Research Students


By building a bridge between doctoral researchers at SOAS it is possible to create a community where there might otherwise be isolation. Your research may be very unique and specific, but we hope to make space where you are able to mix with fellow researchers (and other students too), and benefit from the sharing of ideas, talking through the common challenges of going through a research degree, and associating with other researchers both connected to your department and in the school as a whole. 

There are three main ways to activly engage in the research community. There are lots of positions to put yourself forward for.

  1. The Research Student Association (RSA);
  2. The department-based Student Representative system; 
  3. The Postgraduate Research (PGR) Officer: an elected SU Exec role and a Trustee of the Students' Union, who also links to the RSA. They are a member of school committees which pertain to research. 


Student Representatives (reps)

Reps are important at every level of study, as a voice for students in the day-to-day experience. At the research level the role is important to coordinating feedback and draw attention to the particular experiences of this cohort so that student researchers are not lost in the institution. 

SOAS undertook an intense survey of doctoral research experience which made a wide set of recommendations. A network of reps can help to see how implementation has worked and how the institution can best support research needs.

Reps are invited as observers to all RSA Board meetings, which is a great forum to discuss what you want with other researchers and decide how to turn it into action. A research rep from each department is asked to attend the Student Feedback Panel, which is a direct line into raising issues with the school.

Rep roles:

  • At least an MPhil and a PhD rep per department. 

Elected reps are listed under each department

The Research Students Association (RSA)

The Board of the RSA is made up of six posts: a President and 5 Board members. These were elected in a vote open to all research students. 

The results are given here.

RSA meetings are at least once per term, organised and lead by research student. The agenda could cover The RSA engages with the Doctoral School, discusses concerns and runs an activity programme to (for example) highlight the research being undertaken and create opportunities to bring doctoral researchers together.

Research Students Association roles

visit the school research site for more information

  • President: responsible for overseeing the annual planning and daily work of the RSA (including budgeting) and representing the RSA at events. Also responsible for attending meetings with SOAS / S.U / DS and representing the interests of PGR students across the school. 

  • Non-portfolio board members (x5): to simplify the board, and allow a new board this year to re-shape how the association should develop. 




Page last updated: 07 Dec 2020 13:32