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The University of Southampton
Doctoral College

Community and Support

Where to get help

Graduate School Office

The Graduate School Office team is your first point of contact once you have commenced your programme and responsible for maintaining your student records, ensuring that you are on track for your studies and they are there if you need a helping hand! They deal with most issues from progression queries to finance issues to graduation and award processes. If you have any sort of problems, be it personal, supervisory, financial, PGR tracker or needing to suspend, the Graduate School Office team can guide you to what options are available to you and help you through the process. They provide different types of administrative support for PGR students i.e. letter production and if you are not sure of any processes or procedures then they will guide you. You will also find an array of useful information on this website.

From time to time some students find it helpful to discuss particular problems confidentially with an experienced neutral member of staff. In recognition of this, the Faculty mentor system provides you with a person who you can turn to for independent help. You can contact one of the Senior Tutors listed below.

Research Groups

Research activity takes place in research groups or divisions within a strong multidisciplinary environment. You will be registered in the Faculty, and will be assigned a supervisor and advisor or supervisors, who will normally be members of academic staff of the Faculty, but members of a Research Group.

The Graduate School coordinates research student activities across research groups, providing administrative support and setting quality standards. Research groups, however, have a considerable amount of freedom regarding day to day activities. You will tend to be located with other researchers in your Group, share equipment and office support with them and be expected to participate in your Research Group’s seminar series. Basic supplies (stationery, official telephone calls, computer disks) will normally be provided for you by your Research Group. In most cases, you will also be allocated a small budget to spend on such things as consumable materials, photography, travel (on business), etc. This must be used only in accordance with the Faculty rules, and with the permission of your supervisor. Your Research Group administrative support will be a good point of contact for day to day matters.

Find a full list of all School of Engineering Research Group here.

Student Representatives

There can be >1300 doctoral research students registered in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at any given time. During your candidature you will be housed in one of the Faculty’s research groups each of which has a student representative. Students in each research grouping are invited to elect a representative from their own number whose views are actively sought and valued. These representatives are invited to attend Graduate School staff-student liaison meetings (held three times a year). The committee has the role of monitoring the organisation and management of the student programmes, to note any difficulties that students may be encountering, and to take advice about ways of improving the programmes.




SSLC PGR Student Chair

Geir Olafsson  


Nick Hillier

Find out more about Postgraduate Representation through SUSU here

Health and Safety

Health and Safety Induction

You are required to attend a Health and Safety Induction.  The School of Engineering Health and Safety Induction is held weekly in 13/4079 at 10:30. Please check with the Health and Safety officer Dave Lynock that the session is running prior to attending. You can contact him by phone on 023 8059 5340 or via email at

You can also access and complete the University’s on-line Health & Safety Induction materials, via these steps:

  1.  Log-in to the Health & Safety intranet (using your soton username and password)
  2.  Click on the link to the eLearning modules (3rd paragraph on page)
  3.  Find ‘UoS H&S Introduction v2‘ in the list of courses (you will need to scroll down using the slider on the right)
  4. Click on the course and follow the instructions to work through the course (you will need headphones or the sound enabled on your device).

NB Completion data for this course is recorded and will be tracked by a designated member of staff in your department; the Doctoral College is not able to monitor completions.

You will also need to follow the specific health & safety guidance/requirements set out by your department/school/faculty.

Your Safety - Faculty Health and Safety Policy

Health and safety is an important factor in all work carried out across the Faculty. We have a moral obligation to ensure that everything we do is carried out using the safest means possible. Alongside this, we have a legal obligation and each and every one of us has responsibility with regards to health and safety:

  • “It is the responsibility of students and employees to take care of their health and safety and of other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work”
  • “No Persons will intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety, or welfare”

To assist the University in meeting these obligations, there is a central Health and Safety Group that manages health and safety across the University. To support this group and to ensure that correct procedures are followed at a local level, the Faculty has its own staff with health and safety responsibilities.

Any person wanting to work in a laboratory or workshop area will be required to complete local induction or instruction on procedures to be followed. This will be carried out locally by Faculty staff.

All the information that you will require to work safely in the Faculty can be found on the following Blackboard module, which everyone can access.

If you have any issues concerning health and safety, please contact your area safety officer in the first instance. Contact details are available from the Blackboard site. If he/she is unable to deal with the issue, please feel free to contact the Faculty Safety Officer; Dave Lynock (023 8059 5340,

It is your duty in law to work safely and to ensure the safety of others working with you. The same duty applies to the University, and is primarily vested in your main supervisor, who, in this context, is responsible for enabling your programme of study but will not normally be supervising your work in person. What this involves will depend on the nature of your work. You must always comply with local safety policy however inconvenient this seems. There is usually a way of undertaking the work you need to do within the Faculty’s safety policy by suitable negotiation with those more experienced in the field, such as your supervisory team, the safety advisers and others with specialist technical knowledge.

You are likely to be asked to undertake a risk assessment of any experiment where there are hazards present which have a significant risk of causing harm to people. This written statement of how to cope with the hazards in an acceptable way must be conducted in accordance with the Faculty’s safety policy and procedures and can be found on the School of Engineering Health and Safety Resource Blackboard course.

Please also refer to the School of Engineering PGR Induction Booklet for additional Health and Safety Information, this booklet is provided by your local research administrator.


Senior Tutors

In the School of Engineering there are five senior tutors who may be contacted to offer general advice and information relating to further sources of assistance. The senior tutors will have a more specialised understanding of supporting students. The senior tutors offer support for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.



Emma Mackenzie

Professor Marco Starink  

Dr Victoria Watson  

Dr Jae-Wook Kim  

Dr Xize Niu

Dr Niu deals specifically with international students               

Enabling Services

Find our more about Enabling Services here.


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