View in browser | 24/07/2023
University of Exeter

Doctoral College Newsletter 24 July 2023

Welcome to this fortnight's issue of the Doctoral College Newsletter. In the following sections you will find:

  • iTrent Learning Events and Absence Reporting
  • Deadline Thursday 27 July: Competition to rename Shut Up and Write
  • PRES Headlines
  • Key Information on LTHE Programme 2023/2024 and Opportunity to complete LTHE Assessment
  • Training and Development
  • 1-2-1 Careers Appointments
  • Opportunities
  • Introducing Zoe Hughes, PGR Education Welfare Advisor
  • Wellbeing (including sessions)
  • Enquiries

Newsletters will resume in September 2023; if you have a news story or an opportunity you would like to advertise please email and we can post it on Twitter.

Please refer to our style guide before submitting your item.


iTrent Learning Events and Absence Reporting

iTrent for PGR absence reporting, annual leave, and learning event bookings is scheduled for 8th August. You will receive an email after the launch with login links and user guides. Learning events for the 2023/24 academic year will be added over the summer; in the meantime, please use our online resources and recordings of previous sessions to support your development.


Deadline Thursday 27 July: Competition to rename Shut Up and Write

We are running a competition for Exeter PGRs to re-name Shut Up and Write. Shut Up and Write is a PGR community that provides online space for PGRs to work alongside other PGRs. This space can be used to do whatever you need to – researching, reading, writing, admin, etc – so we would like a new name that encompasses the full range of what Shut Up and Write provides.

Please submit your name suggestions via this form by Thursday 27 July. There will be a small prize for the winner.

We look forward to hearing your ideas!

Deadline: Thursday 27 July


PRES Headlines

Exeter scores high in the national Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES)

In the 2023 PRES survey, Exeter ranked 10th out of 100 participating institutions for the overall satisfaction, with a score of 83% (up from 81% in 2022). The University is also significantly above the Russell Group benchmark in a majority of survey categories.

PRES is a national survey which allows universities across the UK and beyond to have robust benchmarks on their performance relating to the support and enhancement of the Postgraduate Research experience. Our 2023 results were based on a participation rate of 53%, considerably in excess of the sector average.

These positive results are testimony to excellent work by academic staff across faculties and departments, and professional services staff across the distributed Doctoral College. Additional details will be published in the Doctoral College Newsletter and shared with PGR students and other stakeholders for further analysis in due course.


Key Information on LTHE Programme 2023/2024 and Opportunity to complete LTHE Assessment

The Learning and Teaching in HE (LTHE) Programme commencing next academic year is for all budding PTAs and/or Associates. Please see below key information on this programme:

• The time-table for the face-to-face Autumn Term and Spring Term programme (available in Penryn and Streatham) is available here.

• People can register for the Autumn Term cohort via this page.

From 2023/24, the LTHE team will only be offering online provision in the Summer Term (commencing in May).

• All PGRs who have applied for PTA positions/want to apply for PTA positions must undertake Unit 1. If they would like to undertake assessment, marking and feedback duties, then they must complete units 2 – 5.

Opportunity: Call for PTAs wishing to complete LTHE assessment

Completed the LTHE Programme within the last 5 years? Done lots of supporting learning and want to celebrate your experience and success? Then consider registering for the LTHE Assessment, successful completion of which confers Associate Fellowship of AdvanceHE and 30 credits Advanced Certificate in Learning and Teaching in HE. Full information is here: LTHE Assessment ( Registration for our September deadline closes on 31 July 2023


Training and Development

Our face-to-face and webinar development opportunities will be added to our new booking system over the summer, with our 2023/24 Researcher Development Programme commencing in September 2023. In the meantime, you can find presentation slides and recordings of some of our previous courses on ELE. Further resources are also available on


1-2-1 career appointments available

1-2-1 careers appointments with our dedicated PGR careers coach, Kenneth Howgill, are available to book on Wednesdays and Thursdays each week. Kenneth is a qualified and experienced career coach, lecturer and learning and development professional with over 20 years’ experience within the corporate sector, universities, further and adult education. He has held management roles in the public, corporate and not for profit sectors, leading professional development, coaching programmes, and recruiting graduates. Kenneth is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and holds a business degree, a master's in music and a professional career coaching qualification.

All appointments are 50 minutes long. We will be moving to a new booking system during the summer; please contact



Application Deadline Friday 28 July- Request for Volunteers for British Science Festival: 7-10 September 2023

The University of Exeter Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (IDSAI) would like to invite students to volunteer to help us on their stand at this year's British Science Festival on Thursday, 7 September 2023. The theme for IDSAI’s stand is 'Artificially Intelligent', where they will be demonstrating the use of ChatGPT in action, through quizzes and hands-on challenges. They will also be talking about the use of ChatGPT, its impact on society, the ethical implications and data governance principles that need to be considered. If students would like to volunteer, they can express their interest by completing a simple MS Form. IDSAI will also be offering a small financial gift for their time. The application deadline is this Friday (28 July 2023).

Deadline to apply: Friday 28 July


In Person Event on Friday 25 August 2023 - Doctoral Open Day at The British Library

The British Library would like to invite you to the next exciting Doctoral Open Day onsite at St Pancras, London, titled 'Not Just Books! Digital Collections and Resources', which will take place on Friday 25 August.

Web archives, metadata, born-digital collections, digital research and much, much more. Discover more about collection areas and methodologies you might not have considered for your research, and learn more from our digital research experts! Refreshments will be provided.

Book onto the event here.

For more information on the Doctoral Open Day series, including programmes, dates and booking links, see here.


Human Tissue Act Training

This training is mandatory for anyone wishing to store ANY human samples at the University of Exeter. The next session is on Wednesday 11-Oct-2023, 13:00-14:00 on MS Teams.

If you plan to collect informed consent as part of your research, there is also the Informed Consent training held on Wednesday 11-Oct-2023, 14:15-15:15 on MS Teams.

Please contact for further enquiries or to book your place.


Calling all researchers! Harness the power of AI for your research! 

As part of our Open Research programme the University has invested in a 13 month pilot project of The platform can be used to automatically discover and evaluate scientific articles via Smart Citations. This tool can be extremely useful for researchers getting to grips with new areas of research. 

We will host a launch event to showcase what the tool can do at 13.30-14.30 on July 25th.

Informal queries can be addressed to Prof Mark Kelson

More detail on below:.

Smart Citations allow users to see the context of how a publication has been cited. They also provide a classification that describes whether the publication has supporting or contrasting evidence for the cited claim. With the Scite, researchers can check Smart Citation metrics at the level of articles, journals, organizations, and funders. 

Scholars can run reference analyses on their own papers. Students can ask research questions in plain language and get answers directly from the full text of research articles. A browser extension enables users to see Smart Citations anywhere they're reading a scientific article online.


Introducing Zoe Hughes, PGR Education Welfare Advisor

Zoe provides advice, guidance and signposting on a wide range of issues relating to your welfare, health, personal problems, support for study plans and your options relating to academic progression. Zoe can be a useful first port-of-call when you aren’t sure to whom you should reach out, depending on your support need at that time. All contact with Zoe is confidential and is not recorded on your student record. 

As part of the wider Wellbeing Services team, Zoe supports students based at Streatham, St Luke’s and Penryn. Zoe supports all postgraduate research students (i.e., Doctoral College including MPhil and MbyRes) and those completing the DEdPsych and the DClinPsych.

Zoe work mostly from Streatham Campus in the Old Library but can offer face to face appointments at St Luke’s, when required, on Tuesdays. MSTeams appointments are also available to everyone - wherever they are based.

Zoe offers a “Drop In” service for those in need of time-sensitive academic welfare support, or for whom managing advance appointments is difficult. This service currently runs from Streatham Campus in the Old Library, Room 103 (next door to the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy) on Mondays 1500-1800 and on Fridays 1400-1700 and will soon be running from St Luke’s on a Tuesday afternoon, as soon as a private room can be made available.



Every Mind Matters
Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. The NHS have expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. See their website here.

Spectrum.Life provides a confidential telephone, video, and live chat counselling service to help with stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, bereavement and more.

Wellbeing Centre
If you would like to speak to 
Zoe Hughes, PGR Support Advisor for Welfare, Zoe can be contacted at: or tel: 01392 726207. Further wellbeing information, tools and support can be found on our wellbeing webpages.


Free Mindfulness Sessions

Mindfulness is an evidence-based way to help with anxiety, stress and low mood.

Free mindfulness sessions are provided by an experienced clinical team at our own Mood Disorders Centre. To find out more, please visit our mindfulness webpage.

Our Buddhist Chaplain also offers free weekly, lunchtime mindful meditation sessions. Please see the group page for details and email to join the mailing list.



Details on how you can contact the PGR support team, either via email, telephone or face to face via our hubs (located on all campuses) is available on our contact us webpage.

Remember you can come along and meet the team or to ask any enquiries you might have at either of our helpdesk hubs below at any of our campuses:

The Streatham PGR Hub is open from 10.00am – 3.00pm Monday to Friday. The Streatham Hub is situated in the Old Library Ground Floor next to the Quiet Study Space and Bill Douglas Centre.

The St Luke’s PGR Hub is open from 10.00am – 3.00pm Monday to Thursday. Students wishing to access the hub should go to the Info at St Luke’s desk and request PGR support, the PGR team will then be called to see you.

The Penryn PGR Support Office is open from 10.00am – 2.00pm Monday to Friday and is based in the Postgraduate Suite in Daphne Du Maurier building 3 (next to the SU and opposite the Stannary).

For enquiries surrounding training and development, please contact the team on

To view previous versions of the newsletter, you can do so here.

Information on all PGR support


DC Twitter


Doctoral College Blog

University of Exeter website
www Twitter Our blog