Online GRS2 information for supervisors

Why we review PGRs' progress

The University places great importance on supporting PGRs to submit their research degree thesis within the maximum period of registration for their programme of study.  Regular review of progress throughout their research degree registration provides an opportunity to monitor progress against milestones and identify any difficulties that arise and support the PGR to overcome these in order to achieve a high quality and timely submission of the thesis.

The Code of Practice on Supervision and Monitoring Progress of Postgraduate Researchers (PDF - 527KB) states:

“It is important that, as part of the educational process, PGRs receive appropriate supervision, that their progress is carefully monitored, and that they receive feedback in good time to enable them to adjust their patterns of work as necessary.”

“A written record must be kept of supervisory meetings via the GRS2 Monthly Supervision Record form. Reference should be made to the work undertaken since the last supervision meeting and planned work for the future. The lead and/or co-supervisor(s) and the PGR should confirm that the record contains an accurate summary of the supervision meeting”

In addition to monitoring academic progress throughout the research degree registration, the monthly supervision meetings offer an opportunity for you to discuss any difficulties that the PGR may be experiencing and for them to be signposted to the relevant support services to  them overcome these.

When and how we review progress

Formal supervisory meetings between you and your PGR should normally take place monthly for full time PGRs and pro rata for part time registration.  It is expected that supervision contact should continue throughout the different stages of the degree, including when the PGR is writing up their thesis, undertaking any corrections following submission and examination, or during a resubmission year.

A written record (GRS2 form) of the monthly supervision meeting should be made and this should be in English.  The record of the monthly supervisory meeting should be a concise summary and should record the progress made on the project, key points discussed and agreed actions or objectives to be achieved before the next meeting.  This is essential, both for pedagogic reasons (i.e. to ensure the PGRs understanding of points made at the supervision meeting) and to provide an accurate summary of the meeting.

Online GRS2 form

An online version of the monthly supervision record form (GRS2) has been developed to facilitate completion of one GRS2 form each month. 

Use of the online GRS2 form is compulsory from the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year for all PGRs in normal registration and thesis awaited registration status (this includes those waiting to submit and during the examination process and corrections/revisions).

The on-line GRS2 process provides the following functionality:

  • Each month the form will be open for completion from the beginning of the month and will close at the end of the last day of the month;
  • Automatic e-mail reminder to PGRs to advise that the form is open;
  • An interactive form which allows a dialogue between you and the member of the supervisory team (normally the lead supervisor) who is conducting the supervisory meeting with you; 
  • Automatic e-mails to advise PGR/lead supervisor when each part of the form has been completed in order to prompt the next course of action;
  • E-mail reminders to PGRs and/or lead supervisor at key points in the month if parts of the form have not yet been completed;
  • E-mail notification that the form is due to close in 5 and 2 days’ time;
  • E-mail confirmation to the PGR and lead supervisor when the form has been successfully completed and submitted;
  • Access to current and completed forms by the PGR and supervisor and by College/School PGR academic leads, College/School administrators and by staff within Registry with particular responsibility for PGR matters;
Automatic update of Attendance Monitoring in order to meet the University’s Home Office Tier 4 attendance monitoring requirements

Accessing the GRS2, step-by-step guide and FAQs

For supervisors access to the online GRS2 form is via the staff portal and you will be able to see the link to the online GRS2 form on the “My Teaching”  tab (PGRs via the “My Progress” tab).  From this you will be able to access and complete a GRS2 form for each of the PGRs that you are recorded as lead supervisor for the current month and see previously completed forms.  It is expected that the lead supervisor will be the supervisor who normally completed the GRS2 form and the e-mails generated form the system will therefore only be sent to the lead supervisor.

PGRs will receive an email notification at the beginning of each month to advise that the GRS2 form for the month is open and ready for completion.  The form will close at the end of the last day of the month and it will then not be possible to make amendments to the form but you will be able to view the completed form.   

Where you have not had any contact with a PGR, you are able to record this on the online GRS2 form including a brief summary to explain the circumstances.  For example, if the PGR has not responded to requests to attend a meeting, you can record this; in the months where a part time PGR is not due a supervision meeting, you should tick the no contact section and add a note to advise that the PGR is part time and not due a supervision meeting this month.

The online GRS2 step-by-step guide (PDF - 1.8MB) explains in detail how to use the online GRS2 form.

The online GRS2 quick guide (PDF - 300KB) provides an at-a-glance overview of the process. 

To supplement the above guides and to provide answers to questions that may arise when using the online GRS2 form, a list of potential questions and answers for supervisors and postgraduate researchers has been drawn up.

If you have any queries about:

  • Access the portal please contact the IT Helpdesk.
  • If you are not the lead or c-supervisor of any of the PGRs in the list displayed on the list of PGRs you see via the My teaching tab, please advise your local PGR Administrator (PDF - 203KB).

Accessing completed GRS2 forms

Both you and your PGR will have access to current and previously completed online GRS2 forms.  Previously completed forms may be required for the PGRs annual progress review or to support actions such as upgrade/downgrade of registration, extension requests, appeals and so may also be viewed by your College/School PGR academic leads, College/School administrators and by staff within Registry with particular responsibility for PGR matters. 

All GRS2 forms are stored securely and data handled in accordance with the University’s Data Protection Policy and Student Privacy Notice.  

For Tier 4 visa holders, GRS2 forms may be required as evidence of academic engagement for a Home Office audit.

BIRMS PGR Management System

From 1 October 2018 The BIRMS PGR Management System which provided a facility for the upload of completed GRS2 forms will continue to be available for viewing previously completed forms but will no longer be available for upload of new forms as has been replaced by the online GRS2 form.

Annual Progress Review

In addition to the supervision meetings that you have with your PGR, the University has formal methods of tracking progress of the PGR through the Annual Progress Review process.