Avril Manners Shaping the Twenty-First Century Doctorate: Learning

Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
Shaping the Twenty-First Century Doctorate:
Learning from international practice
Avril Manners
Director, SUPA Graduate School
SUPA Universities
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
The Graduate School
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
Who we are
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
What we do
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
Technical Courses across themes
Astronomy / Space Physics
Condensed Matter & Materials Physics
Nuclear and Plasma Physics
Particle Physics
Physics and Life Sciences
Core Skills
Workshops, Summer Schools,
Meetings, Distinguished Visitors
International ‘Exchanges’
ļ¶Prize Studentships
Video Conferencing
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
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Share a question
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Course News
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useful article
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Arrange course
night out
What is next
lecture about?
Minimum Requirements
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
Every SUPA PhD student is required to
complete a minimum of
• 40 hours of lectures + coursework and
assessment of technical studies
• 20 hours or 4 days of core skills
in the first 2 years of their PhD
Note – Some Themes set a higher recommended level
SUPA International AC
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
‘UK students need more formal training
in their research areas if they are to be
competitive with students from the USA
and continental Europe’
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
International Review
‘Overall we believe that the SUPA
Graduate School is moving in the right
direction to provide a training which is
competitive at the World level’
SFC Review
‘The Graduate School is exceeding
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
Scottish Higher Education
Enhancement Committee (SHEEC)
International Benchmarking
Shaping the Twenty-First Century Doctorate:
Learning from international practice
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
The overall purpose of the 21st Century doctorate work was:
• to support those working in research doctoral degrees in the
sector, and to identify and share national practice which will
support the sector in doing this
• to identify, and help the sector in comparing with and learning
from international practice (including the rest of the UK) in
research doctoral degrees
• to establish a range of useful resources, contacts and links for
institutions, Students’ Associations and practitioners
• to ultimately enhance the doctoral research student experience
Working Group
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
• IBWG representative of all Scottish HEIs
and supporting agencies
• IBWG has drawn widely on practice that
support and enhance the research
student experience including frameworks
for safeguarding academic standards
and quality
Six Chapters
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
Ch 1 Background, rationale and methodology. Growth. Broadening by
international collaborations. Student mobility.
Ch 2 General support. Feedback. PT and international students.
Ch 3 Academic standards, QA and review. Policy and guidance
frameworks. Scottish Enhancement-led Institutional Review (ELIR).
International QA systems.
Ch 4 Critical mass and diversity – GS models, CDTs and POOLS.
Ch 5 Skills development in the UK. RDF. Teachers, entrepreneurship,
management and professional skills.
Ch 6 Summarises main findings and points of interest.
The report is not prescriptive but a resource for HEIs from which
to adopt and adapt relevant practices.
IBWG Recommendations 1
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
1. institutions take a strategic approach to attracting home students to
doctoral programmes, including consideration of diverse modes of study
and sponsorship
2. all Scottish institutions take part in the Postgraduate Research
Experience Survey (PRES) or conduct a similar satisfaction survey of
their postgraduate research student (PGR) population and that the
results are aggregated to provide quantitative evidence
3. to encourage Scottish university participation in joint international PhD
programmes, Scottish higher education institutions (HEIs) collaborate to
form a central resource providing funding, advice and draft agreements,
drawing on experience elsewhere
4. all Scottish institutions provide research communication programmes for
international PGRs and accessible support, both academic and nonacademic, for international students and their families
5. there is a need to be more proactive and structured about how academic
standards and the quality of doctoral programmes are reviewed,
internally and externally
IBWG Recommendations 2
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
6. it is timely to have a review of qualification titles at doctoral level, using
the doctoral qualifications descriptor and Scottish Credit and
Qualifications Framework (SCQF)
7. it would be useful for Scottish HEIs to consider a coordinated approach
to initial and supplementary supervisor training that all supervisors are
expected to engage in
8. Scottish institutions may benefit from a review of existing graduate
schools and doctoral training centres, so as to optimise their
effectiveness and reduce any duplication of effort
9. all Scottish institutions awarding research degrees have in place a
teaching preparation programme drawing on best practice in the rest of
the UK and overseas, which PGRs begin, and if possible complete,
before they begin teaching
10. to assist doctoral graduates in the transition to the next step in their
careers, Scottish institutions develop opportunities for postgraduate
internships and affiliate programmes, drawing on best practice in the rest
of the UK and internationally
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
SFC is restoring the £3 million reductions in Research Pooling
made in AY 2011-12.
The funding will be restored to each pool on condition that it is used to facilitate early
career researchers’ exchanges with business and industry, both within Scotland and
Each pool will be required to outline how it proposes to use these funds to enhance the
employability, entrepreneurial skills and leadership abilities of early career
researchers through the exchanges.
The funds will complement those already offered by the Scottish Government to raise
the international profile of the research pools and to allow the pools to support
exchanges of an extended duration, increasing the likelihood of lasting engagement
with industry. Where appropriate, placements into organisations responsible for public
policy development will be permitted.
This will allow the pools to address a number of the areas identified by the Scottish
Government Cabinet Secretary in his letter of guidance and in Putting Learners at the
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
Thank you for your attention
Any questions?