Postgraduate Researcher Development Committee

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The Postgraduate Researcher Development Committee (PGRDC) is a sub-committee of the University Graduate Studies Committee, which itself reports to University Education Committee.


The key purposes of the Committee are to:

  1. Ensure the PPD (Personal and Professional Development) Programme for PGR students reflects the needs of all PGR students, supporting the development of PGRs at all stages of the student lifecycle and reflecting the equality, diversity and inclusion needs of that community.
  2. Consider the feedback from PGRs through the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) and other evaluation processes pertaining to the PPD provision. 
  3. Coordinate the resources of the Bristol Doctoral College and other actors in the domain to improve the PGR environment and hence the PGR experience.

Terms of reference

Strategic planning of the PPD programme and PGR training environment:

1. To maintain an awareness of national and international policy implications for researcher development (e.g. RCUK Statement of Expectations for Postgraduate Training, and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers) and to interpret and communicate these accordingly to relevant stakeholders.

2. To develop a consistent and sustainable set of principles for the support of the University PPD Programme for PGRs.

3. To provide a focal point for academic and professional services staff and PGR students to bring researcher development issues for discussion and decision-making.

4. Monitor comparability of the PPD programme with other Russell Group universities and within the GW4 Alliance.

Review of the PPD programme and associated provision:

5. Ensure that the central PPD programme for PGRs offers appropriate provision across all domains and sub-domains of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF), responding to additional development needs as they arise.

6. Receive feedback on the provision of PPD opportunities from PGR Faculty Representatives.

7. Monitor and review user engagement and feedback across all providers, using a unified approach, to ensure that the content of the programme is maintained at a high standard, and addresses the needs of all PGR students.

8. To evaluate programme delivery and attendee feedback, ensuring alignment with the University Strategic Research and Education priorities.

Operational delivery:

9. Organise the activities so that the access needs of all users are considered including international, part-time, mature, distance learner and professional doctorate students.

10. Integrate the PPD programme via existing University systems (such as OnCourse and STaR), and make recommendations on institutional system development.

11. Define a University endorsed ‘needs analysis’ method to enable students to assess their own development needs against the Vitae RDF and provide guidance for schools and supervisors in supporting this process.


The membership of the Committee is as follows:

Mode of operation

The Committee will meet at least 3 times per year and on an ad hoc basis if necessary. 

Meeting dates