The University of Southampton


 Training for researchers

Ideally, all researchers working with the schools involved in your engagement activity will have received some training, even if this is a brief session focusing specifically on the individual session they will be involved in. Some points to consider:


  1. What training is needed?
  • Communication – presenting, questioning etc.
  • Knowing your audience, assessing knowledge (NC)
  • Health and safety
  • Evaluating
  • Session specifically tailored to your particular activity
  • Relevant internal procedures and software such as risk assessments, room bookings, EVOLVE, Agresso, invoicing etc.


  1. Who needs the training?

The training that is offered will depend on the experience and level of those involved. For example, an undergraduate will have different training needs to a senior academic.


  1. Is existing training available?

It is worth checking with the following to see if they offer the training you require:

  • The HEI’s professional development team
  • Public engagement networks
  • Doctoral college or graduate networks
  • National bodies such as the NCCPE
  • Other societies or funders such as UKRI
  • National ambassador schemes (see Appendix 4)


For contacts specific to the University of Southampton, see the Useful links and contacts section.


  1. Who will deliver training?

For example, teachers are the most experienced in the curriculum and therefore best placed to deliver national curriculum training, whereas a researcher’s Faculty or School may offer specific equipment training. A third party may offer a range of opportunities, for example, Equality and Diversity or Health and Safety training (such as that offered by the MSLC).


  1. Is there funding available for training?

The suggested contacts listed under question 3 are also a good place to start when looking for potential funding sources. It is also worth asking the researcher’s Head of Group or, for postgraduate students, their Faculty Grad School or the Doctoral College as their may already be funding set aside for them for training and development. Furthermore, subject-specific societies and trusts such as the Royal Society of Chemistry or the Wellcome Trust often have funding calls for public engagement and outreach which can include research development and training. See also costs and funding.


  1. Can the academics involved gain accreditation for the training either internally or from external bodies?



Can you provide the teachers involved in the partnership with training opportunities? These may include:

  • Subject knowledge enhancement related to the workshops you are working on.
  • Networking events to meet like-minded teachers or researchers with something to offer.
  • Details of any lessons and resources involved in teaching students to enable teachers to follow up their involvement in the classroom.
  • Research in the classroom e.g. techniques, procedures and development of ideas.
  • Information on training they may be able to access from other areas of the University (for example, the MSLC).
  • Support for external training e.g. through RCUK and STEM Learning.


It may be that you have identified a training need or a particular area for development that you would like your partnership with the university to address. If this is the case discuss it with the university staff that you are working with to give them the best opportunity to help you or your colleagues achieve this. Equally there may be an area in which you feel able to offer training to researchers.


Year 9 pupils investigate friction during Dragonfly Day—a day of engineering workshops run by female engineering researchers for female pupils.
Year 9 pupils investigate friction during Dragonfly Day—a day of engineering workshops run by female engineering researchers for female pupils.

‘If you want your field to continue you need to find the researchers of the future. You also need everyone else to understand why your work is important.’

 Engineering researcher





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