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First Annual Conference for Supervisors of Postgraduate Research Students

23 Sep 2008 - 9:00am
23 Sep 2008 - 5:00pm
On 23rd September we are holding the first in a series of annual conferences for supervisors of postgraduate research students. This is designed to provide a quick update on developments in our provision of postgraduate research degree programmes, and an outline of the progress that has been made can be seen in the titles of the presentations in the attached programme. This conference also provides an opportunity to look at the results of the national survey (PRES) of research student satisfaction. This is the first time that we have taken part in this, and it will provide us with benchmarking at a national level. A lot of work has been done by teams of people in Registry, and across the University through the Research Degrees Operational Committee that has been leading much of this development work on behalf of the University Research Degrees Committee. The fruits of these labours are a number of new documents and improvements to the regulations and to the procedures for approval of external examiners and for monitoring examination reports. The University's code of practice for postgraduate research student training has been rewritten to reflect the precepts in the QAA code of practice. A handbook for supervisors of postgraduate research students has been produced, and brings together guidance on all of the procedures involved in supervision. This complements the hand book for postgraduate research students. One presentation will introduce the electronic training material available in the Epigeum package produced by Imperial College to support their postgraduate research student training programmes. This was purchased by the University of Portsmouth for use in the Academic Year 2008/9. The results of the PRES survey will be summarised and the significance of these for future development work will be outlined. The last two presentations will outline ongoing work to develop our provision of personal development planning for postgraduate research students, and will introduce a project to bring together our formal taught provision of research training. This work will be informed by the Joint Statement on Skills Training. These two important and extensive projects will form the bulk of the development work in this area in 2008/9 and will involve students and supervisors in all areas of the University. This is an important conference aimed at disseminating changes in our regulations and procedures in the area of postgraduate research student training. All supervisors need to be familiar with the developments in this area, and attendance at this event is expected. Please confirm by e-mailing suzanne.owen@port.ac.uk whether or not you will be attending. An early response would be appreciated since we need to organise the catering. I look forward to seeing you at the conference. Regards, Richard Greenwood (Chair of URDC)