All JIC students will take part in the UEA Personal and Professional Development (PPD) programme during their research degree period, in order to develop a range of professional skills.


The John Innes Centre takes a keen interest in the personal and professional development of all its research postgraduates. Developing your personal and professional skills is key to becoming an effective researcher and to making a successful transition into your future career, whether within academia or in the outside world. The UK Research Councils, including the BBSRC, have also emphasised the need for programmes that lead to “personal and professional development”, and they stress the importance of generic training and preparation for a professional career.


The UEA PPD programme encourages students to be active members of the Norwich research community with an emphasis on learning through experience and activity. Skills gained from the PPD programme will improve your ability to present your work to a variety of audiences. They will also help you to develop an understanding of the role of science in the wider world.

isabel“The array of opportunities available led me to discover and nurture my passion for communicating science, giving me the chance to build on my existing skills as well as learning valuable new ones”

– Isabel Webb, PhD Student


The programme offers a range of basic skills courses to help you get a flying start with your research and other courses to help you with more advanced skills later in your degree. There are many opportunities to gain recognition for your efforts in presenting papers at conferences, serving on committees, interacting with the lay public and a range of other activities. The programme also has a social benefit and offers students opportunities to interact with others from different schools or faculties who they may not otherwise meet during the normal course of their studies.


All courses within the programme carry a training credit rating and students are required to accrue a defined number of credits during their research degree period.  It will also foster contacts that will hopefully endure and provide a network that can be called upon throughout your subsequent professional career.