The Department provides a comprehensive induction for all students during the first week of Michaelmas term at the beginning of October. This runs in parallel with induction events organised by colleges and the Medical Sciences Division. The programme of induction is designed to enable students to begin their studies with an understanding of the academic and social environment within which they will be working and includes:
- facilities available for students within the department
- relevant health and safety practices within the group and department
- guidance on good academic practice and the avoidance of plagiarism
- introduction to staff and their roles and an opportunity to meet socially and informally with other students and staff in the department, especially the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS)
- orientation to the course, i.e. methods of assessment and examination, regulations and other requirements, as well as general processes such as annual registration
- orientation to the degree programme i.e. transfer of status, methods of assessment and examination, regulations and other requirements, as well as general processes such as annual registration
- teaching opportunities (where appropriate)
- skills training available within and outside the subject
- typical challenges which may face the research student and sources of support and guidance including support for developing academic skills for research
- integrity in research, intellectual property rights, and guidance on good academic practice and the avoidance of plagiarism;ethical research review processes (where appropriate)
- wider academic opportunities (seminars, journal clubs, research networks) including opportunities for meeting other students and staff
- student welfare (in the departmental context)
- academic expectations of students and responsibilities of students (see Section 6 of this policy)
- typical challenges which may face the graduate student and sources of support and guidance including support for developing study skills
- how to raise concerns and/or make a complaint, and opportunities to provide feedback (e.g. through a Joint Consultative Committee).
The department provides a desk and PC for all DPhil students for the duration of their studies.
Department pastoral support
In addition to pastoral support provided by individual university colleges, the department is committed to supporting graduate students throughout their studies. The Academic Supervisor is the first point of contact for academic related matters. The Director for Graduate Studies offers advice and support where there may be a difference of opinion between supervisor and student.
A number of student-led initiatives offer informal advice and guidance on anything from research activities to arranging a social event. This includes student mentors and trained peer supporters who facilitate drop-in sessions each term to discuss anything of concern to students over coffee and biscuits.