Research and Professional Development Planning (RPDP)

Research and professional development planning (RPDP) is essential to the Structured PhD programme at UCD.

The purpose of such planning is to ensure that your work is clearly focused on achieving your research and professional development goals. Engaging with the RPDP will aid the trajectory of your PhD research and your training and development as a researcher.

The RPDP consists of three sections. The first highlights guidance on research planning, the second highlights guidance on professional development planning and the third section is the RPDP Form itself. Part 1 of the RPDP form is a record of the student’s activities and Part 2 is the Research Studies Panel (RSP) Meeting Report.

Academic Regulations 2020-2021, effective from September 2020, stipulate that the completed and signed Research and Professional Development Planning Form from your most recent RSP meeting is submitted as one of the required documents to a Transfer Assessment Panel (TAP) where a student seeks to:

  • transfer from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of a Doctoral programme, or
  • transfer from a Research Master’s Programme to a PhD Programme.

Note: The RPDP form is a fillable PDF.  
Tips on filling in interactive PDF forms. Please ensure you are using Adobe Acrobat Version 8 or above.

Full instructions are available here.

 RPDP Research and Professional Development Planning Form

*Note: If you are experiencing issues with the pdf format of the file, please use the word version of Research and Professional Development Planning Form V1.3.1B instead.

Getting to Grips with your RPDP - Video Recording

  • An introduction on how to start completing your RPDP


Personal Data Protection Principles

Please also ensure that you familiarise yourself with the Personal Data Protection Principles and advice on how to safely store your data on UCD IT Services website.



You are only required to submit Part 1 and 2 of the Research and Professional Development Planning Form (RPDP). The supplementary documents provided on this page are for reference/support only and it is in the student’s disposal to use them or not.

Please note that you can use the Reasearch and Professional Development Planning Form (RPDP) for every meeting with your Research Studies Panel. Only the RPDP Form from the most recent meeting of the Research Studies Panel (RSP) will be submitted to the Transfer Assessment Panel.

Every research student can make use of the RPDP document. Please note that if you are transferring to a PhD programme, submission of the RPDP to the Transfer Assessment Panel is mandatory.

Please find a Step by step guide to upload Student-Supervisor meeting records in Infohub on how you can upload documents (such us meeting minutes etc) in your SISWeb account which is  shared with your Supervisor. You can upload every version of the RPDP file along with the one that will be used for the Stage Transfer Assessment, highlighting that on the file name.

Your RPDP form is treated as confidential and is normally only available to your supervisor and RSP. In addition, as part of the Stage 1 to Stage 2 assessment process the Transfer Assessment Panel,  staff associated with the Transfer Assessment process (the School Administrator, the Governing Board) will also have access to the RPDP.