Professional development

Training aimed at improving your personal and professional skills relevant to your PhD and your future career

Booking: these courses generally open for booking one month in advance of the shown date. If you do not see a live booking link please check back nearer the course date.

Cancelling: If you need to cancel your booking, please do so at your earliest opportunity and at least 3 days before the event. Someone else may be able to take your place, but we need time to contact them. Also, although you are not charged for an event, there are costs we incur (e.g. photocopying) which relate directly to places reserved.

How to cancel: you can cancel your booking via the MyEd Event Booking Channel. Go to the “My Stuff” tab within MyEd and then Event Booking. Click on “My Bookings” - here you will have the option to cancel your place.

We maintain attendance registers; unexpected absences will be noted. If you consistently fail to attend, or repeatedly cancel with very short notice, you may be prevented from booking future IAD events.

Building a Business Team


People are the primary resource of a business and a good business team, with the right skills and experience, is essential. 

This workshop covers how to go about building a business team; what skills to look for; how to approach and negotiate with team members; what to offer them; and how to keep them on board.   It will cover:

  • Team skills for success

  • Practical aspects for how to build and develop a business team

  • Setting up a winning team

In addition, the interactive workshop allows you the opportunity to begin assessing your own team style and skills.

This course relates to domains B2, B3, D1, D2 and D3 of the RDF.

RDF Subdomains

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Building Business Value


What's my business (or my project) worth?

Are you interested in becoming an entrepreneur? Are you trying to raise money for a company? Or are you working with large capital projects? 

This workshop explains how to understand the bit on Dragon's Den when they say 'I'm offering 37.5% of my company for £500,000'. Where do those numbers come from and how are they calculated?

We will illustrate a number of simple valuation methods including book value, market capitalisation, and discounted cash flow and show you how to calculate them using Microsoft Excel. You will become familiar with terms such as net present value, internal rate of return, risk-free rate and risk premium. As a side effect you will also understand more about our current banking and financial crisis!

As well as potential entrepreneurs, this workshop would be of interest to anyone working in areas where large capital projects are planned, costed and valued - architecture, civil and chemical engineering, aerospace, and renewable energy to name just a few.

Attendees should be familiar with basic financial concepts such as profit and loss, balance sheets, and cash flows.  Attendees should bring a laptop and a usb drive to the workshop.  

This course relates to domains B2, B3, C3, and D1 of the RDF.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Business Finance


When establishing a business the financial reporting requirements, and the issue of getting finance, can seem daunting.  This workshop aims to explain clearly what is required.

A clear and concise session which provides delegates with an easy but comprehensive understanding of:

  • the reasons for starting one's own business

  • methods of communication

  • accounts - profit and loss, cash flow and balance sheets

  • management reporting

  • raising finance

  • sources of finance, including a valuable insight into business angel investment in Scotland

  • preparing a robust business plan

  • structuring your financial package

  • meeting your ongoing obligations and responsibilities 

The session draws on delegates own personal experiences to bring the topics to life.

This course relates to domains B2, B3, C3 and D2 of the RDF.

RDF Subdomains

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Business Idea Development


This half day course has a strong practical theme.  It will cover the following nine areas through a series of activities and discussions:


  1. Where do your ideas come from - are you working on having one big idea or growing a series of smaller ideas?
  2. Nurturing and propagating ideas - what is your process for this?
  3. Growing an idea logically vs. morphing an idea in random directions.   Examining idea growth.
  4. Exploring the concepts of 'A Technique for Producing Ideas' - the book by James Webb Young
  5. The role of money in idea development.  Whose money do you use and how much do you need?
  6. Thinking about your ideas and the environment you operate in - where will the support for your idea come from?
  7. Time and Timing.  Where to place your emphasis.
  8. Bringing others into the development of your ideas.  The upsides and the pitfalls.
  9. Who will buy your ideas? Who will buy the product of your ideas?


There is also the opportunity to stay for an optional 'surgery' session between 1 and 2pm to explore other business questions you may have that are not directly covered by the Business Idea Development session.

Attendees interested in pursuing their business ideas could attend other business and enteprise workshops running during Semester 1:

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Creative Problem Solving in Research


The core business of a PhD or early career researcher is to have new ideas and then explore them. Originality is our shared currency regardless of academic discipline. And yet many researchers report finding themselves stuck in a rut, having the same thoughts again and again, when what they really need are fresh insights, new concepts and original ideas.

This empowering and challenging course will allow participants to bring along their own real problems and explore them from a number of new angles.

The course will focus on the needs and personal creativity styles of all the participants and will then will move on to explore;

  • How to explore a problem and tackle it from a number of new angles
  • A range of creativity techniques and how to apply and implement them
  • A toolkit for evaluating ideas

This course relates to domains A2 and A3 of the RDF.

EligibilityMScR HSS All Years PhD SCE All Years PhD MVM All Years PhD HSS All Years MScR SCE All Years MScR MVM All Years
Date Friday 09-May-2014, 09:30 - 16:30
Venue Room 1.09, Main Library Central Area
Bookings If you are eligible, you can Book a place on this course.

Digital Marketing: Campaigns, Social Media & Analytics


How do you attract new clients and customers on a limited budget? Startups, social enterprises and small companies can rarely afford to spend large amounts of money on marketing and advertising making it more challenging to compete with larger organisations. Fortunately, there are now several free tools available that allow small organisations to control their marketing processes, analyse their campaigns and measure success. This workshop will focus on these tools and include the instructor's own experience in using them for international marketing.

In addition to the free services, this workshop will touch on the pay-per-click advertising services offered by several platforms including Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. The workshop is designed to introduce start ups and SMEs to a variety of digital marketing tools and marketing strategies. It is suitable for any student or researcher who have a business or are thinking of starting a business; several of the techniques are also useful for marketing academic research.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Enterprising Women


Do you feel equipped for the challenges ahead?

Whatever your career objective, be it continuing in research, moving into a commercial role, entering the public or charity sectors or building and managing your own company you need a broader set of skills and attitudes than those developed through your research.

Enterprising Women is a three-day course spread over seven weeks that was developed at Edinburgh University with two external enterprising women who have experience of research, commerce, social enterprise and running their own business.   Along with its counterpart Ingenious Women (shortlisted for a 2013 THE Award) we have worked with close to 100 women on this programme over the last two years. This free course, aimed at female researchers, takes place over the following three days:

Day 1
Wednesday 30th April 2014
Theme One: Creativity

Creativity is not a mysterious gift possessed by some and envied by others. It is a set of behaviours which can be easily learnt and applied in everyday life. Learn how to boost your own creativity, understand more about the creative strengths you have and develop a strategy to improve your innovative approach, whatever work you do and whatever career lies ahead. Leave the course with your own tailored creativity toolkit.

Day 2:
Wednesday 21st May 2014
Theme Two: Cash

What is your attitude to money and finance? Something scary…or exciting? The initial focus of this workshop will be to explore and understand your own attitudes and behaviours with money and then to develop the most effective approaches. You will learn how to value and cost your ideas, be they for a business, research project or your own time. We’ll cover how money can be found to fund projects, how it can be managed and explore your own feelings about risk. This is a highly interactive money related day (but there will be no need to disclose your own financial position at any point).

Day 3:
Friday 20th June 2014
Theme Three: Control

Managing a career is challenging. We may not always feel that we can control our environment, the people around us or even ourselves. This workshop will help you to articulate your career vision and work out how to achieve it. We will look at how to work effectively with others to help you secure your vision. Techniques will include negotiation, relationship building, self-awareness and priority setting.

*Please note* after completing this form you will receive an automated email confirming your booking, but please note that because of the limited number of places available we cannot guarantee you a place until your application has been reviewed.  Please explain what your enterprise idea or objective is - this will help us allocate places if the course is over-subscribed.  


EligibilityAll Postgraduate Researchers All Research Staff
Date Wednesday 30-Apr-2014, 09:30 - 17:00
Venue Off Campus
Bookings This event is full. If you are eligible, you can Book a place on a waiting list for this course.

Facilitation Workshop: Supporting learning in others: the facilitation approach


This course is aimed at doctoral researchers and early career researchers who have responsibility for supporting the learning of others though demonstrating, tutorials, seminars and supervision. 

We all learn in different ways, but we don't always appreciate the impact of these differences on our ability to retain and use information. This course will explain some of the theories that describe learning approaches and give you a set of practical tools to use in your own work.

Facilitation is the art of bringing about learning from the perspective of the learner, so the whole workshop will be based around improving your understanding about learning, by seeing how different teaching and development approaches favour different kinds of learners.

We'll also look at the practicalities of helping people learn - what steps you need to take and how to handle potential tricky elements such as feedback and handling questions.


If you want to improve your approach to teaching and supporting the development of others, this course will help you to develop effective and engaging methods.

 This course relates to domains D1, D2, and D3 of the RDF.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

How to Make Great Business Presentations, and Enjoy Making Them!


The ability to speak in public is a key skill for business people.  Whether you are an experienced speaker, needing to brush up on your delivery or you have had little or no experience of presenting, this course will give you the confidence to design and deliver an effective presentation. The prime focus is on delivery and speaking skills and the design and use of visual aids.

The course will cover the key tools and techniques for making outstanding presentations, covering what you say, how you say it, and key aspects of body language. The course content includes:

  • Ensuring you have effective audience-related content.
  • How to analyse your audience and pre-plan.
  • How to create meaningful visual aids.
  • How to open and close with impact.
  • Presentation construction techniques and strategies.
  • Ways to control and deal with nerves.
  • How to handle questions.
  • How to practice your presentation.

The course will contain a balance of tutor-lead input sessions, practical exercises, and group discussions. 

Particiapnts are encouraged to bring along any slides used in a recent presentation so you can start to sketch out any potential changes you'll make for future presentations.

Attendees interested in developing business skills could attend other business and enteprise workshops running during Semester 1:

This course relates to domains B2 and D2 of the RDF.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Introducing Intellectual Property for Innovation and Business


Intellectual property (‘IP’) is a vital tool in protecting your ideas, creations and innovations and knowing how to identify, protect and exploit IP rights can set your business apart and realize real value.

This workshop will give you an introduction to intellectual property in a practical business context and will give you an understanding of how IP can be identified, generated, protected and exploited.  It will enable you to:


  • identify the main types of IP and appreciate why these are useful in a business context;
  • explore how IP rights are generated, protected, exploited and infringed;
  • consider practical steps to protect your ideas, innovations and creative works;
  • appreciate opportunities and challenges for IP in the digital age; and
  • review basic terms of confidentiality and commercial exploitation agreements.

This interactive workshop will use practical case studies to help you assess how you can make IP work for you in practice. 

This course relates to domains B3 and C1 of the RDF.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Managing Your Time, Your Goals and Yourself


This new two-part course, delivered in one day, is a highly interactive exploration of how important and personal our daily management and goal setting can be to help us achieve our life and career goals.

We’ll explore themes in Time Management such as:

  • Chronological preferences and their importance
  • Time management tips that work and those that don’t
  • How seasons and work routine/or not have impact on us
  • How to take control of our well-being and performance
  • Why work doesn’t always happen at work

We won’t be looking at diaries...

In Purpose and Goal Setting we’ll look at:

  • Writing your individual purpose statements
  • Working on your work/life strategies
  • Models for goal setting that work for you
  • Traditional models that don’t...and why
  • Devising workable and daily action plans based on Japanese Kaizen principles of incremental change

The course tutor, Iain Davidson, works with many students and staff in universities throughout Scotland and Ireland to help them improve their personal effectiveness and their working preferences for the challenges of rapidly changing world.

Managing your time, your goals and yourself is a new course which will hopefully challenge the way you think about traditional time management and goal setting models.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Negotiate to win-win


‘He who has learnt to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of a negotiator”

  • This course helps create win-win situations
  • Helps you understand why you should “do the deal you can do” rather than the perfect deal
  • Provides tools to help you deal with difficult people
  • Considers how to get what you want
  • Teaches you how to feel the fear and do it anyway

We all negotiate every day of our lives whether with partners, children, colleagues or unknown third parties.  The ability to understand how to get what you need whilst maintaining a positive relationship with the other party is key to personal and professional success.

The reading of body language the use of verbal language and understanding how to interpret both and use them to get to you desired end point is part of what this course teaches.  Practical tools you can use straight away.

This course relates to domains B2, D1, and D2 of the RDF

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Networking 4 Success


Each day in your life you interact with other people from friends to loved ones, from strangers to business colleagues. Some of these relationships we take for granted some of them we prepare for in trepidation.

How amazing would it be if you could interact easily and gracefully with all people and create more meaningful relationships that enriched your life and theirs? If you could turn fear and anxiety into fun and ease, and knew that everytime you met someone you naturally engaged with them, leaving a lasting postive impression.

The art of networking is all about making others feel good and to do that you have to feel good too. Networking is about building relationships.  This is a fun, high energy, interactive workshop that will introduce you to:

  • A Definition of Building Rapport  
  • How to Create Dynamic Relationships
  • The Networker’s Tool Kit
    • Creating the right state of mind
    • Developing awareness of your communication style
    • Understanding other people’s communication styles
    • Effective use of your Emotional Intelligence
    • Building Rapport
    • How to get the conversation started
    • How to expand your circle of influence
  • What to watch out for. . .

These are the basic foundations to building self confidence and self belief, being a valued member of a team, providing excellent customer service, selling, networking and leading.

Participants are asked to bring business cards, if they have any

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Preparing a Business Plan


This workshop is aimed at students who are interested in preparing a business plan, whether it is for raising finance, convincing others (or yourself) about an opportunity or as a working tool for the business. The participants will learn about the mechanics of a plan and will also receive examples of how to prepare and present the document. 

It will be delivered by means of a participative seminar where students will be encouraged to contribute and ask questions during the session.

Topics covered:

  • Communicating the opportunity
  • Assessing the customer, market and industry
  • Route to market and first customers
  • Team structure and capabilities
  • Operations
  • Sales forecasts and financial statements
  • Funding needs
  • Risk assessment 

This course relates to domains C2, C3 and D2 of the RDF.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

PR for your business


The way you present and promote your company is an important aspect, and is especially important when setting up an establishing a business. This informative workshop will cover the ‘basics’ relating to PR and its place in the marketing mix, but will also have a comprehensive analysis on the various elements within the public relations mix, including:

* The ‘Print’ Media explained: What makes a good story for the press? What do they want? Looking at how a good press release is structured to be ‘eye-catching’ to a journalist.

* Digital and Social Media explained: How does your PR story get noticed amongst the intense maelstrom of digital and social media? Looking at the digital and social media ‘space’ and identifying the opportunities to heighten awareness of your activity across the most appropriate media channels.

* Key message development Learn the unique way to structure key messages. Use the formula to give real clarity and impact when you speak to the media.

This interactive workshop will give real life examples of good and bad PR and you will learn how to respond to key message development and have the confidence to impart these messages concisely and with clarity.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Simply Assertive


"Assertiveness is not what you do, it's who you are."  Shakti Gawain

The aim of this brief course is to enable delegates to have a greater self confidence in difficult situations and feel able to express their opinion by:

  • Understanding differences between assertive, passive and aggressive behaviours
  • Feel confident to ask for what they want and express their opinion
  • Expressing their opinion clearly and with confidence

Those who are truly assertive believe not only in the validity of their own views and requests but also of the views and requests of others. Therefore this half-day session will focus on an exploration what an assertive attitude is and how it will influence behaviour. This will be achieved through a blend of case study and situation-based discussion to share knowledge and skills, tutor input, paired work and practise of assertive behaviours.

This course relates to domains B1 and D1 of the RDF.

EligibilityMScR HSS All Years PhD SCE All Years PhD MVM All Years PhD HSS All Years MScR SCE All Years MScR MVM All Years
Date Wednesday 07-May-2014, 13:30 - 16:30
Venue Room 1.09, Main Library Central Area
Bookings If you are eligible, you can Book a place on this course.

Social Enterprise


This workshop will provide a practical introduction to social enterprise and beyond the introduction will cover three important elements to consider when setting one up:

1. Why should a social enterprise be started and what is its purpose?

2. Who will buy and what are they buying?

3. Who will fund the start up of a social enterprise and why would they?

The session's practical elements will include looking at a range of existing case studies of social enterprise, examining the motivations and requirements of social entrepreneurs with stories of Edinburgh University postgrads who have started their own social enterprise.

Attendees interested in developing business skills could attend other business and enteprise workshops running during Semester 1:

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Surviving the Confirmation Process: School of GeoSciences


This course is for 1st year PhD students in the School of GeoSciences. The first year progress review and confirmation process is a key milestone in your PhD studies and this course is a great opportunity to start preparing for it. Through a mix of presentations, and small group discussions led by second year PhD researchers, this workshop will:

  • Explain the purpose and structure of the PhD confirmation process
  • Outline what makes a good confirmation report and presentation
  • Suggest common mistakes to avoid 
  • Provide advice and tips on how best to prepare and what to expect

It also provides an invaluable opportunity to meet and get to know other 1st year PhD students from your school.

This course relates to domains A and B of the RDF

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

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