Post-Graduate Research student representatives recruitment process


The recruitment of Post-Graduate Research students representatives (PGR reps) was not a formalised process when I was tasked to rebuild the team back in January 2018. I devised my own process at the time, and subsequently drove the creation of a standardised system so that every applicant is treated in the same way and with the hope to maintain a diverse and engaged team.

I would like to thank my fellow PGR reps Sam Jenkins and Owen Huxley for all the conversations we had trying to make this process the best it could be. I also want to acknowledge the contribution of Jost Migenda for his suggestions.


Pgr representative recruitment

When a sitting PGR rep is preparing to leave the team, a new student (at least) should be recruited to join the team. An email should be sent to PGR students to let them know a place has opened on the team and ask for candidates. It is recommended to send a few reminders a couple of weeks apart (or ask PGR students in person) and make a list of all the candidates.

In order to the most suitable students, a short questionnaire should be sent to the prospective PGR representatives asking:

1- Why do you want to be a PGR rep (150 words max)

2- Why do you think you would be a good PGR rep (150 words max)

The answers will be anonymised and sent to the pgr students of the department so they can provide feedback if they wish. The answers and any potential feedback received will subsequently be discussed by the sitting PGR reps to identify suitable candidates. A number of criteria should be considered when recruiting new PGR representatives. The team of PGR reps should strive to be diverse in terms of: gender, sub-group representation, year of study, home and international student representation, ethnicity. In particular a team of PGR representative should not me composed entirely of PGRs of the same gender or of the same sub-group.

A quick (10min) face to face chat with the short listed candidates should be organised. The sitting PGR reps can use this opportunity to clearly discuss the duties of the role with the prospective PGR reps and give the candidates the opportunity to ask any question they may have.

The PGR reps are then responsible to make a final selection and report it to their PGR lead for final approval.