I work in a Doctoral College and there are three main area of work that I either lead or support the Director in his lead of.  These are:

  • the development of researchers across the organisation – to ensure that researcher of all levels have access to developmental opportunities, that allow them to develop, progress in their careers and deliver impactful research that is nationally and internally recognised.
  • the development of the research environment – to provide a vibrant and engaging University level research environment that is attractive to students, staff and the local community.
  • enhance the footprint of level 8 education within the University and its partner organisations.

As a result one area of my work involves the support and development of doctoral researchers at the University.  Here’s a round up of some of the things we done with our doctoral research students.  Not bad for two people (one of whom was on medical leave for quite a while) and half a Policy Officer.


January 2016 started with many of our Doctoral Students and Professors attending the University’s Holocaust Memorial Day Lecture.


A very moving lecture was given by Mala Tribich about her experiences of living in the Jewish Ghetto in Poland.

More information about Mala’s lecture can be found here



In February the Doctoral College celebrated the achievements of its most mature Doctoral Students (see featured image).

Did you know that there are 14 Doctoral Students at the University of Wolverhampton who are over the age of 68 and that they have a combined age of 1,008?

Information about this event is here.



In March we celebrated the graduation of our successful Doctoral Students at a ceremony held in the Grand Theatre.


We also launched our Internal Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (iPRES), in which we saw a 40% increase in PGRS reporting that they attend workshops from the Doctoral College’s Research Skills Development Programme



The Doctoral College launched its first Symposium in April.  The day, which focused on methodology, was well received.


Read more about the event in the Director of the Doctoral College’s blog



In May we welcomed Doctoral Students who had started their research degree within the past four months to the Doctoral College’s Research Student Induction.

It’s been lovely to see so many of you at the other sessions that form the Research Skills Development Programme.



In June we welcomed nearly 70 Doctoral Students and their supervisors to a workshop that was delivered by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Geoff Layer, which focused on how research can influence policy.

The University of Wolverhampton’s Annual Research Conference also took place in June.  There was a brilliant turnout for the Research Student Poster competition and fantastic entries for the PhD Depictions Photo Competition.  Well done to everyone who entered.

The winning entries can be viewed here.



July saw the second Doctoral College Symposium, which focused on the thesis write up and the Viva Voce.


Pictured are some of our recently conferred doctorates, who we are looking forward to welcoming to the Easter Postgraduate Graduation Ceremonies.



In August the work of two doctoral students in FSE was discussed in a press article about brain cancer.  Read more at: http://www.expressandstar.com/entertainment/weekend/2016/08/09/brains-of-britain-behind-the-scenes-of-the-war-on-cancer/#TFjZC5phBFqGoXv3.99

Rebecca Ball, Doctoral Student from the Faculty of Social Sciences, was selected by the Dean of Research to attend the prestigious ‘Life Beyond the PhD’ Conference on behalf of the University of Wolverhampton.

Located within the grounds of Windsor Castle, it is hard to imagine a more idyllic place to visit than Cumberland Lodge. Steeped in history and breath taking to behold – this was the setting for the ‘Life beyond the PhD’ conference. Cumberland Lodge is an education charity with the important aim of promoting lifelong learning for all, the exchange of ideas and to initiate fresh debate.



September was a busy month.  There were more doctoral graduations as part of the University’s Annual Graduation Ceremonies.

The Doctoral College also launched its Inaugural Researcher Residential Week, which was very well received.

In response to feedback from research students the Doctoral College launched its enhanced Research Skills Development Programme. We now provide 44 workshops and 4 monthly drop in sessions that respond to the doctoral life cycle and the relevant milestones involved in this.

Also, the work of University of Wolverhampton Doctoral Student Victoria Yaneva from RIILP was reported in the press.  To see Victoria’s interview with ITV and hear more about how her work helps people with autism to read, see the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YbLfekcx8w



October was another busy month. The Doctoral College launched the Research Student Almanac which gathers together all research talks, events, training sessions, workshops and social meetings, extends a very warm welcome to our postgraduates, staff and, in many cases, the wider public, and allows for advance planning in terms of those sessions that you wish to attend.  The Almanac can be found on the Doctoral College’s Research Seminars and Events webpage.

The Doctoral College welcomed another group of new Doctoral Students to one of their Doctoral College Induction programmes.

We also held our first doctoral viva ‘hot seat’ event, which provided PGRS with the opportunity to experience a mock viva and answer viva style questions about their research.

The Doctoral College also took part in some outreach activities, including attending an employability conference at Burton Borough School that provided the opportunity to talk with students who have ambitions to become researchers.



In November the Doctoral College held its Inaugural University of Wolverhampton Lecture, which was delivered by Professor Geoff Layer.  Over 90 people attended the event which examined ‘Research in UK Higher Education: The Challenges and Opportunities’.


The lecture was live streamed and is available here https://www.periscope.tv/WLV_DoctoralCol/1mnxejrMrgRKX?t=37

For further details about the University of Wolverhampton Lecture Series and future lectures, please visit www.wlv.ac.uk/lectureseries



December brings us to the end of a busy year and included the launch of ‘Research Matters’, our termly publication to celebrate the University of Wolverhampton’s research successes and opportunities.

Research Matters is available here

We finished the year with a Doctoral College Christmas Get-together, where our social media competition winners were announced.


So congratulations to Evelyn Price and Jo Mills who were the completion winners.  Both will receive Amazon gift vouchers.


All that is left to say is Merry Christmas every one, have a great festive season.  Here’s to an equally productive 2017.





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