Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) 2019

Please tell us about your experience as a postgraduate research student and help raise money for The Whitechapel Centre.

We’re keen to make sure postgraduate researchers have the best possible experience while studying at Liverpool John Moores University. To do that we need to know what you think we are doing well and what we can do better.

LJMU will be running the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey from Monday 1 April until Friday 10 May 2019.

This is your chance to tell us about your experience of:

  • supervision
  • resources
  • research culture
  • progress and assessment
  • research skills and professional development
  • opportunities
  • overall experience

For every survey completed, the University will donate £1 to local homeless and housing charity, The Whitechapel Centre. When combined with the money raised through the national undergraduate survey (NSS), LJMU hopes to be able to donate over £10,000.

Take a look at the FAQs below to find out more or contact Victoria Sheppard in the Doctoral Academy.

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey, Advance HE and The Whitechapel Centre logos

Frequently asked questions

What is it?

The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey is a national survey conducted by institutions across the UK and globally. The survey takes around 15 minutes to complete.

Who is it for?

All postgraduate researchers who enrolled before 1 January 2019 will be invited to complete the survey. This includes all MPhil, PhD and Professional Doctorate researchers.

Why should I take part?

The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey is your chance to tell us your thoughts about your experience. The results help us compare how we are doing with other institutions, to make changes that will improve what we do in future and to keep doing the things that you value. This will help improve the experience of PGRs like you in the future.

Taking part will also help raise money for The Whitechapel Centre. As a thank you for your time, the University will make a donation for every completed survey. The Whitechapel Centre works to prevent and resolve homelessness, social exclusion and housing poverty, and was chosen by Liverpool John Moores University Students’ Union (LJMSU) for National Student Survey (NSS) donations. If all eligible students complete the surveys, the combined PRES and NSS contributions will raise over £10,000!

As an additional incentive, the faculty with the highest response rate will receive £500 to spend on PGR-related activities.

What happens to the results?

Your feedback is important. Over one hundred universities and colleges take part in the UK and globally. This means we can compare your experience against similar postgraduates at other institutions to see if we are supporting your learning as we should. We use the findings to improve the support and learning experience for future students.

Student responses are anonymous and are collected by Advanced HE. All the responses are aggregated to produce an overall national report, published on the Advanced HE website. The responses from students at each participating university also are aggregated into a confidential report for that institution. A short overview of the key LJMU results, and how they compare to the sector, will be shared with all PGRs by September 2019.

The quantitative results are discussed at relevant Academic Board, University and Faculty Research Degree Committees. Through consultation with PGR representatives, the Doctoral Academy and Faculty Research Degree Committees respond to feedback with action plans, identifying agreed actions, timescales and responsibilities for implementation.

LJMU runs the PRES every two years. As a result of feedback from previous surveys we have enhanced the researcher training offer, introduced a new two-day summer school, improved online resources, and introduced new training for supervisors. 2017 feedback on resources has helped to ensure that the current library refurbishment includes dedicated PGR study spaces. Feedback on doctoral processes, meanwhile, has informed the Doctoral Academy’s ongoing work to streamline PGR regulations, and to build a new IT system for managing the doctoral journey online.

Is it anonymous?

Your survey response is confidential to the team processing the results and no reporting outside of this team will identify any individual. Any results communicated to academic staff will be anonymised.

The survey asks that any comments you make should not identify yourself or any specific members of staff.

What do I need to do?

You will receive an email with a link to the questionnaire on Monday 1 April. Simply click on the link and complete the online form. It should take no longer than 15 minutes and you can easily do it on your phone.

Where can I get further information?

If you are unsure about anything to do with the survey, or have any difficulty, please contact Victoria Sheppard in the Doctoral Academy by email: or or call: 0151 904 6478.