As a PhD Researcher at Ulster, you will have two main sources of support: Firstly, your Supervisors, Postgraduate Tutor and Research Director in your chosen area of study will provide subject expertise, specialist facilities and training and day-to-day guidance on your research.
You will also belong to our Doctoral College and be supported by the Doctoral College Manager and their teams of administrators, your campus-based Heads of Doctoral College and the Dean of Postgraduate Research.
The Doctoral College will support you through:
- A range of Researcher Development Programme courses.
- Monitoring of your progress.
- Assisting you in developing transferable and employability skills.
- Encouraging you to interact with PhD researchers from other subject areas through:
- The provision of a bespoke PhD researcher social area on each campus.
- Annual Conferences, a Doctoral Forum and other initiatives designed to encourage interdisciplinary
You can find more information and sources of support services in Ulster's Student Guide.
To facilitate interdisciplinary interactions and to help you engage with other researchers, the Doctoral College has established dedicated social spaces for you on each campus:
- The Doc @ Belfast Room BA-04-03
- The Doc @ Coleraine Room E008
- The Doc @ Magee Room MC026
The Doctoral College Team
The Doctoral College Team is available to support you. Feel free to drop into the Doctoral College offices at Coleraine and Belfast between 10am – 3pm (Monday - Thursday) or at Magee between 10am – 3pm on Mondays to speak to one of our team.
On Fridays we operate a virtual office from 8am - 4pm – get connected to a member of the Doctoral College team.
Our office locations are:
|Campus||Doctoral College Main Office/Reception|
Faculty and Research Area Support
All supervisors and PhD Researchers in the University are located within one of our faculties and, within this structure, you will also belong to a research area, headed up by a Research Director.
Your Research Director, along with the research area's Postgraduate Tutor (where applicable) will manage your research needs in terms of induction and subject-based training, monitoring and management of progress, providing appropriate resources and pastoral care and generally developing the research culture of your area.
You can also contact your PhD Researcher representative in your research area if you have an issue. PhD representatives also meet regularly meet together as the PhD Researchers Forum.
As researchers at Ulster, your main source of support will come from your team of supervisors.
Staff involved in supervision are expected to be able to advise PhD Researchers on aspects of their research projects including matters relating to University procedures. Supervisors are limited in the number of PhD Researchers they can supervise to twelve.
A good working relationship with your supervisors will be a key factor in the success of your research project and the University provides guidance for both PhD researchers and supervisors to ensure this relationship is maximised. Please see Role of Student and Supervisor.
During your studies, you are expected to meet with your supervisory team regularly, with a schedule to be discussed and agreed. It is required that certain meetings (e.g. monthly) between supervisors and students are designated as formal and that a record of these meetings is maintained on PhD Manager.
If you are undertaking research on a collaborative project which requires you to spend a large amount of time at a collaborating organisation or if you are studying under the Framework for Distance Research, you may be allocated an External Supervisor to support you off campus.
You should also note that the University has a Code of Practice to provide safeguards for University staff and PhD researchers who are in close personal relationships to ensure progression is managed on a professional basis.
Researcher Development Programme
The Researcher Development Programme (RDP) is a suite of workshops, specialist skills sessions, online training and personal development planning activities designed for you to gain the experience and skills required to be a competent and professional researcher.
The sessions are delivered through the Doctoral College and individual Faculties by academics and external facilitators committed to delivering excellence in supporting postgraduate research.