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.

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 Academic Regulations in the Academic Manual.

The Doctoral School and Arena Centre for Research-Based Education provide an online course, “Introduction to Research Supervision” covering up to date policies and procedures, signposts to all the support available at UCL, and important insights into building positive working relationships between research students and supervisors.

The online course is mandatory for all members of academic staff wishing to be appointed as research supervisors at UCL, including new members of academic staff with experience of research supervision at other institutions.

On completion of the course, supervisors will be able to download a certificate of completion, and be eligible to join the face-to-face session, “Developing as a UCL Supervisor”, which those with no prior supervisory experience must also attend.

Details and registration for both courses, together with further development opportunities for supervisors and some useful resources are available on the Arena Research Supervision pages.

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 usually require the completion of a 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 Academic Manual also sets out the policy on Monitoring the Supervision of Research Students by Departmental Graduate Tutors (including the removal of the permission to supervise).

2. Faculties – recording approved Supervisors

Faculty approval of staff to supervise is now recorded centrally by Faculties in the HR Roles Database using the 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 Doctoral School.

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

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 (requires UCL username and password).

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 ISD Service Desk.