Doctoral Development Programmes

Campus Map

Working with Coventry University

Working at Coventry University

Coventry University is a diverse and exciting place to work and we share the enthusiasm of our staff and students to be the best at whatever they choose to do. As one of the City’s biggest employers, we offer some impressive benefits for our staff and are committed to delivering the very best opportunities. We have a comprehensive training, personal and professional development programme that provides our employees with the skills to enhance their performance in the workplace and grow in their careers. There are pension schemes, a generous holiday allowance and flexible working opportunities as well as lifestyle benefits including childcare vouchers, discounted membership to the £4 million sports and recreation centre and schemes such as Cycle to Work and the CU Car Share initiative.

View current job vacancies.


Staff portal

Access the central point of information for all staff across the University.


Student Portal

Check your assessments, access Solar and get course information.

Doctoral Development Programmes

Doctoral Development Programmes

Coventry University’s Research Capability Team work in partnership with CU Research Centres, CU Faculties, the CU Postgraduate Research Support Unit, the University Alliance and the British Council to develop and deliver cohort-based programmes for doctoral students at Coventry University, in the UK and internationally.

We believe that cohort programmes provide a comprehensive collaborative training environment that goes beyond a traditional PhD.

Doctoral Training Centres

Our Doctoral Training Centres (DTCs) in the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Centre for Applied Biological and Exercise Sciences and the Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement provide a comprehensive collaborative training environment that goes beyond a traditional PhD.

As a DTC student you will be integrated into the academic community of your research centre. You will have the chance to develop networks that can support you in your career and an opportunity to become part of a collective voice that can shape and influence the culture of your discipline.

You will participate in a tailored programme that has been designed specifically for research students in your DTC and that covers all aspects of the training that you are likely to need.

DTC programmes at Coventry University give you a strong foundation in core research skills and the research process, specialist skills most relevant to your research and advanced generic skills to give you the edge in your future career.


The key components of all DTC programmes are:

  • DTC induction – methodology, ethics, data management.
  • Core training – research methods, writing.
  • Summer School – intensive research skills training, invited speakers, research conference.
  • Student-led initiatives – journal club, seminars, writing groups.

For further information, please contact Dr Heather Sears at

Staff Doctorate Programme

Coventry University has launched a Staff Doctorate Programme (SDP) in support of the University’s strategic objectives in academic capability and performance.

The SDP will support staff on a standard part-time doctorate and staff identified as on a pathway to a portfolio thesis (pre-registration).

The programme is open to all professional services and academic staff.


Staff who are accepted onto the programme will have:

  • their fees paid; 
  • access to an enhanced programme of support and activity;
  • 20% of their time ring-fenced for doctoral research;
  • and up to an additional 3 weeks in a single block over the summer (or an equivalent period of time outside of peak periods) to provide focused writing time.


There is a programme of support for staff intending to apply for the SDP including:

  • Is a Research Degree for Me?
  • Get Going with Your Application
  • Developing your Research Proposal
  • Interview Preparation and Practice

Selection for the SDP is based on a single, annual institutional call. 


Applicants for a part-time doctorate are required to make a standard application to the University to register on a programme of doctoral study. They will also make a separate application for funding and support through the SDP addressing the following:

  • Provide a clear and realistic timeline to complete the PhD in up to 5 years.
  • Set out a clear and convincing case for how the research would bring demonstrable benefit to candidate.
  • Set out a clear and convincing case for how the research would bring tangible benefits to the Professional Service or School.


Applicants wishing to apply to the SDP for support on a pathway to a portfolio thesis (pre-registration) make an application to the SDP.

SDP applications are reviewed and scored by a panel of senior academic colleagues from across the institution. 

Staff undertaking doctoral study have additional support needs that are primarily associated with undertaking a PhD alongside a demanding professional service or academic role.  

These needs are met through programme of activity designed to facilitate peer support and ring-fenced time for postgraduate research and writing.


The key components of the SDP support programme are:

  • ‘Shut Up and Write!’ session every fortnight.
  • Regular catch-up seminar meetings.
  • Two two-day residential retreats per year.

For further information, please contact Dr Heather Sears at

Doctoral Training Alliance

Coventry University has joined forces with other University Alliance universities to launch a new kind of doctoral training programme that responds to industry needs and promotes the UK’s economic growth and productivity.

The largest multi-partner and only nationwide doctoral training initiative of its kind – the Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA) builds on the research strengths and industry-focused ethos of Alliance universities. It aims to produce independent, highly-employable researchers with the expertise and skills in strategically-important research areas. The DTA offers fully funded postgraduate programmes, an expert network of support and improved employment opportunities for PhD researchers in a research-rich environment.

Dr Rebekah Smith McGloin is a member of the National Management Group and Chairs the DTA National Training Group and Dr Heather Sears is a member of the DTA National Training Group.

For further information please visit University Alliance's DTA page.

Doctoral Development Online Programmes

Researcher Development Online

The University offers a range of online developmental modules for researchers at all stages of their career, including modules on: research career planning, managing your doctorate, research communication skills, research ethics, research impact, research integrity, research methods, and research supervision.
To access these packages, login to your Moodle account, search for the course “Researcher Development Online”, and enter the enrolment code: rdonline

Professional Development Planning for Researchers Online Course

Coventry University is a member of Vitae and as such has access to a range of different resources through their website.

Please use your Coventry University email to register. Also of particular use is Vitae’s Professional Development Planning for Researchers Online Course.