Research and Employability Skills Training (REST) is a compulsory, structured training program for all HDR students, based on the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) and the Flinders University Doctoral Graduate Attributes.
The aims of REST are to:
REST is a skills training program that consolidates all research and transferrable skills training across the university into one program. It is an individualised program, where students choose the development most relevant to them at particular stages of their candidature. The program uses a self-reflective approach, asking students to reflect on their skills proficiency rather than meeting certain criteria (such as a set amount of points or hours under a domain). REST recognises all development activities, including experiential activities, taking into consideration the skills the students already posses through prior training or work experience.
How will you benefit from this?
REST will provide you with a skills training framework that you can take with you to further studies or careers. It is a tool to analyse, record, reflect on and demonstrate the skills you gain throughout your candidature, be that through structured training activities or the everyday learning that happens throughout your studies. Through structured development activities and milestones, you will be asked to reflect on the skills you are acquiring and the ways you are utilising those skills.
This is not extra work or training that you have to undertake - REST recognises everything you are already doing and helps you reflect in the skills you are developing. It also consolidates all training activities relevant to HDR students in one place, under the one framework, so that the development is readily available when you decide that you need it.
Why focus on skills development?
We have built the skills development module to be an iterative, reflective process, helping you to assess, identify, develop and demonstrate the skills you already have, those you need to develop and those that you are already developing. In the process of a HDR, you gain a lot of knowledge, produce new knowledge and develop a lot of new skills. Throughout this time, you are busy planning and conducting your research study, writing up your findings, publishing papers, producing a thesis. Most of these will be skills you previously did not possess, but develop throughout your study without really realising that you are developing them.
At the end of the thesis, when applying for jobs, grants or promotions, you will be asked to demonstrate those skills. Having a structured skills development process, where you plan, identify and reflect on the skills that you are gaining as you are developing them, will help you identify, reflect on and demonstrate those skills at the end. Throughout your candidature, you will be producing a skills profile (through skills completion), compiling evidence of skills development (though activity completion) and addressing criteria (though Graduate Attributes at REST Certification), that will help you produce a portfolio to assist with the next step beyond the HDR.
How do you get Started?
To get started, it is important to understand the different components of REST and skills development. There are two systems in place - the REST FLO site, and the Inspire skills development module.
The REST FLO site is where all of the content for the program is housed. Throughout this site, you will find links to online content, online courses, workshops, useful resources and videos. You can browse this site for any useful material, and complete training. Please note - completion of training is not recorded in REST, but in Inspire.
The REST FLO site is structured under the Doctoral Graduate Attributes (1-8), with reference to the RDF Domains (A-D). These are listed in a collapsible format, and you can view them one at a time or all together. Each drop down menu has a number of skills listed, which can be explored further by clicking on the picture.
Flinders Doctoral Graduate Attributes
The PhD Graduate Attributes were developed to support the development and recognition of the transferrable skills of research students in order to enhance their ability to enter multiple career pathways and to enhance the university-industry collaborations. We use the Graduate Attributes as the framework for training, mapping all available topics and skills to the attributes. Please read and familiarise yourself with the Graduate Attributes via the links to the right.
The Graduate Attributes help to:
Inspire - Skills Development Module
The Skills Development Module in Inspire is where you plan and record your development. Inspire is a candidature management system, managing all aspects of your candidate - from development, to progression, variations and examinations.
You can use the Skills Development Module to assess your current level of skills, plan and record activities to develop your skills, browse and book into workshops, complete and reflect on your skills and apply for final certification upon completion. For detailed instructions on how to use the module, please refer to the Skills Development Instructions.
To get started with REST, you will need to familiarise yourself with the Flinders Graduate Attributes and the RDF. Explanations of both can be found below.
Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF)
The RDF helps researchers organise and frame their professional development. It is structured into four domains covering the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of researchers. It sets out the wide-ranging knowledge, intellectual abilities, techniques and professional standards expected to do research, as well as the personal qualities, knowledge and skills to work with others and ensure the wider impact of research.
The RDF was the framework we used to map the topics and skills to before the Graduate Attributes. All Graduate Attributes have now been mapped to the four Domains, and we will continue to refer to domains throughout the program. However, we are no longer using the sub-domains.
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