Skip to main content

PGR Research Culture & Community Seminar Programme: Home

Improving the Postgraduate Research Experience at the University of Hull

The PGR Research Culture and Community Seminar Programme at the University of Hull

We value our Postgraduate Researchers

"Our postgraduate researchers are at the very heart of our research culture here at the University of Hull. Your research projects build our research capabilities, and deliver exciting new findings and real-world impacts. Our postgraduate researchers also bring diverse skill-sets and experiences to the University community. Put simply, your research makes a difference to the University of Hull.”

Dr Briony McDonagh. Director of the Doctoral College.


We're listening to your feedback!

Each year the University takes part in national student surveys.  The annual survey for postgraduate researchers is called the PRES (Postgraduate Research Experience Survey).   This year, 2020 saw an overall reduction in the number of postgraduate researchers participating in the PRES nationally and also here at the University.  However, the issues raised by those of you who took part are still of great importance to us.  The University scored very favourably in many of the categories including Supervision, Research Skills, Progression and Resources.  However, you identified some areas where we need to make changes.  These changes will include:

Improving the research culture within the University by:

  • Providing PGRs with access to a good research seminar programme.
  • Providing frequent opportunities for PGRs to discuss their research with other researchers, including research students.
  • Providing a research community that stimulates our PGRs work environment. 
  • Making PGRs aware of the opportunities to become involved in the wider research community, beyond their department.

  Improving the non-research skills training and advice we provide by:

  • Supporting all PGRs to develop a personal training or development plan.
  • Providing more advice on PGR career options.
  • Providing opportunities to develop transferable skills.

  Improving the overall sense of PGR community by making our PGRs feel valued and by responding to your  feedback. 

The same problem areas were common across all faculties, departments, schools and research institutes. To this end, we have developed a new initiative called the 'PGR Research Culture and Community Seminar Programme'.  We will be piloting it over this academic year and we sincerely hope this will enable us to address most of the issues raised. For the foreseeable future, the seminars will all be online. 

The PGR Research Culture and Community Seminar Programme 

The programme will offer a coordinated series of monthly seminars run by each faculty and the research institutes where appropriate.  All departments will contribute to the content.  The topics covered will be dictated by you.  We will be taking your lead from your responses to this years' PRES and also from the recent survey we sent to you regarding this initiative. If you didn't respond to either you can email us at any time to let us know what you would like us to cover. 

The proposed programme

In response to the survey we sent you on 1st October 2020, the majority of you were in broad agreement that you liked the type of "speaker slots" we had proposed, that you preferred the seminars to last one hour, and that you would prefer them to happen monthly.

Each seminar will be a combination of a number of these types of slots.  Over time each faculty may well develop its own unique approach based on student preferences as the year goes on.  The proposed "slots" are as follows: 


‘Talk to us’:   5 - 15 minutes,  PGRs can raise group/individual issues, discussions around health and wellbeing and any other issues PGRS may have.  

‘Faculty Focus’:   5 - 15 minutes, Research Update on what’s happening with research in faculty/department/subject areas.

‘PGRs Present’:   15 minutes, 3 PGRS present a poster, paper or presentation for 5 minutes – timed. Can be critiqued by an academic and who will feedback later or the next day.

‘Perspectives on …’:   15 minutes, on an aspect of research that is pertinent to the faculty disciplines.

‘Spotlight on …’:   15 minutes, on a research skill or professional development related topic.

Slots may be combined to allow for two speakers to speak for half an hour each, for example. 

For the foreseeable future, the seminars will all be online. 


For more information

Please visit the Faculty and Research Institute tabs at the top of this page to see what they are offering and also how you can get involved. If you have any queries regarding any of the above please contact Jackie McAndrew, PGR Experience Specialist in the Doctoral College.