University Graduate School team contact details

The University Graduate School team are here to support PGRs in their personal and professional development.

Director of Graduate Studies





Professor Gavin Schaffer  


Deputy Director of Graduate Studies

Dr Neil Hotchin

Interim Head of the University Graduate School

GHardyDr Georgina Hardy
0121 414 6961

I am responsible for leading and managing the University Graduate School Team. This includes working closely with the Director of Graduate Studies and cross-University liaison with academic and professional service colleagues of all levels to ensure a high quality PGR student experience.

Doctoral Training Partnerships Officer

Simon EllsSimon Ells
Mon. & Fri. 0121 414 3865 Tues. - Thurs. 0121 414 2898

I’m the University’s Doctoral Training Partnerships Officer and I support the bids and reviews of the institution’s Doctoral Training agreements with the Research Council UK.  I am also responsible for the development of good practice in administrative support for the agreements, the University’s Postgraduate Research Experience Survey, Health and Safety in Westmere House and am clerk to the Graduate School Management Board. Additionally I manage the Postgraduate Funding Officer post and, as a member of UGS, I support the team’s PGR training and community activities.

Interim PGR Community Engagement Officer

NaziaNazia Akhtar
0121 414 6726

I am responsible for connecting PGRs to their postgrad community through social, cultural and wellbeing events to ensure that they make the most of their time at Birmingham. I am involved in  supporting and developing the UoB PGR community using the Westmere PGR Hub as a focal point.  I am responsible for promoting the University Graduate School and its postgraduate researcher support and development services and lead on promoting and organising  UGS activities such as the Research Poster Conference, 3MT competition and Images of Research exhibition.

PGR Careers Adviser

HollyDr Holly Prescott
0121 415 8562

I look after the planning, organisation, delivery and evaluation of careers support activities and resources especially for Postgraduate Researchers. The aim of my service is to help support PGRs in making decisions about their future career, exploring their career options and making effective applications. This includes running workshops at Westmere and around the University, as well as online resources and one-to-one support. I’m based in Westmere Monday – Thursday if you want to pop in to arrange a meeting or ask any questions.

University Graduate School Data Officer

Katharine D'Souza
0121 414 2840

I am the University Graduate School’s Data Officer, undertaking research and analysis to report to the University on all aspects of postgraduate researcher experience and performance. When she isn’t crunching numbers for the University, she’s a novelist and freelance editor.

University Graduate School Administrator

Victoria Upton
0121 414 6376

I provide clerical support to the Director of Postgraduate Studies and Head of UGS. I am responsible for the day to day administration and co-ordination of UGS and PGCARMS, alongside the PGR Administrative Assistant.  I also support the UGS team as a whole by managing the school’s budgets and assisting in general office activities. 

Postgraduate Research Administrative Assistant 

AshleighAshleigh Skelhorn
Monday, Tuesday & Thursday: 0121 414 5958 Wednesday: 0121 414 3865 Friday: 0121 414 8022

My role is to provide administrative support to the University Graduate School by dealing with student queries and managing the PGCARMS programme. I also work closely with the PG team in Careers Network and our PGR Careers Adviser Holly to organise, promote and run PGR Careers events throughout the year.