Clarity and Communication for Postgraduate Research Students

Date embedded: December 2022

SU operations and development

Date embedded: December 2022

Proposed by: Vikki Barry Brown
Seconded by: Matthew Beach



What do you want?
  1. Assurance that all PGRs receive QMSU emails, and a commitment to assess that this remains the case every three months
  2. Creation of a PGR area of the QMSU website to feature communication links and chains of representation between PGRs, Schools/Institutes, the QMSU, and the Doctoral College
  3. The development and implementation of an ‘Introduction to the QMSU for PGRs’ session, to be delivered to PGRs across QMUL every year to ensure PGRs have a sound understanding of how QMSU supports and represents their interests during their course of study
  4. For the QMSU to carry out a documented feasibility investigation into the establishment of an Executive Officer Position with specific responsibility for both postgraduate taught students and postgraduate researchers, to be held by a current or recently graduated postgraduate


Why do you want it?

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed a lack of support and representation for postgraduate research students at QMUL. We and many of our colleagues were not aware of the extent to which QMUL Senior Management and the Doctoral College rely upon the QMSU representative system for PGR feedback, particularly given the lack of involvement of PGRs within the QMSU. This has been compounded by the fact that the role of PGR HSS representative has been unfilled for several years — with seemingly no serious investigation given into why this might be by QMUL or the QMSU — which has created further disparity in representation. The QMSU Student Council and Executive Board is also dominated by non-PGRs, which undoubtedly further contributes to a lack of understanding of the specific issues faced by PGR students.


What Impact will this have?

The QMSU will significantly improve its understanding of the PGR community and the unique issues faced by those undertaking PhD study. The QMSU will be able to better represent the voices of PGRs to the QMUL Senior Executive Team, the Doctoral College, and the wider community. Equally, QMUL PGRs will be better informed and represented throughout the lifecycle of their PhD with a greater awareness of the support that their QMSU can provide to them. The QMSU will achieve and exceed the proposed aims of Project Doctorate, in addition to demonstrating its commitment to the Russell Group aims of establishing and maintaining world-class, robust institutions of study and support for the next generation.


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