Academic Manual

Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School

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Duties and Responsibilities of the Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School

Contact: David Price, Vice-Provost (Research)

Policy

The Doctoral School is committed to ensuring that the quality of research training at UCL is at the highest international level and that research students and supervisors work in a high quality research training environment that develops creative rigorous researchers for academic and non-academic research careers nationally and internationally.

The Doctoral School oversees the development of strategy for doctoral education at UCL, oversees the standards of doctoral education and the academic and non-academic units providing support to doctoral students - for example through the Code of Practice for Graduate Research Degrees, the Doctoral Skills Development Programme, the Research Student Log, training and support of supervisors - to ensure that:

  • UCL continues to be at the forefront of doctoral education and research
  • UCL provides a suitable environment to enhance the student experience through personal and academic development

Through courses, inter-disciplinary programmes, and scholarships the Doctoral School aims to encourage research students to look beyond the boundaries of their chosen discipline, as well as sharing and broadening knowledge across disciplines through societies and competitions.

The Pro-Vice-Provost leads the Doctoral School, focusing on the development of institutional strategy, and liaison with external bodies including Research Councils and LERU, evaluation of plans and delivery by other units. In order to ensure a linked approach to research students and research strategy, the Pro-Vice-Provost is expected to work closely with the Vice-Provost (Research).  It is UCL's wish that the high quality of doctoral education at UCL is maintained and enhanced, and widely promoted both within the UK and internationally, and the Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School is also expected to work closely with the Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs).  The remit of the Pro-Vice-Provost covers all research degrees at UCL: PhD, MPhil, EngD, Professional Doctorates, MRes and MD(Res).

1. Reporting and working relationships

1.1 The Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School is responsible to the Vice-Provost (Research) for the organisation and general conduct of the Doctoral School.

1.2 As ex-officio Chair of the Doctoral Training Strategy Committee, the Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School will work in close consultation with the Vice-Provost (Research), Faculty Deans and Faculty Graduate Tutors to ensure that Faculty plans and delivery of support for research students realise strategic aims and policies.

1.3 As ex-officio Chair of the Research Degrees Committee, the Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School will work in close consultation with the Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs) as Chair of Education Committee.

1.4 The Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School will maintain close working relationships with the officers of the following areas of UCL in particular:

  • Faculty Deans and Faculty Graduate Tutors
  • Departmental, Divisional and Research Department Heads and Departmental Graduate Tutors
  • Student and Registry Services
  • UCL Student Mediator
  • Arena Centre for Research-based Education
  • Organisational Development
  • UCL Careers
  • Communications and Marketing (CAM)
  • Development and Alumni Relations (DARO)
  • Public Engagement Unit

2. Resource Management and Academic Development

2.1 Reporting to the Vice-Provost (Research), the Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School will:

2.1.2 develop a vision for the UCL research student experience (building on the ambitions of UCL 2034, Research Strategy and other UCL strategies), and define the most appropriate model for research training which reflects the various and different needs across UCL;

2.1.3 oversee the formulation of a strategy for the development of early career research staff;

2.1.4 work with the Deans of Faculties to assist them in developing and implementing the research student and early career research staff component of their Strategic Plans; and provide a forum for evaluation of Faculty and Professional Services Divisions plans and effectiveness in the support of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers;

2.1.5 keep under review the changing nature of doctoral provision and of market demand, and develop strategies in relation thereto;

2.1.6 support the Vice-Provost (Research) in responsibility for ensuring that coherent bids are submitted to funding agencies to maximize the number of PhD awards won by UCL (by working with School Research Facilitators, Deans, etc.), and oversee effective progress of Doctoral Training Centres and Doctoral Training Partnerships supported by either external or internal funding;

2.1.7 oversee scholarship and bursary provision for incoming and continuing graduates, including Overseas Research Scheme awards and DTA/CTA training accounts and seek to increase all such provision; work with the office of the Vice-Provost (Research) to help coordinate and facilitate the development and management of Research Council, Charity, and European Commission Doctoral Training schemes and other schemes for international students;

2.1.8 work with appropriate UCL Officers to develop and review the UCL Scholarship Strategy;

2.1.9 seek to improve space and facilities available to research students at UCL;

2.1.10 define, implement and regularly review the achievement of aims and objectives for the Doctoral School;

2.1.11 be responsible for the annual budget of the Doctoral School: develop, implement and regularly review a financial strategy for the Doctoral School;

2.1.12 represent and seek to strengthen the identity of the Doctoral School both within and outside UCL by (1) contributing to strategic input within UCL; (2) contributing to strategic input to the UK Research Councils and other funding agencies; (3) overseeing the continuing development of the Doctoral School Web presence, and provision of events for Doctoral students;

2.2 In consultation with the Vice-Provost (Research) and the UCL officers concerned, the Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School will:

2.2.1 oversee the strategy for and provision of the Doctoral Skills Development Programme.  The Organisational Development Unit of HR are responsible to the Pro-Vice-Provost for the operational delivery of the programme for Doctoral Students and will report to the role holder at regular intervals via the Doctoral Training Board (of whom the Pro-Vice-Provost is the ex officio Chair); the Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School will also oversee the strategy for  the development of postdoctoral staff;

2.2.2 oversee the convening of the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network and OD operational delivery of the coordinated shared skills provision across the network, and web presence including a web-based registration system for this network;

2.2.3 represent UCL at relevant national and international workshops, seminars and conferences relevant to doctoral education and provision (e.g. League of European Research Universities, European Universities Association, Vitae, UK Council for Graduate Education, etc.);

2.2.4 provide leadership and maintain oversight on standards of doctoral supervision and examining, in liaison with the Arena Centre for Research-based Education, and developing UCL’s supervisor community;

2.2.5 liaise with the Vice-Provost (International) in relation to international doctoral exchange.

3. Administration

Committee membership

3.1 The Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School will be:

3.1.1 ex officio a member of the Academic Committee;

3.1.2 ex officio Chair of the Doctoral Training Strategy Committee;

3.1.3 ex officio Chair of the Research Degrees Committee;

3.1.4 an Appointed member of the Academic Board;

3.1.5 ex officio a member of such other standing committees reporting to the Academic Committee or sub-groups thereof as may be agreed in consultation with those standing committees or sub-groups;

3.1.6 ex officio a member of any other UCL standing committee as may be agreed in consultation with those standing committees;

3.1.7 chair UCL Research Student Grievance Panels.

Student and Registry Services

3.2 The Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School will authorise the Suspension of Research Degree Regulations and advise the Registrar and other officers of Student and Registry Services on the Regulations and Procedures for Research Students, student records, recruitment and admission of research students, students carrying out research at external institutions and the administration of scholarship funds for research students.

Promoting good practice in, and support for, the research student experience

3.3 The Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School will:

3.3.1 oversee the development by ISD of the Research Student Log;

3.3.2 oversee the development and regular review of the Doctoral School Code of Practice for Graduate Research Degrees;

3.3.3 oversee the development and regular review of the Doctoral School Handbook;

3.3.4 oversee the development and regular review by Student and Registry Services of the UCL induction programme for new doctoral students;

3.3.5 support the activities of the UCL Union Postgraduate Association;

3.3.6 oversee the implementation of biennial on-line surveys of research and publish the feedback received on the Doctoral School’s web site;

3.3.7 liaise with the UCL Student Mediator in relation to doctoral student difficulties;

3.3.8 ensure close liaison with UCL Careers specifically in relation to doctoral students;

3.3.9 encourage and oversee the funding of graduate student academic societies.

September 2017