The Graduate School
The Graduate School has two key areas of responsibility 1) leading the development and delivery of Student Experience for both PGR and PGT students and 2) overseeing the development, implementation and quality assurance of PGR provision.
The Graduate School’s role in PG Student Experience is based on the concept of dual citizenship. This means that all Postgraduate Students (PGR & PGT) are members of their Academic School community which links to discipline specific research and professional practice and as well as being part of the wider BU Graduate School community which focuses around professional and personal development. Each community has a different but equally important role.
The Graduate School’s role in enhancing PG Student Experience focuses on leading the development of a holistic BU Postgraduate Professional and Personal Development Framework with key components such as Research Skills Training, Professional and Personal Development Planning and Globalised Student Experience. Graduate School’s activities will be focusing on addressing cross-cutting themes or university wide activities. As such, the Graduate School’s initiatives are intended for ‘added value’. In addition, we will also work closely with Academic Schools to share good practice and to support and enhance School and Professional Services activities in these key areas.
In terms of research degrees at BU, the Graduate School is responsible for all strategic, policy, process and quality assurance aspects working closely with the Education, Development & Quality on policy and quality assurance matters and Academic Schools where the responsibility for academic support and management of individual PGRs sits. In line with the professional and personal development for all PG students, the Graduate School has responsibility for developing and implementing a Researcher Development Framework (in line with the nationally recognised VITAE framework) for PGRs and is working with the Research Development Unit to extend this for early career researchers. The Graduate School also facilitates research degree supervisor training for both new and experienced supervisors with support from Staff Development.
The Graduate School should be your first point of contact for all research degree matters at BU and also as a focal point for aspects related to PG Student Experience.
The Graduate School is led by Professor Tiantian Zhang and is based in DG02 on Talbot Campus.
Prof Tiantian Zhang
Head of the Graduate School
As Head of the Graduate School, I am responsible for the Graduate School strategy and for ensuring meet we our aim of supporting a vibrant postgraduate community by delivering initiatives that provide added value to both the research and taught postgraduate student experience. These include the BU Postgraduate Development Framework with key components such as Research Skills Training, Professional and Personal Development and a Globalised Student Experience. I am also increasingly involved with BU’s International agenda, particularly with respect to China and the surrounding regions.
My academic background is in Environmental Biology and I have PhD degree in Cryobiology from the University of Bedfordshire. My research interests are in the areas of cryopreservation of gametes and reproductive cells and its applications in conservation, animal reproduction and biomedicine. I have supervised 15 research students to completion and am currently the Director of Studies of 6 PhD students. Further information about my academic career and research can be found on my academic profile.
I go to the gym regularly in my spare time. I’m also a keen swimmer, which I did competitively for a time while growing up in China. I also like going to the theatre.
Dr Fiona Knight
Graduate School Manager
I am responsible for the development, implementation and improvement of the operational infrastructure, strategies and services of the BU Graduate School. In particular, I also am responsible for the regulations, policies and procedures for the PG Research (PGR) community and am developing the BU Researcher Development Framework for ECRs and PGRs. I am also working to enhance BU’s wider postgraduate student expereince and develop a thriving and active PG culture and community.
I have a PhD in geology (geochemistry and mineralogy) from Cardiff University (2000) and have previously worked for the Natural Environment Research Council (2000-2003). Out of work, I am kept busy by two children, one husband and our cat! When I can I like reading, watching films, walking and photography.
I am responsible for the implementation of the PGR Development Framework for postgraduate research students. My main focus is making sure our PGR Development Programme, which is informed by the VITAE Researcher Development Programme, delivers suitable training and development opportunities for PGRs. I also administer the PGR Development Scheme – an internal funding opportunity for PGRs.
As Resources Administrator for the Graduate School I organise and promote the annual PGR Conference, administer committee meetings and provide general support for the Head of the Graduate School and the rest of the team.
In my spare time I enjoy watching films, going to the theatre, reading and spending time with my gorgeous 1-year-old niece, Summer.
Professional & Personal Development Officer
DG02, Dorset House
I am responsible for supporting the Graduate School activities with the development, implementation, delivery and administration of a framework for professional and personal development planning for postgraduate taught (PGT) students at Bournemouth University. I also provide support and advice to the postgraduate community.
I have completed a BA Hons and Masters of Research in Business Management Studies at the Manchester Metropolitan University. My interests are quite varied and I like to read anything to do with Heidegger, Phenomenology, Nietzsche, Existentialism, and Ethics. I am also very passionate about researching methods, gaming, and modern classical music.