Approval and Recording of Research Degree Supervisors

The EROS (Electronic Recording of Supervisors) project was instigated at the request of Research Degrees Committee to put in place procedures to ensure that Supervisor data in the Research Student Record is robust and complete, essential in the run up to the REF.

The following page brings together in one place the policy regarding Supervisor approval and the practical processes to be undertaken by Faculties and Departments/Divisions to ensure all members of staff acting as Supervisors for research degree students are approved and recorded correctly.

Overview of Processes

1. Prospective Supervisors – eligibility, training and approval

The regulations governing the eligibility of academic staff to supervise research degree students can be found in section 4 of the Academic Regulations for Research Degree Students Part 1.

The UCL Graduate School provides a 90-minute briefing session, Introduction to Research Student Supervision at UCL, which is mandatory for all research student Supervisors. This session gives an overview of the most important regulations and key aspects of research supervision. Further professional development opportunities are also provided for research Supervisors.

It is the responsibility of Faculty Graduate Tutors (on behalf of the Faculty Teaching Committee/Faculty Graduate Teaching Committee) to approve applications from individual staff members to act as Supervisors, as set out in the Role and Responsibilities of Faculty Graduate Tutors in the Academic Manual.

Requests for approval to act as a Supervisor are submitted via the relevant Departmental Graduate Tutor (DGT), and require the completion of nomination form, and provision of an up-to-date CV demonstrating research activity. Prospective Supervisors should contact their DGT in the first instance for confirmation of the procedures to follow.

The policy on Monitoring the Supervision of Research Students by Departmental Graduate Tutors (including the removal of the permission to supervise) can be found in the part 5 of the Academic Manual.

2. Faculties – recording approved Supervisors

Faculty approval of staff to supervise is now recorded centrally by Faculties in the HR Roles Database using the new EROS system. The EROS system can be accessed from the main UCL Administrative Systems page or directly.

All Faculty Graduate Tutors and Faculty Graduate Administrators have access to the EROS system to input data and view reports, as appropriate. Access rights should be requested from the Graduate School.

The following guidance is available to Faculties on using the EROS system to record approved Supervisors:

EROS Guidance for Faculties
EROS Entering Comments Data for Faculties

N.B. Faculties can only approve staff from within their own Faculties, although once approved members of staff can supervise students from any Department at UCL whether within their Faculty or outside.

The EROS system has also now been enhanced to show the date on which members of staff attend the mandatory Introduction to Research Student Supervision at UCL session. The field at the bottom of staff details in EROS, called "Supervisor Course", confirms the date they attended the training.

The list of approved Supervisors recorded in the new system is available for all UCL staff to view online.

3. Departments – allocating approved Supervisors in PORTICO

The list of approved Supervisors maintained by the Faculties is available in PORTICO and it is the responsibility of Departments to add approved Supervisors from this list to individual research student's records once they have been allocated to students. It is also the responsibility of Departments to ensure that supervision records are kept up-to-date and any changes to the supervisory team reflected in PORTICO as soon as possible.

The accuracy of supervision records in PORTICO is important both to the administration of research degree programmes at UCL and for data returns in relation to the REF.

The following practical guidance has been issued to Departments on adding and updating Supervisor records in Portico: Research Student Administration User Guide

A PORTICO report on Research Students and Supervisors is available by Department and/or Faculty. For those with access to the PORTICO 'Reports' section, this report is the 'Research Student' category. It is recommended that Departments run this report on a regular basis to check for missing supervision data or any other research student data they need to update in PORTICO.


Who to contact for help?

For help/advice on Supervisor eligibility and the approval process – please contact your Departmental Graduate Tutor or Faculty Graduate Tutor as appropriate.

For technical support and questions regarding PORTICO functionality – please contact the PORTICO Services Helpdesk.