On 13 February 2018 the XM2 Oversight Board (OB) visited us to evaluate the progress our centre has made over the last 6 months.
The day’s agenda saw a few ‘firsts’ as highlights of the day:
- Prof Alastair Hibbins gave his first talk as Director of the CDT to the OB – an open session to which all supervisors and PGRs were invited;
- Our first cohort, now approaching graduation, met with the OB to provide feedback on their experiences in the centre over the past 4 years;
- Our latest intake (2017/18) attended the meeting for the first time – and they did a great job presenting posters of their current work to the Oversight Board.
The OB, the XM2 Management Board (MB) and our Student Advisory Group had an engaged discussion that included ideas about how to best utilise the OB members’ time and experience to the benefit of future PGRs – a proposal following the discussion will be developed together with the student body over the next months. In addition, the PGRs made valuable suggestions on the training elements of the programme which will be taken into consideration for both the current centre and the new proposal.
Overall, the OB’s impressions of the centre’s development (based on the biannual report and communication with PGRs and MB on the day) are rather positive. In particular, the increase in research outputs and the enhanced profile raising activities (website, blog, CDT videos) to showcase the breadth of our research and the PGRs activities were very well received. A key item of the OB recommendations for future improvement is the engagement of the supervisor body with CDT events and the training progamme. Following sign off of the OB feedback summary we will communicate the details of the recommendations made.