Development Needs Analysis (DNA)

All NWSSDTP-funded students are expected to undertake an annual Development Needs Analysis (DNA) process, during both their Master’s and PhD. Reminders will be sent when it is time to complete the DNA form. The completion of this form is a strict requirement of NWSSDTP funding.

The survey opens in January each year, with a mid-March deadline for completion. In 2020/21, the deadline is the 12th March.

DNA forms should be completed in consultation with your supervisory team. Please share the following guidance with your supervisors, to inform this process: DNA Survey: Guidance for Supervisors

The purpose of the DNA Process is twofold:

  1. It is a mechanism by which individual students can assess and monitor their training needs, and identify training opportunities, in liaison with their supervisors.
  2. The results of the DNA process will be reviewed by NWSSDTP Training, Employability and Knowledge Exchange Panel to identify recurring training needs across the cohort, and thus tailor and expand DTP activities in line with student requirements.

It is intended that this survey will replace or integrate with any institutional DNA requirements for NWSSDTP students, to avoid replication of student and supervisors’ efforts.

The DNA process asks students to reflect – with the support of their supervisor – on their confidence and training needs in eight key areas:
– Subject Knowledge
– Research Methods – Theoretical Knowledge
– Research Methods – Practical Application
– Information Literacy, Research Skills
– Cognitive Abilities and Creativity
– Professional and Career Development (including research management)
– Research Conduct
– Engagement and Impact (including communication and networking skills)

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