Autumn term events

The Graduate School would like to welcome doctoral researchers both new and continuing, and to highlight some of the events taking place over the coming weeks…gs-harristreesl

Welcome event for all new doctoral researchers

Wednesday 23 October, 14.00-15.00
Madejski lecture theatre, Agriculture

An essential event for new doctoral research students, this will provide you with an introduction to what you need to know about academic life during your time at Reading, including information on:

  • What you can expect from the University Graduate School and what we will expect from you
  • Training requirements
  • Career development
  • Cross-campus personal development events

This is also an opportunity for you to meet other new doctoral researchers.

Attendance is highly recommended.


Breakfast club

Tuesday 29 October, 9.00-10.00 am
Graduate School (Old Whiteknights House)

Sometimes doing a PhD can get a little lonely, so put the books aside for an hour and come and meet others in the same boat as you! (Coffee, pastries and fruit provided.)

Free to attend, but so we know how many croissants to buy, please email


Seasonal celebration and annual Graduate School quiz

Wednesday 4 December, 17.00-19.00
Graduate School (Old Whiteknights House)

Tis’ the season to be jolly…and enjoy the Graduate School celebration!

Will your team triumph in the annual quiz and win an amazing prize ?
Will we run out of mulled wine and minced pies??
The only way to find out is to come along!
More details will be posted nearer the time – for now, just save the date.

Language training opens up to doctoral researchers


Starting this year, all Doctoral researchers at Reading have the opportunity to broaden their skills and employability by studying a language free of charge. The Institution-wide Language Programme (IWLP), run by the University’s International Study and Language Institute, offers 11 different languages ranging from Mandarin to Italian. Available from beginner to advanced level, these courses are an excellent platform for broadening both your life experiences in a multilingual, multicultural world and your overall employability in a competitive job market.

From the 2013/14 academic year, doctoral researchers are entitled to take one module per year (or one every two years if you are undertaking your research part-time), with the cost covered by your academic School if you continue with the course beyond the first three weeks. Beyond the third week of the module, you will be expected to attend all classes (barring exceptional circumstances) and to complete all assessment tasks. You will also be asked to comment on your attendance of any IWLP module in your annual progress reports. If you complete these courses, you will have access to further free language training in future years (if not, training will still be available but fees will apply).

With registration for IWLP classes open until Friday 11th October, those interested should act promptly to secure a place on their desired module (though late applicants can still enquire about availability). You should seek approval from your primary supervisor or Director of PGR Studies before completing online registration. Full details can be found on the IWLP website at

Courses start from the 14th October.

Commonwealth Scholars reflect on eventful year

gs-commonwealthscholars1213The international diversity of the University of Reading continues to be reflected by the quality of students who chose to study here from countries across the globe, with currently over 6,000 students from outside the UK. One of the most prominent schemes supporting such international mobility is the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan, which remains one of the largest and most prestigious scholarship schemes for international study in the world. Since 1961, it has helped fund 108 Scholars to study at the University of Reading and continues to attract high calibre applicants from major Commonwealth destinations including India, Sri Lanka and Africa.

One of our current Commonwealth Scholars from Nigeria, Ekemini Obok, is studying for a PhD in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development. He recently reflected on his experiences since starting at Reading, in particular the first official meeting between current Commonwealth Scholars and the University’s Vice Chancellor, Sir David Bell, along with Professor Dianne Berry, University Director of Postgraduate Research Studies. This meeting, which took place earlier this academic year, showed the continued interest of the University in hosting and supporting students undertaking research in areas of global importance. Ekimini’s experiences are reported on the website of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK.