Core Training Programme

The Core Training Programme is reviewed annually following student feedback.  In 2017-18 the Programme comprises a combination of research methods across all streams, professional & personal development, communication & outreach and modelling, scientific computing & data analysis.  Listed below are the courses for the next academic year, with the modules contained within each one.

The Core Training runs mostly in the first term, although some elements are present in terms 2 & 3.

The Field Course

  • This is a three day trip, to Nettlecombe Court Field Study centre, on the edge of Exmoor. Here students perform activities across the three streams, as a single group, and get to know one another in the process. The trip is an introduction to interdisciplinary study and we makes the transition to Oxford easier for those coming here for the first time.

Mathematics, Programming & Computing

  • Essential Maths/Advanced Maths (weeks 1 & 2)
  • Essential Programming/Advanced Programming(weeks 3 & 4)
  • Essential Computing/Advanced Computing (weeks 5 & 6)
  • Analysis of Large Datasets (week 7)

Methods in Environmental Research

  • Industry & Department Sandpit (week -1)
  • Earth Observation (week 7)
  • Mapping Geospatial Data & creating 3D Topographic Maps (week 7)
  • Proxies (week 8)
  • Isotopes (week 8)
  • Scientific Chronology Development (week 8)

The Earth System

Each stream has three days to provide an introduction into the current state of research in that stream.  The aim of this course is to introduce students to concepts and methods in streams outside their own area of interest, and thus encourage closer collaboration between streams as well as giving students a heightened idea of where their own interests lie in relation to the wider field of environmental research. (weeks 8 – 10)

Communicating Research

  • Specifying Research Questions (week 10)

Terms 2 & 3 on Core Training Tuesdays

  • Blog writing
  • Managing your Research Profile
  • Abstract Writing
  • Proposal Writing
  • Publishing Day
  • Annual Reporting on Researchfish
  • Preparing Presentations

Planning & Managing Research

  • Research Project Design & Management (week 10)

Terms 2 & 3 on Core Training Tuesdays

  • Data Management & Archiving
  • Managing your RTSG
  • Fieldwork Planning
  • Keeping Up To Date With Research Literature
  • Principles of Reference Management
  • Bibliometrics and Open Access
  • Pitching to be heard

Graduate Research Seminars

  • Each stream has a weekly seminar during term time during which topics and papers selected by students are discussed, guest speakers are invited, and students have the opportunity to present their own project ideas.  Students continue to attend seminars throughout their degree.

Foundations for a Successful D.Phil (term 2)

Components of a Good D.Phil Thesis
Strategies for Finishing on Time
Managing the Student-Supervisor Relationship

Impact & Engagement (term 2)

  • Grand Challenges Seminars planning
  • Engaging with Partners
  • Workshop on Environmental Policy
  • Science Communication & Public Outreach