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Doctoral President Team Update

Written by the Doctoral President Team, Tom Baker (President) and Rieman Rudra (Vice-President)

A short update regarding the Presidential Team, PhD Awards, Communication with Senior Management, and our Surveys and Open Letters.

Presidential Team Applications

Hopefully you have seen the email from Ana-Maria, our LSU Education Executive Officer, that applications are open for the new Doctoral Research President Team of 2020-2021. The Role Descriptor is available online, and applications can be made on the LSU Website, with the deadline being Monday 27th July at 5pm. The Team have had to adapt significantly over the past few months for reasons that are hopefully clear. This is a very important time for representation and to have a voice in matters pertaining to all aspects of our Doctoral journey. We have set aside time in the latter half of next week for interviews, with the role handover being a transition over the next few months.

If you are interested in the role and wish to find out more, please reach out to myself or Rieman (emails at bottom) for further information or consider talking with your Doctoral Representatives and Lead Representatives on how we work in combination. The role changeover for Reps and Lead Reps will occur at a later date.

PhD Awards

The PhD Awards are in the midst of planning as you read this. We have been meeting weekly to update the awards as this year we have combined some with the LSU Loughborough Academic Awards. We have done this to better align how we are part of the LSU student representative system. Something we have been aiming to improve upon since the loss of the PGR Executive Officer, although more on that another time. We are on track for the end of August, where we will also announce the new Presidential Team and generally celebrate all the wonderful work the Loughborough Doctoral community do!

If you wish to put anything forward for mention, please contact us (emails at bottom), otherwise keep your eyes peeled for the nominations!

COVID-19 Survey Results

Although submitted to the Research Committee near the start of the COVID lockdown, we wish to thank all the respondents to our survey: COVID-19 – Understanding Doctoral Researcher Perspectives. From this we have managed to foster improved mental wellbeing support in a number of areas (such as Student Services, Skills Development, Resource Access, and the Doctoral College Development Portal), access to the Employee Assistance Programme, Doctoral specifics FAQs (Staff FAQs also applicable), improved access to the Hardship Fund, among other assistance areas.

If anyone wishes to see the report, please email us to be sent a copy. We cannot append documents to the Blog.

We wish to extend another massive thank you to all those in the Doctoral College for their endless support in these matters. We couldn’t have had much of this without the team and we couldn’t be more grateful for their work.

Research Culture Survey

You may also remember the Research Culture related work ongoing throughout the year, and the survey (now closed) we shared earlier this year. Unfortunately, many of the events we were planning or were scheduled had to be cancelled/postponed. Nonetheless, we wish to thank the respondents to our survey and to say that these comments have not gone unheard. A paper is due to be submitted to the Research Committee being held in September. Once this is complete, please feel free to request a copy from myself or Rieman (emails below).

Open Letter

We have the initial points of an open letter to be submitted to senior university staff in the works. We have had comments from your Lead Representatives added so please continue to pass information along, or as always, contact us directly. The Presidential Team, Doctoral Lead Representatives and members of your department Doctoral Representatives have met twice so far this year directly with the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research (Steve Rothberg), Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Doctoral College (Elizabeth Peel), and other individuals to discuss the information. We are due to meet again in September.

If you wish to put forward or see the current points or comments, please get in touch.

On top of the above, please consider signing the open letter Research Student Funding during the Coronavirus Pandemic addressed to UKRI and subsequent Councils. Previous correspondence has been made by UKRI.

Any other questions please get in touch.

All the best,

Doctoral Researcher President: Thomas Baker – T.E.BAKER@LBORO.AC.UK

Doctoral Researcher Vice-President: Rieman Rudra – R.RUDRA@LBORO.AC.UK

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