Graduate School

A supportive environment of discovery and innovation.

Our Graduate School is a dedicated facility located at the heart of the University, providing support, training and professional development opportunities to our vibrant postgraduate community and researchers. Specially designed to promote integration and inculcation of interdisciplinary and collaborative working in our next generation of researchers, postgraduates study and learn together - from Environmental Management to Law, Psychology, Bioscience, Economics and Business, Cybersecurity and Computer Games.

Our shared space has been designed to promote cross-discipline exchange amongst the student and academic research community so that ideas and expertise might permeate across discipline boundaries to spark innovative discoveries, creativity and new thinking.

When you join us as a Postgraduate Research Student or researcher, you’ll be joining a community of creative like-minded scholars and will automatically be provided with access to our dedicated study and social spaces – a forum in which you can meet, work, collaborate, learn and socialise with other researchers, postgraduates and academic staff from across the University.

The Graduate School offers an integrated training and professional development programme to enhance research excellence, impact and individual employability. Postgraduates benefit from support with funding applications, placement opportunities, industry collaboration, teaching practice, public engagement and outreach activity.

The Graduate School offers:

  • a flexible and integrated portfolio of online training and researcher development opportunities, seminars and workshops that can be tailored to your aspirations and needs;
  • personal development planning and reflection aligned with the Vitae RDF;
  • a ‘Beginning to Teach in Higher Education’ short course and teaching opportunities in some disciplines for qualified candidates;
  • teaching opportunities in some disciplines for qualified candidates;
  • public engagement and outreach training, and opportunities to implement what you have learned in the real world (e.g. Science Festivals, competitions and schools);
  • help with academic writing, publishing, funding applications and business development;
  • placement opportunities in industry, charities or government;
  • access to discipline-specific advanced and specialist facilities, laboratories, equipment, technical support and specialist training or teaching;
  • opportunities to present your research to the academic community through Graduate School Conferences and other events;
  • a fund to which researchers can apply for conference attendance and researcher training support;
  • opportunities to engage with researcher and postgraduate networks beyond Abertay;
  • a single point of contact for guidance, advice and support to all postgraduate students;
  • dedicated desk space/PCs, seminar and meeting rooms, a kitchen with refreshments – all open until late.

Meet the team

Prof. Nia White

Nia White

As Head of Research and Dean of the pan-University Graduate School, I lead the development of the research agenda at Abertay. I am a microbiologist by background with over 30 years of experience as a researcher and academic. I truly believe that our Postgraduate Research Students are central to the Abertay research community and to driving our research excellence, innovation and ultimately our success going forward.

The world requires passionate but professional researchers who can think critically but also creatively, to better understand and offer solutions to the complex problems that face us today. At Abertay, we promote a collaborative, cross- and inter-disciplinary approach to the way our researchers work; highly-skilled discipline experts working together and learning from each other, to innovate and find creative solutions for the modern world.

We would be pleased to welcome you to the Abertay Graduate School for your postgraduate studies. We pride ourselves in being a small and friendly University with an excellent research environment, extensive researcher development opportunities, close links with industry, the public and third sectors, and a welcoming student support service. We are here to help you reach your full potential and to achieve your ambitions and goals.

Dr Alison Elliott

Alison Elliot

I am Head of Researcher Development.  My background is in psychology and epidemiology and I worked as a researcher and academic for over 20 years.  I am responsible for developing the Abertay University Graduate School Researcher Development Training Programme.  The programme provides academic staff and postgraduate students with access to a wide range of courses, seminars and workshops on a range of topics, from research methods to project management and from public engagement to media training.  I work directly with staff and students to help them develop their portfolio of research skills. 

In addition to running a series of lectures on academic writing, I also run ‘Writing Academies’ and provide one-to-one support on developing research plans, grant and fellowship applications, academic papers, impact case studies and conference papers.  I manage the University Internal Peer Review Process and chair of the Graduate School Forum.  I also sit on several University committees including the Research Executive, Research Knowledge and Exchange Committee, REF management team and University Research Degrees Assessment Panel.  I am also a member of the Universities Scotland Researcher Development and Training Committee.

Mrs Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith

I am the Outreach and Researcher Development Coordinator. My background is in psychology, and I have over 14 years experience working in outreach and public engagement. I have worked on national (UK wide) widening access schemes and a series of large Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related festivals for primary schools in the local area through my current role.

I facilitate training workshops on outreach and public engagement, and I also offer help, advice and any arising opportunities to both our postgraduate students and staff who would like to get involved in disseminating their research more widely to varying ages of audiences from a variety of backgrounds. Furthermore, I am a point of contact for those, including primary and secondary schools, who would like to engage with the University and our research community.

I am always happy to hear about and help on new or existing initiatives.

Mr Simon Bright

 

I am the point of contact within the University for advice on:

  • Research contracts and collaboration agreements;
  • Intellectual Property policy and agreements;
  • Non-disclosure agreements.

I should be consulted by any colleagues who are preparing to, or have been asked by an external contact to sign any of these types of agreements. 

I am also the University REF Manager, which involves co-ordinating the University submission to the UK Government’s assessment of the quality of Universities’ research, an exercise that affects both Abertay’s funding and reputation.

Dr Ahmed Abdullah

I am the Researcher Development Officer.  I provide support and training in research methods and statistics for academic staff and postgraduate research students.  I am a statistician and have been teaching and providing statistics consulting in the UK and Syria since 1995. I have expert knowledge of multivariate statistical techniques (parametric and nonparametric tests).

I also have extensive expertise of various statistics packages (including R and SPSS). My main professional foci are design of experiments, sampling and data collection strategies, the analysis and modelling of experimental and survey data, the interpretation and presentation of the results obtained from analyses and contributing to professional publications and research papers.  I run a series of session on research design and statistics, hold weekly statistics drop in-sessions and provide one-to-one consultancy for academic staff and postgraduate students.

Dr Ailsa McKenzie

I am the School’s Grant Writer and Developer.  An experienced research support professional and academic researcher, I have 13 years of experience working across both the natural and social sciences at Newcastle, St Andrews and Edinburgh Universities. I have supported successful bids to a wide range of funders, including UKRI, H2020/Horizon Europe, NIHR, Leverhulme, British Academy, Carnegie and many more. My academic background is in ecology and conservation, and I maintain close links to this field in my role as associate editor for two ecological academic journals.

At Abertay I support, guide and help prepare external funding applications in collaboration with individual researchers and research teams from across the University. I’m available to help throughout the entire grant preparation lifecycle, from helping academics select the correct funder for their research and advising on scheme eligibility and funder rules, through reviewing and contributing to the drafting of proposals and budgets, helping to find and coordinate project partners/stakeholders, and supporting final submissions. I also identify and explore upcoming calls, providing targeted information on relevant calls to academic Divisions/Schools, and meet with funders and stakeholders to explore future opportunities.

Alongside Alison Elliott (Head of Researcher Development), I support researcher development training, including grant writing, the development of research impact, scoping funding opportunities for proposals, and other relevant areas.

If you’re thinking of submitting a grant, or have any questions about the process more generally, I’d love to hear from you.

Postgraduate Study and Researcher Development

Check out the links below for more information on postgraduate research degrees, postgraduate taught courses, and researcher development.

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Postgraduate Research

Find Doctorate and Research Masters opportunities with expert supervision within a multidisciplinary Graduate School and research environment.

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Postgraduate Taught

Our postgrad degrees build on existing skills and undergraduate studies, improving your employment prospects or facilitating a move into research.

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Researcher Development

The University is committed to all seven principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

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