The Union should do more to support postgraduate research students

Giles Howard submitted on

Thursday 15th December 2016


Postgraduate Research students (PGRs) are employed in all manner of ways to assist the University in the delivery of its teaching. The University is working with the Union to formulate a policy on the basic standards required to employ postgraduate researchers in this capacity. This policy will likely not go far enough due to the differences across the University and resource constraints.

The conditions and pay of PGRs should be of importance to undergraduates who are often on the receiving end of PGR teaching - whether that be from PGRs running their seminars, overseeing their labs or having their coursework marked by PGRs. Overworked and/or underpaid PGRs are unlikely to be able to meet high standards of teaching and this will have knock-on effects for undergraduates and postgraduate taught students in terms of their learning.

I feel that the Union should be much more concerned (particularly in a post-TEF world) that PGRs are not being exploited and all students serve to benefit from PGRs being adequately paid, supported and having sufficient contractual protections as befitting their responsibilities.


Here, you can view the complete set of official responses from the sabbatical officers regarding this submission.

Students' Union replied on

Friday 6th Jan 2017 1:39pm

Hi Giles,

Thanks for bringing up this issue. It’s really important that we acknowledge that the issues that affect PGR’s are very likely to have a knock on effect for all students, and it’s important for us to be united as a student body to tackle issues and support our students. The Education Zone met on the last day before Christmas to discuss this, and we’ve come up with a list of actions to take forward as first steps. Our primary concern is getting the message about PGR teaching out to the UG and PGT body, and we’re currently forming a plan to do this in as broad a reaching way as possible.

Stay tuned for more updates!


Elliot Grater

Vice-President Education


  • Forwarded to Vice President Education

    Thursday 22nd Dec 2016 12:36pm


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