During a research degree, different types of peer-support and community can be important in helping researchers to navigate their way through the PhD process and to provide motivation when things are difficult. A community is also important in helping researchers to develop subject-specific networks and establish their professional identity.
The PGR Service at Glasgow are interested in what we as a University, as well as Graduate Schools, Schools, research groups or other structures, can do to facilitate this. We want to better understand what research students need in terms of community or peer-support and how we can ensure that it is accessible to all types of student.
- We carried out a project during Spring / Summer 2017, involving focus groups and interviews with current research students, as well as speaking to other institutions in the UK and internationally to try to find out what things make a positive or negative difference to an individual's experience of the PGR community and whether there are things we can learn from and implement practically as a University. This project was funded by the QAA Scotland and the final reports from this project are available from their website.
- We also participated in a dissemination event run by QAA on the outcomes of their broader PGR Experience project with colleagues from around Scotland. This event allowed us to share good practice on a wide range of initiatives related to research students and how institutions support their experience and development.
- On 22 June 2017, RSIO organised an event on campus to disseminate the results of the QAA project and invite discussion with our own broader community of academics, support services and students. A short report of this event is available here: 22 June PGR Communities Event Report
- On 24 August 2017, RSIO organised a further event on campus. A short report of this event is available here: PGR Experience Event Report - 24 August 2017