1.5 Other Key Contacts
In addition to the relationship you have with your supervisor, there are a number of other key contacts that you can call on for help and advice.
Each School/Department has a Postgraduate Tutor who reports to the Head of School/Department and helps to coordinate local postgraduate support. Their specific responsibilities include:
- establishing and organising departmental progress monitoring procedures
- working with supervisors to ensure timely completion and thesis submission
- monitoring participation in researcher development training
- overall pastoral care of postgraduate researchers
Your Postgraduate Tutor will be introduced as part of your induction programme.
Schools/Departments are strongly encouraged to operate a thesis committee system for their postgraduate researchers or some equivalent method. A thesis committee is likely to include:
- your main supervisor – who carries primary responsibility for your supervision
- a second supervisor or advisor – who can offer further academic advice
- the departmental Postgraduate Tutor (or their nominee) – who is involved in monitoring your progress but is independent of the supervisory team
The advantage of the thesis committee system is that you have a single point of contact – the main supervisor – but there are also others who are familiar with your work and can support you and monitor your progress. For example, if your main supervisor is temporarily unable to continue supervising your work, the second supervisor or advisor can assume the role of main supervisor.
This committee will usually meet with you twice each year to formally review your progress.
Head of School/Department
In the event of very serious difficulties which have not been resolved through discussion with your supervisor or the departmental Postgraduate Tutor, it may be necessary to contact the Head of School/Department. Generally though this should be for serious concerns only.
Beyond that, the Director of Postgraduate Research in your College and the Graduate Dean are also available to support postgraduate researchers.