This section of the Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes (RDPs) relates to Indicator 4 of the UK Quality Code, Chapter B11: Research Degrees.
The University seeks to be distinguished by its academic strengths and recognised globally for the social, economic and cultural benefit it delivers through its research. To achieve this, staff work to create an inspiring research environment that nurtures talent and rewards outstanding leadership and excellence.
Research at Queen’s takes place in three related settings: Core Disciplinary Groups, Pioneer Research Programmes and Global Research Institutes. Many academics are engaged with multiple research programmes across several of these settings. Each of these structures includes members from all stages of the research career path, from postgraduate to professoriate. All involve collaboration amongst Queen’s researchers and links with partners at other institutions and outside the academic world, both regionally and globally.
Queen’s has three research priorities: culture of research ambition; connecting to tackle global challenges; and vibrant postgraduate and postdoctoral communities; and three cross-cutting themes within the Research Strategy: internationalisation; impact; and environment.
Schools provide prospective research students with specific information on the School’s research activities and what students can expect upon enrolment for a research degree. Each School website highlights the key research achievements of the School in terms of awards, status and publications. Schools also highlight evidence of their ability to attract external funding and what opportunities exist both internally and externally for the development of academic collaborations and knowledge transfer partnerships.
In order to illustrate that a School has a suitable research environment for the recruitment of postgraduate research students, it is required to:
- Demonstrate research excellence, as evidenced through the Research Excellence Framework.
- Have an appropriate pool of research active staff capable of fulfilling the role of supervisor.
- Provide appropriate facilities and support (as detailed in the Resources and Training subsection below).
Schools also facilitate effective research by providing access and opportunities to interact with academic staff, postdoctoral researchers, and other research students, for example, through research cluster activities, seminars, and peer support networks.
Resources and Training
Queen’s aims to provide an enriching research environment and enable students to access appropriate resources to develop their potential within one of the UK’s leading research intensive Universities.
Upon enrolment on a RDP, students have access to a comprehensive induction programme offered by the Graduate School. To accommodate the on-going enrolment of postgraduate research students across the academic year, induction sessions are offered on a regular basis by the Graduate School. The Graduate School has also provided access to online resources to guide students through the critical periods and milestones of their research.
Regularly updated student handbooks provide students with an overview of University regulations, policies and procedures, and links to support services such as counselling and disability.
Schools provide research students with appropriate facilities, normally including a desk in a shared room (for full-time students), access to computing facilities suitable for their research, use of a telephone for research purposes, library access, and laboratory space (as applicable).
The Graduate School provides a range of services for students including relevant training and advice to assist student development in the research environment. Training and development opportunities include the Postgraduate Development Programme which offers comprehensive training, one to one support and skills development opportunities for research students at the University. The Graduate School along with the Careers, Employability and Skills service provide on-going group and individual career guidance for research students.
Plagiarism and Research Misconduct
The University seeks to ensure that students are provided with clear and concise advice (and training where relevant) in relation to plagiarism and the consequences of this or any other form of research misconduct. To help students make an informed choice as to how they cite their evidence, the Graduate School, Learning Development Service and library provide a wide range of face to face and online citation training. In addition to this, the Centre for Educational Development supports Schools providing students with guidance in the use of similarity checking software packages such as Turnitin.
To ensure the academic standards of the University are adhered to in the delivery and completion of awards which may be offered jointly with another institution, the University has developed a protocol for the establishment and governance of collaborative arrangements. To establish a collaborative agreement Schools should, in the first instance, inform Academic Affairs and the International Office (for agreements with Universities outside the UK). The relevant Faculty office (including the appropriate Dean(s)) should also be consulted and appropriate support secured for the development of a particular arrangement and any associated financial or funding implications.
Regulations relating to the fee and required enrolment status of collaborative research students are contained in the Student Finance Framework, 3.2.5 Collaborative Research Students. The Study Regulations for Research Degree Programmes, regulation 3 outlines further regulations applicable to collaborative research students.