Our Approach

Our Approach

Our training activities simultaneously support the pursuit of research and students’ personal and professional development. The training pathways laid out below take this as their guiding principle: each enhances participants’ skills in a particular area, opens up new avenues for careers and collaborations and reinforces their ability to complete better research projects and other academic tasks in a timely fashion. 


The principle of fostering student-led initiatives and experiential learning will inform provision as much as possible, complementing a core series of workshops and events, whether through hands-on training opportunities or by tying more traditional workshops to further experiential steps such as internships or funding opportunities for projects. Besides allowing students to form networks inside and beyond the University, this approach offers them important peer mentoring opportunities.


Our researcher development provision is arranged into a number of pathways. These take advantage of existing institutional agenda, such as Public Engagement with Research and Knowledge Exchange, and foster virtuous circles between research and training. Pathways are designed to give participants the flexibility to construct their own programmes by combining several pathways over the course of their time at Oxford.

Flexible and with multiple points of entry, intersection and exit, these pathways open up further opportunities across the University as next steps for participants. They are organised in collaboration with partners with expertise in particular topics, including faculties, departments and external collaborators.


Key Principles

Where possible, we share provision with other partners within the University (including the other Divisions), in the rest of the public sector, in the private sector and in industry, capitalising on links established through the Division’s Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement with Research activities.


The Humanities Division takes advantage of its location at the intersection of its faculties to offer training in areas and skills that transcend their individual boundaries, informed by the annual research themes of The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).


Pursuing a research project in the humanities is transformative. It can also be an isolating experience, and present particular challenges at key moments of transition. The Division’s programme will help students to support each other as ‘rounded researchers’ and prepare them ‘to contribute to the development of other researchers in their turn’.[1]

[1] Lia Blaj-Ward, ‘Skills versus pedagogy? Doctoral research training in the UK Arts and Humanities’, Higher Education Research & Development, 30:6 (2011), 705.


Researcher development in the Humanities Division aims not only to satisfy the requirements and initiatives of the sector (including AHRC/RCUK, the QAA, Athena SWAN, Public Sector Equality Duty, and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers[1]) but to contribute to the national and international agenda for inclusive, innovative and entrepreneurial researcher development and training.