Techne has a subscription to the Inkpath app which is designed to make it straightforward for you to record your training and development activities throughout your PhD. Techne has to collect a log of your training and development activities for AHRC reporting purposes, and your home institution is also likely to ask for this information, and the idea of Inkpath is that it allows you to do this in a way that doesn’t involve filling in and maintaining long forms.
If you have started your Techne funding from September 2019 onwards you are expected to use Inkpath as your primary way of logging your training and development activities. If you are part of an earlier cohort of Techne students you are very welcome to use Inkpath, but are not required to. From September 2020 we will increasingly be using Inkpath as a way for you to book into Techne training events, so you may find it useful to set up a profile for that.
If you’re not sure how to use Inkpath, you can find a range of Inkpath tutorial videos here. We will also have representatives from Inkpath at various Techne events throughout the year who you can speak to.
Setting up an account
You can find a video showing how to set up your account here.
You can access Inkpath as an app on your phone or tablet, or access the desktop version through a web browser on your laptop or PC. You need to use your university email address to create your account.
Please also remember to go into your profile and add Techne as your 'affiliation' once you have created your account, as you won't be able to access any Techne events without this.
Training Needs Analysis
In the first few months of your PhD Techne need to collect information about your training needs and what training you plan to undertake. We use this information for AHRC reporting and to look at common training needs across a cohort that Techne may be able to provide.
You can complete a short ‘skills analysis’ questionnaire on Inkpathwhich will store the relevant information for you and for Techne. You should use it to consider your skills and to identify the training/development which you need to undertake to support your research and prepare for your future career. The Training Needs Analysis is intended to facilitate discussions between a doctoral student and their supervisory team about their learning and development needs, so we recommend that you discuss this with your supervisor.
Techne will look at the information to assess whether there are common training needs which we might address.
You can find a video showing how to complete the questionnaire/Training Needs Analysis here. Please make use of the ‘add comment’ function when answering questions to elaborate on individual skills and include information about the kind of training or development you would like to undertake.
Once you have created your Inkpath account and completed your skills questionnaire, you can begin to set goals and log activities. These activities might relate specifically to doctoral study or be related to your longer term personal and professional development. You should update your Inkpath activities on an ongoing basis, and particularly ensure that your log is up to date at the end of each academic year.
You can create your own activities and goals in Inkpath to log anything that contributes to your training and development – we anticipate that this will be the majority of what you log in Inkpath. You can also search for and add existing Techne activities which will already be set up for you.
What activities should be logged?
You should add any activities that you think contribute to your PhD study, research, and professional development. The list below will give you an idea of the kind of activities we would like you to record, although it is not exhaustive.
Teaching, making conference presentations, writing grant applications
Research methods, theory, conducting literature reviews
3 week intensive course in Spanish
Attendance at: Conference/exhibition/performance/workshop specifically in area of research
Conferences etc. focussed on the student’s research topic which do not broaden research skills.
Conference/Exhibition/Performance – assisting on the day
Helping with conference registration or setting up exhibition
Conference/Exhibition/Performance – organiser
Membership of conference organising committee
Conference/Exhibition/Performance – submission of abstract or proposal
Conferences /Exhibition/Performance presentation
Presentation of conference paper or poster or participation in performance
Publications (or equivalent practice-related output) – submission of paper or book chapter
Peer review of articles
Work placements or work-related projects
Helping a Techne Partner organisation over a 6 month period with research for an exhibition
Shadowing a member of staff at a Techne Partner organisation
Giving a talk on research area at local school or local radio
Representing students on Techne Management Group or PGR students on University Committee
Inkpath ‘Skills’ and the Researcher Development Framework
For every activity that you log in Inkpath, you can select up to three skills that the activity enabled you to develop. We have based these twelve skills on the twelve aspects of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework. For more information about this see here.
Exporting your data
We are aware that often your home institution will ask you to complete some form of Training Needs Analysis form and Training and Development logs, as well as Techne needing to collect this information. We hope that Inkpath will make this institutional reporting less onerous as you will be able to easily log your activities throughout the year and run off an except spreadsheet report that will enable you to use your Inkpath data to easily fill in any institutional forms.
You can find instructions about how to export your data from 3:44 onwards in this video.
Researcher Development Certificate
At the end of your PhD you will be able to apply for the Researcher Development Certificate as long as you have undertaken a total of ten days of eligible training and development activities. You will need your Inkpath log to give you this data. We will send more information to students at the relevant time, but in the meantime you can read more about the RDC here.