UCL Graduate School changes

30 April 2014

The UCL Graduate School has been in existence for twenty years and has delivered significant benefits to UCL, in particular allowing UCL to lead on the provision of an enhanced, broader training experience for research students. The 2011 UCL Research Strategy highlighted the importance of doctoral education within research activity, and the importance of a distinctive high-quality UCL experience intended to develop research leaders and prepare students for various career pathways that would draw on their research experience.

A number of changes are being made with the following drivers:

  • UCL has placed greater emphasis on the role of faculties in planning, and the management of the institution
  • Other areas of UCL have undergone change, and now offer services within which activities undertaken by the Graduate School could sit, with advantages of economies of scale, expertise, and critical mass
  • Nationally and at UCL, research ethics and integrity issues have taken a much higher profile and it is proposed that this responsibility should move to Student and Registry Services to sit alongside other similar processes
  • The Office of the Vice-Provost Research has grown and taken on a central and very successful role in developing, implementing and evaluating UCL’s research strategy and the Graduate School should sit within it.
  • There is a clear expectation on the part of funding bodies and others that universities will have a Graduate/Doctoral School that can take a lead on ensuring that their expectations for breadth and quality of training experience are met. Thus, the need in this regard is primarily for a central function which can take on external representation, the development and monitoring of policy and strategy, and to encourage cross-disciplinary interactions.

The Graduate School will be renamed Doctoral School. The role of the Head of the Doctoral School will be incorporated within the Office of the Vice-Provost (Research) and will be renamed Pro-Provost of the Doctoral School. The Pro-Provost and team will focus on the development of institutional strategy to produce the best research student experience, liaison with external bodies (including research councils and LERU), evaluation of plans and delivery by other units, and overseeing some central funding for cross-disciplinary activity. Direct delivery of most other functions will be devolved to other units. The doctoral school will focus exclusively on research students (PhD, MPhil, MD(Res), MRes, EngD and other professional doctorates).

Rex Knight, Vice-Provost (Operations)

David Price, Vice-Provost (Research)

David Bogle, Head of the Graduate School/Pro-Provost (Doctoral School)