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Postgraduate Research Experience Survey

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The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) is an online survey provided by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) but administered by ourselves. The survey collects feedback from current postgraduate research students (any PhD or Doctoral student as well as Research Masters students) on their experience of supervision, the research environment and their development as a researcher.

What will I be asked?

You’ll be asked to rate the following series of questions with a score of 1 to 5, with 5 being “Definitely Agree”. When answering questions please consider all your experiences at Staffordshire University, from the day you joined us right through to the present day.


  • My supervisor/s have the skills and subject knowledge to support my research
  • I have regular contact with my supervisor/s, appropriate for my needs
  • My supervisor/s provide feedback that helps me direct my research activities
  • My supervisor/s help me to identify my training and development needs as a researcher


  • I have a suitable working space
  • There is adequate provision of computing resources and facilities
  • There is adequate provision of library facilities (including physical and online resources)
  • I have access to the specialist resources necessary for my research

Research Culture

  • I have access to a good seminar programme in my research area
  • I have frequent opportunities to discuss my research with other researchers including research students
  • The research community in my research area stimulates my work
  • I am aware of opportunities to become involved in the wider research community, beyond my department

Progress & Assessment

  • I received an appropriate induction to my research degree programme
  • I understand the requirements and deadlines for formal monitoring of my progress
  • I understand the required standard for my thesis
  • The final assessment procedures for my degree are clear to me


  • My institution values and responds to feedback from research degree students
  • I understand my responsibilities as a research degree student
  • I am aware of my supervisors' responsibilities towards me as a research degree student
  • Other than my supervisor/s, I know who to approach if I am concerned about any aspect of my degree programme

Research Skills

  • My skills in applying appropriate research methodologies, tools and techniques have developed during my programme
  • My skills in critically analysing and evaluating findings and results have developed during my programme
  • My confidence to be creative or innovative has developed during my programme
  • My understanding of 'research integrity' (e.g. rigour, ethics, transparency, attributing the contribution of others) has developed during my programme

Professional Development

  • My ability to manage projects has developed during my programme
  • My ability to communicate information effectively to diverse audiences has developed during my programme
  • I have developed contacts or professional networks during my programme
  • I have increasingly managed my own professional development during my programme


  • Agreeing a personal training or development plan
  • Receiving training to develop my research skills
  • Receiving training to develop my transferable skills
  • Receiving advice on career options
  • Taking part in a placement or internship
  • Attending an academic research conference
  • Presenting a paper or poster at an academic research conference Submitting a paper for publication in an academic journal or book Communicating your research to a non-academic audience Engagement with non-academic partners - e.g. in industry or elsewhere

Overall Experience

  • Overall, I am satisfied with the experience of my research degree programme
  • I am confident that I will complete my research degree programme within my institution's expected timescale
  • What, if anything, has been the one most positive aspect of your research degree programme so far?
  • What, if anything, is the one top area in which your experience of your research degree programme so far could be improved?