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We ran a project on what ‘research community’ means and how we can provide a sense of community and belonging to our PGRs to enhance their student experience. Colleagues at the University of Glasgow led the project.


The team were asked to answer questions these questions:

  • Is there agreement around what is a 'research community'? Do students and staff from different countries have different views?
  • What does a successful research community look like? Are there key characteristics that postgraduate researchers are likely to expect?
  • What is the purpose of a research community? Is its primary function the promotion of student success, the enhancement of research quality, raising an institution's profile, some combination of these, or something else?
  • Where do/should the boundaries of the research community lie? How does a successful research community integrate with the world outside of the institution, and how does this affect the student experience?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of a central institutional research community, compared to a local one (for example, in a school, faculty or college?)
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of using virtual, rather than physical, spaces to develop the research community?

Project outputs


Building a Research Community - Examples of policy and practice

Publication Date: 14 Aug 2017

Building a Research Community - Student and Staff Views

Publication Date: 14 Aug 2017

Building a Research Community - Key Issues for Discussion

Publication Date: 14 Aug 2017


Resource shared by an institution


Queen Margaret University have shared a case study related to the development of their Graduate School. We are grateful to the University for giving permission to share this resource.


PhD Students Association at Queen Margaret University

Publication Date: 18 Feb 2018