D2 - Understanding how HEIs recruit and select PGR students

Day 2 at 13:45 - Why do universities have PGRs (i.e. students on PhD and other doctoral programmes)? Do they want more or less of them in future? How do they go about attracting potential PGRs to apply, and then how do they select between those applicants?
Although anecdotal answers to questions like these are commonplace, relatively little research has been focused on how the PGR market operates, at least in comparison with the undergraduate, PGT or international student markets.
HEFCE commissioned CRAC to lead a research project to depict the complex and diverse landscape of PGR recruitment and selection, principally exploring it through the perspectives of English HEIs. The research is being launched by HEFCE at this conference, and this workshop provides an insight into what it found.
Day Day 2
Session D
Start time 13:45
Strand Postgraduate Research
Code D2

Dr Robin Mellors-Bourne - Director of Research, CRAC

Prof Helen Thomas - Director of Doctoral Programmes, University of the Arts, London

This session will cover:

  • Why institutions recruit PGRs strategically and how they see this changing in future;
  • Practically how they attract PGRs and whether this results in a diverse PGR cohort;
  • What constitutes ‘quality’ in selecting between applicants and how this is changing;
  • The impact of collaborative doctoral training structures;
  • Case studies of different approaches to PGR recruitment.

Participants will:

  • Gain an insight into national trends, strategically and operationally;
  • Observe some current institutional approaches to PGR recruitment;
  • Consider where their own institution’s strategy and practice are positioned in this landscape.


Information, interaction and discussion.

Participants will be welcome to share examples of interesting or innovative practice, not covered in the research.