A2 - Understanding and enhancing researcher development using the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey

Day 1 at 12:00 - Asking postgraduate researchers for feedback on their development as researchers is a vital step in understanding and enhancing that development. The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) ran in 122 institutions in spring 2013, and was answered by a record 48,401 postgraduate researchers. The survey was significantly redesigned for 2013 to bring it right up-to-date, with much greater emphasis on the research and professional skills that postgraduate researchers develop during their programmes and the opportunities they have for doing so. The workshop provided an opportunity to find out about the latest results from PRES, discussions were had as to what they could tell us about researcher development, and the workshop explored the ways in which survey information can contribute to informing enhancements to the experiences of postgraduate researchers. Strand - Postgraduate researcher.
Day Day 1
Session A
Start time 12:00
Strand Postgraduate researcher
Code A2
Presenters Dr Paul Bennett - Head of Surveys, Higher Education Academy

This session covered:

  • key findings from the new PRES survey
  • discussion of the results, specifically around what they told us about postgraduate researchers experience of development (and what else we need to know)
  • consideration of how survey findings can best be used to inform and stimulate enhancements to researcher development.


  • gained awareness of the key findings from PRES 2013 and an understanding of their implications
  • gained an increased understanding of how surveying researchers can help drive enhancement, as well as the challenges involved
  • obtained specific ideas for using the results to inform enhancements to postgraduate researcher development


Information, interaction and discussion. Participation was welcomed from those who would like to provide feedback about their experiences with the survey, as well as those who wish to come along and find out more.