Doctoral College

Doctoral Researcher President Team’s Post (November 2018)

This blog post is part of a series of monthly posts detailing the activities of the DR President’s Team (President: Leah Henrickson; Vice-President: Hugh Tawell).

Note: This post refers to PhD/EngD Students as Doctoral Researchers (DR) and Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs). This is because the University uses the former language, and the Union uses the latter.

The leaves are beginning to fall, Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas’ has already started playing in Wilko… and we on your Doctoral Researcher President’s Team are still workin’ hard to ensure that you have the best PhD experience possible. Seasons may change, but we stay consistent, folks.

First, what you have to look forward to.

PGIF: Board Games and Karaoke (14th December 2018, 7:30PM – 10PM)

LSU Postgrad EO Kamal already hosts PGIF (Postgrads, it’s Friday!) every Friday from 6PM at the Graduate House, but this is a PGIF with a little bit more than just board games and FIFA. There’ll still be the regular board games available, but we’ll be adding the joys of karaoke. Join us in Cogs (ground floor of the Union) on 14th December from 7:30PM for some free pizza and a Good Time.

Now, the stuff we did in November.

Wallace and Gromit Postgraduate Film Night

Collaborating with Kamal and the PhD Social & Support Network, on 6th November we co-hosted a screening of Wallace and Gromit episodes in the Graduate House Training Room. About 40 doctoral researchers and postgraduate taught students came out to enjoy the free pizza, claymation, and – most importantly – good company. This was an alcohol-free event.

Given the success of this film night, we’d be open to suggestions for future screenings. Send your recommendations our way! Especially if your recommendations include Shrek.

Loughborough University Research Conference

We both attended the annual University Research Conference on 13th November. The Doctoral College did a fantastic job organising keynote speakers (Dr Enid Montague and Dr Suzie Imber), and all those doctoral researchers and research staff who presented their research through talks and posters blew us away with their ingenuity and expertise.

PGR Rep Training and Photoshoot

On 14th November we delivered the first-ever PGR Rep training with Student Voice and Kamal. During this training, we familiarised new and returning PGR Reps with University services and structures of representation, and gave Reps the opportunity to plan for the year ahead within their respective school Rep teams. It was a great opportunity for all of the Reps to get to know each other, and for the new Lead Rep structure to be explained in detail.

Before and after the training, we arranged for Reps to have professional headshots taken. These photos are intended to be used so that Reps can make their faces known to their constituencies, but the photos may also be used for social media profiles like LinkedIn.

While the purpose of the photoshoot was serious (you should know who your Reps are), that didn’t stop us (okay, mostly Leah) from having a bit of fun.

Postgraduate Night Out at the Union

On 24th November the postgraduates took over the Union in the first-ever postgraduate night out. With Kamal, we co-hosted a (free) party comprising a whopping 260 Loughborough postgraduates and their guests. The LSU DJ Society played a mix of tunes ranging from 90s favourites to hip hop to K-pop, and we danced solidly from 10PM until the night ended at 3AM.

Because there’s clearly a hunger for these kinds of events, we’re hoping to organise two more of these postgraduate Union nights out – one in the spring term and one in the summer. Stay tuned!

Research Committee Meeting

In this meeting, we were introduced to each school’s Associate Dean (Research) (ADR). The ADRs and other members of research support services from across the University all discussed issues related to research on campus. The discussion pertained to researchers of all career levels, but the ADRs and support services are all clearly aware of the many unique issues faced by doctoral researchers. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with the Research Committee to ensure that doctoral researchers are sufficiently represented in University discussions about research support and recognition.

Doctoral College International Induction

On 29th November, President Leah attended the Doctoral College’s first international induction. As an international student herself, Leah delivered a 15-minute networking exercise to get other international students meeting each other. The rest of the induction focused on familiarising doctoral researchers from outside of the UK with all things British, as well as with services on campus that may be particularly useful to them.

There’s November for you! If you want to keep up-to-date, join the ‘Doctoral Researchers of Loughborough University’ Facebook group and follow us on Twitter. If you’re a London student, join the ‘Loughborough Students’ Union London 2018-2019’ Facebook group.

Leah and Hugh.

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