In recent months, NPC has put together an online survey working with UK GRAD to try and obtain some vital information for a larger research project currently being undertaken by UK GRAD. The UK GRAD programme (www.grad.ac.uk) is designed to facilitate training and personal development for postgraduate research students, which will soon become largely compulsory following recommendations by Prof Sir Gareth Roberts on his report to enhance the supply of innovative scientists and engineers. This has recently led to institutions regularly talking about "Roberts Training", which is being introduced across the UK.
One important part of Roberts training is to investigate how personal development planning, or progress monitoring will play an important role not only to keep a track record of progress but to help identify training needs of the research student and how training is enhancing the student's generic skills and professional development. This is vital in bringing out skilled 21st century researchers. NPC has had an important role here in collecting information on progress review from individual postgraduates by carrying out a national online survey. Through the power of communication from its own email lists, over 1000 responses have been received. NPC and UK GRAD are grateful for those responses and also to those who have distributed the survey to postgraduates. This project shows how important NPC's work is in terms of how it can engage the interests of postgraduates into the right places and has an important role in doing so for the benefit of all postgraduates.