The Graduate School is seen as a key element of SRPe. It is one of the guiding principles of the Graduate School Management Team that training and development element should acknowledge the fact that up to 80% of postgraduate research students go into careers in industry rather than in academia. Our development programme will therefore seek to both equip students for the period of their degree programme and to ensure that they are prepared intellectually and practically for engagement outside the Higher Education environment. We will look to work with industrial leaders to provide expertise and experience in this wider context.
We will be developing proposals which take account of the Engineering doctorate structure, so that training and development matches the requirements of the main funding bodies, which will also ensure that this matches to industry expectations and needs, both current and into the foreseeable future.
As we write this, EPSRC is about to review the effectiveness of the Collaborative Training Account (CTA) mechanism of postgraduate training support. The outcomes of the CTA review will be used to shape the characteristics of the successors to CTAs – Knowledge Transfer Accounts (KTAs). SRPe will look to encourage regional partnership engagement in Knowledge Transfer Accounts (KTAs).
The SRPe graduate school will not seek to duplicate or consolidate activities that are efficiently carried out in terms of the scale of participation at institutional or regional partnership level. Its activities should consist of those where there is added benefit from the economies of scale, or where there is a pan-Scotland aspect to the agenda. Therefore a significant role of the SRPe graduate school will be in partnership with the cross-cutting themes management committees for the provision of postgraduate training and activities.
An additional function of the SRPe graduate school will be to encourage and facilitate Scotland-wide communication, dissemination and marketing channels for postgraduate activities and cooperation in engineering. One key enabler would be the creation of an SRPe web-site with a distinct and vigorous graduate school section.
The SRPe has already raised a challenge to industry to engage with it in promoting the development of the next generation of industry leaders and academic staff. It will look to encourage industry sponsorship of SRPe Graduate School prizes for post graduate students. We will work with leading industry figures across the relevant sectors to develop relevant awards.
- Postgraduate training/workshops/seminars allied to SRPe cross-cutting themes and delivered in partnership with the theme’s management committee. These may be delivered using video conferencing and/or grid access facilities across institutions/regional partnerships.
- Action on theme management committees to identify appropriate topics for development into training sessions/workshops/seminars.
- SRPe graduate school will assist in the promotion of regional/institutional postgraduate events/training, broadening participation to include postgraduates in engineering and related disciplines at all Scottish universities. An example of the benefit of such promotion would be by making specialist training in advanced instrumentation or facilities more widely available.
- SRPe graduate school will seek to provide postgraduate training in generic technical skills common across all engineering disciplines where the Scotland-wide scale provides the necessary critical mass. The provision of such activities would need significant supplementary external resources. However, EPSRC and professional societies are amenable to contributing to the support of such training events and the SRPe graduate school would coordinate the submission of proposal(s) for support. Examples of such generic technical topics are:
- Advanced Mathematics
- Computational Modelling and Simulation
- Although SRPe graduate school would not seek to rationalise “Roberts” transferable skills training as the critical mass for their delivery already exists within institutions or regional partnerships, there may be opportunities for promoting and organising pan-Scotland events targeted at engineers. An example of this could be a UK Grad School event held in Scotland for engineers.
- SRPe graduate school will encourage and facilitate trans-regional partnerships for the delivery of joint Masters programmes where there are opportunities, student demand and interest from the institutions involved.
- SRPe graduate school will encourage and facilitate joint supervision of research students, where appropriate, on a trans-regional scale, particularly in the context of the cross-cutting themes.
- SRPe graduate school will promote the sharing of best practice in postgraduate research and teaching in engineering in Scotland.
- SRPe graduate school will develop links with pooling initiatives in related disciplines, seek to develop joint activities where appropriate and promote the sharing of best practice across disciplines.