While you are studying

A postgraduate research degree is a serious undertaking and requires a high level of commitment.


Commitment to your research

It is important that you complete your research degree within the standard period of study. It provides the preparation and training for a professional career and requires the same commitment to meeting objectives and timescales for the completion of work. Full-time postgraduate researchers (PGRs) are expected to work on their research project for an average of at least 37.5 hours per week, the same as a full-time academic post. This does not include paid work. Part-time PGRs are expected to work on their projects for at least 20 hours per week. Your work load will inevitably vary throughout the year and should be agreed with your supervisor. Additional hours may be necessary when you’re approaching a specific deadline such as the submission of a transfer report or thesis.

Responsibilities of postgraduate researchers

The University requires you to:
  • maintain regular contact with your supervisor(s)
  • attend a minimum of 10 formal supervisory meetings per year (for full time PGRs) or six  per year (for part-time PGRs)
  • keep records of formal supervision meetings in GRAD
  • carry out research effectively, to submit work regularly and to an adequate standard against a timescale agreed with your supervisor(s)
  • attend appropriate training courses, personal development programmes and research seminars in consultation with your supervisor(s)
Please see the Code of Practice for research degree candidatures for all responsibilities of postgraduate researchers and supervisors.
As part of your work load you will also be expected to undertake other professional activity such as attending conferences and undertaking fieldwork.

Postgraduate researcher handbook

As well as the Code of Practice for research degree candidature, PGRs also have a handbook called the Doctoral College Handbook, or PGR handbook. The handbook is there for you to refer to at any point in your candidature. It offers guidance on topics including: 
  • Getting started with your studies 
  • Registration 
  • GRAD 
  • Fees 
  • What you need to know during your research 
  • Making changes 
  • Assessment 
  • Beyond the viva 
The PGR handbook is a key source of information for all PGRs at the University and does not just cover formal policies and procedures. You can find information on PGR reps, Support and wellbeing, council tax, fieldwork, holiday entitlement and more. 
You should be able to access your handbook via the Leeds Doctoral College Minerva organisation or via your Graduate School Minerva organisation. If you cannot find a copy of the PGR handbook or require it in an alternative format, please get in touch with your Graduate School (scroll down to the bottom of the page after clicking the link to find Graduate School contacts).