Section 3 - The research environment

The University provides a high quality research environment, as shown by its consistent excellent performance in successive external research audits. The University's Strategy aims to maintain and improve on this long-standing success through a variety of actions.

The research environments in the faculties are designed to support the needs of the cognate disciplines within each faculty. The way in which research in different subjects in a faculty is conducted therefore influences the organisation of research activities, the support for research students and the management of research degree programmes.

The University is part of many cross-institutional research collaborations and research students are encouraged, where appropriate, to contribute to collaborative research in order to develop the skills required for involvement in research of international excellence.

There is a range of externally funded initiatives that provide doctoral training in the postgraduate research environment. These initiatives are often cross-institutional in nature and may contain research degree programmes that combine a structured taught component with the research project. There are a number of different models, which are grouped under the general term ‘doctoral training entities’, including:

In addition, Innovative Training Network (ITN) is an umbrella term for a group of European Council funded collaborative programmes, based on a multi-organisational and international model of training that facilitates mobility of PhD researchers who are classified as Early Stage Researchers (ESRs). ESRs are registered as both PhD students and employees of their home university. These programmes often offer dual/joint awards.

The University’s expectations of the ways in which schools provide an appropriate research environment for research students to learn about and carry out research are:

3.1       Schools and faculties must ensure that the student can interact with sufficient research-active staff in the student's area of research within the school, the faculty, the University, or elsewhere.

3.2       Students working remotely from their school, including those writing up, must have access to appropriate facilities to support their work, including those available electronically.

3.3       All students are entitled to opportunities to experience and contribute to research activities, at school and faculty level, as appropriate. Schools and faculties must have strategies in place to enable students to make the most of these opportunities, for example, by presenting their research at school seminars.

3.4       Where the student's project requires research facilities or expertise beyond those that are available within the school, faculty or University, the school must ensure that the student has adequate access elsewhere.