Template of Provision for Graduate Research Students in the Faculty of Oriental Studies

1. What arrangements will be put in place for supervising the graduate’s work?

You will have a named supervisor (or supervisors), normally as indicated in your offer letter, who will have overall responsibility for the direction of your work on behalf of your faculty. Typically, you should expect to have meetings with your supervisor at least twice a term during the period of your study. These meetings are likely to take place more frequently during the earlier stages of your research programme. 

See the Humanities Division website for a very useful description of what supervisors expect from their students, and what students can expect from their supervisors, at:

2. What induction arrangements will be made?

You will have faculty induction before the beginning of your first term, which will complement induction sessions organised by your college. The main induction to the faculty is provided at the start of Michaelmas Term. Your supervisor(s) will arrange more specialised induction subsequently.

3. What workspace will be provided?

Workspace will be related to individual circumstances, and the facilities and space available within your faculty. Graduate students in the Khalili Research Centre are currently offered workspace at no. 3 St John St.

4.  What arrangements for monitoring and reporting are in place?

The university has an on-line system (GSS) for termly reporting, which provides space both for students to comment on their progress each term, and for supervisors to give written feedback on what has been achieved, to make recommendations for the future, and to flag up concerns.  The Director of Graduate Studies also views all of these reports.  For information about the system, see:

In addition, students may return feedback on the individual lecture courses and classes that they have attended, through an anonymous feedback form that will be sent out to them in Week 6 of each term.

It is worth emphasising that students who have problems or concerns should communicate these immediately to their supervisors or others in the Faculty with responsibility for student progress and welfare, rather than waiting until the GSS report at the end of term. 

5. What IT support / library facilities / other facilities will be available?

You will have access to the Oriental Faculty Library and the Chinese Institute Library (in addition to the Bodleian and other university libraries, and the centrally provided electronic resources), the Faculty IT Officer, and other bibliographic, archive or material sources are available as appropriate to the research topic. Details are available on the Graduate Resources page of the Faculty’s website. There is a Computing room for the use of graduate students in the Oriental Institute. The provision of other resources specific to your project would be agreed with your supervisor as a part of the planning stages of the agreed project.

If your encounter problems with your individual computing equipment, you should first seek help from your college computer officer.

6. Which research seminars will be available?

You will have access to the seminars that individual research groups or groups with common areas of interest organise for their own members and others. Several research seminars take place each term in each of the three Sub-Faculties. You will also have access to other faculty seminars and colloquia, and your supervisor will discuss with you when you begin your programme, and subsequently, which would be the most appropriate for you to attend.

7. What access to research funds will be available?

You will find that limited faculty funds are available via the Sub-Faculties of the Near and Middle East Studies, South Asia and East Asia, to assist with attendance at conferences for the purpose of giving a paper, or to help with other reasonable research expenses.

8. What formal graduate skills training will be provided?

You will have the opportunity to attend a variety of skills training sessions offered by the Faculty, as appropriate to different stages of your graduate career.  The Faculty has a dedicated Graduate Training Co-ordinator who works with elected Graduate Student Representatives to provide a varied programme of graduate training events. For details, see the http://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/general/grad_reps.html. A training session for tutorial teaching skills is provided in Hilary Term for research students.

Information about training and other courses offered across the University is available through the Skills Portal at http://www.skillsportal.ox.ac.uk.

This site provides information about transferable skills development for research students and research staff at Oxford University, and includes a searchable database of skills training opportunities, links to articles on subjects such as project management, teaching and career planning, and message boards for asking questions and discussing issues with other researchers.

See also the Humanities Divisional website for additional skills and training opportunities:

9. What opportunities will be available for developing and practising teaching skills (for second and third year graduates)?

All research students will be offered an opportunity to attend the tutorial teaching day at the Faculty in Hilary Term. Those completing the training will then be placed on the Graduate Teaching Register and will be able to provide teaching for undergraduates if an opportunity arises.

10.  What opportunities are there to contribute to the work of the Faculty?

The Faculty appoints three designated Graduate Representatives, who attend Faculty Committees as appropriate, work with the Graduate Training Co-ordinator and organise some Faculty social events.

11. What arrangements for accommodation, meals and social facilities, will be made, on a year round basis?


Newly arrived research students will be invited to a student party at the Faculty in the first week of Michaelmas Term. Research students can use the common rooms in the Oriental Institute and the Chinese Studies Institute. Seminars and colloquia bring research students together with academic and other research staff in the faculty to hear about on-going research, and provide an opportunity for meeting people and socialising. Details of other informal opportunities to meet fellow students and senior members (social gatherings and working lunches) will be found on the Graduate Resources page of the Faculty’s website.


Many colleges will be able to provide you with at least one year’s accommodation. Generally speaking your college will provide meals throughout the year, but provision will vary from college to college, especially during vacations, and you will need to familiarise yourself with your college’s detailed arrangements. In addition there are usually self-catering facilities available in graduate accommodation. You will be a member of the Middle Common Room, or equivalent, of your college, which is the main social centre for graduates. The MCR provides a common room and usually organises a programme of social events throughout the year. The college will also provide a bar, some computing facilities and a library, and may often have dedicated funds for research (conference and field grants). It also represents the interests of its members to the college through an elected Committee or through elected representatives to College Committees. Again, details will vary from college to college. Graduates are also welcome to participate in all other social and sporting activities of the college. Please see individual college websites for further details about all aspects of college provision.


Graduate Research Students may become members of the University Club in Mansfield Road, and participate in the range of sporting, musical and other activities supported by the University.

12. What arrangements are in place for pastoral and welfare support?


Within the Faculty, your supervisor, the Graduate Studies Administrator, Director of Graduate Studies, and Faculty Board Secretary/Academic Administrator are all available to offer support. The [Graduate] Joint Consultative Committee provides a channel through which graduate students’ views and concerns can be brought to the attention of the faculty Graduate Studies Committee. Each term, graduate students are invited through GSS to present a self-assessment progress report both to their supervisors and to the Director of Graduate Studies.


There is an extensive framework of support for graduates within each college. Your college will allocate to you a College Advisor from among its Senior Members, usually in a cognate subject, who will arrange to see you from time to time and whom you may contact for additional advice and support on academic and other matters. In college you may also approach the Tutor for Graduates and/or the Senior Tutor for advice. The Tutor for Graduates is a fellow of the college with particular responsibility for the interests and welfare of graduate students. In some colleges, the Senior Tutor will also have the role of Tutor for Graduates. Each college will also have other named individuals who can offer individual advice. The University also has a professionally staffed confidential Student Counselling Service, which offers assistance with personal, emotional, social, and academic problems. (See below.)


The University has a professionally staffed confidential Student Counselling Service which offers assistance with personal, emotional, social and academic problems. The Careers Service offers impartial, confidential and comprehensive information and guidance on careers.  See: