Tell us your concerns

If you are a PhD student in the CS department who feels your research is affected by smaller or bigger issues, then this post is of interest to you. We (the mentors) would like to hear your views and concerns and report them anonymously to the department in the forthcoming PGRSSCC meeting (end of June). This is the starting point for taking action in the department with further goal to resolve them.

Last semester we sent a questionnaire to the PhD lists for collecting issues regarding your PhD. Many thanks to the PhD students who completed this survey. We got 64 responses which were reported in the  PGRSSCC meeting, which was held on January 2012. These concerns are categorised to the following:


- PhD funding and time that is needed to finish the PhD.

- EPROG system and its usability

- Lab demonstration issues



- Poor air conditioning (rooms are too warm, too cold etc)

- Poor environmental conditions (dirty rooms with mice).



- unreliable email

- Disk quota is not enough

Our main concern for the next PGRSSCC is to see if any improvement has been made the past months. Some of the issues are more difficult to resolve (e.g. academic) but for others such as environmental and IT issues, we need your feedback to check if actions are taken to resolve problems. For example, in the last meeting the environmental manager promised he will take immediate action to resolve the problem with the mice. However, if the problem still persists please report it to us by indicating your room number. The representative for IT services also mentioned that its their plan to improve the quality of the email service by upgrading servers and extending disk quota. Has any of these issues been resolved or improved? Do you have any new concerns regarding your PhD studies? 

Your feedback is valuable to us and your opinion matters!! Please report your concerns by sending an email at or by just commenting on this post. Issues will be collected for the next PGRSSCC meeting by the 13th of June.

Easter Trip 2012

Hello research students,

We’re planning to take you on a one day trip to Tatton park on the 14th of April.

What is Tatton Park?

Well, Tatton Park is one of the UK’s most complete historic estates. It is home to a Tudor Old Hall, Neo-Classical Mansion, 50 acres of landscaped gardens, a rare-breed farm and 1,000 acres of deer park. They have speciality shops, restaurant, adventure playground, events and educational programmes as well. The park has activities for both sunny and “English” weather, so there will be something to do in any case. For more information about Tatton park, we forward you to their website to which that extract comes from

But first we need to know how many people want to come to our event. So all you need to do currently is email  before the 6th of April with your name and student ID stating you wish to come with us to Tatton park and please specify if you have a student (or other) rail card. Then watch this space, where closer to the time we will give you more precise details of the event.

We only subsidise train tickets and admission to an attraction. If you want to visit the other attractions, you can get a combined ticket, but you have to contribute part of the cost (less than £5).Friends and family are welcome to join as well on this day out, but unfortunately we cannot fund them too.

Draft trip details:

We are meeting at 9:00am at Piccadilly train station. Please be punctual, as we need to find each other, queue and buy the train tickets! Please be aware that we can only buy your ticket if you are there on time. We will take the train from Piccadilly to Knutsford. The train will take around 45 minutes. After that, we will walk from the train station to the Mansion, through the park, for about 2 miles. Comfortable shoes and maybe a raincoat (depending on the weather on that day) are also advisable. There is a cafe and restaurant at the estate, but you might want to bring some lunch and snacks if you would like to have a picnic in the park. For returning to Manchester, there are trains every hour, so we are more flexible with this.

Hope to see you on the 14th of April!

On behalf of the mentor team,

Claudiu Mihăilă