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PGR Directors launch a new guide to finding good researchers

12 Nov 2020

A toolkit has been created to help new academics find good researchers for their studentships.

PGR Directors

Developed in response to a series of questions raised by academics as part of the New Academics Programme, this new toolkit shares the experiences of senior supervisors from across The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE). 

Created by Prof Sarah Heath, Associate Dean for Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Development, in conjunction with Prof. Simon Harper, PGR Director for Computer Science, Prof. Matthias Heil, PGR Director for Mathematics, and Joaquin Carrasco Gomez, part of the PGR recruitment team in the department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, it includes:

  • a 15-minute roundtable with PGR Directors as they share their top tips,
  • a blog post authored by PGR Directors on the top 11 ways to finding good students,
  • examples of successful external adverts,
  • access to funding need-to-knows, and
  • essential HR courses that must be completed before recruiting a researcher.

The toolkit brings together the different approaches taken by supervisors from across FSE to provide a hub of information relevant to all supervisors working in the Faculty.

Prof. Sarah Heath explains, “Finding good researchers can be a real challenge as a new academic. When I first got my PhD studentship, I thought “they'll all come flocking” and actually they didn't. I had to go out and find them.

“Personally I don’t think there’s any one solution. You have to find ways that work for you and your type of project. The aim of this toolkit to share the things we’ve learnt, so our colleagues can benefit from our collective experience.”

Prof. Matthias Heil continues: “Ultimately it boils down to really finding the right person for you. I mean that's the really important thing, as you’ll be spending three-and-a-half to four years of your lives together. Something really has to click, on both a personal and academic level.”

Prof. Sarah Heath adds: “The one piece of advice I’d impart is do not fill a studentship with a weak student. Believe me, you will pay for that every day. Instead the key is to learn how to start marketing your project and raising your profile so that you will attract the right students for your group, and this is what we hope this toolkit will help with.”

The recruitment toolkit is available on StaffNet, and can be accessed via the PGR portal on Staffnet.