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Degree Committee and Graduate Education


All supervisors are encouraged to provide regular feedback to their students.  Feedback is often provided on an informal basis (e.g. through discussion). However, formal graduate reporting on student progress is also required under University regulations and supervisors are expected to submit a termly supervision report on the progress of each of their graduate students. In addition, they are expected to submit a report at any time when in their opinion a student is not making satisfactory progress, and/or there is cause for concern (see: University Ordinances Chapter VI, Regulation 8).

Formal progress reports are accessible by the student and are therefore an opportunity to provide an overview of progress during the term (or since the last report). They are also a way of providing information to the student's Department, Degree Committee and College on the progress of each student.

Types of report

There are three types of graduate student report:

Student self-evaluation

The University invites graduate students to complete an online self-evaluation questionnaire each Michaelmas term.  The purpose of the questionnaire is to provide students with an opportunity for self-reflection, to report on their progress and to flag any particular concerns that they have.  Completion of a self-evaluation is voluntary.

If a student chooses to submit a self-evaluation, an email will be sent to both the Principal Supervisor (as registered in CamSiS) and to the student’s college notifying them that the report is ready to view. If the student indicates that they ‘need help’ an email will also be sent to the Faculty Graduate Office (who receive it on behalf of both the Department and Degree Committee) and the Student Registry.

Supervisors may add commentary to the self-evaluation instead of submitting a supervision report for the term (details below).  If commentary is not added to the self-evaluation, a supervision report must be submitted instead.

Termly supervision report

Supervisors are required to write a termly supervision report on each of their students. The purpose of the report is to provide constructive feedback to the student concerned, and to update the Department, Degree Committee and College on the student’s progress.  Termly supervision reports should be submitted within the prescribed reporting window (dates given below) and retrospective reports cannot be submitted. Principal supervisors will be notified by automated email when the window opens.  Students are able to view reports in the system as and when they are submitted, and may provide their own comments in response.

Ad hoc reports (including for raising concerns)

This functionality is not yet available. Further information will be provided here once it is.

Submitting or reviewing a report

Supervision reports are submitted via the Postgraduate Feedback and Reporting System (PFRS) which is a part of the Cambridge Student Information System (CamSIS).  The system is run by the University, who provide written guidance documents on how to use the online system.  These guides are available on open access via Moodle

Reporting windows

It is not possible to submit termly supervision reports outside these windows:


Supervision reporting window

Deadline by which other parties (e.g. College) may add comments

Lent Term 2019

13 February – 16 April

16 May

Easter Term 2019

21 May – 30 September

30 October

Special attention required

If you have concerns about a student, please don’t just rely on the system to notify relevant parties.  Please also discuss your concerns with your Department’s Director of Graduate Education and/or Research Student Advisor(s) at the earliest opportunity.  Information on who they are, and other support resources available within the Faculty and across the University, can be found on the Support for Research Students page.

Further information for supervisors

New graduate supervisors

There is no automatic enrolment to the Postgraduate Feedback and Reporting System (PFRS) for new graduate supervisors and access must be requested via the Faculty Graduate Office. Access will normally be requested when you are first appointed as a graduate student supervisor (normally during the student admissions process). However, if you discover that you do not have access please contact the Graduate Office Manager who administers this process on behalf of the Degree Committee.

Changes to supervisory arrangements

The Degree Committee must approve changes to the formal supervisory arrangements for all graduate students, and all changes must be recorded in CamSIS. The Degree Committee can not make changes direct in to the system, instead the student must initiate the request in CamSiS by applying for a ‘Change of Supervisor’. This process must also be followed if a co-supervisor is to be added to the supervisory team.

Payment for graduate supervision

University Teaching Officers are expected to undertake graduate supervision as part of their normal duties.  For non-UTOs not already in receipt of payment for graduate supervision via other means, it is possible to claim payment from the Departments via the Degree Committee.  Payment is reliant upon submission of the relevant termly supervision reports in CamSiS.

If you are eligible to claim payment please complete and submit the following form to the Faculty Graduate Office (C0.14/15).  Please only make one claim per year, before end of June (ie. before financial year end).

Further information and help

Please contact the Graduate Office Manager if you have any queries about student self-evaluation, supervision reporting, or feedback on/difficulties with the online system.

See also: