Give your views on the future of postgraduate research training

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Those with an interest in postgraduate research training are invited to help shape future provision, as part of a major call for input launched by UKRI today.

The new deal for postgraduate research is a long-term piece of work that is seeking to improve the experience and quality of postgraduate research training in the UK.

In this engagement exercise, we are focusing primarily on doctoral training (for example, working towards a PhD), but we welcome comments on other research-focused training and qualifications.

Delivering on the R&D people and culture strategy

The cross-sector consultation will support the government’s ambitions as set out in its research and development (R&D) people and culture strategy last July.

The new deal for postgraduate research will:

  • consider how postgraduate research students are supported and developed, practically and financially
  • consider how best to prepare postgraduate research students for rewarding careers, and address factors that contribute to precarity in early career research
  • enable a more diverse range of people to consider careers in research
  • consider how to attract and retain talented people within the sector and support the flow of people and ideas in the R&D system across the world.

Who can respond

We welcome responses from anyone interested or involved in postgraduate research training in the UK, either as an individual, organisation or group.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • current, previous and prospective postgraduate research students
  • supervisors
  • staff supporting research training
  • university mission groups
  • representative bodies, funders
  • employers
  • universities
  • others with an interest in postgraduate research training.

For the purposes of this exercise, by ‘universities’ we mean all higher education providers.

We welcome responses from and about all postgraduate research training in the UK, irrespective of their funding source.

Helping to shape a new deal

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Chief Executive Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser said:

We want to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to contribute to the conversation about the future of postgraduate research training in the UK.

This consultation will help to shape a new deal for postgraduate research, working with partners across the research and innovation system.

UKRI will review all responses received and publish a summary of the findings.

Wider programme of work

This consultation is part of a wider programme of activities seeking views on the new deal work.

Many postgraduate research students, supervisory teams, grant holders and employers have already provided input through, for example:

  • Economic and Social Research Council’s ‘Review of the PhD in the social sciences’
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) ‘Review of EPSRC-funded doctoral education’
  • UK Council of Graduate Education’s ‘UK research supervision survey’, which was supported by UKRI and the Wellcome Trust.

Engaging with stakeholders

UKRI is also engaging with a wide range of stakeholders through other means. This includes, for example, the upcoming engagement on the future of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s doctoral provision.

View the new deal for postgraduate research for further information on:

  • the government’s strategies
  • the new deal for postgraduate research students
  • projects supporting the work.

Take part in the consultation on the Engagement Hub.

Top image:  Credit: PeopleImages, Getty Images

This is the integrated website of the seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK.
Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help us test new developments.