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Focus On: The Postgraduate Research (PGR) Student Experience

Focus On: What is it?

Focus On projects cover topics that occur frequently in Enhancement-led Institution Review outcomes (either as areas for development or, sometimes, as good practice). All of the HEIs in the Scottish university sector work collectively to promote policy and practice around the topic.

Projects begin and complete in a single academic year. Staff and students identify priority areas within the topic and a programme of practical activity is designed to allow the sharing of practice around those areas to help colleagues make a real difference in a short space of time.

Focus On: The Postgraduate Research (PGR) Student Experience (2016-17)

Priority areas are:

  1. Training and support for postgraduate students who teach
  2. Support for staff who supervise research students
  3. Building a research community for postgraduate research students
  4. Student representation for postgraduate research students

What is happening?

Activity is now underway on each of the priority areas for 2016-17:

  • production of a film about PGRs who teach, outlining what they wish they’d known when they started teaching/demonstrating, covering range of institutional and discipline perspectives
  • a project to produce a ‘Statement of Expectations’ for postgraduate students who teach, intended to provide institutions with a practical tool to benchmark, evaluate and enhance their provision in this area using approaches tried and tested by colleagues in the Scottish sector and beyond
  • films, advice and commentary from experienced research supervisors from a range of institutions and disciplines
  • a series of webinars on good practice in research supervision
  • a project on what ‘research community’ means and how we can best provide a sense of community to our PGRs to enhance their experience of postgraduate study
  • work with students’ associations and sparqs (Student Partnerships in Quality Scotland) on student representation for PGRs
  • production of a digital storytelling resource to host the outputs of the activity listed above

Focus On: The Postgraduate Research Student Experience dissemination event will be held on Thursday 18 May at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow.

Get involved

Anyone with an interest in the topic can be involved and we actively encourage students and students’ associations to become involved and help us achieve the project aims. If you would like to keep up to date with our events and activities or learn more about how you can become involved, please join our mailing list or get in touch by e-mailing qaasadmin@qaa.ac.uk.