Workshop: Supervising Postgraduate Students

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Transcript Workshop: Supervising Postgraduate Students

Welcome to Induction for Research Postgrads

Professor John Breen Dean, Graduate School

Today: morning

• • • • • • • Introduction (me!) Research Design & Methods (Dr Jill Pearson) Quantitative methods & The role of the Statistical Consultancy Unit (Dr Jean Saunders) Student Wellbeing (Dr Declan Aherne) Health & Safety (Philip Thornton) Careers (Elaine Kiely) Use of Library and Information Services (Aoife Geraghty)

Today: afternoon

• • • • UL Writing Centre Guide to UL regulations for PGRs (Michael Frain) Planning for Best Practice in Research (JB) Open Forum Discussion (chaired by JB)

Enjoy the campus!

• • • • • Use the facilities Sports - Arena Concert hall – UCH Irish world music centre Arts  Irish Chamber Orchestra  National self portrait gallery  Hunt museum (UL Shannon)  Other art galleries

Today …

• • • • • • • Intro to UL Graduate School Nature of research degree Why more PhDs???

Managing expectations … yours and the university’s Role and responsibilities of researchers Good research practice: working with your supervisor(s) Research Training and Supports

UL Graduate School

• • Is your one stop shop for everything to do with your Postgraduate Research Experience at UL From applications, admissions, monitoring your progress, training courses, thesis submission, examination … examination board

Graduate School is responsible for …

• • • • • • • Research & taught postgraduate strategy, procedures, regulations Postgraduate recruitment & advertizing Postgraduate admissions Advice on Postgraduate funding / scholarships Postgraduate infrastructure / desk space Faculty & student induction & training Management of the thesis submission process

Who does what?

• • • • • John Breen Dean Graduate Studies Michael Frain Anne O’Dwyer Graduate Administrator Research Training Coordinator Marie Beaumont Administration (Thesis submission) Sinéad Cooney Research Postgraduate Admissions

Why more PhD graduates?

• • • Your country needs you! Building Ireland’s Smart Economy (2008) Number of researchers per 1000 population: Ireland 14 th of 30 OECD countries Targets:  SET:  HSS:  UL: 543 (2005)  997 (2013) 187 (2005)  315 (2013) 67 (2005)  134 (2013) – all PhDs

Kinds of PhDs

• • • • • Minimum 3 year programme  Average in UL is 4.2 years “Traditional model”: single supervisor per postgrad Increasing trend towards more joint and team supervision Added value: Personal Development Planning, generic transferable skills, planning a research-based career So: moving towards …

Fourth level Ireland

• • Structured PhD programmes (4 years)  Taught modules early in the programme, beginning of the project, then  3 years research programme leading to PhD thesis You will hear of “Greps”  G raduate R esearch E ducation P rogramme s  Name used by IRCSET / IRCHSS for structured PhD programmes

Four years, not for years!

• • • Experience in a number of countries is that >5 years there is a sharp decline in finishing rates UL recent average completion time is 4.2 years 4 years is a realistic goal – but remember your funding situation may be for 3 years!


• • • • Hope you are funded If not: check possibilities for the research councils  (Science, Engineering, Tech)  (Humanities, Social Sciences) Some get funded after Year 1: Grad School organizes advisory sessions A few UL scholarships may help: call in May

IRCHSS: check it out now!

• • • Call is open at present. Closes 11 th January Does offer funding to PGRs who are currently registered Briefing session yesterday: presentation on GS website

The Nature of a Research Degree

• • Observation: a masters or PhD dissertation is probably the largest piece of work you have ever faced and it can be daunting Implications: have to think about to approach a large piece of work  Planning and preparation are critical to success  Establishing a good working relationship with your supervisor(s)

What is a Masters/PhD?

• • Masters “…must show evidence of independent enquiry and/or originality in either conclusions or method” PhD should “…show evidence of independent enquiry, originality in the methods used and/or in the conclusions drawn and must make an appreciable new contribution to knowledge or thinking in the candidate’s field.” Academic Regulations.


• • • • Managing expectations: yours and ours Ethics and Governance Planning your research strategy Acquiring the necessary skills

So, for now

Thank you!