MeetingRecords

Meeting Records

Recording meetings with your supervisor(s) is compulsory for all postgraduate research students.  Supervisory meetings are important as they provide an opportunity to obtain feedback from your supervisors on the direction of your research and also on any written work you may have produced.  They allow problems to be identified at an early stage so that they can be rectified in a timely manner. 

Maintaining records of these meetings helps foster good professional practice for early career researchers and ensures that notes and documents are easily accessible to the student and supervisory team.  The records also provide a useful record of progress and agreed actions for both students and supervisors.

Recordable Meetings or ‘Formal Interactions’

The Code of Practice requires all students to maintain a record of all supervisory meetings or ‘formal interactions’ on the ePortfolio system.  ‘Formal interactions’ are described as ‘a structured meeting whereby student and supervisor(s) engage in a meaningful discussion, e.g. discuss a piece of work and agree on an action plan’.  Meetings can take place in person, or at a distance (for example via Skype, if a student is away on fieldwork). 

Frequency of Meetings

The Code of Practice sets out the minimum requirements for student/supervisor contact.  Up to the point of submission (Home/EU students) or completion (international students) the minimum expectations for formal interactions are as follows:

  • Full-time students should have regular contact with one member of their supervisory team at least ten times a year, approximately monthly with no more than an eight week gap between meetings.  At least three of these meetings should include the full supervisory team;
  • Part‐time students and those students engaged in distance learning should agree the frequency of the formal interactions with their supervisor equivalent to full‐time students on a pro‐rata basis.

Tier 4 Visa Holders

There is an additional requirement for students who hold Tier 4 visas to record and confirm the outcomes of their regular supervisory meetings, via ePortfolio while under examination through to completion of their studies.  This is a condition of their visa sponsorship. These meeting records and outcomes may be requested by the Home Office, as part of the University’s sponsorship duties.  For further information about how meeting records are used as part of the Attendance Monitoring process, please see the Attendance Monitoring website.

Students Working Off Campus

If you are working off campus for a period, to undertake fieldwork or a placement for example, you are still required to maintain contact with your supervisors and to record formal interactions in the ePortfolio system.  Prior to leaving the campus, you should agree with your supervisors how you will maintain contact, whether this will be via detailed email exchanges or Skype conversations.   All students working off campus must also complete an ‘Application for Outside Study’.  Further information about this process can be found here.

Recording Meetings

Instructions on how to record meetings on ePortfolio are available on the following website: https://portfolio.ncl.ac.uk/help/pgr/meetings/

It is recommended that the student initiates the meeting record, including notes of the outcomes and action points.  The supervisors can then add to the notes of the meeting to clarify any misunderstandings or omissions before confirming the meeting record.  Alternatively, it is possible for supervisors to initiate the recording of meetings in ePortfolio, if that is their preferred practice.

You can view the status of meetings that have been recorded in the ‘Meetings’ tab on ePortfolio to see if they have been confirmed by your supervisor.

If your supervisor fails to confirm your meetings, you should follow this up with them directly or with your school office in the first instance. If this does not work, please email rssteam@ncl.ac.uk if you are a SAgE or HaSS student, or medpg-enquiries@ncl.ac.uk if you are a FMS student. We will then contact your supervisor directly, and if necessary speak to your school office and PGR Director.

Confidentiality

Only students and supervisors can see notes and uploaded files, except under exceptional circumstances such as appeals, complaints or if there is a specific legal requirement. For quality assurance purposes, School Administrators and Research Student Support Team / Medical Sciences Graduate School staff will be able to see the dates, venue and attendees of meetings for students in their respective Schools and Faculties, but not the notes or uploaded files.