CDTPV website V2.0!

Article by . ., University of Liverpool

Sept. 20, 2015, 5:02 p.m.

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in New and Sustainable Energy (CDT-PV) is about to celebrate its first birthday and we are looking forward to welcoming our second cohort of PhD students who will be arriving at their host institutions imminently. This time last year, as we were putting together our first core-level training module at Liverpool, I was furiously learning how to code html, PHP and javascript in order to build a site capable of linking together all the centre's training content provided across our 7 partner institutions. The resultant site was reasonably successful and received a lot of external attention for our archive of training lectures that we accumulated over the year (some of which have been viewed thousands of times internationally!). The site also proved to be extremely useful when collecting and collating the fantastic level of feedback provided by C1 on their training experience. As a result, we have successfully been able to identify the aspects of our curriculum that require further development and this will inevitably make the training even more relevant and useful for our second cohort. Despite these successes, and after months of constantly fixing, tweaking and adding elements in a 'Frankenstein' fashion, the old site has become an unmanageable jumble of disconnected files and broken hyperlinks and it is now obvious that my first makeshift attempt at web development must be replaced. So, this year I have been furiously learning DJANGO, the python based web framework, in order to generate a site that is a bit more future proof and admin friendly. Key features of the new site include: A tagged directory of all of the Centre's projects and people, a centralised assessment submission and marking system that will make keeping track of researcher training outputs much easier, and an anonymous feedback system that will automatically collect and collate all researcher feedback on the training and other aspects of the centre. Every researcher will also have their own personal 'Portfolio' that they can use to keep a record of all of their specific project outputs, i.e. papers, posters and presentations, and share them with their CDTPV colleagues. I'm sure that there will be a few bugs that need to be sorted out but I'm hoping that this new site will be a much improved tool for our researcherst. If you do have any comments (good or bad) about the site then please let me know, I'm very eager to hear them.