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Postgraduate Research Students

Information for UEA postgraduate researchers

Here at postgraduate(su), we understand that research students are a very unique demographic with different schedules, requirements, and needs from other students. This page focuses on the specific needs of PGRs at UEA, and attempts to signpost important information as needed.

General information:

As a postgraduate researcher, it is likely that you will be offered work as a temporary, part-time Associate Tutor at some point during the course of your degree. This could cover anything from supervising undergraduate or PGT students, leading seminars, demonstrating in labs, or giving lectures. These contracts are often inconsistent between academic schools - but each new AT should be given a booklet from the university offering advice on best practices and job expectations while teaching. Ask at your school office for more information, or check out this link.

Associate Tutor Network:

As part of the Courage Project, postgraduate(su) is formulating an Associate Tutor network to build links among the PGR teaching community at UEA. Work on this began in September 2019 - expect to see and hear more about this on our Facebook, Twitter, and Courage Project email bulletins.

Joining the University and College Union (UCU) as an Associate Tutor:

An Associate Tutor contract can provide PGRs with teaching experience and a source of income, but are often inconsistent, exploitative, casualised, and lacking in basic employment rights. This is not just a problem with the UEA - austerity and the marketisation of academia has resulted in a sharp rise in exploitative precarious contracts, with an estimated over 50% of the teaching workforce being casualised.

It has never been more important for Associate Tutors to join a union. Fighting for better employment rights for our ATs has the potential to improve working conditions for all academics in Higher Education, and the UCU is currently running multiple campaigns on improving workers' rights, fighting for more equal pay, and ending exploitative, casualised contracts. Importantly, it is also FREE for PGR students who teach to sign up, so please do so.

For full details on what UCU could do for you as an Associate Tutor go here. uea(su) and loads of other SUs across the country have joined together to encourage you to join. Sign up today here.

Postgraduate Education Conference:

What is the Postgraduate Education Conference?

The PG Education Conference is a free annual conference hosted by uea(su), consisting of panels, workshops, talks, and a research showcase detailing the work of postgraduates at the UEA. There is a small cash prize for the students who give the best presentations in the research showcase, as voted on by attendees.

The conference began in 2018; that year it was attended by around 85 people, and featured a keynote speech by Professor Kehinde Andrews from Birmingham City University.

General PGR Advice:

Do you offer funding for PGRs?

We have two types of funding options available to postgraduates at the UEA - the social grant and the conference/research fund. The former is for helping fund student-led social events, the latter is to help postgraduates with any admission, travel, or other research fees that may be accrued when attending academic conferences. For more information on both grants, click here!

Any other important links?

Yes! If you're an international student in need of a National Insurance Number, click here. Working with the NHS? You may need a research passport - click here for more information.