Vikki Barry Brown and Matthew Beach are two third-year postgraduate research students within the School of Geography. Our experience as PGRs has shown that without proper communication channels, change cannot move forward. It is from this foundation that we ask for your vote.
Vikki is a full-time Postgraduate Researcher (PGR) in the School of Geography investigating English migration to the Republic of Ireland. She returned to academia in 2017 following a career in charity research, public policy and communications. Over the past year Vikki has been part of the QMUL PhD Pandemic Organising Group which has exposed gaps in support for QMUL Postgraduate researchers, worked with services to improve provision for PGRs and called for funded extensions for all PhDs.
Matthew works on his PhD part-time alongside his artistic practice. He has been a student at Queen Mary for four years, having previously completed a Geography MA here. This year Matthew also represents the PGR cohort within Geography, and wishes to extend this praxis at the level of HSS, having witnessed firsthand the communication breakdown in liaising with the Doctoral College with a vacant HSS PGR Rep.
- Improve the QMSU website for better accessibility, including updating the rep spreadsheet within the QMSU with accurate contact information
- Work with the wider student council to ensure long-term inclusion and support for PGRs (intro / info sessions specifically for PGRs – like induction but not at induction)
- Ensure that all PGRs receive student union emails, including ensuring the Student Union has possession of an all-PGR email list that can be used for communication
- Provide clear understanding of current working differences across HSS in chain communication between PGRs, their department, and the Doctoral College
- Construct fail-safes for PGR HSS representation should the role become vacant again
- Stand in solidarity with those PGRs in HSS and further afield whose research has been directly and/or indirectly by the Covid-19 pandemic
- Consider the varying experiences amongst PGRs, including international students on visas, students from working class backgrounds,racialised students, women, LGBTQI+ students, students with disabilities, SpLDs, students who are neurodivergent, and students with caring responsibilities
- Put in place meaningful communication networks between HSS – Director of Graduate Studies (or equivalent) – PGR’s – Doctoral College
- Work with the Doctoral College to improve the PGR experience for those in HSS, including relevant training opportunities, etc.
- These bulleted items enumerate a foundation from which to work from should we be elected, and do not represent an exhaustive list of our intended activities working towards positive change in the relationship between HSS PGRs and the QMSU.