Engaging with the University’s research community to work together to enhance research culture and support is a key aim of the Doctoral College. To do this we facilitated two ‘Have Your Say’ sessions; the first focusing on ‘Building a Positive Research Culture’, the second on ‘Supporting PGR Reps’. These sessions brought together postgraduate researchers (PGRs), early career researchers (ECRs), academics and Student Union representatives, allowing them the opportunity to work as a community to shape the direction of future Doctoral College. As a result of the feedback we have received through these sessions, we are moving forward on the following actions:
- Continue to develop a mixture of face-to-face and virtual support ensuring access to training/support and a researcher community to all PGRs/ECRs.
- Identify areas of specific expertise to support PGR and ECR development across the university and share this with those in other departments/faculties.
- Clarify the role of ECR and PGR reps, increasing the recognition and value, as well as support for these positions. To do this we are working closely with the Student Union and the Surrey Research Staff Association.
- Create a culture that values PGR and ECR contributions. To do so we are starting a campaign to celebrate PGR and ECR accomplishments on Twitter. (Please let us know what we can celebrate with you!)
- Ensure the Doctoral College to gives equal status to ECRs sharing thoughts and experiences as to PGRs and Academics.
- Create a SurreyLearn course, supporting all incoming PGRs as a cohort, providing training, advice and guidance appropriate to their stage.
- Share good practice of cohort building within departments, working closely with PGR and ECR reps as well as PGR directors.
- Create high level University wide expectations of research culture, including recognition and value of researchers at all stages.
We plan to continue to engage with PGRs, ECRs, academic, as well as teaching and professional staff through these ‘Have Your Say’ sessions throughout the 2017/18 academic year. Our next session is Have Your Say: Supporting ECRs session on 20th November, which is now open for bookings. To register please email email@example.com.