Development Needs Analysis (DNA)

All NWSSDTP-funded students are expected to undertake a Development Needs Analysis (DNA) process twice a year, 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.

In 2017/18 NWSSDTP-funded students will receive an invitation to complete their DNA form once, in mid June, with a deadline of the 10th August. This will be an opportunity to reflect on achievements during the first year of the studentship and plan ahead for the next year. From 2018/19 onwards, invitations to complete the DNA form will be sent out in early November (for completion by mid-December) and early April (for completion by mid-May).

DNA forms should be completed in consultation with your supervisory team. Primary supervisors will be notified as well as NWSSDTP students when it is time to complete the DNA form. Implementing the ESRC NWSSDTP Development Needs Analysis (DNA) 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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