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Developing Transferable Skills

Developing Transferable Skills
Enhancing Your Research and Employment Potential

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November 2013 | 184 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Succinct and supportive, this book provides doctoral and early career researchers with everything you need to know about developing marketable, transferrable skills—and how they can lead to getting that dream job. 

It illustrates exactly how and when your doctoral degree can be used to build your employability skills in both academic and professional contexts and sets out the basics of acquiring these key transferable skills. Featuring easy-to-implement advice on constructing specialist and generic professional attributes, it gives you the tools, confidence, and active self-awareness needed to handle career challenges and convince prospective employers of your experience.

With coverage of project management, teamworking, communication, leadership and technical training, it is an essential guide for researchers who want to make the most of the skills you already have and to develop the skills you need.

About the series
The Success in Research series, from Cindy Becker and Pam Denicolo, provides short, authoritative and accessible guides on key areas of professional and research development.  

Avoiding jargon and cutting to the chase of what you really need to know, these practical and supportive books cover a range of areas from presenting research to achieving impact, and from publishing journal articles to developing proposals. They are essential reading for any student or researcher interested in developing their skills and broadening their professional and methodological knowledge in an academic context.

What Are Transferable Skills and Why They Are Needed?
How Can Researchers Identify Which Transferable Skills Are Needed?
How Can Transferable Skills Be Acquired?
What Are the Key Intellectual Skills Directly Related to Research?
What Skills Are Involved In Dealing With Information And With Maintaining Integrity As A Researcher?
What Are The Key Practical Research Project Skills?
What Are The Key People Skills And Personal Attributes?
How Can Skill Development Be Evidenced, Assessed And Evaluated?
How Can Transferable Skills Be Marketed Effectively To Enhance Employability? (Dawn Duke)
How Can Researchers Make A Successful Transition To Another Employment?
How Can Transferable Skills Become An Integral Part Of Life?
Appendix 1: Joint Statement Skills (JSS)
Appendix 2: Development Cycle Diagram
Appendix 3: Summary Diagram Of The Researcher Development Framework
Appendix 4: Employability Skills Questionnaire
Glossary Of Terms


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A collection of free tips, exercises and resources from all books in the Success in Research series

'PhD students and young researchers increasingly find employment outside the world of education. This book is an excellent guide to the skills they will need as they make that move.'

Professor Nigel Vincent, FBA, Professor Emeritus of General & Romance Linguistics, The University of Manchester and Vice-President for Research & HE Policy, The British Academy

'Researchers are much more likely to focus on improving their research and research outputs, and not on improving their capabilities and performance as a researcher. This book encourages researchers to make this ‘Gestalt’ change in perspective. It takes researchers through the reflective process of identifying, developing, evaluating and understanding the transferability of their capabilities as a researcher.
Researchers are usually effective in communicating their research to others – although less so to a ‘lay’ audience. All too often they are not skilled at articulating their capabilities as a researcher. The ability to do this is increasingly necessary, particularly to potential employers outside higher education where the majority of researchers will eventually work.  

This is a highly-readable comprehensive book on transferable skills and speaks directly to individual researchers. Its content, layout and style encourages both full emersion and dipping into individual chapters and activities. Chapters four, five and six are particularly useful for readers new to the research process. The later chapters will be invaluable in helping researchers to reflect on their career development and employability. This book should be required reading for researchers embarking on a research career, particularly those on doctoral training programmes, and academics in their roles as supervisors or managers of researchers. Those responsible for providing development opportunities for researchers will also find much of value in the content of this book.'

Dr Janet Metcalfe, Chair and Head

'The expertise and insights from experienced researchers contained in this book will encourage ECRs and PGRs to understand, reflect on and analyse the breadth and depth of the skills, attributes and behaviours they are acquiring. As a careers adviser this book will add to the resources I can use in my work with these two groups as they develop and manage careers inside and outside academia.'

Clare Jones, Senior Careers Adviser
Research Staff/Postgraduate Research Students Careers and Employability Service, University of Nottingham

An excellent book on how to assess and develop skills that are transferable from on career to another. I work in a university and am responsible for career development of post graduate researchers and Post-Docs and this book has been really useful in helping those who want to pursue a non-academic career

Mr Rob Wood
Student Services, Southampton University
June 10, 2015

An excellent text which prepares students for transition from university to the world of work both local and global

Dr Josephine Gabi
Faculty Of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University
August 21, 2015

a good read for anyone who has found they are trained or skilled in one job sector but can only find work outside that area. it looks at how skills can be transferable.

Miss Deborah Young
Work Ready People, hit
July 2, 2014

This is an excellent text on transferable skills but is aimed more at a postgraduate audience whereas I was seeking something for an undergraduate cohort.

Dr Amy Irwin
School of Psychology, Aberdeen University
January 22, 2014

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ISBN: 9781446260340
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