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New Supervisor Workshop. Graduate Research Office. The Research Office. Research Office. Funding Support. Research Excellence. Graduate Research Office (GRO). New Supervisor Workshop. What is a research degree and how much work is involved Who can be a supervisor

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New supervisor workshop

New Supervisor Workshop

Graduate Research Office


The research office

The Research Office

Research Office

Funding Support

Research Excellence

Graduate Research

Office (GRO)


New supervisor workshop1

New Supervisor Workshop

  • What is a research degree and how much work is involved

  • Who can be a supervisor

  • Student/supervisor expectations

  • Overview of research student journey

  • Complaints and appeals (case studies)


Facts and figures

Facts and figures

  • The University has ~ 500 research students

  • 65% are part-time

  • 80% are either self-funded or funded by their governments or institutions

  • ~10% are externally funded by Research Councils or EU

  • ~10% are staff members


What is a research degree

What is a research degree?

  • Number of different research awards offered and types of submission

    • MA / MSc by Research (Thesis)

    • MPhil (Thesis or portfolio)

    • PhD (Thesis, portfolio or publication)

    • Professional Doctorates


Masters versus doctorate

Masters versus Doctorate

  • Level 7 rather than level 8

  • Shorter completion time (1-1.5yr, FT)

  • Shorter dissertation length

    • 25,000 words for Masters by Research

    • 40,000 words for PhD in Science, Engineering and Design

    • 80,000 words for PhD in Arts and Social Sciences

  • Less emphasis on originality


What do you need to demonstrate to pass

What do you need to demonstrate to pass?

A doctoral degree(PhD or Professional Doctorate) shall be awarded to a candidate who has demonstrated the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, through original research or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication. The candidate shall demonstrate a detailed understanding of appropriate research methods and their application to the chosen field and present and defend a thesis of appropriate literary standard (or alternative form of submission where appropriate), by oral examination to the satisfaction of examiners.


Extracts from external examiner preliminary reports

Extracts from external examiner preliminary reports...

  • Theoretically sophisticated and innovative in its thinking…

  • The research question and approach are clearly set out from the start...develops a critical contribution to the extant body of knowledge specifically via new insights offered by the research methods employed

  • A unique focus...the thesis is well written, carefully referenced, critically argued and some very pertinent conclusions are drawn from the primary source material upon which the author has drawn


What do you need to demonstrate to pass1

What do you need to demonstrate to pass?

A research degree at Masters levelshall be awarded to a candidate who has critically investigated and evaluated an approved topic and demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge. The candidate shall demonstrate a detailed understanding of appropriate research methods and their application to the chosen field, and present and defend a thesis of an appropriate literary standard (or alternative form of submission where appropriate), by oral examination to the satisfaction of examiners.


How not to get a phd

How not to get a PhD...

  • Not wanting a PhD

  • Not understanding the nature of a PhD by overestimating what is required

  • Not understanding the nature of a PhD by underestimating what is required

  • Not having a supervisor who know what a PhD requires

  • Losing contact with your supervisor

  • Not having a thesis

  • Taking a new job before finishing

    Phillips’ and Pugh’s ‘How to Get a PhD’


Who can be a supervisor

Who can be a supervisor?

  • A research student has one main supervisor (Director of Studies) who will be part of a supervisory team

  • Supervisors must be research active and have relevant expertise

  • The team will usually have a combined experience of supervising at least 2 candidates to successful completionand a significant research and publication record in the field


The ideal supervisor

The ideal supervisor

  • Interested in their student’s research

  • Available to discuss their conclusions and ideas

  • Able to provide feedback on their progress

  • Able to provide feedback on their written work

  • Encourages them to participate in group meetings, seminars and occasional conferences

  • Developing their professional research qualities by example

  • Administrative responsibilities properly and promptly addressed


Days work available to do a phd within a 3 yr period

Days work available to do a PhD within a 3-yr period

Days available

  • 1st Oct 2010 to 30th June 20141003

  • Less approx 150 weekends719

  • Less 6 weeks holiday and visits home634

  • Less 5% for illness and accidents602

  • Less allowance for family events, religious

    festivals, hospital and dentist572

  • Less tutorial work/laboratory supervisions

    (assuming 6 hours/weeks for 25 weeks plus prep and marking)497

  • Less contingencies (5%)472

    So a full-time PhD student has less than 500 days to complete on time!

    John Wakeford, Missenden Centre


Other academic demands

Other academic demands...

  • Planning and preparing taught modules

  • Teaching at UG/PG level

  • Marking coursework and exam questions

  • Carrying out own research

  • Writing research papers and grants

  • Attending conferences

  • Attending departmental meetings

  • Serving on University committees

  • Admin

  • Social life, home and family time and much more...


The ideal postgraduate researcher

The ideal postgraduate researcher

  • Contacts their supervisor and updates them on progress regularly

  • Produces ideas for discussion

  • Participates in group meetings, seminars and occasional conferences

  • Meets agreed deadlines for research targets

  • Is committed to gaining their PhD


Overview of research student journey

Overview of research student journey

  • Registration

  • Progress monitoring

  • Re-enrolment

  • Transferring from MPhil to PhD

  • The examination system

    • Appointment of examiners

    • Submission and examination of thesis

    • Oral defence of thesis at viva

    • Outcome of the examination

  • Award of research degree


Registration

Registration

  • Masters by Research

    • 12-18 months FT / 2-3 yrs PT

  • MPhil

    • 2 yrs FT / 3-4 yrs PT

  • PhD

    • 3 yrs FT / 4-6 yrs PT

  • Applications for changes to registration should be submitted to the Graduate Research Office usingform R5


Progress monitoring

Progress monitoring

  • Regular meetings with students at least once a month

  • Progress monitored at faculty level annually and graded A-D where A = Excellent and D = Unsatisfactory


Attendance engagement monitoring tier 4 students

Attendance & engagement monitoring (Tier 4 students)

  • Copies of passport & visa at enrolment

  • Attendance monitoring weekly (scanning of ID card)

  • Engagement monitoring monthly via Director of Studies


Overview of research student journey1

Overview of research student journey

  • Registration

  • Progress monitoring

  • Re-enrolment

  • Transferring from MPhil to PhD*

  • The examination system

    • Appointment of examiners

    • Submission and examination of thesis

    • Oral defence of thesis at viva

    • Outcome of the examination

  • Award of research degree

    * Should occur around 12 months FT or 15-21 months PT


Transfer from mphil to phd

Transfer from MPhil to PhD

  • Transfer from MPhil to PhD is part of the research process

  • Regulations state that this is normally undertaken 9-15 months into the registration period (FT) or 12-18 months (PT); timetable may vary according to discipline.

  • Transfer is a 3-part process:

    • a form (R6)

    • a report (normally 3,000 – 6,000 words)

    • a transfer viva

  • Overseen by FRPC


Transfer from mphil to phd1

Transfer from MPhil to PhD

  • Nomination of 3 independent specialists

  • A member of FRPC will oversee process, read transfer document and nominate a specialist (who may not be one of the 3 originally nominated!)

  • Independent specialist may be internal or external and will be asked to comment on the report

  • The viva is usually conducted by the independent specialist in the presence of your supervisor


Examination system

Examination System

  • Examination arrangements must be approved by the University

  • The application for approval of examiners form (R7) should be submitted to RPSG at least 4 months prior to submission of the thesis

  • There are usually 2 examiners – at least 1 external examiner!*

    *For members of staff there are 3 examiners (2 external)


Who can be an examiner

Who can be an examiner?

  • Examination experience

  • Subject expertise

  • Independence

  • Demonstrably research active


Who can be a chair

Who can be a chair?

  • Research degree examination experience

  • Knowledge of the regulations

  • Independence


Role of the chair

Role of the Chair

…The candidate was most disappointed with the result and began to engage examiners in a discussion on his past/future supervision arrangements, which was unfortunately outside of the examination team’s remit. The Chair handled this very professionally and was able to explain correct procedures on how to revise and resubmit.


Examination

Examination

  • Thesis submitted to Graduate Research Office and sent out to examiners

  • Before viva, each examiner submits preliminary report on thesis (R8)

  • After viva, joint final report completed (R9)


Plagiarism and research degrees

Plagiarism and research degrees


Supervisor s role in the viva

Supervisor’s role in the viva

  • Conduct a mock viva to help students prepare for the real thing

  • Arrange the time and place

  • Inform the candidate, examiners, chair and GRO in advance

  • Can be present at the viva (if the student wishes)

  • May be helpful to take some extra notes for the student but should not interject


The examination outcome

The examination outcome

The examiners have 5 options:

  • The candidate be awarded the degree

  • The candidate be awarded the degree subject to amendments

  • The candidate be allowed to resubmit and be re-examined (with or without a viva)

  • The candidate is not awardedthe degree and is not permitted to be re-examined

  • In the case of a PhD examination, that the candidate be offered the degree of MPhil


What happens next

What happens next?


Round table discussion

Round table discussion

Complaints and appeals – you decide!


Case study 1

Case study 1

  • Sylvia was enrolled as a full-time PhD student.

  • Her Director of Studies left the University to take up another position and Sylvia was allocated a new Director of Studies.

  • Sylvia lacked direction and persevered with little or no supervision until she eventually submitted her thesis.

  • Sylvia’s examiners felt that her thesis lacked original contribution to knowledge and jointly recommended that she be offered an MPhil.

  • Sylvia appealed against the decision of examiners on the basis that she received poor supervision and support in the Faculty.

  • Should Sylvia’s appeal be upheld?


According to the regulations

According to the regulations:

Complaints regarding supervision cannot form the basis of an appeal against an examination decision


Case study 2

Case study 2

  • Margaret was a full-time PhD student.

  • Following her viva, the examiners jointly recommended that Margaret resubmit her thesis for re-examination which she did six months later.

  • Following her second viva, the examiners could not reach an agreement and the Research Programmes Sub Group upheld the decision of the external examiner not to award the PhD and to offer an MPhil.

  • Margaret appealed against the examination decision querying the decision of the RPSG.

  • Should Margaret’s appeal be upheld?


According to the regulations1

According to the regulations:

A candidate may not challenge academic judgement unless there is evidence of unfair or improper assessment


According to the regulations2

According to the regulations

Where examiners recommendations are not unanimous, RPSG may:

Accept a majority recommendation

Accept the recommendation of the external examiner

Require appointment of a new examiner


Graduate research office support

Graduate Research Office Support

  • Advice on regulations and procedures

  • Support from application through to award

  • Engage with academic staff to deliver calendar of events

  • Training for supervisors, examiners and viva chairs

    http://gro.glam.ac.uk


Questions

Questions?


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