New Deal for PGR: Operational Panel Application Form

Closes 18 Jun 2024

Opened 23 May 2024

Overview

We are seeking external input across a range of research organisations on our proposed changes to the Standard Terms and Conditions for Training Grants. The changes stem from commitments made by UKRI in the New Deal for Postgraduate Research.

We are looking for input from a range of stakeholders within Research Organisations who substantially interact with or support UKRI funded postgraduate research students as part of a task and finish panel. This panel will include representation from professional staff managers and heads of teams in line with the selection criteria below.

UKRI is seeking a panel of around 30 people.

Why your views matter

We are in the process of making changes to our Standard Terms and Conditions for Training Grants and are seeking expert input to help ensure our proposed changes will achieve their intended aim and that we understand the impact on research organisations. Once introduced, the changes will impact existing as well as future UKRI training grants and may influence RO’s decisions about the support that they offer other postgraduate research students.

The changes stem from commitments we made as part of our response to the New Deal for Postgraduate Research Call for Input, and are focussed on equality, diversity and inclusion, as well as other legal clarifications, or clarifications to support our transition to collective talent funding.

Timescales

Applications for this operational engagement panel will close at 23:59 on 18 June 2024.

Application outcomes will be communicated w/c 1 July 2024.

Paperwork will be issued for comments by 12 July 2024, with written responses to paperwork due by 12 August 2024.

UKRI will review the written responses and issue a summary to group members highlighting any areas with significantly differing viewpoints w/c 9 September 2024.

Panel members with the relevant expertise to discuss topics highlighted by the consultation analysis will be asked to attend a virtual workshop 14:00-16:00 on 12 September 2024.

Selection Process

If you are interested in being a panel member and able to commit to engagement within the timescales outlined above, please complete the online survey outlining how you meet the criteria below.

Essential Assessment Criteria

  • Experience and expertise relating to at least one of the RO stakeholder types in the table below.
  • Experience of dealing with a diverse range of doctoral students or training grants with diversity, notably students who are Disabled or who are parents or having caring responsibilities.
  • Ability to be an effective panel member, providing constructive feedback on:
    • Validity of UKRI assumptions 
    • The impact of any changes on research organisations
    • Whether UKRI’s proposals will achieve their stated aims

Stakeholder

How provide input

Anticipated level of input into discussions

Disability Support Service

DSA, adjustments, assessment, declaration, access to continued student support during suspensions

High

Financial Support Service

PIP, carers support, universal credit, childcare support, hardship funds, other funding schemes

Low

Finance teams

DSA, impact on RO financial position, managing funding from a range of funders, understanding eligible costs including sickness and other paid absences

Low

Visa Support Service

Impact on T+Cs for international students, immigration compliance

Low

EDI Support

RO EDI practices (those experienced with undergraduate/postgraduate taught or staff EDI teams also welcomed)

High

Legal Team

Legal ramifications for ROs

Medium

Health + Safety Service

Children on site, H+S assessments

Low

Doctoral Colleges

Directors and managers of these entities with a general overview of PGR landscape within RO

High

Doctoral Training Programmes

Directors and managers of these entities with a general overview of PGR landscape but often across several ROs

High

Postgraduate Teams - admissions + onboarding

Manage all PGR processes ahead of studentship starting, pre-emptive support, how capture information

Low

Postgraduate Teams – current students

Manage all PGR processes during studentship

High

Assessment Process

Step one

Applications will be assessed by a panel of UKRI staff.

A shortlist of candidates will be made, determined by how well the candidate meets the essential assessment criteria provided above.

Assessment is based on the evidence provided in the application and applications are anonymised (no names or diversity data will be shared with the assessment panel) for this step.

Step two

The postgraduate researcher population that UKRI supports through its training grants is diverse. This is meant in its broadest sense. In addition to protected characteristics, UKRI-funded students undertake their studies in a variety of institutional environments across the breadth of research and innovation subjects and through a number of different training programme arrangements and models. As we seek input on the viability and effectiveness of our proposed T&C changes, it is important that the panel is able to support consideration of this diversity.

Vacancies will be filled from the shortlists with consideration to the following:

  • Geographical spread. Where possible we will be looking to ensure the panel has representation from all four nations of the UK, and a number of different regions.
  • Size of organisation. UKRI is seeking to gain representation from different sizes of organisation funded by UKRI, include more and less research-intensive universities and research institutes.
  • Stakeholder group. Where possible we will be looking to create a panel with representation of each of the RO stakeholder types outlined in the table above, to provide a balance of people with strategic oversight and those who are student-facing and have familiarity with using key regulatory frameworks e.g. Equality Act, Health and Safety, visa compliance.
  • Achieving balance in relation to gender, ethnicity, and disability to broadly reflect the diversity of the postgraduate student population as reported by HESA (gender balance, 20% ethnic minority, 14% known disability).

This step of the recruitment process will consider the balance across the emerging membership. It may, where candidates are of equal merit, take positive action to prioritise candidates based on gender, ethnic minority, and disabled underrepresentation.

Individual diversity data requested during the application will be used solely in this step.

Give us your views

Audiences

  • Research Community

Interests

  • Post Graduate Research (PGR)