New Faces at the Institute for Academic Development (IAD)

LeavesThere have been a few staff changes within the IAD Doctoral Programme we thought you would like to know about,

Fiona McCabe left post in December and Louise McKay was appointed to her post in February.

I’d like to introduce myself as the new Doctoral Training Manager for the IAD. I join the IAD from the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility at the Western General Hospital, where I worked for 5 years as a Programme Administrator, setting up courses and seminars relating to clinical research. Previous to that I have worked for NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council. I look forward to working with the IAD and welcome any suggestions you have in order to provide the best possible Doctoral Training Programme.

Dr Fiona Philippi was appointed to the post of Deputy Head of Researcher Development in February.

Hi, I have recently joined the Institute for Academic Development (IAD) in the role of Deputy Head of Researcher Development. My role is quite wide-ranging and focuses on enhancing and developing support and resources for researchers at all stages. I am a strong believer in recognising that a PhD encompasses a great deal more than writing a thesis (although of course this is a big part!). PhD researchers have much to offer in terms of transferable skills both in academic posts and in a whole range of other sectors. Often though, the challenge is being able to communicate this effectively!

One of the most useful training courses I did during my PhD was on presentation skills. At the beginning it felt like the facilitator was being quite ruthless – we sat and watched our own videoed presentations with a group of complete strangers from other disciplines and then discussed the strengths and weaknesses. However, it actually proved to be extremely useful and some of the tips and lessons learned I have carried with me to this day and used in a wide variety of settings.

Support for PhD researchers has developed considerably over the past few years and initiatives such as the Researcher Development Framework (RDF) are very useful tools to help researchers take control of their own progress and career path. It is all too easy to get caught up in getting through your PhD, but taking advantage of the training and skills development resources on offer can give you a different perspective and should prove helpful in the long run!