Skills training

The Department, the MPLS Division, and the wider University offer skills training courses to support students' development.  Gaining both research skills and transferable skills is important for one's future career (as well as for the research project itself). The UK Research Councils expect students to develop all the higher-level skills of the Vitae Researcher Development Statement.

This page is an up-to-date list of most of the skills training opportunities that may be of interest to Chemistry graduate students. Note that the MPLS researcher training courses are particularly extensive.

Most courses are available for students to take during any year of their course. Some are part of the Graduate induction in year 1, while others are only offered (or recommended) for students in a particular year of study as shown below.

All research students are expected to take part in skills training and keep an accurate record of the training they have done. This record will be assessed as part of the Transfer of Status and Confirmation of Status processes.

To help students decide which training courses to undertake, the Department and the MPLS Division recommends that students and their supervisors perform a Training Needs Analysis when starting their research project.

Skills Training Opportunities

  Year 1 Year 2 Years 3+
Research skills
  • Safety training
  • Library induction
  • Research data management
  • Research integrity
  • Graduate lecture courses
  • Research facilities training (NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry,
    X-ray crystallography, ESR spectroscopy, Chemistry workshops)
  • IT courses
  • Advanced data analysis
  • Research seminars
Transferable skills
  • Internships
  • Careers training
  • Internships
  • Careers training
  • Sustainable energy
  • Postdoctoral fellowships
  • Research facilitiation
  • Internships
  • MPLS researcher training courses
  • Teaching opportunities and training
  • Demonstrating opportunities and training
  • Outreach opportunities and training
  • Language training courses


A to Z of training opportunities

Careers training

The University Careers Service offers both resources and training opportunities to help students find employment and develop employability skills.

Many of the MPLS researcher training courses also focus on careers and employability.

Data analysis and statistics

Dr. D. S. Sivia gives an eight-lecture course in Michaelmas Term on Data analysis, based on his book Data Analysis: a Bayesian tutorial. The lectures will be advertised by email.

The course synopsis is available here.

The MPLS Division runs an introductory applied statistics course for researchers. Details are available here.

Demonstrating opportunities and training

Many graduate students work as demonstrators in the undergraduate Teaching Laboratories. You can read about our new Chemistry Teaching Labs and see a video here.

Contact for more information.

Chemistry workshops

The PTCL workshops run an Open Day as part of the Graduate Induction (Tuesday 11th October, 2pm-4pm). All students are welcome to attend, to see what facilities are available and the kinds of work that can be carried out.

ESR spectroscopy training

An ESR induction session is held as part of the Graduate Induction (Tuesday 4th October, 10.50 am, ICL Lecture theatre). It will explain how the instruments can be accessed and the training that is required to use them. There will be an opportunity to sign-up for introductory training sessions.

The ESR facility has a website explaining what is available.

Graduate lecture courses

Graduate students are very welcome attend undergraduate and graduate lecture courses offered by the Chemistry department. See for details.


The Research Facilitation team keeps an up-to-date list of internships and secondment opportunities that may be of interest to DPhil students.

IT courses

The University IT Services provide a large number of online and classroom-based training courses. These include the University's subscription to LinkedIn Learning: a large, high-quality resource of training material across many disciplines.

Videos of Nick Trefethen's course, Scientific Computing for DPhil Students, can be viewed here.

High-performance computing training is offered by the Advanced Research Computing service.

Language training

The University Language Centre provides assessed and non-assessed courses in 12 modern languages. These are very popular; registration for the year opens at the start of Michaelmas Term and places fill up quickly.

The Language Centre also offers English for Academic Studies courses, to help non-native speakers improve their academic writing and communication. Again, early registration is advised.

Library induction

Library inductions are held near the beginning of Michaelmas Term as part of the Graduate Induction. Students are advised to attend.

Mass spectrometry training

A compulsory mass spectrometry induction session is held as part of the Graduate Induction (Tuesday 4th October, 9.00am, ICL Lecture theatre). It is essential that anyone wishing to make use of the MS facilities attend this induction session. Sign-up sheets will be available for walk-up MS training (held on 6th and 7th October).

The MS facility has a website explaining what is available, including an eight-lecture Graduate MS course.

MPLS researcher training

The MPLS Division offers a very wide and comprehensive set of transferable skills courses. It is necessary to book these via the MPLS website.

NMR training

A compulsory NMR induction session is held as part of the Graduate Induction (Tuesday 4th October, 9.30am, ICL Lecture theatre). It is essential that anyone wishing to make use of the NMR facilities attend this induction session. Sign-up sheets will be available for walk-up NMR training (held on 6th and 7th October).

The NMR facility has a website explaining what is available, including an eight-lecture Graduate NMR course.

Outreach opportunities and training

Graduate students wishing to take part in, and be trained in, the Department's outreach and public engagement should contact

Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Research Facilitation team keeps an up-to-date list of upcoming postdoctoral Fellowships that may be of interest to DPhil students.

Research Facilitation

The Department has a research facilitation team that, amongst other things, publicises Fellowships and opportunities for career development, advertises and advises on research funding sources, and helps researchers to produce successful grant applications.

See for more details.

Research data management

Funding bodies require researchers to preserve research data for future access, and to make research data easily accessible to others. The University has a Policy on the Management of Research Data and Records which applies to all researchers. The site explains what research data is, and how to comply with the University policy.

An online training course is available here.

Research integrity

Researchers have an duty to conduct their research honestly, carefully, and transparently.  Failure to adhere to these standards is known as scientific misconduct, which is a serious offence that may lead to disciplinary action.

The Graduate Induction day includes a session on Responsible Conduct of Research

The University has produced a research integrity checklist to help students and supervisors to comply with the University's policy on Academic Integrity.

All research students are advised to read the Research Integrity leaflet and must complete the online Research Integrity training course to ensure that they know what is expected of them as researchers.

Students may also wish to read On Being a Scientist, a short and freely-available book that introduces the ideas of responsible research.

Plagiarism is a particular example of scientific misconduct, which anyone writing scientific papers needs to be aware of. An online course explaining what plagiarism is, and how to avoid it, is available here.

Research seminars

Research seminars form an important part of your training, to ensure that you have a wide and general understanding of chemical research. Each Section has a regular seminar series, and you must attend at least your own Section's series.

The list of upcoming seminars can be found here.

Safety training

All students must take part in safety training before starting work in the Department. In addition to this general training, some students will be required to undertake compulsory lectures run by the University Safety Office due to the nature of their research. Please check with your Supervisor if you need this training. Details of induction sessions are listed in the full Graduate Induction timetable.

Detailed safety information is available on the intranet at

Teaching opportunities and training

The Department runs Preparation for Learning and Teaching at Oxford courses annually. These are advertised by email at the beginning of each academic year.

There are a number of teaching opportunities available to graduate students, particularly in teaching classes for Mathematics for Chemistry, Physics for Chemists, and the Quantum Chemistry Supplementary Subject. These opportunities are advertised around the end of Trinity Term for the following academic year, and students who are selected to teach receive frequent training.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning offers a range of further training opportunities in teaching.

X-ray crystallography training

A short introduction to the Department's single-crystal X-ray service is held as part of the Graduate Induction (Tuesday 4th October, 10.30am, ICL Lecture theatre).

The Chemical crystallography service has a website explaining what is available.