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

Head of the University Graduate School



Dr Andrea Patel
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.

PGR Community Engagement Officer


Dr Eren Bilgen

I am responsible for coordinating and implementing our engagement and wellbeing activities for postgraduate researchers (PGR) at the University. I lead the University Graduate School’s flagship events such as the Annual Research Poster Conference, the Three-Minute Thesis and the Images of Research competitions, all of which aim to provide an opportunity for postgraduate researchers to develop transferable skills and gain experience presenting their research to non-specialist audiences. If you are a postgraduate researcher at the University and have ideas for engagement and development activities, please feel free to contact me or pop in to Westmere for a chat.

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.

Postgraduate Research Funding Support Officer 

AshleighAshleigh Skelhorn
0121 414 2030

My role is to provide funding support and guidance to prospective and current postgraduate researchers. This includes running funding advice events, promoting funding opportunities and developing online resources for PGRs. I am also the administrator for Economic and Social Research (ESRC) funding at the University. I look after studentship applications and budgets, as well as giving advice and guidance related to ESRC policies.

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.