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COVID-19 – Latest MDX updates and FAQs
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Postgraduate Research Courses

Welcome to Postgraduate Research

Your feedback is very valuable in helping us to design and focus improvements in supervision and support to enhance experience and outcomes for all postgraduate research students.

We have made a variety of changes across our programmes and subjects but one of the main changes was ensure study space is available for postgraduate research students across the campus. We'll continue to monitor the usage of the desk spaces and suggest changes to enhance usage of these spaces and make them more attractive and/or quieter.

We’re focusing on raising awareness of the Library support and resources available. We've also collaborated with student support teams to improve support and general wellbeing for postgraduate research students.

Finally, we have been facilitating the Research and Writing retreats and improving the Researcher Development Programme.

  • General changes

More social events

We are introducing a number of new social events for our postgraduate students based on last year's feedback. We hope that you'll make the most of these opportunities and join in #TeamMDX.

Academic Shadowing Scheme

Students can now sign up to shadow academic colleagues which provides a valuable insight into academia and broadens their knowledge and understanding of the sector.

Student led events

We have introduced two new student-led initatives; My Research Story gives postgraduate research students a safe space to discuss their research and experience with their peers. Research Coffee Club allows students to discuss their research with supervisors over tea and coffee.

Improved supervisor training

We have introduced new supervisors to a variety of services as part of their training to help improve student-supervisor relationships and supervisor support.

Term 2, 2020 changes implemented through student feedback

See all the updates in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and see the wider university changes.

  • Arts and Creative Industries

We have been developing a research culture by introducing The engaging in research workshop series as well as an online critical reading week for postgraduate research students.

Together we did

  • Training provision pattern was revised to ensure weekly connectivity and increased the use of both synchronous and asynchronous online activities.
  • Short weekly informal meetings have been launched such as the ‘research common room’ every Monday and ‘shut up write’ every Wednesday, these are open to all researchers. These weekly meetings enable research conversations and meet with peers in order to generate a supportive community.
  • An annual research intensive was held as an online event in July 2020  – with researchers participating and co-generating a very rich network of exchanges. The event was structured through morning meetings and late afternoon guest lectures in real time, with participants working through established tasks relating to their own work through the day. In addition, participants used the MyLearning space to share and comment on activities through the week. A WhatsApp group was used for informal exchange and reminders.
  • A series of these research-intensive weeks are planned through 2020-21 – these include ‘kick starting your research project’ (for new students and testing the use of Padlet as a sharing space), ‘Research methodologies in the Arts’, ‘Participatory research’ and ‘Researching in/as/and language’.
  • The annual winter research conference (December 2020), was held on line and generated good engagement through a mix of talks and video and plus an ‘exhibition’ of research on Padlet. Online Winter Conference and Summer Research intensive model to be developed having received positive feedback and supporting the development of researcher projects.
  • Professional and Social Sciences

Education research

We have been developing the research environment in Education and sharing good practice. Recently we presented four impact case studies at University wide events.

Sharing stimulating work and research

The SIGNs Childhood and Society and Professional Education and Partnership rescheduled their presentations to enable postgraduate research students to attend. One research student also presented at the meeting.

Sharing student work

We're developing wider dissemination strategies for postgraduate research students’ research and work. One DProf student presented to Middlesex University’s FdA Learning and Teaching programme students’ SEND conference, ‘Being You’, November 2019.

Online resources

We are working on simplifying the Moodle page for the Business School research area, curating online resources and specialist content to address the needs of part-time and distant learning research students.

PhD training development programme for the Business School

This programme is in its second year and covers topics such as research strategy, systematic  literature review, reading a quantitative paper, working with samples and data sets, designing surveys, qualitative case study and focus groups, elite interviews and documentary analysis, among others.

Academic community

We have introduced integrated professional and soft skills sessions for our postgraduate research students with various opportunities to present work in progress.

PSS researcher room

Feedback from students indicated issues concerning noise and overall etiquette regarding room usage.  A code of conduct, which is framed in a rights and obligations language, is being redrafted.

Together we did

  • The launch and subsequent development of the Business School’s training programme was a direct response to feedback from the PRES surveys.  The need for NVivo and SPSS training, and provision for these has been integrated into the researcher development training programme.
  • DProf student concerns over what constitutes ‘criticality’ led to the introduction of fortnightly Writing and Criticality Workshops  to introduce criticality through non academic reading choices and then moving towards what constitutes academic level criticality.
  • Science and Technology

We have made a number of changes across the Faculty of Science and Technology including:

  • Wider communication and promotion of Research Seminars
  • Greater focus on providing opportunities for postgraduate research students to gain experience on presenting to fellow students in a class environment
  • Autumn and Spring Social events with postgraduate research students and supervisors.

Together we did

  • PGR Space issues were taken into account in the Faculty plan for improving PGR spaces but the Covid-19 situation has impacted progress.
  • Resources for researcher development- launch of weekly sessions from February 2021 addressing a range of researcher development needs. The sessions are a mix of pre-recorded videos and live sessions and include social events.
  • Opportunities for teaching experience - some departments were able to provide teaching opportunities, for example, in LSI  PhD students help with teaching and assessing. They have also been an essential resource in building lab demonstration videos for the online library now available across several modules.  During the first lockdown, In Natural Sciences, several PhD students supported technical staff in student laboratories.

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