Cambridge University Skills Portal


Cambridge University Skills Portal

Online Courses

Whilst face-to-face workshops work well, researchers may be unable to attend pre-scheduled courses. Recognising this need, Cambridge has joined with six other leading universities and e-learning publishers 'Epigeum' to collaborate in creating a series of online research skills courses which form part of the researchers' transferable skills training programme.

Each course follows a rigorous pedagogy, and is richly endowed with video clips, simulations, informational text and quizzes. The scripts are written by experts and individually peer-reviewed by senior academics as well as the seven institutions supporting the project.

Courses also feature academic personalities and stars that would not normally attend workshops; Adam Hart-Davis and Lord Winston - BBC documentary presenters; Nobel Prize Winner Sir Harry Kroto; Lord Rees - Astronomer Royal and President of the Royal Society; and Professor Peter Barnes - one of the UK’s most cited academic authors.

Further details on the individual courses and free access to course modules can be found at:

There are currently ten modules. Each takes around one and a half hours to complete. Please consult your Department to find out about gaining credit for course completion.

Intellectual Property in the Research Context

A lack of IP awareness means that researchers are missing an opportunity to commercialise their ideas, or are failing to prevent others unfairly exploiting their research. This course enables researchers to work out what type of intellectual property they need to protect their work and how to take the necessary steps to secure such protection.

Getting Published in the Arts

This course gives guidance and support to arts and humanities researchers who are keen to put their research into the public realm.

Getting Published in the Sciences

This course aims to provide a guide to publication in the sciences. It has been written by Dr Keith Hart from Cardiff University, and reviewed by Professor Peter Barnes FRS, one of the world's most highly cited medical (academic) authors.

Ethics 1: Good Research Practice

This course aims to help researchers understand the ethical frameworks, typical dilemmas and basic tools common in research ethics. It includes scenarios that teach practical methods of applying ethics when planning and conducting research. There is also a video drama where a group of researchers confront ethical issues, including undue pressure from their supervisor.

Ethics 2: Working With Human Subjects

This comprehensive course aims to help researchers understand the main considerations when conducting any research that involves human subjects. As well as extensive information on key themes and legislation, it also has a series of engaging documentaries on some of the great 'research scandals' and a comedy sketch on the importance of using 'plain english' with research subjects.

Project Management in the Research Context

This course empowers researchers to take ownership of a research project. It introduces traditional project management methodologies and illustrates how these tools and techniques apply in the research context. Interactive simulations enable learners to practice with real project management tools. Video interviews share experience of leading academics in how to get things right.

Career Planning in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

This course provides an introduction to career planning for researchers in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Career Planning in the Sciences

This course is an introduction for all those in the Sciences. It will help researchers become more aware of the key factors in their decision making, how they might be attractive to different types of employers, and some alternative career options.

Managing Your Research Supervisor or Principal Investigator

One of the more popular courses with researchers. This course offers practical tips on how to manage your Supervisor or Principal Investigator. Topics include mutual expectations, preparing for meetings, reading body language, managing meetings and what to do when things go wrong. At various stages the learner is introduced to two fictional characters; John and his supervisor. Both have to work through differences in style, personality and commitment to reach a happy conclusion.

Selecting a Conference, Presenting and Networking

This course provides advice on how to successfully select, present and network at academic conferences. Video exerpts include 'top tips' from academics, a comdey drama, and an animation of researchers discussing their experiences of presenting..