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School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Postgraduate Research Administration Today’s meeting: Part 1 (10am): PhD supervision and administration:

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Presentation on theme: "School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Postgraduate Research Administration Today’s meeting: Part 1 (10am): PhD supervision and administration:"— Presentation transcript:

1 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Postgraduate Research Administration Today’s meeting: Part 1 (10am): PhD supervision and administration: Introduction to PGR Admin Monitoring current PGRs Funding opportunities for PGRs Process for advertising projects/admissions Coffee and mince pies Part 2 (11am): Changes and developments

2 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Part 1: Introduction to Postgraduate Research Administration Postgraduate Research Administration Staff: PGR Tutor:Sebastian Rost Deputy Tutor:Caroline Peacock Administrator:Michelle Lesnianski Admissions support(PT):Angela Gardner

3 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Postgraduate Research Administration PGR Representatives: ESSI:Mohammed Elmasrahy ICAS:Hannah Mantle, Richard Pope IGT: Ben Allen, Lucy Campbell SRI: Rebecca Howard, Paul Brockway

4 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Postgraduate Research Administration What we do: Enquiries Admissions (~400pa) and marketing/web and conversion Scholarships Registration and Induction Attendance monitoring and progression (currently ~230 students of which ~30% overseas): PDR Suspensions/extensions Student support / Drop-in sessions Training Student payments/contracts Complaints/appeals Examination

5 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Postgraduate Research Administration Involves interaction with: Potential postgraduate researchers Postgraduate researchers Academic staff Postgraduate Research and Operations (Progression & Examination) Postgraduate Scholarships Office International Office Research Support Unit Language Centre Head of School (complaints/appeals) Faculty Finance (student payments/student RTSG matters/bursaries) Involves working on/contributions to: Integrated Planning Exercise (IPE) Student Academic Education Review (SAER) Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) Research Excellence Framework (REF)

6 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Publications School PGR Staff Handbook University Guide for Research Degree Supervisors * Important University Ordinances and Regulations and Programmes of Study for Research Degrees * University Research Student Handbook* All available on-line via * Under ‘Useful links’ then ‘Research Student Handbooks’

7 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Faculty Graduate School Examinations Group Graduate Board Scholarships Group Programmes of Study and Audit Group (PSAG) Faculty Graduate School PGR administration across the University is controlled by Graduate Board Some ‘unitary’ faculties (eg, Biological Sciences) organize all PGR administration at the Graduate School level (admissions, progress, etc) Environment is a ‘federal’ Faculty. PGR administration still organized at School level BUT moves towards a Faculty Graduate School Office Director of Postgraduate Research Studies for Environment Faculty Graduate School is Alan Haywood and Michelle Lesnianski is the Faculty Co-ordinator

8 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Supervising Current Students School Supervision Model (from October 2011): Co-supervision model - one supervisor identified as primary or lead supervisor - co-supervisor at Leeds (at least one) - external supervisor possible (eg, from CASE partner) NOTE: At least one supervisor must have ‘sole supervision’ status: not on probation has supervised a PhD student for more than 3 years is minimum of 0.5 FTE has undertaken SDDU course for supervisors

9 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Supervising Current Students All ‘administration’ should only help serve the fundamental aim of ensuring our PhD students have the best possible support for their work ALL PROGRESS MONITORING DONE ON-LINE Very important to engage with the PDR: Appeals/complaints difficult to defend where record keeping is inadequate.

10 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Supervising Current Students Progression meeting monitoring to include all supervisors… Month 1: All supervisors meet with student to undertake training analysis and complete on-line training plan – include publications strategy in training analysis each year 6 months meeting (or 9 months for PT): select Transfer Examiner (and get their agreement), select Transfer Chair (from list of ‘approved’ chairs on web), arrange Transfer viva date and get date in diaries – the aim is to ensure clear pathway to transfer

11 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Supervising Current Students Progression monitoring to include all supervisors… Transfer Meeting: (aim to hold this during months 9-11) Important – formal decision by Transfer Examiner to recommend upgrade from Provision PhD to full PhD 21 months meeting (FT): can be based on publication 33 months meeting (FT): based on thesis outline and draft thesis chapter. Annual meetings: for part-time students (9 months, 18 months (Transfer), 36 months, 48 months, 60 months)

12 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Supervising Current Students Supervision meetings….. We expect students will meet with supervisors regularly and always have reasonable access University regulations require that 10 of these meetings lead to a formal written report (minimum standards, problems in the past…) – 5 for part-time students Student and supervisors should complete the on-line PDR together, agreeing contents. Supervisor has final agreement of meeting by ‘locking’ the meeting notes – if it is not ‘locked’ it will automatically lock after 3 months and will be taken as agreed. This process might seem overly bureaucratic but we must do it. It can be implemented in as effortlessly a way as you wish.

13 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Finances… PhDs normally have their own account. They can spend this money on relevant research costs with the agreement of supervisor. Exception – students supported by a grant are expected to have RTSG funds available within the grant and they will spend directly from the grant with supervisors authorisation. The account normally contains: £500 per year ‘RTSG’; or Other funds from sponsor where applicable (eg, bench fee, conference, CASE) Currently additional fieldwork and consumables for NERC DTG awards are decided by School. Apply in December each year, and a School decision by end January each year. This may change for the DTP. 1 st Year students are asked to fill in a ‘Postgraduate Funding Form’ from Faculty Finance Office to itemise all expected funding. Make sure they do this.

14 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Finances… RTSG: School takes a contribution from all researchers on a sliding scale: £0 - £2000 per annum – no charge £ £5000 per annum - £1,000 lump sum = standard desktop/consumables £5001+ per annum = £1,500 lump sum = standard desktop/consumables/admin

15 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Vivas Transfers/upgrades: Aim to get Transfer Examiner, Transfer Panel, and date of viva agreed at 6 months progression meeting and give information to Michelle. This information will be input into the PDR and the transfer panel will have access to the transfer report once uploaded. The Transfer assessment form must be signed and handed to Michelle who will upload the decision onto PDR so that the University can access it. PhD vivas: Internal Examiner to advise Michelle of the viva date. Then pass preliminary and confidential reports to her for authorisation and onward transmission to the University. External Examiners should normally be from the UK with experience of UK HE. External Examiners expenses: School will pay up to £250 towards travel expenses; (only where necessary) 1 night’s accommodation at Cliff Lawn Hotel (£62); and reasonable hosting/subsistence costs. Supervisor must normally find alternative sources for higher costs.

16 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Funding opportunities for students… SEE expects to recruit over 50 PhDs per year. Only possible if they can get funding. This comes from a variety of sources: Self-funded Personal funding (quite rare), employer, scholarship from home country. Everyone (potential supervisor, PGRA, PGRT) needs to be responding quickly and efficiently to these applicants.

17 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Funding opportunities for students… Research Councils NERC:DTP (Doctoral Training Partnership) – Possibly around 14. Open CASE – supervisor applies for these and chooses student. ESRC:White Rose DTC – currently 1 award pa, plus 1 award by ‘matched funding’ EPSRC:Faculty DTG – Faculty normally has enough funding to get 1 award annually which alternates between SEE and Geography Project (tied) Awards (NERC, EPSRC): Supervisors get funding for specific projects through grant applications. Important source of students. Gives supervisor control of the process. PIs are encouraged to include a studentship(s) in grant proposals.

18 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Funding opportunities for students… Competitive University Scholarships (LIRS, URS, Endowed) Very competitive and not too many available Needs excellent students with supervisor helping with application Generally student applies – deadlines: University Research Scholarship (URS)(Home/EU): 14 March 2014 (2 per faculty) CSC-Leeds Partnership (China): 3 January 2014 (10 awards/University) Leeds International Research Scholarship (LIRS) (international fees rated): Round 1: 20 January 2014 for an Oct 2014 start date (9 awards/Univ) Round 2: 16 June 2014 for a Jan 2015 start date (9 awards/Univ) Once applications received – School selects which to put forward to University/Faculty. See handbooks for more details and Scholarships summary

19 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Advertising PhD projects… To attract students we need to advertise a range of exciting projects: Main place to advertise projects is on the PGR web page (Michelle organizes): Now is the time of year when projects go on the web to be advertised – fill in project pro forma DTP management committee expected to screen these before they go on the web – looking for clear potential for the project to yield 4* outputs Clearly, the projects listed are not exclusive – Good students can propose other topics (within SEE interests) Specifics of advertised projects can be expanded Specific projects can be advertised elsewhere (eg, FindaPhD.com, jobs.ac.uk)

20 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Applications for PhD Projects… PGRA will send out s to staff with links to relevant applications Respond quickly so that applicants get a favourable impression of us School competition interview dates in February/March Staff who hold funded studentships (eg, project/tied etc) can select their own student. A minimum of two interviewers/assessors is recommended including male and female representation where possible. See handbook for further details.

21 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Notes for PhD recruitment… Attracting students 99.9% of applications depend on the web School web pages and project descriptions should be as exciting as possible with short ‘eye catching titles’, eg, NOT ‘Investigation of’ or ‘Study of’ – that is a given! Our web pages must be found in searches and be included on all key lists.

22 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Final Comments PhD students are very important to the School – a key part of our research. We want to give PhD students the best possible student experience, training and environment. This often helps with future recruitment/marketing (word of mouth). Any problems/questions please let PGRT and/or PGRA know without delay. Make sure that all administration passes via the PGRA so that we can keep track of what is happening

23 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Part 2: Changes and developments Today’s forum covers: NERC DTP Training for PhDs New ‘Transfer’ process Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Procedure (UAPP) Appeals

24 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Leeds-York NERC DTP Leeds: SEE, Geography, Chemistry, Biology, Maths and York Chemistry. 5 year DTP – intake to cover 2014 – 2018 inclusive. 3.5 year awards. Expecting total of awards per year. Includes combinations of awards: 100% NERC funded; 50/50 matched funding with NERC/Depts; 50/50 matched funding with University/Dept. SPHERES: Atmosphere, Biosphere, Geosphere. DTP award split between SPHERES/departments to be considered. Student application deadline for 2014 entry: 24 January. Follow on

25 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Training for PhDs PRES 2013 (Postgraduate Research Experience Survey) indicated that many students feel a lack of support regarding their training and development needs. Important to engage with the training analysis to identify the training needs of the researchers within one month of initial registration and then revise at the start of each year of registration. Must be recorded on PDR. Discuss careers with researchers and show an interest and provide guidance in their development towards achieving their career goals. Refer to Careers Service if needed. 100s of courses available through SDDU and Faculty – encourage attendance as appropriate. Faculty has secured a £98k grant for development of e-learning courses. Courses expected to start to become available from Easter 2014.

26 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT New Transfer process 6 months: progress monitoring form called ‘First Formal Progress Report’: Researcher asked to provide a review of their progress and asked whether there are any issues adversely affecting progress; then Primary Supervisor comments on whether: Progress with research is satisfactory Progress with training is satisfactory English language ability satisfactory Other comments

27 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT New Transfer process Before the viva: form to be completed called ‘Progress Report: Transfer stage’ and uploaded onto the PDR for review by examining panel before the viva: Researcher asked to provide a review of their progress and asked whether there are any issues adversely affecting progress; then Primary Supervisor required to: Provide a summary of research progress Advise whether satisfactory progress with training plan Report on English language writing and speaking skills Advise whether ethical approval is required Advise whether data storage and safeguarding issues are being properly addressed.

28 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT New Transfer process At the viva: form to be completed called ‘Joint Report of the Transfer Assessment Panel’ and handed to Michelle Lesnianski to upload onto the PDR, once signed. The forms asks for: Transfer decision, eg, transfer, deferral, withdrawal Confirmation of sight of training plan and progress Ethical review requirement/approval Data storage compliance Report on transfer – comments on: Potential for originality Evidence of independent critical ability Performance of researcher in viva Understanding of area of study Whether planned work is achievable

29 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT New Transfer process Joint Report of the Transfer Assessment Panel must be signed by Transfer Examiner, Transfer Chair, and Primary Supervisor, as a minimum. All forms available at: And this link is provided through our local PGR webpage: ______________________________________________________ Anticipated for 2014: Formal transfer from Year 2 to Year 3

30 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Procedure (UAPP): Can take place at any time during the candidature Normally identified when researcher has not met requirements set out under responsibilities of the researcher in the Code of Practice. Examples include failure to: Provide evidence of satisfactory progress Present work to an adequate standard Present work to an agreed timescale Maintain regular contact with their supervisor(s) and to attend formal supervision meetings

31 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Procedure (UAPP): Instigation of the UAPP: Initially Supervisor will raise concerns in writing with researcher If no improvement, supervisor brings to attention of PGRT BUT must first have done the following: Supervision panel must have discussed between them Provide evidence of written feedback outlining UAP (warning letter, , comments on meeting notes) Researcher must have had opportunity to raise any circumstances preventing their progress

32 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Procedure (UAPP): PGRT decides whether concerns raised are sufficiently serious for UAPP IF immediate improvement to academic performance by researcher is possible, and researcher has potential of success in securing their PhD, then UAPP can proceed: PGRT writes to researcher inviting them to attend a meeting to take place within 10 working days

33 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Procedure (UAPP): PGRT can decide immediate withdrawal of researcher due to UAP. This option, without instigation of UAPP, will only occur in the most exceptional of cases. For example: Clear evidence of serious concerns about UAP made, in writing, to student, over prolonged period (4 months or more) Evidence that support mechanisms have been made available to the student to address concerns Satisfactory explanation as to why realistic targets cannot be set and the student should not be granted a further opportunity to improve progress under the UAPP.

34 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Procedure (UAPP): The initial meeting for UAPP: Normally includes PGRT, primary supervisor and researcher who may be accompanied by a supporter, to: Advise the student about their UAP Reassure student that purpose is to identify ways to address the supervisors’ concerns and support their future progress Give researcher opportunity to raise any mitigating circumstances Set clear, realistic and measurable targets Identify training needs and support mechanisms Explain how set targets will be assessed Evaluation of work must be done by at least one supervisor and one independent assessor

35 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Procedure (UAPP): The initial meeting for UAPP: Set the date for the final review meeting, which should be: Between 2-3 months for FT researchers Between 3-5 months for PT researchers (At least one formal supervisory meeting must have taken place and be recorded before the final review meeting NB: (a) Where UAPP is instigated before the Transfer viva, and where the timescale does not allow UAPP to conclude, no final review meeting necessary. The formal Transfer stage will provide the outcome. (b) If student does not attend review meeting, the meeting must still go ahead, as scheduled.

36 School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT UAPP and Appeals Essential that supervisors engage with the PDR so that there is a record of feedback to researchers. This helps with UAPP and Appeals. Consideration of research student appeals and complaints continues to identify examples of inadequate record keeping. Appeals/complaints are difficult to defend where record keeping is inadequate.


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