As a research student at Cranfield you will be part of a dynamic, focused and professional study environment and will become a member of the Cranfield Doctoral Network. This Network brings together both research students and staff, providing a platform for our researchers' to share ideas, gain interdisciplinary knowledge and create smaller communities of practice.

The Doctoral Network comprises of eight Doctoral Communities, which are aligned with the University's Themes. These communities offer the opportunity for our research students to further develop and enhance their technical, interdisciplinary knowledge through getting involved in activities across all of the Thematic areas. It is a great way for our research students to be able to enjoy the advantages of being part of such a diverse and research intensive University.

Each Thematic Doctoral Community has its own specific programme of events, which you are actively encouraged to get involved in by generating ideas, running events and supporting fellow members. There are also 'open' events run by each theme which all research students are very much encouraged to attend.

The Cranfield Doctoral Network looks to enhance and enrich the experience of our researchers', including those who are based off-site. The Doctoral Network activities are complimented by extensive resources offered through the Doctoral Researchers' Core Development programme (DRCD) which is based on the established VITAE National Researcher Development Framework. It encompasses four key areas of development: Knowledge and Intellectual Abilities, Personal Effectiveness, Research Governance and Organisation & Engagement Influence and Impact.

Doctoral Researchers' Core Development programme (DRCD)

DRCD wheel

Our programme supports you as a researcher and provides a framework for you to base your on-going professional development in your future career. It is offered through a variety of routes; face-to-face workshops, interactive lectures, webinars, online material and other resources. While every PhD is unique our resources are linked to typical key stages of your research journey to support you as require.


The transferable employability and personal development skills will not just support you in in your time at Cranfield but they are also highly valued by future employers.