Hi fellow PGRs,

Just wanted to catch you all up on what’s been happening at the Students’ Union lately.

Intercampus Travel: We’re pleased to confirm that if you’re an interdisciplinary PGR in FNES, FEE or Medicine who travels regularly between University campuses you should now be able to arrange with your graduate school to reclaim your bus fares if they exceed £100 a year. This has been agreed with the Doctoral College and should mean that PGRs in this position should no longer be left significantly out of pocket for what is a research expense.

Mental Health: This is a vital issue for PGR wellbeing and SUSU and the Doctoral College have been working together through the PGR mental health working group. You will hopefully have seen that the Doctoral College employed a postdoc who has been conducting focus groups and a survey on the subject and the results of these will be used to inform the University and SUSU’s provision for PGRs with respect to mental wellbeing.

Teaching and Demonstrating: Many PGRs are involved in teaching or demonstrating on undergraduate or other courses. SUSU are concerned to ensure that all PhD students receive fair and equitable treatment with respect to their pay and conditions; teaching opportunities and training and support. We have recently deployed a comprehensive University wide satisfaction survey for PGRs who teach and the results of this will be presented to the University and made public.

Social: A number of the social secs from different PGR societies were involved in organising an all PG social last month. This was a real success and SUSU will be following this up by looking to involve the current PG community in organising a welcome event early in the new academic year for new and returning postgraduate students.

PGR Officer: Following the spring elections we can confirm that the new PGR Officer will be Giles Howard; taking office from 1st July.

We also have official committee emails now so you can contact the relevant PGR Committee member with ideas or questions:

Mike, PGR Officer: pgroffic@soton.ac.uk

Giles, Academic Quality Officer: pgraqo@soton.ac.uk

Megha, Training and Development Officer: pgrtdo@soton.ac.uk

Lyndsy, Welfare Officer: pgrwel@soton.ac.uk

Ben, Community Engagement Officer: pgrceo@soton.ac.uk

Best wishes to everyone!

Mike