The Centre for Academic Leadership & Development recently organised the 2013 Postgraduate Researcher Induction at the Edinburgh Campus.
Nearly 100 doctoral students representing all academic Schools came together to the annual event hosted by the Deputy Principal for Research & KT, Professor Alan Miller at the Postgraduate Centre. The students recently joined Heriot-Watt to undertake PhD and EngD degrees across a wide range of science, engineering, social science and humanities disciplines.
PGR Induction 2013 at Heriot-Watt University included contributions from senior academic staff, senior research students, postgraduate representatives, and departments providing training and support for early career researchers. Sessions focussed on making a successful transition from undergraduate to research student were chaired by Prof David Hopkins (Head of the School of Life Sciences) and Prof Duncan Hand (Director of Research, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences).
The roles of the Postgraduate Code of Practice and Postgraduate Studies Committee were explained by University Deans, Prof Phil John and Prof Jim Ritchie, and PhD Supervisors, Prof Kevin O'Gorman, Prof Sue Roaf and Dr Peter Matthews (Schools of Management & Languages and Built Environment) gave highly valuable academic perspectives on the challenges and opportunities postgraduate research can bring.
Further training and development opportunities for postgraduate researchers
The PGR Induction enabled participants to meet other new postgraduate researchers from across all subject areas. The insights of senior doctoral students about to graduate, Ipshita Chowdhury, Vicky Ingram and Thomas Methven, were particularly welcomed by the audience, who found their advice both reassuring and motivating.
Students were encouraged to take advantage of the comprehensive researcher training and development workshops available to them through the Research Futures, Heriot-Watt Engage and the Enterprising Researcher Summer School, all of which are organised through the Centre for Academic Leadership and Development
Welcoming the new doctoral students to Heriot-Watt University, Deputy Principal for Research & KT, Professor Alan Miller said, "Undertaking research for a PhD may be a challenging prospect at first, but the sense of achievement and fulfilment on completion will be high; both the specialist and generic skills gained will provide a platform to develop as future leaders in academia, business, and many other types of organisation, while some will be inspired to create new enterprises."