Training Needs Assessment, Network Analysis and Training Log

Information on the TNA and Network Analysis process and how to record training and output activities on the Training Log

Training Needs Analyses (TNA)

Identification of training needs and reflection on training outcomes are essential components of PhD training. Students will use a Training Needs Analyses (TNA) tool provided by the Institute for Academic Development (see template below) to identify their current skill sets and gaps at the start of year 1.  Individual TNA meetings will be held each year, with the DTP Deputy Director for Training in year 1 and with supervisory teams thereafter.  The TNA process is guided by:

  • discussion between the student and their supervisory team to identify skills needs and potential career pathways;
  • end user input collated by the Training Management Board (TMB) on key skills required for employment;
  • the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF)

Training needs and courses or resources already identified are to be entered on a TNA form in advance of the meeting and updated thereafter. The TNA is to be returned every year (in year 1, 2 and 3) in December to the DTP Manager.

From the 2021 Cohort onwards, the TNA is included in the Training Log so the Training Log should be returned to the DTP manager each year, rather than the TNA form below.



For cohorts started before 2021 only:


Network Analysis

As part of the TNA, students are also required to think about and identify groups and networks they can join which are relevant to them and which will provide resources and support during their studies. These can be related to they research topic in particular or to your wider scientific interests as well as to your personal interests and situation (e.g. a student carers group). They can be within the school or university and beyond.

Below are a few starting points to look for networks of interest:

Research groups and Seminar series Oct 2020.xlsx (

Networks & forums | The University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh University Students' Association

Training and Research Output Logs 

All training and research output activities (publication, public engagement, conferences, events etc.) must be recorded into the below spreadsheet. The DTP Manager will request the up-to-date log yearly in October to feed into the DTP Annual Report to NERC.

Beware: the E4 DTP training logs are slightly different each year so make sure you use the one corresponding to your start year, see below:

E3 DTP Training and Output Log (44.22 KB / XLSX)

Below is an E4 exemplary Training Log  to help if you are not sure how to complete your training log and keep it updated.

Exemplary E4 Training Log (38.82 KB / XLSX)