Service Level Description

Doctoral College

The University of Exeter Doctoral College stimulates, supports and sustains a vibrant research and intellectual environment across and between disciplines for postgraduate and early career researchers. Bringing together services for PGRs from recruitment to graduation, the Doctoral College provides the institutional lead to deliver an outstanding experience for those in the early stages of their research careers and the colleagues that work with them.

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Key deliverables for 2018/19

  • Work closely with Admissions to design and deliver a unified PGR admissions service that delivers effective application and admissions processes & systems that support a high quality experienec for prospective students, & Professional Services and academic staff.
    (a) Close the gap towards the target turnaround time of 20 working days for 60% of postgraduate researchers applications within 2 years;
    (b) Close the gap between planned and achieved intake numbers;
    (c) Deliver a standardised admissions form to support offer making, ensure supervisory panel is in accordance with TQA and to confirm that the project scope can be completed within the appropriate timeframe; 
    (d) Co-create, with the International Student recruitment team, campaigns directed at 5 key sponsors. 
  • Deliver the recommendations of the Sustainable Growth papers approved by VCEG in April 2018
    (a) Establish and promote a suite of inter-disciplinary degree titles for 2019 entry across relevant Colleges;
    (b) Develop a full business case for the Distance Learning PhD for consideration by VCEG or delegated committee; 
    (c) Create a framework for GTA scholarships which will support the needs of disciplines for teaching capacity and student recruitment.
  • Develop, with PPBI, an appropriate and consistent dataset that provides the evidence base for recruitment, quality assurance and strategic decision making.
  • Build on the current work with ECR Forums to improve the research and working cultures for ECRs as measured by CROS and Employee Engagement Survey data.
  • Develop, with Global Partnerships and TQAE, an improved process for enabling international PGR partnerships. 

Service provided

  • Lifecycle administration for all PGR students from recruitment, through progression to examination and award
  • Researcher development and research culture programmes and opportunities across all Colleges and campuses, focussed on postgraduate and early career researchers 
  • Management of PGR partnerships and externally-funded studentships, including through the university's participation in doctoral training partnerships and engagement with other major stakeholders. 

Service users

  • College DoPGRs, DTEs, individual academics, Global Advancement and Individual students and supervisors
  • Individual PGRs and ECRs. Cohort training for DTEs.
  • RS and IIB staff, academic leads, funder strategy groups, ADRs and College management

What we strive for

As articulated in the Doctoral College Service Delivery Statement, we strive to:

  • Provide a robust and timely service to all academics and prospective and current students for the purpose of recruiting and retaining increasing numbers of high quality PGR students
    See sections: PGR Recruitment and Admissions; PGR Support for current student and academic staff; and Quality Assurance and continuous improvement
  • Work with colleges to develop stretching targets and strategic plans for recruitment of high-quality PGR students in home and international markets.
    See section: Academic College level strategy, policy and planning
  • Develop a working environment and researcher training and development programme for postgraduate and early career researchers that is acknowledged as a model of excellence
    See section: Researcher Development and Research Culture for PGRs and ECRs
  • Support the diversification of funding sources for studentships through RCUK funding opportunities, targeted international recruitment, industry sponsorship and philanthropic giving.
    See section: Doctoral Partnerships

Key contacts

Leadership team

NamePosition
Prof Andrew McRae Dean of Postgraduate Research and of the Doctoral College       
Prof Kim Soin Associate Dean of Postgraduate Research and of the Doctoral College  
Drs. Astrid Wissenburg Director of Research
Emma Stephenson Research Services Assistant Director (Doctoral College)

Other contacts

PositionContact for?
PGR Support Managers and Officers
PGR Recruitment Manager
R&DC BPs
Lifecycle administration for all PGR students from recruitment, through progression to examination and award
Head of Researcher Development and Research Culture        
Quality Development Manager
Researcher development and research culture programmes and opportunities across all Colleges and campuses
DP Managers To increase the number of externally-funded studentships through the university's participation in doctoral training partnerships and engagement with other major stakeholders.