Prep Period

The Prep period is student-led and provides students with time to engage with all their supervisors and the project and refine it based on discussions and visits with people outside their immediate supervisory team.


  1. HEI inductions in early October within each Doctoral training division. Students will meet local university peers in their University cohort. Organised by a relevant local body and covers topics including:
    • health and safety
    • ethics
    • local progression monitoring
  2. GW4 Orientation mid-October: Students will be able to meet all students in all years. Organised by GW4 and includes:
    • An introduction to the DTP
    • Training
    • Initial mentor and mentee meetings
    • Day one for the new cohort only
    • All years may attend day two
  3. HEI GW4 meeting in mid-November: Students will meet local students in all years. Organised by HEI leads.
    • Available for all years
    • Social-focused event
    • Some HEI-specific information will be provided


  • A minimum of 3 placements scheduled for October to November:
    • One with a co-supervisor, or co-supervisor’s lab in a different HEI, to ensure that there has been early interaction
    • One with someone from a local cross-cutting group that is important to the project
    • One with a local collaborator, or lab with, relevant techniques
  • Placements are to be arranged by supervisor and student as soon as they start
  • Supervisors will be forewarned in the summer for preparation
  • Funding will be provided if travel and (or) accommodation is required
  • Each placement should be for no longer than 2 weeks but can be shorter
  • Only one of the placements must be away from your home University, although can do more if it’s relevant to the project
  • For some projects, it might be more useful to have more, short placements if the student wants to meet people in different labs or HEIs
  • Students could attend research group meetings locally, or with their co-supervisor, for example in another HEI
  • This time can also be used for project-specific training, such as learning a particular analysis method
  • Define project by writing an outline.
  • Check all resources are available with supervisors.

This is to be submitted in late December. Feedback will be provided in January by the supervisory team and relevant DTP theme leads. Core training will now start in January so that students can focus on other activities during the prep period.

Project Outline

The 2 pages for Year 1 should include:

  • Background
  • Research question
  • Aims
  • Objectives
  • Implementation (including resources)
  • Expected outcomes
  • Risks
  • Contingency plans
  • A 1 page outline of potential research studies in years 2 and 3 (showing where these are contingent on year 1 outcomes)