Using the Doctoral Development Framework

Your doctoral candidature is a journey. Throughout that journey, you’ll develop the skills and knowledge needed for success in your research endeavours and future career, whether you’re pursuing a new path or advancing along your existing one. As with any journey, it is helpful to reflect on where you’re starting, have a clear idea of where you’re headed, and plan the route in advance.

The Doctoral Development Framework is a guide that helps you structure your professional development planning holistically. You will use the Framework to help you complete one of your confirmation milestones, the Training and Development Needs Analysis, with advice from your supervisory team. The Needs Analysis is an opportunity to build a development plan that will position you for success during the doctorate and beyond.

Framework structure

The Framework is structured into six development areas, each comprising four key skills categories. Follow the links to find a description of each development area, its skills categories and to find ideas and resources to support your development.

Using the Framework to complete your Needs Analysis

The Training and Development Needs Analysis is the cornerstone of your development plan. Completing the Needs Analysis encourages you to think about the skills you already have, those you need to develop and helps you identify your priorities. This in turn enables you to create a comprehensive development plan that aligns with your individual research and career needs.

Candidates with access to Wahapū complete the Needs Analysis in the Training and Development section of the system, but may find the PDF below useful for planning purposes. Those on the 2016 PhD Statute (or earlier) complete the Needs Analysis using the PDF below.

Identify your needs

The first step is to reflect on where you’re starting and review your current skill level in each Framework category. As you work through your Needs Analysis, note the areas and categories for which your current skill level is low, but you mark as high or medium priority. You can then split the priorities categories into two groups: current priorities (i.e. foundational skills you need to develop in the coming months) and future priorities (skills you will need to be successful in your research, but that may only require development in the mid- or later stages of your candidature).

Plan your development

You can now search our development area pages, or search on the Research Hub to identify specific actions and opportunities that will support your development in your priority categories. Next, specify actionable SMART goals for the coming year to create your plan. This may include working through a particular resource by a specific deadline or completing a workshop on a certain date.

All candidates - including those using Wahapū - may find Section two of the Training and Development Needs Analysis document useful for planning purposes.

Once you have drafted your plan you will need to discuss it with your supervisors. Once you and your supervisor have had a discussion, you should upload a copy of your plan into Wahapū. Your supervisor will then need to approve it in the system to complete the milestone requirements.

Track your progress

It helps to come back to your development plan and Needs Analysis regularly during your doctorate, particularly through the early and mid-stages. You are expected to update your training and development record regularly, discuss your development with your supervisor(s) and adapt your plan to suit.