Apart from being here to do awesome research, your PhD is a time when you'll have plenty of opportunities to better yourself, academically, personally, and entrepreneurially. Many of the personal skills you can learn over the course of a PhD are actually necessary to getting a good PhD done.
Luckily there are a lot of resources available to us at the University of Birmingham, some of which are listed below.
APOD (Academic Practice and Organisational Development) has a large list of useful courses, the Graduate School has its own courses, and there are other resources available too.
- Project Management directed at planning and finishing your PhD.
- Teaching, leadership, and research focused development, as well as lots of help on personal skills like writing, presenting, interviewing, and so forth.
- The residential Coniston programme is where a bunch of PhD students are let loose in the Lake District with a set of fun team building exercises. Most students who have been on that course loved it and recommended it wholeheartedly.
- The Talent Pool is one course focused on converting research ideas into ideas for industry, and on commercial and entrepreneurial skills. It also is directed towards finding you ad-hoc work and collaborations with industry.
See also the formal skills development page for School of Computer Science (SoCS) doctoral students at http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/internal/rsinfo/skills.php.