Graduate Supervision Reporting

Access to GSR

Access to GSR for students will be via Student Self Service https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/selfservice. Students will be sent a GSR automated email notification with details of how to log in at the start of each reporting window, and who to contact with queries.

 Key changes to note, taking effect from Michaelmas term 2018

  • The student reporting window will open one week later, in 7th week, and will be extended to three weeks. The supervisor reporting window will also open one week later in 10th week, and has been shortened to four weeks to encourage timely feedback.
  • A fourth reporting window in the Long Vacation (summer) is being introduced, which will be optional at the PGT course level (defined by departments), but mandatory for all PGR courses.
  • In exceptional circumstances, permission can be sought via the relevant Divisional Committee for modular PGT programmes to use alternative reporting periods, as long as the overall University reporting policy requirements are maintained (details of how to request bespoke reporting periods will be circulated to departments).
  • All GSR automated email notifications will include dates of reporting windows, not term week numbers, to ensure clarity.
  • Departments will have the option to permit other academic colleagues with oversight for PGT students (e.g. Course Directors, PGT thesis/dissertation supervisors, and class teachers) to submit a report in addition to the general supervisor (however, only the general supervisor will receive payment for submitting a report).
  • Secondary supervisors (sometimes referred to as Department Advisors) can be given read-only access to PGR student reports. Secondary supervisors are sometimes appointed to provide secondary academic advice for research students who are otherwise sole-supervised, although they are not normally expected to provide regular formal supervision, write supervision reports or to provide pastoral support for the student or primary supervisor, or act as a go between. Note that secondary supervisors are distinct from co-supervisors, who have a formal supervisory role, and will continue to submit reports in GSR.
  • The DGS / Course Director will be able to add additional comments to a report where concerns have been flagged.
  • College advisors will be able to record how many meetings they have held with their students.
  •  Research students will be able to complete the Divisional Training Needs Analysis (TNA) form in Student Self Service and add this to their GSR reports.
  •  MPLS Preparing for Transfer and Confirmation of status forms have been built within GSR, so students will now be able to complete and submit these directly in the system. Administrators will also have the option to give the assessors access to these forms in GSR without them having access to the student’s reports.
  •  More nuanced flagging of concerns about academic progress (minor/major/severe) has been introduced. The following guidance on flagging concerns has been agreed with EPS and should be included in local guidance:

Flagging concerns

Student concerns should relate directly to academic progress. If students are dissatisfied with any other aspects of provision e.g. their supervisory relationship or their working environment, they should raise these with the Director of Graduate Studies (or equivalent) in the first instance, and pursue them through the department’s complaints procedure if necessary.

Supervisors should discuss any concerns about academic progress with the student before flagging a concern in GSR.

Directors of Graduate Studies should review all flagged concerns and take action as appropriate. A severe concern should result in a meeting with the Director of Graduate Studies without delay. Directors of Graduate Studies should briefly note any action being taken to resolve the matter.

Minor concerns – Satisfactory progress is being made, but minor issues have been identified where further action may be required to keep progress on track.

Major concerns – One or more factors are significantly affecting progress, and further action is required now to keep progress on track.

Severe concerns – Progress is being seriously affected by one or more factors, and a meeting with the Director of Graduate Studies should be held as soon as possible to discuss further action to get progress back on track.”

Purpose of using GSR

The following text is included in the GSR automated email notifications that students receive at the start of each of their reporting windows, and you may wish to include it in Handbooks.

“It is mandatory to complete a self-assessment report every reporting period. If you have any difficulty completing this you must speak to your supervisor or Director of Graduate Studies.

Your self-assessment report will be used by your supervisor(s) as a basis to complete a report on your performance this reporting period, for identifying areas where further work may be required, and for reviewing your progress against agreed timetables and plans for the term ahead. GSR will alert you by email when your supervisor or DGS has completed your report and it is available for you to view.

Use this opportunity to:

  • Review and comment on your academic progress during the current reporting period
  • Measure your progress against the timetable and requirements of your programme of study
  • Identify skills developed and training undertaken or required (within the self-assessment report for taught programmes, and via the TNA form in GSR for research programmes)
  • List your engagement with the academic community
  • Raise concerns or issues regarding your academic progress to your supervisor
  • Outline your plans for the next term (where applicable)

Students and supervisors are reminded that having a positive student-supervisor relationship is an important factor in student success. Research suggests that one of the strongest predictors of postgraduate completion is having expectations met within the student-supervisor relationship.”