Doctoral College

Doctoral Researcher President Team’s Post (August 2019)

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.

It’s less than a month until the undergraduates return to campus. Enjoy the quiet while it lasts!

August was a busy month for both of us academically, but we still made a solid effort to fulfil our representation roles. Here’s a recap:

LSU ‘Know Our Students’ Meeting

On 6th August, we were invited to contribute to an LSU ‘Know Our Students’ seminar for the newly-elected student representatives for the LSU. With the LSU Postgraduate Executive Officer, Kamal, as well as members of LSU and Doctoral College staff, we helped these Union reps understand what being a postgraduate at Loughborough is all about. The Union has some commendable plans for better engaging the postgrad population starting from next month. Let’s all see how well they do, and keep working with them to ensure ever-improving student experiences.

‘Know Your Rights’ Meeting

On 14th August, we met with Kamal, LSU staff, and other members of the doctoral community to inform the creation of an LSU ‘Know Your Rights’ resource for DRs. This is still extremely early days for this resource. We discussed what information should be included, and what form the resource should take. Hopefully this resource will serve as a signpost for future DRs who are looking for support, in any form. We’ll keep you posted.

‘Life Beyond the PhD’ Conference

From 27th to 31st August, Leah represented Loughborough at Cumberland Lodge’s annual ‘Life Beyond the PhD’ conference. This conference brings together PhD students from across the country to explore topics relevant to DRs. Cumberland Lodge is an educational charity based within the amazing Windsor Great Park. Through interdisciplinary dialogue and debate, this conference – and all of the incredible PhD students at it – repeatedly blew Leah’s mind.

The Doctoral College occasionally advertises Cumberland Lodge events and scholarships in its biweekly newsletter. Take advantage of these opportunities

A few additional notes:

After more than 30 years of service, Brigette Vale from the Academic Registry in the Doctoral College retired. The Doctoral College believes that Brigette has supported nearly 9,000 Loughborough DRs through their programmes, and this work has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated. Leah had the privilege of offering thanks to Brigette from past and current DRs at Brigette’s retirement party.

In May, our DR Reps met with VC Bob to discuss issues that DRs face across campus. We sent a formalised action plan to VC Bob this month. More details to come!

And that’s that. Enjoy the rest of the summer, and we’ll see you for our final blog post of this academic month at the end of September.

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.

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