. You can consult your departmental website to find out what your department offers. Courses are also available to you at the Language Centre, and the Computing Service.
If you are planning to supervise undergraduates you will need training. There are general introductory sessions organised by the CPPD Centre for Personal and Professional Development.
However most people find subject specific courses organised via their departments to be more useful. These will be advertised at the beginning of the academic year and you are strongly advised to attend one.
At Corpus, you will have the opportunity to develop your communication and presentation skills by participating in the Leckhampton Society where you can give a general talk about your research to your fellow students in other subjects. One of the strengths of the College system is that you will find that there are many occasions, often over a meal, when you meet people in other departments and you want to explain your work. You can discover that someone working in a quite different subject area is using similar techniques even though the technical language may not be quite the same, and you need to be able to overcome that language barrier to understand each other’s work.