EEC PhD Student Support

PhD students are valued members of the Faculty’s thriving research community. To ensure you are fully embedded into the life and culture of the Faculty, each PhD studentship sits within one of our four Faculty Research Centres (FRCs). We take your personal and professional development seriously and aim to support you every step of the way.

Your research journey begins with an extensive dual induction programme from the Doctoral College and the Faculty. In advance of your arrival, you’ll receive a detailed student handbook and timetables for your induction.

Our campus environment includes a variety of shared social learning spaces and we organise regular research events, research seminars and workshops, which offer plenty of opportunities to mix with peers and faculty. For example, we run an annual Faculty Research Symposium where postgraduate research (PGR) students present posters or papers with prizes awarded to the best presentations and papers. We also encourage attendance at national or international conferences to present research work at a suitably developed stage.

As a Coventry University researcher, you have access to the Careers and Employability Services and automatically become a member of Coventry University Students’ Union (CUSU) and its Postgraduate Guild. They can signpost you to all sorts of advice and guidance – anything from finding accommodation to local transport links. It hosts a range of social events, including a welcome event and rooftop garden party. Each Faculty also has its own dedicated PGR student representatives, whose role is to work with the University to improve the quality of your student experience, organising feedback and raising any issues on your behalf.

Faculty induction

The EEC induction typically includes a welcome, optional campus tour and presentations on our research, facilities, support and the student experience. We explain the roles of postgraduate tutors, research degree leaders and student mentors. You will also hear from current PhD students. You will have the chance to meet a range of contacts: other researchers, supervisors and professional services staff.

We will share various strategies for managing research, as a project and as a process, together with writing techniques, processes, practices and publishing strategies. For example, ‘Introduction to research design and writing’ familiarises you with the methodological designs of research projects, research integrity and the University system for obtaining ethical approval. ‘Writing for Computer Science and Engineering’ is an intensive one-week, full-time workshop to equip you with tools and techniques to design science-based research that produces rigorous results. You will learn to locate and appraise relevant literature, write a clear and concise research paper, present a persuasive presentation on the research paper, proofread and referee.

Doctoral College & Centre for Research Capability and Development

Launched in April 2017, the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development oversee administration, induction, training, and development for all the University’s postgraduate researchers from PhDs to Professors. The Doctoral College is responsible for the recruitment of, and assistance to, all enrolled research students and for supporting our team of research supervisors. This includes appointing PGR mentors you can contact before starting your research degree, who will continue to provide guidance for the first six months and be available for monthly drop-in sessions.

The Doctoral College runs personalised, high-quality professional programmes in areas like research methods, academic writing and researcher skills. It also coordinates a range of national and international doctoral training collaborations, including the Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA). For new PhD students, the mandatory Welcome Day session gives an overview of the support available. On the Doctoral College’s web pages, you will find lots of useful information, including current PhDs available, essential information before you start, what life as a researcher is like, fees and funding.

Additional academic support

Throughout your studies, you will meet regularly with your supervisor – twice a month for full-time students, monthly if you are part-time. You receive an in-depth annual review, with an additional mid-year review for full-time students. PhD students have access to Coventry University’s extensive student facilities, awarded five QS Stars in 2016, the highest rating.

The Lanchester Library is a great resource for research students and has a team of dedicated subject librarians to assist you. Offering 24/7 access during term time and a quiet postgraduate only reading room, it is also home to the Centre for Academic Writing (CAW) and Sigma Maths and Stats Support, a national centre of excellence. Highlighted as ‘good practice’ by the Government’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), these services provide specialist one-to-one support to improve your confidence and independence as an academic writer. They organise a range of workshops and tutorials in writing genres, numeracy, statistics and mathematical software packages, covering topics ranging from how to organise an academic argument to how to improve grammar and sentence structure. 

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