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York Graduate Research School Board

Terms of Reference

Purpose of the committee

To oversee the work of York Graduate Research School (YGRS) which is responsible for postgraduate research (PGR) provision at the University of York.

Reporting structure

The York Graduate Research School Board (YGRSB) reports to Senate via University Research Committee. YGRSB has three sub-committees: PGR Policies and Programme Committee, PGR Funding and Recruitment Committee and PGR Experience Committee. 

Terms of Reference

  1. To develop, monitor the implementation of, and review the vision and strategy for YGRS;
  2. To champion postgraduate researchers (PGRs) within the University, including the contribution that PGRs make to the University's research strategy, and to promote a research culture, at all levels within the institution, that is supportive of PGRs;
  3. To identify national and international developments relating to postgraduate research (PGR) provision and ensure that appropriate action is taken so that York remains competitive with other research intensive institutions;
  4. Through the work of its sub-committees, to:
    • develop, monitor and review regulations, policies and guidance on PGR matters, including Regulation 2 and the Policy on Research Degrees;
    • ensure accountability, transparency and consistency with respect to the funding and recruitment of PGRs;
    • assure the standards of PGR programmes, and to monitor and promote the enhancement of the quality of the academic experience of PGRs;
    • coordinate and oversee matters relating to the personal and professional development of PGRs and their wellbeing.
  5. To monitor the development and delivery of strategic PGR initiatives including Doctoral Training Partnerships, Centres for Doctoral Training and similar, and international collaborations with a significant PGR component to ensure they meet their objectives;
  6. To act as a Board of Studies for interdisciplinary PGR programmes (in accordance with the supplementary terms of reference);
  7. To promote equality, diversity and inclusion in relation to all the above.



Ex officio:

  • Dean of the YGRS (Chair)
  • Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research
  • Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students
  • Dean for the Faculty of Sciences (alternate, Associate Dean for Research)
  • Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences (alternate, Associate Dean for Research)
  • Dean for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (alternate, Associate Dean for Research)
  • Director of Research and Enterprise
  • Academic Registrar
  • President of the GSA
  • Vice-President (Academic or Welfare) of the GSA
  • Assistant Registrar (Research and Financial Support) (Secretary)


  • Academic from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities:  Sethina Watson (until 31/7/25)
  • Academic from the Faculty of Sciences: Sean Sweeney (until 31/7/25)
  • Academic from the Faculty of Social Sciences: Peter Smith (until 31/7/24)

In attendance

  • PGRA Student Services Officer (Minute Secretary)
  • CEO of GSA

Quoracy: One third of members including at least two at PVC/Dean/Associate Dean level.

Terms of appointment

Nominated members are nominated by Faculty Executive Groups. Nominated members should be current or former Graduate Chairs (or similar eg DTP/CDT leads) and/or have considerable experience of supervising PGRs. For nominated members, the standard term of office is three years and maximum term is six years.




  • Monday 11 December 2023, 10am to 12pm
    Thursday 21 March 2024, 10am to 12pm
    Thursday 13 June 2024, 10am to 12pm









More information

  • York Graduate Research School