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Doctoral Training Programmes: A New Model which Advances the Learning and Teaching Agenda for Postgraduate Research Students Dr Rebekah Smith McGloin Doctoral.

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Presentation on theme: "Doctoral Training Programmes: A New Model which Advances the Learning and Teaching Agenda for Postgraduate Research Students Dr Rebekah Smith McGloin Doctoral."— Presentation transcript:

1 Doctoral Training Programmes: A New Model which Advances the Learning and Teaching Agenda for Postgraduate Research Students Dr Rebekah Smith McGloin Doctoral Training Partnership Manager, University of Nottingham

2 “Doctoral Training Programmes” Umbrella term to describe:  Doctoral Training Partnerships  Centres for Doctoral Training  Industrial Doctorate Centres  International Doctoral Innovation Centres Terminology

3  Changes in the funding environment  A shift in research council funding/ expectations  Post-Roberts era policy imperatives challenges in the doctoral training landscape o Better integration of research and generic skills training (PRES, RCUK) o More/better employer engagement (Hodge (2011), Smith (2010) Reviews, RCUK) o More cohort development, networking, (PRES, RCUK) o Increase capacity in postgraduate placements (Wilson (2012) Review, RCUK) Setting the scene for Doctoral Training Programmes

4 What do Doctoral Training Programmes have in common?

5 Current Doctoral Training Programmes at University of Nottingham

6 complex difficult to engage academic colleagues with significantly more expensive to deliver than traditional training models good student engagement positive feedback majority of RCUK funding will be directed through them in the future Doctoral Training Programme Challenge

7 Academic Community International networks Broader Academy (other ROs) Peers Business / Industry Employers Teaching and Learning (Taught courses: Masters and undergraduate level, experiential and peer learning) DTP Complex Connectivity

8 Research versus Teaching and Learning Pathway PVC Research Research Board Research & Graduate Services Graduate School Contracts team Post- Awards team PVC Teaching and Learning Teaching and Learning Board School/Faculty Teaching and Learning Committees Academic Experience and Academic Appeals Committees School/Faculty Research Committees Academic Services Division Curriculum Management Quality Code RCUK Statement of Expectations for Doctoral Training Researcher Development Framework Quality Code DTC, DTP, CDT

9 What is the outcome?  Rise in prominence and significance in traditional ‘research territory’ of key characteristics typically associated with the teaching and learning agenda. Student assessment and feedback Student progression Student-focused learning Group work/peer learning Strong student learning community Employability

10 Key challenges and Successes of the Model Programme set-up  New type of programme specification  Academic workload allocation (supervision v training)  Student registration  Contracting

11 Key challenges and Successes of the Model Governance  Typically governance will be overseen by PVC for Research  Less expertise/focus on QAA, taught courses, assessment, feedback, student learning

12 Key challenges and Successes of the Model Training Programme Development  Challenge to develop a programme which incorporates elements of undergraduate, masters and PhD training provision  Tension between the model’s requirements for tailored provision and need to tap into existing programmes  Exit qualifications, assessment, quality assurance

13 Key challenges and Successes of the Model Student Experience  Challenge to articulate a complex offer clearly  How to ensure we recruit the ‘right kind’ of student for this model  How to deliver the ‘right balance’ between research and training

14 Case Study: BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership  Collaboration between University of Nottingham and Rothamsted Research Institute  19 x 4-year studentships per year for 3 years (matched to 38 per annum)  Three research areas: Global Food Security, Industrial Biotechnology & Bioenergy, Molecules, Cells & Organisms.  Six months lab rotations before PGs choose research project  Annual Spring School  Three-month compulsory placement in an area which is not related to the students’ research (PIP)

15  PRES 2013 student survey results show at a national level ‘only very small differences between the research skills experience of those whose training was provided through a doctoral training centre and those whose was not, with negligible effect sizes,’  Evaluation was undertaken with the first two student cohorts (80 PGRs) in the BBSRC DTP at Nottingham 3 x 12-question surveys Ad hoc focus groups Bi-monthly student group meetings Evaluation

16  Early evaluation data shows positive student experience and high satisfaction rates for: 1.Quality, relevance and pitch of the training programme 2.Employer engagement with student body 3.Student learning community Preliminary findings

17 Quality, relevance and pitch of the training programme  tailored for a biological sciences cohort  integrates research and generic skills training through a programme of laboratory rotations, taught masters courses and bespoke training  all students participate in mandatory training needs analysis  programme is front-loaded into the first six-months and thereafter concentrated mainly into an annual Spring School 93% agreed or strongly agreed that the training was high quality and relevant to their interests and experience Desire to see further tailoring of training and opportunities for peer-to-peer learning

18 Employer engagement with student body  targeted approach to employer engagement  industry talks are incorporated into the training programme from an early stage.  mandatory three-month industry placement (PIP). Baseline data showed 85% of the cohort were considering careers outside of academia post-PhD when they started High levels of engagement with a range of career options continued Respondents reported that the relevance of ‘careers sessions’ was clearer because they knew from the beginning that they were required to undertake an industry placement

19 Student Learning Community  developed from before induction via social media  cemented in induction and the first period of training and followed up with the Spring School.  supported by a student society which reports >80% group participation. survey results are unanimous in their support for the value of the cohort ‘helpful for many reasons, social and academic’. peer support is particularly valued at transition points


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