Student Research Training Unit

The Student Research Training Unit is home to a variety of support services specially designed to assist postgraduate students develop and enhance their research, communication and writing skills. The unit organizes seminars, workshops, short courses, thesis/dissertation boot-camps, hands-on clinics and face-to-face writing support services on a regular basis to UM postgraduates to assist them during their PhD and Master research journey. These activities are delivered by experienced and dedicated academic staff with excellent track records in research and student supervision.  

Upskill Programme

The Upskill Programme consists of a set of intensive courses provided to all UM postgraduate candidates to equip them with the essential knowledge and crucial skills they may need throughout their research journey from the beginning to the completion of their study and beyond. 

Speakers invited to conduct the programme include experienced academic staff of University of Malaya, speakers from other universities in Malaysia as well as from abroad.
The objectives of the courses offered in the upskill programme are to:
 Provide candidates with basic knowledge before embarking on their research and writing up.
 Help candidates develop ideas in making their research more inventive and innovative
 Provide a platform for candidates to exchange ideas and share knowledge with one another
 Assist candidates in developing better skills in writing and publishing their research findings in reputable journals 
 Prepare candidates with good skills and knowledge before they begin their experience in the working environment

The Upskill Programme is designed to assist candidates reach the milestones in the development of their research. Our comprehensive range of seminars and workshops under this programme comprises of three modules. 

Module 1-The seminars and workshops in this module are designed for candidates who are at the beginning stage of their research writing. Some of the topics covered in Module 1 are:
 Writing the Research Proposal 
 Writing the Literature Review
 Determining the Research Design & Process
 Constructing the Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
Module 2-The seminars and workshops in this module are designed for candidates who are at the middle stage of their research writing. Some of the topics covered in Module 2 are:
 Qualitative/Quantitative Research 
 Data Analysis using SPSS / AMOS / NVivo
 Academic Writing
 Publishing in ISI journals
Module 3-The seminars and workshops in this module are designed for candidates who are at the final stage of their research writing. Some of the topics covered in Module 3 are:
 Presentation Skills
 Preparing for the Viva Voce
In addition to the regularly scheduled seminars and workshops offered in Modules 1, 2 and 3, we also provide other courses to help candidates improve their personal development skills such as:
 Communication Skills 
 Critical Thinking Skills 
 Stress Management
 Time Management.

The UM3MT is an annual communication competition, designed for PhD candidates to showcase their academic and research communication skills through a three-minute presentation. 
The competition is held at both the faculty and university levels, involving all areas of studies from Science and Technology to Social Sciences and Humanities. During that short specified time of 3 minutes, participants must concisely explain their research in a language that is comprehensible for a lay audience with the aid of a single projected PowerPoint slide. Judged by a panel of non-specialist personalities, the presentation must meet three criteria of scoring - communication style, comprehension and audience engagement.

Registration for the Upskill Programme is done online and the announcements for course registration will be sent to all UM Master’s and PhD candidates through the UM SISWAMaiL and candidates may register accordingly. 

Writing Services

The writing services provided by the IGS Student Research Training Unit aims to assist UM postgraduate candidates in writing their thesis or dissertation.

Services provided include:
1) Hands-on Clinic/ Individual Assistance on Turnitin, EndNote and StyleWriter software usage

  • Clinic is free of charge
  • Clinic is conducted by experienced demonstrator appointed by the IGS
  • Postgraduate candidates may walk-in for the clinic
  • Clinic schedule is as follows:

Day: Every Tuesday | Time: 11.00 am-5.00pm

Venue: Computer Lab, Level 2, Block D, IGS

11.00 am

Turnitin clinic

1.00 pm


2.00 pm

EndNote clinic

4.00 pm

StyleWriter clinic

5.00 pm

End of clinics


2) Proof-reading and Editing Service
This service is provided by postgraduate candidates and individuals (recommended by the IGS) with experience in proof-reading and editing. The service is coordinated by the IGS Student Research Training Unit and client agrees and makes payment directly to the proof-reader/editor.

3) Writing Support Service
The writing support service is conducted by appointed facilitators who offer guidance and advice on improving the coherence and cohesion of the student’s writing by going through with the student the fundamental as well as advanced aspects of academic writing including the following:


  • how to avoid ambiguity, repetition, verbosity
  • how to use correct/effective punctuation
  • how to strengthen the writer’s voice

Grammar and Language Use

  • rules and principles of correct English grammar and sentence structure
  • use of accurate and appropriate words (not including technical and field specific terms) and expressions
  • use of italics, bold, capitalization, hyphens and dashes, symbols and abbreviations
  • display of lists (numbers, bullets, etc) and direct and indirect quotations
  • consistency in the use of American/British spelling and punctuation

Overall Presentation of Written Text

  • consistency and accuracy in presenting references (including citations, bibliography, list of references, endnotes or footnotes, and cross-references)
  • consistency and accuracy in page numbers, headers and 

The writing support service is provided free of charge to all UM postgraduate candidates and is carried out by appointment only and each student can only have one (1) appointment a week and up to a maximum of four (4) appointments in one semester.

Each session lasts no less than 30 minutes but no more than 60 minutes, depending on the number of bookings for the day and candidates can book an appointment with the staff at the Student Research Training Unit via email once the appointment schedule is made available to the candidates through their UM SISWAMaiL.

The writing support service adheres to the dissertation/thesis writing guidelines published by the IGS and candidates should also be aware of the variation/requirements set/allowed by their respective faculties/supervisors.



Last Update: November 16, 2016