At the beginning of each year postgraduate students select a set of masterclasses based on their requirements, and stage of development and candidature. The supervisor and GGREP convenor advise on this choice, thus ensuring the needs and expectations of both the student and supervisor are met. For example, at the start of a candidature a supervisor and student might select masterclasses that build up specific skills (e.g. ‘Writing for Journals and citation metrics’, or ‘Introduction to the programming language R’) while towards the end of their candidature they may select masterclasses that provide a broader outlook and context to their research (e.g. ‘Outlook’, or ‘Global Carbon Cycles’). They may also include masterclasses that prepare them for employment beyond their postgraduate degree (e.g., ‘Transition from PhD to Research Career’, or ‘Research Proposals’). These are just examples, and the choice of masterclasses taken during their tenure will vary depending on the needs of the student and the supervisor. Both supervisor and postgraduate student discuss their needs and expectations, and together they take ownership of postgraduate learning.
Most significantly, academic researchers see the direct benefits from the learning of their postgraduate researchers. They have reported that they see increased confidence and success of their students and an increase in their skills and abilities as early career scientists. The masterclasses provide a vehicle for research groups to interact and brainstorm ideas in a supportive and inclusive environment. Researchers at all levels (professors to postdocs) also participate in these masterclasses, reflecting the overall inclusive philosophy of the Genes to Geoscience community. This provides postgraduate students with a range of views, experiences and opinions. Postgraduate students are more likely to engage in their own learning if they feel they are part of a caring and supportive community that values intellectual discourse.