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York Graduate Research School Board

Terms of Reference

Purpose of the committee

On behalf of the York Graduate Research School Board, to develop and monitor strategies, policies and regulations relating to PGR programmes.

Reporting structure

Policies and Programmes Sub-Committee is a sub-committee of, and reports to, YGRSB. YGRSB reports to Senate via University Research Committee. On matters relating to new programme approval, PPSC reports directly to Senate.

Terms of Reference

  • To have oversight of all matters relating to postgraduate researchers (PGRs) at the University, to advise Research Committee on aspects of the research strategy and University Teaching Committee on aspects of the learning and teaching strategy relating to PGRs, and to monitor and respond to national developments relating to PGRs;
  • To champion and promote PGRs within the University’s strategies and planning, as well as the role PGRs play in the research endeavour, and to take a view on developments within the University that impact upon PGRs, making recommendations to UEB, relevant committees, the Pro‑Vice-Chancellor(s) and Vice-Chancellor as appropriate;
  • In association with other committees and offices, to develop and monitor strategies, policies and regulations relating to PGRs. Examples include:
    • regulations for research degree awards (Regulation 2) and the Policy on Research Degrees (delegated to Policies and Programmes Sub-Committee, in conjunction with the Academic Support Office, Student Services, and the Standing Committee on Assessment);
    • policies and strategies relating to the nature of research degree provision, including collaborative research degrees (delegated to Policies and Programmes Sub-Committee, in conjunction with the Academic Support Office);
    • personal development opportunities and training for PGRs (in conjunction with Colleges, the Research Excellence Training Team and Student Life Committee);
    • admissions, widening participation, and internationalisation at PGR level (in conjunction with Student Recruitment and Admissions and International Committee);
    • learning and research resources (in conjunction with the Information Strategy Group);

  • To act as a Board of Studies for interdisciplinary PGR programmes in accordance with the Senate-approved policy (see the supplementary terms of reference);
  • To oversee the quality assurance and enhancement of research degree programmes, including the approval of new research degree programmes and collaborative provision involving research degree programmes (delegated to Policies and Programme Sub-Committee); 
  • To take an overview of all training, development and support provided to PGRs;
  • To take the lead in stimulating a community of PGRs within and across departments;
  • To monitor the development and delivery of Doctoral Training Partnerships, Centres for Doctoral Training and similar arrangements to ensure they meet their objectives;
  • To consider relevant PGR data:
    • from internal and external surveys of PGRs, including the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey; 
    • relating to the support for and achievements of PGRs, including in the areas of retention, progression and completion; appeals and complaints; and employability;
    • relating to statutory returns in relation to Research Council awards (for example, submission rates).
      • To determine University strategy and policy with regard to the funding of PGRs, taking into account other forms of financial support and relevant aspects of the University’s research strategy, and to monitor:
        • the impact of funding on a range of parameters including recruitment (programme applications and quality of applications), completion rates and diversity
        • summary data relating to student funding applications, offers and acceptance rates; benchmarking; and the ratio of academic staff to research students;
      • To establish fora and working groups to facilitate its work;
      • To consider ways of promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in relation to all the above.



      Ex officio:

      • Dean of the York Graduate Research School: Dr Kate Arnold (Chair)
      • The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching, Learning and Students): Professor Tracy Lightfoot
      • Representative of the Dean of Faculty of Arts and Humanities: Dr Jeremy Goldberg
      • Representative of the Dean of Faculty of Sciences: Dr Kelly Redeker
      • Representative of the Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences: Dr Sally Hancock
      • Two representatives of the Graduate Studentsʹ Association:
        • President of the GSA: Ms Purnur Altay
        • Vice-President (Academic) of the GSA: Ms Jane Baston
      • Assistant Registrar: Research and Financial Support: Ms Susanna Broom
      • Chair of Special Cases Committee: Dr Martin Cockett
      • Chair of Standing Committee on Assessment: Professor Mike Bentley
      • Head of the Research Excellence Training Team: Dr Karen Clegg
      • Head of the AQ Team (or their nominee): Dr Juliet James


      • Academic from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities: Dr Claire Chambers (to serve until 31/07/22)
      • Academic from the Faculty of Sciences: Dr Dani Ungar (to serve until 31/07/23*)
      • Academic from the Faculty of Social Sciences: Dr Carolyn Snell (to serve until 31/07/23*)

      In attendance

      • Student Services Manager (Research): Helen Poyer
      • Minute Secretary: Charlotte Chamberlain
      • Assistant Registrar: Student Progress: Dr Jen Wotherspoon (as required)
      • Members of PGR Administration (PGRA) and AQ Team (as required)

      *Second term

      The standard term for appointed faculty members is three years. The maximum term for appointed faculty members is six years.









      More information

      • York Graduate Research School