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.
Well, those May flowers have yet to come, and the May weather was not been as warm as we would have liked. Nevertheless, we’ve been keeping ourselves warm by running from one end of campus to the other representing doctoral researchers at various events and meetings.
Here’s a review of what your President’s Team did in May.
Doctoral College Induction
On 1st May, Leah welcomed new doctoral researchers to Loughborough at one of the Doctoral College’s regularly scheduled inductions. It was great to see some fresh faces, and to get to know about all these new starters’ research projects. People laughed at Leah’s jokes. Leah was thrilled.
Rep Meeting with VC Bob
On 8th May, the PGR Reps had the opportunity to meet with VC Bob and discuss pressing issues related to the Loughborough doctoral experience. The discussion was honest and extensive, and the VC listened carefully to the Reps’ feedback. This was the first of what will hopefully be a series of meetings aimed at further improving the doctoral experience. We are planning to work with the Reps to draft an action plan resulting from this first meeting.
Meeting with Postgrad EO
We meet with the Kamal, the Union’s Postgraduate Executive Officer, so often that we stopped noting these meetings in our monthly blog posts. This meeting on 17th May was so productive, though, that we couldn’t leave it out. The three of us discussed plans for the summer – stay tuned for barbeques, paintballing, and another one of our famous postgraduate nights out!
Doctoral College International Induction
On 21st May, Leah got to welcome fellow international students to Loughborough. She ran a ‘speed dating’ style networking event where participants observed all the wonderfully weird things about British culture. International student members of the PhD Social & Support Network were also around to keep conversations going and to serve as first points of contact for new students who may need some signposting or support.
Doctoral College Sub-Committee
On 24th May, we represented doctoral researchers at the regularly scheduled Doctoral College Sub-Committee meeting. In these meetings, people from around the University who support doctoral researchers (including Directors of Doctoral Programmes, registry, etc.) get together and discuss ways to ensure doctoral successes and wellbeing. In response to feedback, we spent quite a bit of time suggesting ways that DDPs could communicate their action plans stemming from the recently completed PRES (Postgraduate Research Experience Survey).
Organising the PhD Awards
The PhD Awards are coming along nicely! The awards have been designed and are currently being made (we’ve got something great here, folks). On 30th May, we had our panel meeting to confirm shortlists, and winners should be decided soon.
Expect an invitation to the awards ceremony to be included in one of the June Doctoral College bulletins. All will be welcome to attend the ceremony on Friday, 5th July from 6PM, so save the date.
SUPER IMPORTANT NOTE: Do you want to be President or Vice President?
It’s almost time for us to leave our roles as President and Vice President. Beginning around 10th June, we’ll be accepting applications for these roles. Keep your eyes peeled for information about the application process in the Doctoral College bulletin.
As always, our friends at the PhD Social & Support Network are organising a few social events to get us all away from our desks. Their next two events are:
- Sunday, 2nd June, 4PM – 6PM: Volleyball (https://www.facebook.com/events/562705367586834)
- Friday, 7 June, 6PM – 9PM: Game Night (https://www.facebook.com/events/327252997956508)
If you want to keep up-to-date with our activity, 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.