POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH Expectations and Experiences
UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
CONTENTS 01 Foreword from Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Arthur 02 INTRODUCTION
11 FACULTY PROFILES AND CASE STUDIES
02 Introduction to Leeds
12 Faculty of Arts
03 Research profile of the University
14 Faculty of Biological Sciences
04 Support for international students
16 Faculty of Business
04 Services to sponsors
18 Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law
04 International links
20 Faculty of Engineering
06 SUPPORT FOR POSTGRADUATE RESEARCHERS 07 Supervisor expertise 07 Research training 08 Graduate Training and Support Centre
22 Faculty of Environment 24 Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences 26 Faculty of Medicine and Health 28 Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications
08 Graduate Schools
30 FURTHER INFORMATION
08 Doctoral Training Centres
30 The range of research degrees available
08 Personal support network
09 CAREER DESTINATIONS 09 Career pathways 10 Our graduates 10 Careers Centre
32 Entry requirements
FOREWORD Our community of over 2,000 postgraduate researchers form a vital part of Leeds’ vibrant research culture. Their work makes a crucial contribution to the advancement of knowledge within and across disciplines, and often has a wider impact on society – whether they are part of a major project involving several researchers, and perhaps spanning different disciplines, or working independently within their own discipline. Accomplished individuals choose to come to Leeds to work with academics who are leaders in their fields. Driven by a passion for their subject, they are contributing to research in a wide variety of areas. For some of our postgraduate researchers, undertaking a PhD is the start of their academic career, whether pursued at Leeds or elsewhere, whilst others take their advanced skills and expertise into industry or the professions or related fields. In the following pages you will read the stories of current and recent postgraduate researchers, how they’ve changed and developed, and how their work is impacting upon our understanding and knowledge of issues including sustainable development, exploring faith in modern society, and improving survival rates for cancer patients. Postgraduates and the staff they work with are helping Leeds move from strength to strength in research. We have increased our research income in a competitive environment – it is set to total £117m in 2010 – and the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise ranked Leeds in the UK’s top ten for research power. These successes have only been achieved with the tremendous dedication of all of our researchers, including our postgraduate students. Our facilities are being boosted by a major £194m investment programme which started in 2007 and will continue through to 2015. We Wehave havealready already opened new facilities for research and teaching in environment and performance and cultural industries and these are joined by byinvestments investments in a new childcare centre and sports centre which make our campus a fantastic place to work and study. I have every confidence that the future of research at Leeds is positive and that our talented early career researchers will continue to make a contribution to higher education and innovation around the world.
PROFESSOR MICHAEL ARTHUR VICE-CHANCELLOR
02 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
INTRODUCTION TO LEEDS With enormous economic, environmental and societal challenges facing the world, there has never been a greater need for original, creative and innovative research – research that drives highly competitive, knowledge-driven economies, and that supports diverse contemporary societies. In rising to this challenge, a UK research degree combines the acquisition of research skills and knowledge with the opportunity to develop a much wider range of attributes, to prepare for employment in the modern commercial or academic environment and to help postgraduate students realise personal ambitions, whatever their chosen future career path. Our ability to combine international excellence in research and sectorleading career mentoring and development means this really is a great time to be a research student at the University of Leeds. The aim of a research degree is to build on existing knowledge and enthusiasm for a subject and, through individual exploration and experiment, make an original contribution to the understanding of that subject through supervised research. The University of Leeds is one of the largest centres for research training in the UK, and has an outstanding reputation in research as highlighted by our success in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. Our commitment to training the next generation of excellent researchers is demonstrated by our significant investments in supporting researchers’ personal and professional development. We host the Vitae regional ‘Hub’ for the Yorkshire and North East region of England. Vitae is a national, UK government research council-funded organisation working to support researchers’ personal and professional development (see www.vitae.ac.uk). The University plays a leading role nationally in the evaluation of researcher development and contributes to the further understanding of how to enhance development practice for researchers. As one of the largest universities in the UK, our nine research-intensive faculties offer an enormous range of subjects from which postgraduates can choose to study. Whichever subject a postgraduate research student decides to study, they can be confident that they will be supervised by exceptional scholars who are at the forefront of their fields.
It was very important for me to choose a university which encouraged interdisciplinarity. I chose the University of Leeds primarily because it met this criterion and offered expansive library facilities including access to archives and a host of primary resources. I have made friends from all over the world and have access to numerous opportunities for publication and an intellectually stimulating environment that fosters learning. What could be better? Savi Munjal, PhD student School of English
The staff at Leeds are always timely and helpful with our wide range of requests and enquiries. Having worked with various members of staff throughout the University they all show a genuine care for the wellbeing and academic success of our students. Sara Williams Careers Adviser Aramco Overseas Company UK Limited
Research profile of the University
The following tables detail the number of new entrants each year, and the registered total of postgraduate research students â€“ full-time and part-time â€“ in each faculty for each year since 2005/6. They show that the number of new postgraduate research students entering Leeds each year has more than doubled in the past five years. The University now has more than 2,000 postgraduate research students, and numbers continue to grow across each of the nine faculties. This vibrant intellectual community offers increased opportunities for collaborative, interdisciplinary partnerships.
POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH ENTRANTS Faculty
Education, social sciences & law
Mathematics & physical sciences
Medicine & health
Performance, visual arts & communications
Education, social sciences & law
Mathematics & physical sciences
Medicine & health
Performance, visual arts & communications
Total each year POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH STUDENTS Faculty
Total each year
04 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
Support for international students
Leeds is already a major destination for international postgraduate research students, many of whom are funded by home governments and universities, and internationalisation is an essential part of the Universityâ€™s current and future strategy. With postgraduate research students coming from 130 different countries and members of staff from 101 countries, Leeds welcomes new arrivals into a diverse and thriving research community. Our International Student Office provides a comprehensive range of support for international students. This includes a welcome service for new arrivals, orientation and training courses, immigration advice, support for placing children in schools and other family services, together with general advice about living and studying in Leeds. Potential postgraduate research students can contact our local offices in South Asia (New Delhi), South East Asia (Kuala Lumpur), China, Japan and Nigeria. We also have a number of local agents who can give advice on the opportunities and funding available for postgraduate research students. Full information on these can be found at www.leeds.ac.uk/international/agentscontacts The University has a world-class Language Centre that supports international PhD students who require additional English preparation. Programmes and entry points are available throughout the year. More information can be found at www.leeds.ac.uk/languages/lc_home
Services to sponsors
The University has a comprehensive service for sponsors to ensure students are placed effectively at Leeds and that progress monitoring and reporting is coordinated efficiently. A central team within the International Office liaises with sponsors, arranges visits and meetings with students, collects progress reports and helps with coordination of fee payments. This service creates a streamlined response service which is highly valued by our partners. If you are a sponsor University or partner seeking advice, or wish to find out more about establishing such a relationship with the University, please contact www.leeds.ac.uk/international
Leeds has several significant international partnerships and collaborations, and is a founder member of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) â€“ a partnership of research-led universities from Europe, North America, South East Asia and Australia. Informal and formal international collaborations are encouraged, including visiting lectureships, student placement, joint seminars, conferences or symposia, joint publications, virtual resource sharing and other collaborative outputs which help to connect investigators at Leeds with the best global research.
I greatly appreciate the International Office, Staff and Departmental Development Unit, Joblink and Career Centre due to their outstanding help and guidance. Their support enabled me to get the UK student visa, to win the top prize in our Environment Conference, to increase my employability through getting part-time work experience during studies and finally to receive guidance in full-time job hunting. Dr Fayyaz Qadir Institute for Transport Studies
Working with the International Office truly made our visit planning and executing our schedule effortless each time. We are very pleased with the guidance and marvellous support provided to our students. Sukhdeep Kaur Manager, Student Supervisory Services Studygroup
06 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
SUP ERV ISOR EXP ERT ISE
RESEAR CH TRA INING
GRADUATE TRAINING AND SUPPORT CENTRE
SUPPORT FOR POSTGRADUATE RESEARCHERS The University offers its research students a comprehensive support service from admission until graduation and beyond.
OLS TE SCHO A U D A R G
RK TWO E N T POR P U AL S SON R E P
As well as helping students to learn and enhance their academic skills and expertise, we can offer support and advice on areas such as accommodation, finance and childcare.
Postgraduate research students are essential to the research activity of the University and are valued for the contributions they make. At Leeds we place great importance on the success and personal development of each student. To support this, we have developed a set of standards for research supervision and support, based on the Quality Assurance Agencyâ€™s Code of Practice, which we believe makes us amongst the UKâ€™s leaders in research training. We believe that supervisors have a key role to play in the development of postgraduate research students. As a result, postgraduate students have a least one supervisor to help with studies (many students have two supervisors). Experts in their own areas, supervisors draw on their knowledge and experience of research management to help postgraduate research students plan, investigate and experiment in their chosen field. They will give encouragement, advice and guidance, all within the high standards of supervision laid down by the University. Our supervisors are responsible for various activities including, but not limited to: (i) conducting a training needs analysis within one month of commencement of study and ensuring that the student receives the appropriate research training (ii) approving a timetable for the work of the student and seeing that it is followed (iii) advising on all aspects of the research and thesis preparation (iv) commenting within a reasonable time on written work (v) making written reports on the studentâ€™s progress as required (vi) ensuring the student receives written feedback on the assessment of their progress, and drawing any problems to the attention of the student (vii) reading and commenting on the draft thesis.
We place a great emphasis on the acquisition of generic transferable skills within the research environment; postgraduate research students are encouraged to manage their own development and to participate in all types of training. Each student discusses his or her training needs with their supervisor when they arrive and produces a personal development plan. Supervisors regularly monitor and review progress against the plan, and students are prompted to reflect on performance and achievements and adjust their plan accordingly. Students are encouraged to publish their work during their PhD, and conference attendance is an integral element of most PhD studies at Leeds.
I applied for a Collaborative Doctoral Award run between the School of Performance and Cultural Industries (PCI), University of Leeds and Opera North, and funded by the AHRC. This project is a rare and fantastic opportunity to immerse myself as a researcher into the life and practice of a real opera company. Jenny Daniel, PhD student School of Music/PCI/Opera North
I can only see it (a PhD) as advantageous in getting ahead in your prospective career and broadening opportunities and opening more doors. If you are lucky enough to be working with industry, it introduces you to people you may never have been able to get close to before. Louise Manfredi, PhD student School of Mechanical Engineering
08 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
Development opportunities are offered by schools, faculties and services working closely together to provide the most appropriate, targeted provision possible. On arriving at the University, each student will discuss and agree with their supervisor an initial training plan tailored specifically to support their development needs.
Faculty graduate schools provide support and guidance for postgraduates and academic staff; this is in addition to that given by schools and central services. For instance, they provide research training, organise conferences, seminars and social events.
Training and development opportunities open to postgraduate research students include:
Doctoral Training Centres
• Comprehensive support and guidance in every aspect of the research degree process, from induction and project management through first year report, to thesis preparation and viva. • Integrated development opportunities in essential research practice, including participating and presenting at conferences, submitting work for publication, learning from those academics who have been successful in obtaining funding for their research. • Developing their research profile and disseminating their research to audiences within and beyond the academic community. • Application of the outcomes of their research, eg, developing a business. • Obtaining a qualification in teaching in higher education. • Development that opens up exciting employment opportunities in research and other sectors. • Local, national and international development opportunities through collaborative research and partnerships with leading higher education institutions and external organisations.
Graduate Training and Support Centre
The University’s Graduate Training and Support Centre is a dedicated facility offering a wide-ranging skills training programme open to all researchers. The Centre also works closely with faculties to provide bespoke provison specifically tailored to subject area needs. It aims to enhance the research performance and employability of research students. Training programmes are provided by a dedicated team of staff who bring together an impressive combination of experienced published researchers, training and development practitioners, and professional expertise in subject areas.
Leeds also has two grant-funded Doctoral Training Centres (DTCs) in specialist areas: • Low Carbon Technologies – its aim is to develop innovative technologies for a low carbon future, based around key interlinking themes in Low Carbon Technologies, Transport and Energy, Carbon Storage, and Climate Change and Energy Systems Research. www.engineering.leeds.ac.uk/speme/dtc/research • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine – the White Rose Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York support this DTC, which brings together a cohort of postgraduate research students and their supervisors to develop effective clinical therapies for the treatment of human diseases and disabilities. www.dtcterm.leeds.ac.uk
Personal support network
We recognise that our research students may also need support in other non-academic areas, and our support network offers a wide range of services, including a comprehensive housing service, childcare facilities, advice and equipment for students with a disability, a medical practice, a counselling service and a chaplaincy centre.
CAREER DESTINATIONS We like to keep up to date with our research students after they have graduated to find out how they are progressing. Of the postgraduate research students in 2007 who gave us feedback, 97.8% were either working or in further education six months after they graduated. This statistic rises to 100% of UK and EU students in the Faculties of Biological Sciences, Engineering and Education, Social Sciences and Law.
Of the postgraduate research cohort for 2007: • nearly half were employed in the education sector • over a third were in research roles across all sectors • 27% were working as research staff in the higher education sector • 11% were in lecturing posts in higher education • 15% were education and teaching professionals.
Further Education Teaching Professionals
The majority of our non-EU international research students return to their sponsoring institutions to take up academic posts. These students often maintain professional links with Leeds throughout their careers, and the good working relationships developed at Leeds with staff and other students form a base for future collaborations. Students who are not committed to returning home on degree completion frequently gain post-doctoral positions in Leeds and other UK universities.
Once they have completed their doctorates, student researchers follow a variety of career pathways, some directly linked to their subject area, others use the broader, more generic skills acquired during their study period.
The skills developed by many research students during their doctorates give them the confidence and strength of character to pursue their chosen career path.
Higher Education Teaching Professionals Medical Practitioners Psychologists
Biological Scientists and Biochemists Chemists Clergy Engineering Professionals Nec* Housing and Welfare Officers Scientific Researchers Business and Related Associate Professionals Nec* Laboratory Technicians Mechanical Engineers Social Science Researchers Physicists, Geologists and Meteorologists Others *(Nec) Not elsewhere covered
10 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
We have a reputation for producing postgraduates at the forefront of their fields, and a PhD from Leeds can often provide an excellent route into a career in academia or the business world. Postgraduate students from Leeds are highly employable and in demand.
Postgraduate research students study with experts at the cutting edge of their subjects. Research students are expected to contribute to the discovery of new knowledge and acquire a thorough understanding of their subject specialism. In addition, they have training to develop the personal skills and abilities which are invaluable in the workplace and in demand by employers. These include the skills of team working, decision making, self-awareness, leadership and communications. At Leeds there are many opportunities to acquire these skills, through a combination of academic study, training workshops, co-curricular activity and by getting fully involved in university life. It is increasingly clear from industry and business feedback that there is an employment premium for research students. In the sciences, companies want people well-trained in a research intensive environment and other organisations, too, such as law and accountancy, seek research students for their capacity for critical thinking, well-developed project management skills, a high degree of self-reliance, and the ability to articulate ideas. Through our wide range of training and support, we help postgraduate research students to market themselves to employers by showing their skills and personal qualities in their best light.
Our career consultants know the needs of postgraduates and can give individual advice and guidance to students at all stages of their studies. The Centre also provides a workshop for postgraduates which covers career planning, skills recognition and articulation, CVs and application forms, interviews, psychometric testing practise and feedback, and building an academic career. For more information contact www.careerweb.leeds.ac.uk
Capita Symonds recruits PhD graduates from a range of disciplines. Aside from the obvious benefits of targeted research for industrial application, individuals who partake in a research degree also develop a plethora of transferable skills that are highly desirable in industry. PhD graduates typically develop evolved oral and written ability, structured reasoning and debating skills, timekeeping and financial awareness, and can work both independently and in teams whilst taking ownership and responsibility for their work. As a Leeds graduate, I have first-hand knowledge of the diversity of the academic and social opportunities offered by the University. This leads to an environment that encourages postgraduates to become well-rounded individuals prepared for the workplace. Dr Matthew Roberts Associate, Flood Risk and Water Management Capita Symonds
FACULTY PROFILES AND CASE STUDIES Faculty of Arts Faculty of Biological Sciences Faculty of Business Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law Faculty of Engineering Faculty of Environment Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences Faculty of Medicine and Health Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications
12 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
Faculty of ARTS
The TheFaculty Facultyhas hasaround around250 250research researchstudents. students. 90% 90%ofofArts Artsresearch researchgraduates graduatessecured securedemployment employmentororentered enteredfurther furtherstudy studywithin withinsix sixmonths monthsofofleaving leavingLeeds. Leeds. T TheheInstitute InstituteofforMedieval MedievalStudies Studieshosts hoststhetheInternational InternationalMedieval MedievalCongress Congresseach eachyear, year,which whichattracts attracts1,500 1,500 participants participantsannually, annually,the thelargest largestsuch suchevent eventininEurope. Europe. AArts rtsoffers offers109 109Arts Artsand andHumanities HumanitiesResearch ResearchCouncil Council(AHRC) (AHRC)studentships studentshipsthrough throughits itsBlock BlockGrant GrantPartnership Partnership (2009-13) (2009-13)and andhas hassecured securedanother anothernine nineAHRC AHRCCollaborative CollaborativeDoctoral DoctoralAwards. Awards. Research in the Faculty of Arts is undertaken within two unitary schools (English and History) and two federal schools (the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, the UK’s largest centre for languages and cultures research) and Humanities (Philosophy, Classics and Theology and Religious Studies). Arts entered 12 Units of Assessment (UoAs) in the Research Assessment Exercise 2008 and secured a major uplift in the rating of its research. Of the 20 UoAs that Leeds had in the top quartile of their respective sectors, Arts provided five of them. The Faculty is also home to interdisciplinary research in a variety of centres and institutes, including the White Rose East Asian Studies Centre (in receipt of £4.25m funding from the HEFCE AHRC/ESRC Language-Based Area Studies Initiative), the long-established Institute for Medieval Studies, the Centre for World Cinemas, and the Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. Our staff and students enjoy the support of the Leeds Humanities Research Institute (LHRI). Established from an investment of £880,000 in 2005, the LHRI promotes innovative individual and interdisciplinary research in the arts and humanities. It provides a range of support and services across disciplines, and regularly hosts research seminars and postgraduate workshops, including professionalisation training for postgraduates facing the challenges of getting a job (in academia and the arts more generally). The training encourages arts postgraduates to reflect on the skills developed during their postgraduate work. www.leeds.ac.uk/arts www.leeds.ac.uk/lhri/postgraduates
DR TOBIAS CAPWELL Originally from Seattle, Tobias Capwell’s lifelong interest in medieval history led him to come to Leeds to work for the Royal Armouries – the national collection of arms and armour – shortly after it opened in 1996. He completed both his MA in Medieval Studies and his PhD at the Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds. He is now the Curator of Arms and Armour at the Wallace Collection in London. His decision to apply to study at Leeds was, he says, influenced by two main factors. “I was interested in chivalric culture, and arms and armour in particular, so I needed to approach the subject from a number of different angles – this work required an interdisciplinary approach. At that time Leeds was somewhat unusual in that it was encouraging its students to work in an interdisciplinary way,” he says. “The University is also very close to the Royal Armouries Museum, which has one of the world’s most important specialist libraries devoted to the study of weapons. This is an invaluable resource for anyone working in this area.” Toby was supervised by the University’s Professor Wendy Childs and Karen Watts, Senior Curator of Armour and Art at the Royal Armouries. “I greatly benefited from Wendy’s experience as a medieval historian; she pointed me in directions I would not have otherwise considered, and was very generous with important references from her own files. At the same time Karen, as a specialist in medieval and Renaissance armour, oversaw the focused content of the work, testing the fine details of my arguments in discussions and ensuring it all made consistent sense. In the case of a thesis that turned out to be nearly 1,100 pages long, this was fundamentally important!” In 2003, whilst he was still writing up his PhD, Toby was appointed Curator of Arms and Armour at Glasgow Museums. He went on to join the Wallace Collection in October 2006. His time at Leeds equipped him with the skills necessary to continue his studies throughout his working life. “After my PhD I felt very well-equipped to deal with the constant and sometimes quite difficult analytical problems that present themselves to a museum curator.”
JASJITSINGH JASJIT SINGH With a successful career in IT and a passionate interest in religion, Jasjit Singh began his postgraduate studies with a part-time diploma course through the Open University, followed by a Masters degree at the University of Leeds. He is now part way through his PhD. Jasjit was interested in finding out more about what makes young people religious and why they choose to follow certain religions. He gave up fulltime work to undertake his PhD project Keeping the Faith: The transmission of Sikhism among young British Sikhs in 2008. Having spent the previous twelve years in technical roles, Jasjit had some initial concerns. “I hadn’t written an essay for years,” he says. “But I got a lot of distinctions during my MA, which gave me confidence. I chose Leeds because the MA course in Religion and Public Life was quite flexible and I could fit it in around work.” In January 2008, Jasjit and Professor Kim Knott of the University’s School of Theology and Religious Studies successfully applied to the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society programme, a collaborative research fund, which enabled Jasjit to enter academia full time. Jasjit’s research about young British-born Sikhs analyses cultural and religious identity and considers generational issues. “There’s a real religious interest among many young Sikhs,” says Jasjit. “I’m interested to know why, where that interest has come from and how the religious and cultural values of Sikhism are being interpreted by this group. I’m particularly interested in understanding how 18-30 year old British Sikhs are learning about Sikhism.” The Bradford Educational and Cultural Association of Sikhs (BECAS) are partners in Jasjit’s research project. “BECAS has been instrumental in raising awareness of the project in the Sikh community and they are incredibly supportive,” says Jasjit. “Working with another organisation means we have the chance to disseminate our research outside academia.” He has featured on BBC Radio’s 2 Pause for Thought and the Sikh Channel. “Moving to academia has been a real life change, but I can honestly say it’s been worth it. I’m passionate about my subject. Sikhism is quite underrepresented in academia, a gap I’m keen to fill,” he says.
14 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
Faculty of BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES Some Over 300 200 PhD students are being trained in the Faculty and it has students from over 30 countries worldwide enrolled enrolledininpostgraduate postgraduatecourses. courses. The TheFaculty’s Faculty’sresearch researchisiscarried carriedout outwithin withinthree threeinstitutes: institutes: ••Institute InstituteofofIntegrative Integrativeand andComparative ComparativeBiology Biology ••Institute InstituteofofMembrane Membraneand andSystems SystemsBiology Biology ••Institute InstituteofofMolecular Molecularand andCellular CellularBiology Biology Around Aroundhalf halfthe theFaculty’s Faculty’spostgraduate postgraduateresearchers researchersgogoonontotocontinue continuetheir theircareers careersininaaresearch researchenvironment. environment. Leeds is one of the leading centres for biological sciences in the UK, with expertise across a broad spectrum of disciplines, and offers a vibrant and dynamic research and training environment. The Faculty’s place amongst the UK’s elite for biosciences was confirmed by the Research Assessment Exercise 2008; Leeds was ranked fourth in the UK by the leading scientific journal Nature, based on the numbers of staff producing research that was ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Interdisciplinarity is a key strength with research coordinated within six main research groups and concentrating on three broad themes: • Improving understanding of how the surprisingly small number of genes in a genome are regulated and interact to provide the information needed for the complexity of highly-evolved organisms ranging from plants to humans. A particular emphasis involves understanding the interactions of proteins with other proteins, nucleic acids and small molecules. • Improving knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of human genetic disorders and disease, in particular cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes and infections such as hepatitis C and MRSA. • Developing methods to allow sustainable agriculture in the face of the twin threats of human population growth and climate change; both in terms of security of food production (including novel crops) and also in terms of ecological sustainability.
DR GERARD HUYSMANS Belgian national Gerard Huysmans came to Leeds after his undergraduate degree in bioengineering which he completed at the Free University Brussels. He gained his PhD at the University of Leeds, where he now works as a post-doctoral researcher on a large EU funded project called the European Drug Initiative for Channels and Transporters (EDICT). Having had an interest in science at an early age, Gerard felt that undertaking a PhD was a logical next step for him, and began looking at opportunities across Europe. “When I first made contact with the Faculty of Biological Sciences at Leeds I got an almost immediate, and very helpful and enthusiastic response,” says Gerard. “I got a lot of help from Professor Sheena Radford in the early stages of applying for my PhD and the funding for it, which came from the Wellcome Trust.” Gerard’s PhD studies centred around techniques for the study of how proteins obtain structure in lipid membranes, a complex area of science. “There is still so much to learn about membrane proteins,” says Gerard. “And we’re continuing to develop new techniques to enable us to discover more about how they work.”
The scale and diversity of our research provides an excellent training environment, with students drawing on our base of world-class research. The Graduate School is home to over 200 postgraduate research students. We recruit outstanding graduates from across the globe with students from over 30 countries.
Gerard was supervised by Professor Stephen Baldwin, with whom he now works, Dr David Brockwell and Professor Sheena Radford. Each of his supervisors offered a different perspective on his work and all are members of Leeds’ internationally-recognised Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology.
In addition to research and graduate training, our active bioenterprise community brings together people from government, business and academia to deliver benefits to wider society and has helped generate successful spin-off companies.
“Doing a PhD is so much more than furthering knowledge and learning about research,” says Gerard. “At Leeds there are lots of opportunities to gain transferable skills, for example in communicating your work to the public or the media, or how to manage projects. There’s a whole package of short courses to develop extra skills here at Leeds.”
Gerard wants to pursue a research career. “My priority is to acquire new skills in my current post and communicate those through publication,” says Gerard. “I want to continue to build my research profile so that when the time comes I can apply for the next research role.”
DR JAMES ROSINDELL James had looked at a range of jobs when he finished his undergraduate degree, but a PhD project at Leeds was what captured his attention. The advertisement for the project said that it was ideally suited to a mathematician with an interest in biology and ecology. “I came to Leeds because I was really interested in the PhD project,” says James. “I didn’t have any fixed ideas about my career, but it wasn’t long before I realised that I really wanted to work in scientific research.” James’ PhD was supervised by Dr Stephen Cornell and was funded through a University of Leeds scholarship. His project focused on mathematical and computational modelling for large-scale large scale patterns patterns of of ecology ecology in in areas areas where where many species co-exist. “This sort of work helps us to understand and find explanations for patterns in biodiversity all over the world. Primarily we applied them to rainforests during my PhD,” he says. During his PhD project James published three papers, in high quality academic journals including Ecology Letters and Ecology Publication, along with presentations at conferences. conferences and “Getting getting to to know know as as many many people people as as possible is incredibly important in a research career,” says James. James believes that he learnt learneda awide widerange rangeofoftransferable transferableskills skillswhilst whilstatat Leeds. “I think one of the greatest things I learnt learnedwas wasthe theability abilitytotowork work completely independently,” he says. “I’ve also learnt learnedhow howtotopresent presenttoto different audiences, improved my writing skills and increased my knowledge and experience of ecology and computing.” James completed his PhD in late 2009 and now holds a personal research fellowship funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). James is still based at Leeds, but his current three-year project sees him travelling the world. He is working with research groups at Imperial College, London and in The Netherlands, Panama and the United States. James’ James’swork workwith withthese thesegroups groupshas hasalready alreadyled ledtotofurther further publications including a second paper in Ecology Letters.
16 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
Faculty of BUSINESS
Nearly Nearly90% 90%ofofthe thefaculty’s Faculty’sPhD PhDstudents studentsgogoonontotocareers careersininacademia academiaororresearch. research. Our Ouracademics academicshave haveacted actedasasconsultants consultantsand andadvisers adviserstotomore morethan than8080companies companiesand andorganisations organisationsinin the theUK UKand andabroad. abroad. The Thefaculty Facultywas wasplaced placedininthe thetop top1010ofofmore morethan than9090UKUKbusiness businessschools schoolsbybythe the2008 2008RAE RAEreview. review. The Thefaculty Facultyparticipates participatesinin1212cross-disciplinary cross-disciplinaryresearch researchcentres. centres. Leeds University Business School is one of the most influential business schools in the UK and the Research Assessment Exercise 2008 placed us in the UK top 10 for the quality of our research. This has enabled us to build a global reputation, attracting top students and academics to engage in high-quality research. The School’s international focus has helped it bring together around 90 research students and staff drawn from over 60 countries. The School’s research activity is organised by the broad-based subject divisions and supported by our multi-disciplinary research groups and 12 cross-disciplinary research centres. These affiliated centres play an important role in fostering boundary-extending research covering the broad spectrum of business, economics, management and policy issues. The main research themes for each division are: • Accounting and Finance: Financial services, credit management and corporate governance • Economics: Post-Keynesian economics, monetary and fiscal policy and development • International Business: Globalisation, international business and crosscultural management • Management: Leadership, strategic management technology and decision-making • Marketing: Strategic marketing, consumer behaviour and communications • Work and Employment Relations: Human resource management and contemporary developments in work and employment relations. http://business.leeds.ac.uk http://business.leeds.ac.uk/research-degrees
MATT DAVIS The opportunity to work both with recognised experts and large companies was the key driver for Matt Davis undertaking his PhD at the University of Leeds. Having undertaken a Masters degree at the University of Sheffield, Matt was attracted to Leeds after meeting Professor Chris Clegg of Leeds University Business School’s Centre for Socio-Technical Systems Design (CSTSD). “Chris was a visiting professor at Sheffield,” explains Matt. “It was his approach to research that I found really interesting. Many academics focus on theory, whereas Chris is much more problem focused and looks at ways in which theory can be applied to organisations.” Matt is in the final year of his PhD, entitled Incorporating psychological and organisational issues during the design of new buildings and facilities. His major research interests centre on working environments and how individuals interact and perceive the space in which they work. His studies have been funded through a scholarship from the Business School, with additional support from Rolls-Royce and a University-financed Transformation Fund project, ‘Changing the Way We Live and Work’. An additional draw to Leeds was, says Matt, the long-standing relationships the School has with large organisations such as Rolls-Royce. Matt has worked with Rolls-Royce on a project called Factory of the Future, an interdisciplinary project which also included architects and engineers. “Along with enjoying the autonomy of the research I’ve done for my PhD, I’ve also really enjoyed working alongside the team in CSTSD,” says Matt. “I’ve definitely become a lot more savvy. I’m better at networking and developing good business relationships now and have also gained useful skills such as report writing and presentation skills, which will be really helpful for the future.” On the subject of the future, Matt would like to continue working in a research environment to better establish himself, but ultimately is working towards what he terms ‘a blended career’. He says: “In an ideal world I’ll be able to mix research work with consultancy, which would enable my research to influence my consultancy practice and vice versa.”
DANIELLA FJELLSTROM Swedish national Daniella Fjellstrom decided to undertake her PhD at the Centre for International Business at the University of Leeds (CIBUL) because of its world-leading reputation. Daniella says: “I did my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Sweden, but chose Leeds for my PhD because CIBUL is ranked first in the world for international business research and I wanted to study with the best people in their fields.” Daniella is supervised by Professors professors Peter Buckley and Jeremy Clegg and Dr Hanna Gajewska De Mattos. Her research is investigating how headquarters of multinational multi-nationalcompanies companies and their subsidiaries communicate with one another and transfer knowledge. Her interest stems from working for the Swedish base of a multinational organisation which has its headquarters in Korea. Daniella has also spent time working for the Red Cross University. “In particular, I’m looking at the way in which Swedish multinationals are communicating with their subsidiaries in China,” says Daniella.
In 2009 Daniella was awarded a Resident Graduate Scholarship from the David C. Lam Institute for East West Studies (LEWI) at Hong Kong co-operationwith withoverseas overseasuniversities universities Baptist University. LEWI promotes cooperation and the Scholarship – along with a grant from the Universities’ China Committee in London – enabled Daniella to travel to China and Hong Kong for her fieldwork. Whilst there, she gained access to seven multinational subsidiaries, where she interviewed staff in Swedish, English and Chinese, with the assistance of an interpreter. As a testament to the strength of her research, Daniella was a finalist in the Best Doctoral Thesis Proposal Award at the European International Business Academy Conference in 2009. She also won the Neil Hood and Stephen Young prize for the most original new doctoral work at the 2010 Academy of International Business (UK & Ireland chapter). learneda alotlotofofuseful usefulskills skills Now in her final year, Daniella believes she has learnt throughout her time in Leeds. “We’re exposed to lots of feedback and I’ve learnedhow howtotouse usethat thatinina aconstructive constructivemanner mannertotoimprove improvemymyresearch. research. learnt I’m also involved in organising seminars where researchers get together to share ideas and I’ve found that experience really useful,” she says.
18 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
Faculty of EDUCATION, SOCIAL SCIENCES and LAW Some Some50% 50%ofofthe thefaculty’s Faculty’sPhD PhDstudents studentsgogoonontotofollow followa acareer careerininteaching teachingororhigher highereducation. education. The Thefaculty Facultyoffers offersresearch researchdegrees degreesininthe thefollowing followingSchools: Schools: ••School SchoolofofEducation Education ••School SchoolofofSociology Sociologyand andSocial SocialPolicy Policy ••School SchoolofofPolitics Politicsand andInternational InternationalStudies Studies ••School SchoolofofLaw Law The Thefaculty Facultyhas hasaround around200 200research researchstudents, students,with withapproximately approximatelyhalf halfofofthese thesebeing beinginternational internationalstudents. students. The Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law has a growing international reputation for the standard of our research and the quality of our graduates. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, for example, sociology and social policy was rated as second in the country in terms of ‘worldleading’ research and education was placed in the top five. We host 17 groups and centres across a range of disciplines, where research staff and students can share and develop cutting edge knowledge in specific areas. Our researchers are active participants in a range of international research networks such as the World Universities Network. We are particularly proud of our reputation for research in equality, diversity and security issues (for example, in topic areas such as disability, gender or ‘race’ equality and in criminal justice, terrorism and international development). In these and other areas, such as science education, special educational needs, or international governance, we enable graduate students to achieve their full potential and make their mark on global society by engaging with the major social challenges of our time. There are around 200 research students in the Faculty, with approximately half of these being international students. This helps create a vibrant, diverse community which is fully supported by our Faculty Graduate School, providing first class training and support. www.essl.leeds.ac.uk www.essl.leeds.ac.uk/graduate-school
JOHN CALLAGHAN John Callaghan says that his PhD is the culmination of all his interests and something he wishes he had thought to undertake years ago. Having completed his undergraduate degree at Leeds in the 1970s, John originally went into teaching, working as an English teacher in Africa, South East Asia and the US before returning to Leeds to teach English to immigrants. Professor Mike Baynham visited the place where John was teaching to discuss conducting some research – and the rest is history. John explains: “There are several issues around teaching English to people from other cultures and it’s widely accepted that there’s often a disparity between what people are taught and what they are experiencing in their everyday lives. It was Mike who encouraged me to think about doing some research myself. I never dreamed I’d be doing a PhD at the age of 61.” John is funded through a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council. His project has seen him ‘follow’ three migrants from Ethiopia over two years. They have kept diaries, photographs and video of their lives. “As you can imagine, I’ve amassed a wealth of data,” says John. “It’s interesting to see the other factors at play when people communicate – it’s not just about language, it’s about cultural assumptions, how people should behave, their histories – even things happening at national or global level. This work could in the future influence how we teach English as a second language.” Despite having a long work history, John feels that he’s gained new skills during his PhD. “Organising such a huge project and the data from it has been a challenge, but I’ve learnt a lot – to tolerate uncertainty, to be patient, and to approach my work in bite-sized chunks,” he says. John’s estimated completion date is the end of 2010, after which time he’d like to continue in a research capacity. “I have so much source material from my PhD, I could easily work on this for the rest of my life,” he says.
ANNA BARKER “A rollercoaster ride” is how Anna Barker describes the three years she’s spent studying for her PhD at the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS). “It’s been shaped by immense peaks of enjoyment, fulfilment and achievement, with sharp bends, twists and turns along the way providing the challenges and difficulties which are all part of the learning experience,” says Anna, who is due to complete her thesis at the end of 2010. After gaining a scholarship to study for a Masters in Criminological Research at the School of Law, Anna successfully applied for further funding to undertake a PhD. “The CCJS was advertising an Economic and Social Research Council-funded Council funded studentship, studentship, gained gained under under the the Collaborative Collaborative Award for Science Award for Science and Engineering and Engineering scheme, scheme, into theinto fascinating the fascinating field offield fear of of fear crime of crime andand perceptions perceptions of of insecurity, insecurity, specifically specifically within within twotwo socially socially andand economically deprived neighbourhoods of Leeds,” continues Anna. “I was especially excited about working within the Centre, given its excellent record of undertaking research that’s empirically rich, conceptually sophisticated and policy relevant.” Anna’s PhD is a partnership venture between the University and Leeds City Council, providing her with the opportunity to work closely with a range of community safety professionals involved in the local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership and its Reassurance Task Group. Indeed, her supervision combines academics from the School of Law working alongside senior council officers. The study has also required Anna to work closely with the School of Geography, using geographical Geographical information Information systems Systems to to analyse analyse the mapping data she gathered during her fieldwork. “The main highlights of my PhD were undertaking fieldwork, which involved meeting an incredibly diverse range of people, and presenting my research to a range of academic and non-academic audiences. I’m very pleased that my work will have a real impact on local practice and the economy – all too often research is shelved rather than applied,” says Anna. “Doing a PhD takes sheer hard work, great self-motivation, drive and determination. As well as gaining and developing a whole range of skills, doing a PhD is the ultimate assessment of your ability to work independently and think critically for a sustained period of time. I’m not completely there yet but I feel that if I can achieve this, I can achieve anything!”
20 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
Faculty of ENGINEERING Over Over40% 40%ofofthe thefaculty’s Faculty’sPhD PhDstudents studentscontinue continuetheir theircareers careersinina apractical practicalengineering engineeringenvironment, environment,with witha afurther further30% 30%continuing continuingininresearch. research. The Thefaculty Facultywas wasranked rankedseventh seventhininUKtheinUK thein2008 the 2008 Research Research Assessment Assessment Exercise Exercise. (RAE). There Thereare arearound around400 400research researchstudents studentsininthe thefaculty. Faculty. There Thereare arefive fiveschools schoolswithin withinthe thefaculty: Faculty: ••Civil CivilEngineering Engineering ••Computing Computing ••Electronic Electronicand andElectrical ElectricalEngineering Engineering ••Mechanical MechanicalEngineering Engineering ••Process, Process,Environmental Environmentaland andMaterials MaterialsEngineering Engineering The Faculty of Engineering is one of the UK’s top engineering and computing faculties, with an international reputation for teaching and research. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise the Faculty achieved an overall grade-point average (GPA) of 2.94 with an impressive 75% of activity rated as ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world leading’. This places the Faculty seventh in the UK and confirms it as a leader in the field. There are approximately 400 research students in the Faculty of which just over half are from overseas. Students benefit from working alongside our world-leading academics on projects that are intellectually challenging and focused on solving real world problems. The range and scope of our research is extensive and covers all of the major engineering disciplines – civil, mechanical, electronic and electrical, chemical engineering and computer science – and including energy, materials, artificial intelligence, with theoretical, experimental and modelling work underpinning all areas. The breadth of our research portfolio provides an ideal platform for multidisciplinary research and enables us to undertake research that is able to respond to global challenges. To this end, we have three broad impact themes: • Energy and environment which includes low carbon energy solutions, built environment, managing our natural resources and environmental mitigation. • Global infrastructure encompassing the digital economy, networks and communication, process and manufacturing. • Health and human interface incorporating medical technology, public health and interactive engineering. www.engineering.leeds.ac.uk www.engineering.leeds.ac.uk/pg/research
DR DIMA DAMEN Dima Damen has been impressed with the level of academic support the University has offered her during her studies. A Jordanian national, Dima originally came to Leeds in 2002 to undertake an MSc in Multimedia Systems. “My sister and I both wanted to come to the UK to study. She was looking for a media studies course, and I was looking for a novel computer science course. Leeds ticked all the boxes and, not only were our courses good, it’s a great city,” she says. Dima returned to Jordan after gaining a distinction in her MSc and being awarded the MSc prize of the year. After a three-year stint as a university lecturer, Dima returned to undertake her PhD under the supervision of David Hogg, Professor of Artificial Intelligence. She realised that having enjoyed academic life and research, doing a PhD was the next step in her career path. She says: “The School of Computing is incredibly supportive and the environment is really conducive to sharing and discussing ideas, issues and opinions.” Having developed a system during her PhD that can link temporally-distant events during the day, and flag-up unusual ones to CCTV operators, Dima’s research could have a significant impact on reducing and preventing crime, and so has gained media and commercial attention. Dima was awarded an Overseas Research Studentship during her study. “I learnt a lot scientifically and improved my writing skills and the ability to present my research to different audiences. I particularly remember the experience of presenting my research at the House of Commons in 2009 as part of their Science and Technology research day.” Dima left Leeds in February 2010 to take up a post as a Research Associate at the University of Bristol. She’ll be working on a large European project and says: “I want to pursue a research career and my new role will enable me to build on the knowledge, skills and reputation I developed at Leeds.”
RAFIDA BINTI RAFIDAH BINTIHAMDAN HAMDAN Rafidah Binti Hamdan, 33, has a degree in civil engineering and a Masters in environmental engineering. As a lecturer in Malaysia, completing her PhD is compulsory and is funded by the country’s Ministry of Higher Education. Rafidah chose Leeds for her PhD because of the University’s international reputation in the field of civil engineering. “Leeds is known globally for its work on low cost wastewater treatments for developing countries. This was the subject of my Masters degree and is where my research interest lies.” Rafidah is conducting field tests for rock filter systems for municipal wastewater at the Yorkshire Water’s wastewater treatment works at Esholt in Bradford, where the University has an experimental station. “I’m looking to remove phosphorus and nitrogen using industrial waste in a low-cost filter. Wastewaters which still contain high concentrations of these nutrients can cause blooms of algae and cyanobacteria when added to surface water, so it’s important to find ways of removing them. We’re using blast furnace slag, a by-product of steel manufacturing as the filter medium. We’ve almost finished the laboratory analyses, so we’re at the final stage of our experiments. I’m very pleased because it looks like it’s a very efficient filter.” When Rafidah moved to the UK 2007 she brought her young son with her. He enrolled in school and is currently in Year 1 at primary school. “He loves it here,” she says. “Within a couple of weeks he was practically fluent in English!” Her own language skills have improved enormously, as have her research and analytical skills, which Rafidah says will assist in progressing future consultancy opportunities. “Although I’ve found the technical nature of research writing challenging, my confidence in this area is growing, and my supervisor was very helpful and encouraging,” she says. “This PhD is the starting point of my research career and I’ll be able to continue my research in Malaysia, where I have a research group. This experience will definitely make me a better lecturer, too.”
22 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
Faculty of ENVIRONMENT
Some Some50% 50%ofofthe theFaculty’s Faculty’sPhD PhDstudents studentsgogoonontotocontinue continuetheir theircareers careersininaaresearch researchenvironment. environment. Each Eachofofthe theFaculty’s Faculty’sthree threeSchools Schoolswas wasrecognised recognisedasascarrying carryingout outresearch researchofof‘world ‘world-leading’ leading’ and and‘internationally ‘internationallyexcellent’ excellent’standard standardininthe the 2008 2008Research ResearchAssessment AssessmentExercise Exerciseand andranked rankedininthe thetop topfive fiveUK UKinstitutions institutionsfor forresearch researchpower, power,aameasure measureofofboth bothquality qualityand andvolume. volume. The Faculty of Environment consists of the School of Earth and Environment, the School of Geography and the Institute for Transport Studies. It brings together a broad spectrum of more than 300 earth, atmospheric, environmental, economic and social scientists, human and physical geographers and transport planners. There are approximately 200 research students in the Faculty, from over 30 countries, creating a strong international community. With the current global emphasis on environmental change this group is equipped to lead research on fundamental problems relating to both the natural and human environment and influence policy at national and international levels. All departments were recognised as carrying out research of a ‘worldleading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ standard in the last Research Assessment Exercise and ranked in the top five UK institutions for research power, a measure of both the quality and volume of the work carried out. Leeds is the second largest university research contractor for the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Facilities are of an international standard and include a suite of electron microscopes, state-of-the-art geochemistry and fluid dynamics laboratories, dedicated computer clusters (including high performance computing) and one of the world’s most advanced driving simulators in a research organisation. Key areas of research include atmospheric science and climate change; exploration geophysics, structural geology and geodynamics; petroleum geology; understanding and challenging the neoliberal city; ecology and global change; sedimentary fluid dynamics, environmental governance and policy; geographical information systems; sustainability and water systems. The Faculty also hosts Europe’s largest university-based transport teaching and research organisation whose aim is to advance the understanding of global transport with research covering economics, policy, safety, driver behaviour and low carbon society. The Faculty co-hosts a number of interdisciplinary research centres and these include the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, water@leeds and the Centre for Petroleum Engineering (CiPeg). www.leeds.ac.uk/foe www.leeds.ac.uk/foe/graduate-school
KATE STAINES A fascination with the dramatic flooding caused by volcanoes erupting under glaciers, and its effects on the landscapes of Iceland, led Kate Staines to search for a PhD opportunity. She found the subject she was looking for and the people she wanted to work with, Dr Jonathan Carrivick and Dr Andrew Evans, at Leeds and secured a Natural Environment Research Council scholarship to support her studies. As an undergraduate at Durham, Kate visited Icelandic sites, where volcanically-triggered glacial floods had had an impact, and her Masters by research enhanced this interest in glacial processes and landscapes. Keen to know more, she embarked on her PhD: “I’m looking at the impact of a flood that happened in 1999. Through modelling the flood and carrying out fieldwork it will be possible to understand its impacts and the landscape response. Climate change could lead to more of these floods. As glaciers retreat lakes often form in front of them; these can become unstable and drain catastrophically causing flooding. Also, as glaciers get thinner there is less pressure exerted on the volcanic system, leading to an increase in volcanic activity,” she explains. Anywhere with glaciers could be affected by this type of flood – the Himalayas, Andes and the Alps – but the sites in Iceland are easy to study. Kate says: “We can study these processes and apply them to more heavily populated areas. These models can help inform how policy makers and planners manage the environment.” During her PhD, as well as developing expertise in geographic information systems (GIS) and computer programming, Kate developed skills in managing her time, motivating herself and giving presentations. She recently presented a poster at the European Geosciences Union conference in Vienna, having built her confidence by giving presentations in the School of Geography. “Geography is a brilliant environment, the support is fantastic, the research community is encouraging, there’s always somebody interested in what you’re doing, and there are forums for presenting what you’re doing and discussing it with other people,” says Kate. “You feel included and encouraged.”
DABO DR DABO GUAN GUAN Having arrived in Leeds as part of an undergraduate international exchange programme with China, Dabo Guan decided to stay. One of Dabo’s tutors was Dr Klaus Hubacek, whose work includes research on environmental and sustainability issues in developing nations. “Klaus introduced a new undergraduate teaching module called Environmental Issues in China, which interested me very much,” says Dabo. “It was one of the factors that led me to stay.” Dabo then began his PhD, researching sustainability issues in China. He had a lot of support from the Faculty and was supervised by both Dr Hubacek and meteorologist Professor Doug Parker. “Faculty management was incredibly helpful,” says Dabo. “I got some financial support from the University for the project and during my PhD Klaus and I did some consultancy work together which helped financially, too.” The skills he gained whilst doing his PhD project fall into two categories, says Dabo. Firstly, he believes he learnt a whole suite of academic research skills during his project, whilst being able to work alongside internationally recognised experts provided additional opportunities. “I’ve learnt a lot of interpersonal skills, and presentation and negotiation skills,” he says. “I have also attended lots of conferences and met many people working on similar research.” The conferences taught Dabo how to present himself, something which came in useful when he was asked to appear on BBC Radio 4’s Material World programme. “I was asked to participate in a debate about China,” says Dabo. “It was just before the Copenhagen Climate Change summit and I was pretty nervous, but it was a great experience.” Having published several papers during his PhD, Dabo is now a Senior Research Associate and has an Axa Research Fellowship. He is working at the University of Cambridge. “I’m incredibly grateful for all the opportunities I was offered at Leeds,” he says. “And particularly to Klaus, who was a great supervisor and mentor.”
24 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
Faculty of MATHEMATICS and PHYSICAL SCIENCES
The Thefaculty Facultyhas hasmore morethan than200 200research researchstudents. students. More Morethan than40% 40%ofofthe thefaculty’s Faculty’sPhD PhDstudents studentsgogoonontotocontinue continuetheir theircareers careersinina aresearch researchenvironment. environment. The TheFaculty Facultyunites unitesexperts expertsininChemistry, chemistry,Colour colour Science, science, Food food Science science and & Nutrition, nutrition,Mathematics, mathematics,Nanotechnology nanotechnologyand andPhysics physics& and Astronomy. astronomy. The Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences is internationally renowned for the quality of its research, as evidenced by the last Research Assessment Exercise, where all areas were judged to be undertaking ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ research. The Faculty unites experts in chemistry, colour science, food science and nutrition, mathematics, nanotechnology, and physics and astronomy. It is acknowledged for its fundamental research but also has firm links with the faculties of Biological Sciences, Engineering and Environment through interdisciplinary centres. This is combined with applications of scientific disciplines to the needs of industry and strong links with industry exist across the Faculty. Companies providing sponsorship include pharmaceuticals, printing, textiles, retail, food production and electronic systems. Our research is supported by a vast array of equipment, and excellent laboratory and library resources. Over 200 research students receive training in the skills of conducting research, develop their understanding and enthusiasm for their subject, and accelerate the development of a mature, critical and self-motivated approach to the acquisition and application of specialist knowledge. Research focuses on finance and the economy, food, medicine and health, energy and the environment, the digital economy and nanotechnology, and draws on an extensive, diverse range of expertise: • Atmospheric, colour, medicinal, supramolecular and process chemistry; Catalysis; Chemical biology; Imaging science; Nanoscience and nanomedicine. • Food colloids; Food chemistry and biochemistry; Nutrition. • Analysis; Applied nonlinear dynamics; Astrophysical and geophysical fluid dynamics; Financial mathematics; Algebra, geometry and integrable systems; Mathematical biology and medicine; Mathematical logic; Nonnewtonian and polymeric fluid dynamics; Probability and statistics. • Astrophysics – observational and theoretical investigations of star and planetary system formation; Condensed matter; Molecular and nanoscale physics; Polymers and complex fluids; Quantum information; Spintronics and physics in low dimensional systems; Experimental biophysics and bionanoscience; Single photon physics; Sustainable energy harvesting and storage. www.maps.leeds.ac.uk www.maps.leeds.ac.uk/research.htm
THEO WILSON Undertaking a PhD at Leeds was a natural next step for Theo Wilson, after he completed a chemistry degree, followed by a one-year MChem at the University. “I never planned to do a PhD but really enjoyed the research project I did for my MChem, investigating the ice nucleation properties of mineral dusts within clouds, so I decided to stay on,” says Theo, who is now in his second year. Enrolled as a PhD student on a €1.66 million European Research Council project grant, Theo is jointly supervised by his project leader Dr Ben Murray (School of Chemistry) and Dr Steven Dobbie (School of Earth and Environment). “I’m lucky to be working on a collaborative project and I have regular meetings with both supervisors,” says Theo. “There’s a really good postgraduate community in Chemistry and I know a lot of people in Earth and Environment, too – one of the advantages of working on an interdisciplinary project.” Theo has found that he is working much more independently than before: “A key part of doing the PhD has been learning about my own abilities in terms of organising myself and how I work efficiently. It’s very different to being an undergraduate – I’m less managed and I have to make my own deadlines. Moreover, as the number of people working on the project is increasing, I’m learning about team working and how to work effectively with other people.” There have been other opportunities for Theo to gain new skills: “I’ve been demonstrating in undergraduate laboratories since I started my PhD, which I really enjoy. As well as demonstrating, I supervise in the labs, help with write-ups and mark the papers. Recently, we’ve had some MChem students in the lab, so I’ve been working with them, which has been a good experience. “I don’t have set goals or big plan but it was certainly the right decision to do a PhD. If you want to learn a bit more about yourself doing a PhD is a good way to do it.”
JESSICA COOPER As she came to the end of her undergraduate degree, Jessica Cooper decided that she wanted to continue learning about physics, which led her to attend a postgraduate post-graduateopen openday dayatatthe theUniversity UniversityofofLeeds. Leeds. Jessica did a BSc Physics and Astrophysics at the University of York and had enjoyed the quantum physics element of her course. “I spoke to several academics who encouraged me to look at Dr Dunningham’s work,” she says. “And then I met him at the open day and discussed the possibility of my undertaking a PhD in the Quantum Information research group.” Jessica and Dr Dunningham were successful in applying for a University of Leeds Research Scholarship to fund Jessica’s PhD. Jessica’s research is focused on Bose-Einstein condensates - atoms that exist in a singular state at very low temperatures - and how these might be used as a measurement tool at a quantum scale. “For example, gravity waves are too small to be measured with traditional measurement tools and some current research is looking at how Bose-Einstein condensates might be used to detect them,” says Jessica. Now in the final year of her PhD, Jessica is still undecided about her future career, but says she has gained a great number of transferable skills during her time at Leeds. Through the award of one of the University’s Ogden Teaching Fellowships, she has spent a lot of time in schools in the region giving talks to pupils about her subject. “My communication skills have developed throughout my PhD and I’m now able to talk about my work with a really diverse range of audiences – from other academics through to schoolchildren,” says Jessica. “I’ve also gained a lot of universal computing skills and my confidence has increased.” Jessica has also had the opportunity to travel, either to conferences or to visit and work with other research groups. “I’ve been to Singapore, Canada, Italy and New Zealand,” she says. “I’ve learnt a lot about team working and building effective relationships quickly in order to get the most out of a study trip.”
26 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
Faculty of MEDICINE and HEALTH
The Thefaculty Facultyhas hasover over1,000 1,000researchers. researchers. The TheFaculty’s Faculty’sfour fourSchools Schoolsand andInstitutes Institutesare arebased basedononaanumber numberofofsites siteswithin withinthe theUniversity, University,Leeds LeedsGeneral GeneralInfirmary, Infirmary,StStJames’s James’sUniversity University Hospital Hospitaland andother otherlocal localhospitals. hospitals. Over Over60% 60%ofofresearch researchstudents studentsgogoonontotopractise practiseininaamedical medicaldiscipline. discipline.AAfurther further30% 30%follow followaateaching teachingcareer. career. The Faculty of Medicine and Health involves researchers in biomedical and health sciences pursuing interdisciplinary approaches to tackle medical, health and social problems for the benefit of the health and welfare of society. It comprises four Schools and Institutes: • School of Medicine, with research organised into the Institutes of Health Sciences (LIHS), Genetics, Health and Therapeutics (LIGHT), Molecular Medicine (LIMM) and Medical Education (LIME) • Institute of Psychological Sciences • School of Healthcare • Leeds Dental Institute External research funding is forecast to grow to £50m+ in 2009-10. The last Research Assessment Exercise rated more than 50% of our research outputs as ‘internationally excellent’, placing almost all research disciplines in the UK’s top 10. Priority research areas include: • Basic laboratory, clinical and translational research into complex chronic disorders, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and neurodegeneration. • Molecular and genetics research to define molecules involved in human diseases and applications in diagnostics and in developing novel therapies. • Interdisciplinary translational research in musculoskeletal medicine and dentistry including imaging, diagnostics, novel therapeutics and regenerative therapies. • Applied health research aimed at enhancing health through improving healthcare policy, economics, practice and delivery. • Biological, cognitive and social research into human behaviour, eg, in relation to health, neuropsychological populations, nutrition and obesity. The Faculty Graduate School provides a high level of support and training for approximately 340 research students studying for a range of degrees; of these over 100 are international. Many students are involved in interdisciplinary projects, co-supervised by colleagues from other faculties, for example, Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Engineering. www.leeds.ac.uk/medhealth www.leeds.ac.uk/medhealth/research
DR NICK WEST Dr Nick West originally came to Leeds to do a degree in medicine because of the University’s reputation. Having developed an interest in pathology – the study of disease – Nick is now undertaking a PhD funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research. “Pathology is a research-led speciality,” says Nick. “After graduating my first degree I had to do a year’s clinical practice prior to starting pathology training. In 2006 I successfully applied for an Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) which funded one year of part-time research over three years prior to beginning my PhD.” Nick’s research progresses the work he did under the ACF funding and focuses on assessing the quality of surgery for colorectal cancer patients. “We can make a pathological assessment of operations used for patients and highlight areas which could be improved,” says Nick. “There can be a 10-20% improvement in survival rates just by feeding back to surgeons about the quality of their work, which is followed by a change in surgical practice.” He has two PhD supervisors, Professor Phil Quirke and Dr Heike Grabsch. The strong networks developed by his supervisors have enabled Nick to develop collaborative activities with European partners. “As one example, we were invited to Denmark to participate in a training programme for surgeons where our pathological assessments were used to reinforce training,” says Nick. “I’ve learnt a lot about working collaboratively with medics and researchers from different institutions and I’ve travelled extensively, presenting to lots of different audiences.” Nick has also been to Stockholm and other major surgery centres in Europe. Experience of writing grant proposals and ethics committee applications have added to Nick’s growing list of skills. He’s also been involved in learning and teaching. “I help to coordinate undergraduate taught courses and have also done some teaching myself. I’m keen to pursue a research and teaching career in the future,” he says. “And I think the experience I’m gaining will be incredibly useful throughout my career.”
DR ANNA WINTERBOTTOM Having completed an MSc in health psychology, Dr Anna Winterbottom moved to Leeds and worked as a research assistant at St James’s University Hospital. During this time, Anna was supervised by Dr Hilary Bekker and achieved Chartered status as a Health Psychologist. She also undertook a second Masters degree and applied for a PhD post which was advertised at the Leeds Institute for Psychological Sciences. The post was funded through a Collaborative Award in Science and Engineering (CASE) studentship from the Economic and Social Research Council and an unrestricted grant from Baxter’s Healthcare Ltd. Anna had three supervisors during her PhD. Dr Hilary Bekker and Professor Mark Conner based at the University, and Dr Andrew Mooney, a consultant renal physician at St James’s University Hospital, were able to provide both an academic and clinical perspective on her work. Her PhD study focused on how patients with kidney failure choose their dialysis treatment. “Patients are encouraged to participate in their treatment decision making,” says Anna. “Initially we wanted to find out how patients were making their choices and to assess the quality of the information they were using to assist their decision making.” Using a variety of research methods, including semi-structured interviews, a systematic review of the literature and experiments, Anna found that in many cases, patients’ patients choices choiceswere wereinfluenced influencedby bythe theexperience experienceofof other patients with kidney failure. “There’s not much research in this area and I really enjoyed the fact that the work I did had a direct, practical application,” says Anna. Throughout her PhD, Anna presented her work at 20 national and international conferences, produced five publications and conducted a anumber numberofofworkshops workshopsforforBaxter BaxterHealthcare. HealthcareIt’s Ltd. these It’s these kinds kinds of experiences of that Anna feels experiences thathave Annabeen feelsinvaluable have beentoinvaluable her. “I’ve gained to her. “I’ve loadsgained of loads knowledge, of knowledge, confidence confidence andand transferable transferable skills,” skills,” says says Anna. Anna. “I definitely “I definitely feel that that feel doingdoing a PhD a PhD is a good is a good training training exercise exercise for developing for developing skillsskills to become to a well-rounded become a well-rounded researcher.” researcher.” Anna currently works at Bradford Royal Infirmary as a senior research fellow in the Quality and Safety Research Group, part of the Bradford Institute for Health Research.
28 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
Faculty of PERFORMANCE, VISUAL ARTS and COMMUNICATIONS
The TheUK UKHigher HigherEducation EducationResearch ResearchYearbook Yearbookhas hasnamed namedthe theFaculty Facultyasasthe thebest-performing best-performingfaculty facultyfor forresearch researchand andgraduate graduatestudents studentsininthe the creative creativeand andcritical criticalarts artsininthe theUK. UK. Over Over70% 70%ofofPhD PhDstudents studentsgogoonontotofollow followaacareer careerininfurther furtherororhigher highereducation. education. PVAC PVACoffers offers4343studentships studentshipsthrough throughthe theAHRC AHRCBlock BlockGrant GrantPartnership Partnership(2009-13). (2009-13). The Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications (PVAC) has the broadest portfolio of any UK university in cultural industries, creative arts and design and media technologies. We bring together a mix of approaches from the arts and humanities, from the social sciences and from science, technology and media. PVAC consists of the Schools of Design, Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, Performance and Cultural Industries, Music and the Institute of Communications Studies. Each of them provides a world-class postgraduate research experience. Outstanding resources include the splendid Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall, purpose-designed theatres, featuring Stage One (a 180-seat main auditorium) and the Alec Clegg Studio (an 80-seat ‘black box’ studio), the nationally-recognised University Art Gallery, dedicated studio and laboratory spaces and other exhibition and performance facilities. The UK Higher Education Research Yearbook has named PVAC as the best-performing faculty for research and graduate students in the creative and critical arts in the UK. What makes it so special is the combination of innovative and cutting-edge practice with the rigour of critical histories and theories, alongside the expansive support, infrastructure and technology which comes with one of the UK’s top civic universities. Our leading position was recognised in the Research Assessment Exercise 2008 where over 60% of our scholarship was ranked as ‘world leading’ or of ‘international’ quality. We offer supervision opportunities with experienced researchers in many different fields. We are recognised as being at the forefront of developing practice-based research and you can undertake fundamental or applied research in numerous fields with direct access to internationally-recognised academics, technical expertise, comprehensive facilities and a supportive and exciting research environment. As a research student here you will be a member of the Graduate School (www.leeds.ac.uk/pvac/graduateschool/ ) which offers excellent professional training opportunities. Our diverse postgraduate community draws students from around the world. www.leeds.ac.uk/pvac www.leeds.ac.uk/pvac/faculty/students/propg
DR EMILY GRAY Following her undergraduate degree Emily Gray taught English in Spain, returning to the UK to work in arts marketing before choosing to undertake a Masters in international studies at Leeds. Doubtful that she could afford to study for a PhD, Emily secured a post as a research officer at the University’s Institute of Communications Studies (ICS) working on a large EU funded project examining political communication across the EU. She was able to undertake a part-time PhD, supported by supervisors Professor Paul Statham* and Dr Katrin Voltmer. “It was challenging working and doing a PhD at the same time,” says Emily. “But my job fed into my PhD and the additional research I did for my PhD fed back into my job so it was a great way to study. The support from my supervisors was also a huge help.” Emily is now a Research Director at research company Ipsos MORI, leading the work the company does for central government in the UK. “I wanted to move to London and I’d used some MORI research for my PhD,” she says. “I’m really interested in social research and was also interested in working in a more commercial environment.” Emily believes her PhD equipped her well for her life now. She explains: “My PhD was a huge project over a four-year timescale. Much of the work I do now involves shorter projects, but in terms of managing them, I think I learnt some invaluable time and project management skills at Leeds.” She also feels that her PhD provided a good grounding in presenting a well-balanced argument and negotiation. “And that’s been particularly useful in dealing with our clients and putting together proposals in a logical fashion,” she says. “Working on such a large international project provided me with the chance to learn how big, geographically dispersed groups work and the art of effective negotiation with partners who may have a different agenda to your own.” *Professor Statham is now at the University of Bristol.
ADAM STRICKSON As a freelance writer and module tutor on the School of Performance and Cultural Industries’ (PCI) MA in Writing for Performance and Publication, Adam Strickson was motivated to begin his PhD when he saw opportunities for practice-led doctorates through the University’s collaboration with Opera North. Opera North and the University came together in 2007 in an unusual and innovative partnership allowing the organisations to work together, stimulating new ways of working and thinking. Along with work-based learning programmes, conferences and sharing ideas and aspirations, the collaboration has also created opportunities for research. In Adam’s case, he successfully applied for an AHRC collaborative doctoral award with Opera North in the School of PCI, co-supervised with the School of Music. “My PhD is practice-led, so around 70% of my work is creating new performance pieces,” explains Adam. “I’m working on a full stage opera called Red Angel, set in the Sudanese civil war in the early 90s, and a smaller piece called Green Angel, based on a novel by Alice Hoffman. Both pieces deal with the extreme experience of war and disaster and are influenced by Japanese culture. Red Angel is based on a Japanese film by Masumura and I’m writing Green Angel using Japanese Noh play structure.” Adam is 52 and has a BA in theatre, gained at Dartington College of Arts and a Masters degree in poetry. Before becoming a writer, he was a theatre director for many years. He is now a part-time teaching fellow in the School of PCI and is doing his PhD part-time, which will take him approximately five years. “It’s like having three jobs,” he says. “But I love it all. The PhD has enabled me to do things I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to do professionally. I don’t think I would have had the chance to write opera in my life outside University.” Adam has embraced the opportunity to cross disciplines, working alongside other PhD students, something he enjoys. “For example, Green Angel is being composed by Lauren Readhead, a PhD student in the School of Music,” he says.
30 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
FURTHER INFORMATION The range of research degrees available The University offers the following research degrees (full-time and part-time). DOCTORATES Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Doctor of Medicine (MD) Doctor of Dental Science (DDSc) PROFESSIONAL DOCTORATES Doctor of Business Management (DBM) Doctor of Education (EdD) Doctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsychol) Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (DClinDent) INTEGRATED DEGREES OF PhD AND MASTERS* PhD/MA, PhD/MSc, PhD/LLM SPLIT-SITE RESEARCH DEGREES FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS We also run split-site PhDs, where students spend periods of full-time study in Leeds and other periods elsewhere (for example, in a research institute, university or commercial research-intensive organisation). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. MASTERSHIPS BY RESEARCH Master of Arts (MA) Master of Education (MEd) Master of Science (MSc) Master of Science (Engineering) (MSc(Eng)) Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) * The Leeds Integrated PhD is part of ‘The New Route PhD’, a national initiative supported by the UK government and led by institutions with proven experience of postgraduate training. Students at Leeds graduate with a Masters and a PhD degree. The four-year course provides students with coursework and practical experience, alongside specialist research study. Details of programmes are available from the individual schools. Alternatively, the programme of study entry for each can be found in the Ordinances and Regulations booklet, available on the RSA website: www.leeds.ac.uk.rds/handbook
Funding Scholarships Postgraduate students at Leeds benefit from around £10m of funding that is available from the University and externally – including over 100 scholarships each year that are specifically for new international students. University-funded scholarships University-funded scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit to students meeting the relevant entry criteria. They generally take the form of partial or full fees and/or maintenance payments. Award values and conditions of scholarships can vary significantly; check criteria and terms and get the latest information about scholarships at www.scholarships.leeds.ac.uk UK/EU scholarships The University offers a wide range of partial and fully-funded postgraduate scholarships to UK/EU and international students. For UK/EU students* these range from fully-funded awards from the UK Research councils and the University of Leeds, to endowed scholarships (some of which are for a specific area of research) and bursaries in support of specialist library collection visits. The University is also in collaboration with the universities of Sheffield and York to provide White Rose scholarships in named areas of research. The University and its partners support scholarships for international students. A number of these are country specific, for example, Commonwealth scholarships or international fee scholarships for Chinese applicants in specific areas of research jointly funded by the Chinese government and UK universities. Each year there are around 120 partial or fully-funded postgraduate scholarships, with additional awards being available from faculties and schools. Not surprisingly, there is strong competition for these so it’s advisable to make enquiries and applications at an early stage. Applicants will need to have an offer of admission by the closing date of each scholarship. Research Councils The University also receives some £3m from Research Councils to fund new scholarships for UK/EU postgraduate researchers. Each Research Council operates its own procedures for scholarship, so it is advisable to contact the relevant school in order to discuss appropriate Research Council opportunities. *Dependent on whether residency criteria are met.
Funding for international students The majority of international students are sponsored by a home university or organisation. However, there is a small number of international bursaries available from the University. For more information, seek advice from www.scholarships.leeds.ac.uk or contact the chosen school. Other financial support Further information about how learning may be supported can be found at www.direct.gov.uk/adultlearning or + 44 (0)800 100 900. Fees The cost of a postgraduate degree varies by course. International students will pay a higher fee than UK students as the fees for UK and EU students are subsidised by the UK government. Details of specific fees will be included with the offer letter. The academic fee covers normal tuition and examinations, as well as membership of the Students’ Union. Some courses may cost more, for example, some science subjects require an extra fee to cover laboratory costs. International students International students taking programmes of more than one year have their fees fixed at the rates in the year of entry (subject to normal progression). When to pay Self-supporting students can pay fees in full or in two instalments of 50% paid when registering and 50% payable by direct debit from a UK bank account five months after the course start date. Sponsored students are able to register for their programme after submitting a letter from their sponsor confirming the details of the sponsorship. Sponsorship letters should be submitted to the Student Financial Administration. Please contact +44 (0) 113 343 6055 or email queries to email@example.com
32 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH
The University welcomes applications from UK, EU and international researchers and early career academics seeking to develop their research skills, increase their international exposure and enhance their career progression opportunities. Entry requirements vary between schools, so applicants should visit the website of their chosen school to check the required qualifications and/or experience. English language entry requirements If English is not a first language, applicants will need a recognised English language qualification to be admitted to one of the University’s degree programmes. Requirements vary between schools, so applicants should visit the website of their chosen school for detailed information about what is required. Applications for postgraduate research All postgraduate applicants need to complete a postgraduate research application form. This can be done via the online applications system, or by downloading a copy of the application form from the website: www.leeds.ac.uk/postgraduate
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Whilst the University endeavours to ensure that the information contained in this brochure is accurate at the date of publication the University does not accept liability for any inaccuracies contained within it. Where circumstances change outside the reasonable control of the University, the University reserves the right to change or cancel parts of, or entire, programmes of study or services at any time without liability, even after students have registered at the University. Circumstances outside of the University’s reasonable control include, industrial action, over or under demand from students, staff illness, lack of funding, severe weather, fire, civil disorder, political unrest, government restrictions and concern with regard to the transmission of serious illness. The University’s contract with its students does not confer third party benefits.
Leeds LS2 9JT UK T: +44 (0)113 343 2336 E: email@example.com W: www.leeds.ac.uk/postgraduate