ACE’s research students are supported by the University’s Graduate School (GS). Through the Aston Postgraduate Research Society they meet other students from across the University, benefiting from student networks and societies. The GS gives access to staff development; library; careers staff; research grant support. Two open-plan offices offer IT and printing facilities to all PGR (and PGT) students; ACE also has its own dedicated postgraduate room.
ACE research students present their work in several forums, including the annual interdisciplinary LSS Postgraduate Conference, and the more informal Politics and International Relations research seminar.
Each research student can apply for up to £500 for conference travel annually. Throughout the 2009-2014 period, ACE and LSS have offered competitive bursaries for both our Masters and doctoral programmes. PhD students are monitored and guided outside their supervisions through the University’s online MAP (My Aston Portal) system. ACE research students have a supervisor and associate supervisor, who have completed the University’s training for research supervision. All research students follow a Research Methods and Skills Module, a prerequisite for the ‘Qualifying Report’ examination at the beginning of the second year, based on a 10,000-word report and a viva voce examination. All research students complete an annual Training Needs Analysis. ACE encourages research students to join their respective professional associations, such as the Political Studies Association (PSA) and University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES). Research students contribute articles on contemporary issues to the ACE blog. The School also has a Director of Research Degree Programmes who accompanies research students from admission to completion, advising on administrative issues and monitoring academic progress and general welfare.