Postgraduate Research Students, NUI Galway

National Student Survey

School of Natural Sciences

2020 Action Plan







Research Infrastructure and Facilities





Insufficient computing resources

Inclusion of a list of cheaper student-computers on the NUIG ISS website

PGR committee

In Progress


Lack of work/desk space

Facilitate identification of available space in nearby, less-occupied units

PGR committee

In Progress







Some students feel they do not receive adequate level of support

Emphasize to students to be pro-active in asking for help and support from supervisors and mentoring committee (GRC) in University Guidelines for Research Degree Programmes

PGR committee

In Progress



Reiterate the availability of the GRC committee for advice and support

GRC committees

In Progress


Limited technical support

In the absence of funding available for additional technical staff (experimental officers and/or laboratory technical staff) at NUIG, this issue cannot be resolved.





Encourage to supervisors to identify a senior PhD student or postdoctoral researcher for the day-to-day supervision for all 1st year PhD students.

PGR committee

In Progress


Research Culture






No specific actions were deemed necessary




Progress and Assessment





Lower percentage of SNS students understand the required standard of their thesis then students in other Schools

Clearly articulate the required standard of the research thesis to all starting students at their Orientation.

Include this information in the University Guidelines for Research Degree Programmes

Ensure all 1st year PhD students receive the University Guidelines for Research Degree Programmes.

Graduate Studies





Development Opportunities 





Many students do not have or are not aware of having a personal training and development plan (PTDP)

All scholarship students have a training plan included in their awarded scholarship application. Using this as a backbone, students should draft a PTDP at the start of their PhD training with the help of their supervisor.

PGR committee, students, supervisors

Not Started



The GRC can base the assessment on the PTDP and recommend its annual update

PGR committee, students, supervisors, GRC committees

Not Started


Research Skills






No specific actions were deemed necessary




Personal Outlook






No specific actions were deemed necessary




Other Transferable Skills






No specific actions were deemed necessary




Responsibilities and Supports






No specific actions were deemed necessary




Overall Experience





A slightly higher proportion of students feel 4 years is not sufficient to complete their PhD training

Improving this rate, would require higher PhD stipend (so student would not need to take on additional, part-time work) and sufficient consumable budgets for funded scholarships (e.g. IRC and NUIG fellowships).

School is keen to promote improved stipends but this is not an internal decision so discussions are at CoSE level.


 *Not Started

*In Progress