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Postgraduate Research Students

Postgraduate Research Students Information 

Staff are encouraged to consult the information provided to research students at

Research should continue where possible, with supervisors contactable by email. Research supervisors and graduate research committees should liaise closely with research students to assess how to commence, continue, or alter their research programme so that research progress is possible. In exceptional circumstances, we understand this may require an unanticipated change of direction in research topic.

Details on processes for returning to campus for research students are being made available on a dedicated SharePoint site, and details on how to access library and IT resources are at Supervisors should liaise with research students to ascertain if a return to on-campus research is feasible.

Any significant interruption to research due to the impact of COVID-19 may entail, for students who are approaching the end of their completion time, application for retrospective leave of absence and award of time credit towards fees by your College once the student is beyond completion time. The LOA process is detailed in section 5.8.5 of the University Guidelines for Research Degree Programmes. The normal LOA process remains in operation for leave of absence un-related to COVID-19 impact on research. Completion time for a full-time PhD is 4 years.

Research student contribution to teaching will continue to be managed at academic unit level (Discipline/School/College), with appropriate support provided to research students to develop their teaching skills and to recognise their contribution to teaching. Graduate Studies have developed Guidance on allocation of teaching contribution to research students during Covid19.

Electronic means will be used to facilitate submission and examination of research theses, with details provided in the postgraduate research student alert.

Vivas can be held remotely and approval for remote viva is requested through the online examiner system.

Why are we still not paying our postgraduate students for the contributions that they make to teaching?

Contributing to teaching is an integral part of the training of a research Masters or PhD student. Teaching contribution assists in the acquisition of generic and transferable skills, as described in the National Framework for Doctoral Education and the PhD Graduate Skills statement provided by the Irish Universities Association. This is the norm in the sector.

Our research degree guidelines state the normally all PhD students make contributions of a maximum of 120 h per year (approximately 5 hours per week over 24 weeks) over three academic years, without extra payment. However, funded students must comply with the terms of any funding award. This is the norm for the sector.

A range of activities can be included such as taking tutorial groups, demonstrating at practical classes, co-supervising undergraduate projects and student mentoring. Hours may be included that are spent in class preparation, advising, monitoring student projects, and correcting projects, notebooks or essays and will vary according to School/Discipline norms.

Allocation of teaching contribution is managed at academic unit level (Discipline/School/College). Graduate Studies developed Guidance on allocation of teaching contribution to research students during Covid19, available here. During this period, no research supervisor or line manager will be expected to impel a research student to undertake an on-campus teaching contribution. If a research student is not in a position to undertake an on-campus teaching contribution they may be allocated alternate forms of teaching contribution.

Proposals for alteration to current policy, if desired, can be considered by Graduate Studies Board through your representative on the Board.