Terms of Reference and Membership of the Task and Finish Group for Research Culture and Community

1. Background

One of the strategic aims set out in the College’s Education and Student Strategy document,published in autumn 2013 and now incorporated within the Strategy 2015-20, is for the College to achieve international recognition for a distinctive education.  This led to the Doctoral Proposition, a document developed and refined through extensive consultation, which outlines what postgraduate research students can expect of their education and wider student experience at Imperial College London.

 The Doctoral Proposition vows amongst other things that Imperial will provide a world-class research programme throughout which internationally-acclaimed academics support, inspire and challenge students as they develop into independent researchers.  The Working Party for World-Class Research Supervision, which reported to the Vice Provost’s Advisory Group for Education (VPAGE) and the Vice Provost’s Advisory Group for Research (VPAGR) was established by the Graduate School to develop this part of the proposition. 

 During 2014-15, the Graduate School carried out a number of activities as part of this project.  There was wide consultation with staff and students about what constitutes world-class research supervision which resulted in 40 recommendations to College. 

 This final report was presented to the Postgraduate Research Quality Committee meeting (PRQC) on 4 November 2015 (minute number 8.1.4) and subsequently Senate on 9 December 2015 where it was reported that the PRQC had approved the recommendations (Senate minute 2048 (8)).  This task and finish Group has been established to take forward the recommendations which relate to research culture and community. 

2. Terms of Reference

  1. To explore what constitutes a vibrant, multidisciplinary research community from a College student perspective and students at other higher education institutions.
  2.  If appropriate, to make a recommendation to the Graduate School’s Planning Round submission for changes to the central funding for cohort building.
  3.  To review and strengthen the guidelines on cohort building and to ensure the cohort building website is updated accordingly.
  4.  To review the criteria for funding applications for Graduate School cohort building.
  5.  To develop appropriate marketing information about the cohort building fund, guidelines and good practice website.
  6.  To make recommendations for how the College can ensure that postgraduate students have physical space and resources in which to meet other students and have greater interaction with other research groups.
  7.  To review existing College exit surveys and exit letters to ensure information presented in these facilitates a life-long relationship with College
  8.  To report to the Graduate School’s Course Quality and Strategic Development (CQSD) Committee which will serve as a Steering Group for the World Class Research Supervision Project.
  9.  To complete its work and activities by July 2017.

The group met for the first time in June 2016 and will continue its work throughout 2016-17.  Further updates on its progress will be published here in due course.