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Part-time Postgraduate Research Officer Update

Written by: Ahmed Hammad, Part-time Postgraduate Research Officer

Feedback collected

* So far, I managed to create a group on Facebook to PGRS which has 120 members so far, and add them to the WhatsApp group totalling 186 members so far.

* The PGRs are so happy that this group is created as they were to some point feeling isolated giving the busy life of PhD.

* I have managed to create a survey form to collect database for the group concerning which faculty they are in, which stage, whether they are studying from Plymouth or abroad, whether they want academic or social activities, and which days and dates are better for these activities and which activities is preferable for them.

* These are some of their responses from 34 members regarding which activities do they want to do;

- Sports activities and peer to peer research skills sessions

- Coffee meets, going to different places such as the aquarium etc.

- City walks

- Games night, doing quizzes, bingo lingo, Movies

- Playing Badminton/ Ping-Pong / Pools Ball / Hiking / Cycling etc.

- Meetups, tours, seminars, academic talk, poster sessions

- Family friendly

- Social meet ups, and academic guidance where possible

- Social events/meet and greet/academic help

- Coffee chats, study groups, meals out, bowling or axe throwing

- Coffee/tea cafe visits, pizza and board games

- External Seminars (maybe with alumnus) and Writing sessions.

- Swimming pools

- Regular meetups would be nice, like maybe setup a time based on this form's responses, same time every week and then people who are free will show up, just a simple space to chat or even work. SU is ideal for this.

 

The main issue the PGRs are facing is whether we should regard their group as a formal SU society or just informal group. They are afraid if it has become a society, it means it will be available to all students, not just PGRs, and will be led by students, which to some point ruins the idea of making it exclusively to PGRs.

So, I had a meeting with SU and we agreed to form a formal group to them but not a society in its normal sense and will be called ‘PGRs Community’

 

Manifesto Progress

* Regarding my manifesto, I believe I made a good start by gathering this number of PGRs to a single group. Also, I keep emailing the other PGRs who did not join the group yet to tell them about the group’s progress and invite them to any social activities that I organise which steadily brings more PGRs to the group.

 

Meetings attended or activities completed

* So far, I had the first social gathering with them on the Bonfire day. We met at SU and talked for like an hour and a half, then went to the hoe and enjoyed the bonfire and fireworks. They loved it so much and did not want to go home, and so, we went back again to SU to complete the night.

 

* The second social gathering was online to connect with those who did not come to the bonfire and anyone who was not currently at Plymouth.

 

* The third gathering was an academic one. I already gave a session about RDC1 since a lot of PGRs are in their first year, and so I uploaded the files necessary for them and Panopto recording. They appreciated it a lot.

 

Activities in the Future

* The next social gathering will be an early Christmas Lunch day on Friday, 2nd of December, at 2PM, at CKY building, room 417. They are so excited for the lunch day and are very happy and looking forward to attending it.

 

* I wanted to do a bowling or ice skating day, but it is very close to organise this week and then next week the lunch day. So, I will do it after the lunch day.

 

* Also, I will organise a walk to Mount Edgcumbe soon.

 

* I really wanted to organise a winter ball for them, but I guess it might be very expensive in addition to lots of PGRs will take a leave and may not be available.

 

- That is all.