Postgrad Rep Update for October

Kia ora koutou katoa,

Just like that another month has flown by! I hope you have been able to make the most of the new found freedoms of being in Level 1 again. Over the last month there has been plenty happening in the PG space including 3 Minute Thesis (3MT), Visualise Your Thesis, development of the UC website and a new Career Development Framework for next year! There is also a lot to look forward to in the next month (be sure to head to the closing BBQ for Grad Fest at 12pm hosted by the UCSA on Friday the 30th of October!)

Firstly a massive congratulations to Flynn Adcock, Samuel Martin Treceno and Morgan Tracy for taking out the top 3 places in 3MT and Jane Alexander for winning the Visualise Your Thesis competition. It was awesome to see such quality presentations! If you missed the videos from the finalists you can check them out here.

The second round of Gradfest is happening again at the end of this month starting on the 26th of October. There will be a number of useful sessions, which will be super helpful to make sure you get the most out of your postgraduate research experience. If nothing else, I would encourage you to attend the panel sessions that will happen at 11am on each day of Gradfest. Since we are back in Level 1 there will also be a number of social aspects to the week that will enable you to meet postgrads from other departments/schools! I look forward to seeing you all there!

Something that many of you may not be aware of is that the University has a space available for PhD students who are in the final months of writing up their thesis. The UC Thesis House is located on 39 Creyke Road and is for Doctoral students who wish to book a room for writing space for up to three months. More information will be sent out to our students as soon as it is ready to go, so keep your eyes peeled!

As mentioned last month, UC is working on creating a Career Development Framework. This initiative is still in its infant stages. At this stage the goal is to make sure all the information about academic, transferable and research skills sessions and workshops are in one central place that is easy for students to access. I can keep you updated as things progress in this space.

From what I have been told, there were a good number of applications for the UC Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator Scholarships. During the recent PG Research Committee meeting I voiced the concerns from students about the inequity in the value of these new scholarships compared to the current UC Doctoral Scholarships (UCDS) and the fact that only new students can apply for them. This means that the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research is aware of the concerns students have. One thing to note about these scholarships is that the UCDS is an open project where the student is able to pick the project they desire to do. In comparison, the UC Aho Hīnātore scholarships are linked to research areas that are a focus of the UC Strategy.

While we are on the topic of giving student feedback to UC, I also voiced concern about TA pay discrepancies between different schools and departments for TA work. Hopefully it will be possible to get some improvement and equity in this space.

Finally, do you want to help the UCSA create a campus that continues to listen to the interests, advice and feedback of Postgrad Students? The UCSA Postgraduate Advisory Group (PGAG) provides student feedback and direction to the Postgraduate Rep, the Executive Committee and any relevant parties involved in postgraduate students’ needs and issues. PGAG’s aim is to ensure that the interests, advice and feedback of postgraduate students are conveyed to the UCSA, who in turn work with the University to create a campus that values postgraduate students. The PGAG meet 1–2 times per term to gather feedback and to work on materials, policies and events. It’s expected that meetings will last up to an hour.

If this sounds like a bit of you, we would love to have you as part of the Postgraduate Advisory Group! More information can be found here. Alternatively feel free to send me a message.

As always, if you have any ideas on how the UCSA can improve the postgrad experience, please get in contact. The UCSA would love to hear your ideas on areas that we can improve on. Feel free to get in contact with the UCSA PG Rep via email: or Facebook.

Ngā mihi,

George Stilwell
Postgraduate Representative
2020 UCSA Executive



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