The Doctoral College plays a central role in the development of the postgraduate research community, culture and environment here at BU. On 1st & 2nd July 2019, the Doctoral College Research Skills and Development Officer (Natalie Stewart) attended the UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE) Annual Conference with this year’s theme ‘enhancing postgraduate research cultures’ hosted at the University of Salford, MediaCity, Manchester.
The conference had a strong focus on how institutions can support positive PGR cultures and communities in which students can realise their potential. We explored the value of PGR education, listened to experiences of PGR students and discussed what a thriving PGR culture looks like. We also heard from Dr Mark Bennett from FindAUniversity who surveyed prospective PGRs on their expectations of a research degree, findings of which could help inform future provisions.
Day 2 was filled with thought-provoking oral presentation and workshops facilitated by colleagues from Heriot-Watt University, Birmingham City University, Imperial College London and University of Bath. They had us discussing and reflecting on our institutional support for PGRs in particular the activities and events we offer and whether these are actually what students want, how we measure event success, how we support PGRs ‘writing up’ and those PGRs approaching their Viva Voce examination. (If you would like to know how the Doctoral College currently supports these areas please get in touch). For further conference highlights you can view the #UKCGE19 twitter feed.
I look forward to working closely with PGRs and colleagues to further enhance the PGR research culture here at BU.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any thoughts or ideas you would like to discuss regarding PGR support. PGRs can freely submit feedback and suggestions via the anonymous RDP Feedback Survey which remains open year round.