D9 - Pastoral support for PGRs: issues, solutions and peer-led initiatives

Day 2 at 13:45 - Pastoral support for PGRs: issues, solutions and peer-led initiatives
Day Day 2
Session D
Start time 13:45
Strand Postgraduate Research
Code D9

Laura Hutchinson - Graduate School Manager (Researcher Development), Northumbria University

Dr Kathryn North - Researcher Developent Manager, Loughborough University

Jordan Dawson - Postgraduate Researcher, Loughborough University

Andrew Rowe - Postgraduate Researcher, Loughborough University

Workshop Outline

It is often assumed that the first point of call for PhD students facing pastoral problems is their supervisory team, another member of department staff or perhaps their University’s Student Services. However, there are a myriad of reasons why students may feel uncomfortable seeking help from these places – so where do they turn for help? In this workshop we explore the types of non-academic issues faced by research students, barriers to them seeking help, and examples of current practice in the sector. We share examples of student led initiatives, including the PhD Support Network (@LboroPhDSN), recently established by Loughborough University postgraduate researchers and Doctoral Dilemmas at Northumbria University. The PhD SN offers a peer-led scheme for signposting support services at the University and a safe space for non-academic discussion, Doctoral Dilemmas is a lunchtime workshop led by students. We consider the role peer-led schemes can play in enriching support, and discuss how Universities and Vitae might provide a route to a national initiative for accessible, non-academic support for PGRs. 

Prepare for the boot to be on the other foot, as the PhD support network founder members are running the show!

Workshop Topics:

  • The pastoral support needs of doctoral students
  • Examples of current practice in HEIs, such as PhD Support Network at Loughborough and Doctoral Dilemmas at Northumbria
  • An opportunity to explore and develop other schemes to improve pastoral support for PGRs, locally and nationally

Workshop Aims:

  • An increased understanding of non-academic issues faced by doctoral communities
  • Sharing of current practice to support doctoral researchers across institutions, and institutional and cultural barriers to accessing this kind of support
  • Exploring potential solutions to address pastoral issues at a local level
  • Offer an insight into the examples of current practice