The Role of PGR Coordinators

  • Past Events
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On May 8th 2024, we ran a session looking at the work of PGR Coordinators: those people who, behind the scenes, support many aspects of PGR learning and experience. They may be staff in faculties, departments, institutes or research centres, and they may or may not be academics.

Are their roles properly defined? What sorts of tasks do they undertake? This session was exploratory and a chance for people to exchange views with their peers (it was held under the Chatham House Rule, which his why the following is anonymised).

The session kicked off with some breakout groups, asking If your institution has such coordinator roles, what exactly do these people coordinate?” Answers varied, with most people mentioning tasks such as overseeing admissions, monitoring student progression, pastoral care and examiner nomination but some also mentioned marketing, communications and website maintenance. 

Our Doctoral College couldn’t function without our academic PGR Coordinators in faculties,” one participant remarked, but the group discussion revealed many inconsistencies in terms of workload and status. 

In some cases, the job was defined within the institution but in other cases, people simply took additional tasks into their existing job.

We have a faculty programme support officer who is on the admin side,” one person remarked. The PGR Coordinator in each department is usually an academic, who does the work in addition to teaching, managing, supervising. There is a small workload allocation which does not fully reflect the increasing responsibilities, but it is still some progress — we didn’t have that a couple of years ago.”

Summing up, there was a feeling that practices vary between different UK universities regarding PGR Coordinator roles. A lot is demanded from PGR supervisors from managing supervisory relationships to managing student mental health issues,”’ said one person, Some universities offer strong support and some almost nothing. What’s needed is some research into this area.”

Do you have an idea for an event you would like to run in partnership with UKCGE? 

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