The Committee ensures the development and provision of balanced training programmes in professional development for all postgraduate students and considers the training and support of supervisors. The PPDC monitors the quality of programme delivery, both at the individual workshop level and for the programmes as a whole.
The PPDC seeks to continually develop new aspects of the programmes to meet changing needs and will receive recommendations to enhance the programmes from the new External Advisory Board. The PPDC also takes an interest in the development of e-learning provision to facilitate off-campus learning and develops links with other agencies (national and international) to maintain an awareness of the needs of employers, research councils and other stakeholders to enhance training.


Terms of Reference

  • To ensure the development of an innovative and inclusive programme of professional development courses which inspires and challenges Master’s and doctoral students.
  • To receive reports on the quality of courses from the Graduate School’s Course Quality and Strategic Development Committee (CQSD).
  • To consider recommendations and advice from the Graduate School’s Professional Skills External Advisory Board.
  • On an annual basis, review student course attendance statistics.
  • In partnership with the Educational Development Unit, to consider, guide development and review training and support for Imperial College supervisors and Crick supervisors with responsibility for Imperial registered students.
  • To take responsibility for the College’s Graduate Teaching Assistant Framework and receive, on an annual basis, a report of GTA training courses undertaken by students.
  • To have oversight of the content, delivery and quality of Global Fellows Programmes.
  • To seek input from the, Library, Careers Service, Centre for Culture, Languages and Communication, International Relations Office and Student Counselling and Mental Health who are involved with the development and delivery of specific professional skills courses.
  • Where students are progressing to postdoc positions, to liaise with the Postdoc Development Centre to ensure Graduate School professional development courses prepare students for this progression.
  • To receive and consider the annual report on the doctoral student coaching programme.
  • To maintain awareness of the needs of employers, research councils and other stakeholders and ensure that the training programme takes account of these.
  • To consider good practice demonstrated by other Russell Group HEIs, industry and CDTs.
  • To report to the Postgraduate Research Quality Committee.


Deputy Director (Professional Skills) as Chair; Director of the Graduate School, Head of Postgraduate Development, Manager of the Graduate School, Chair of the Research Integrity Working Party; representatives from College support services with an interest in postgraduate professional development; a representative from the Centre for Culture, Communication and Languages; Head of the Postdoc Development Centre; a representative from the Educational Development Unit; academic representation from each of the College’s four Faculties; Chair of the Graduate School’s Professional Skills External Advisory Board; President of the Graduate Students’ Union and the Imperial College Union Deputy President for Education; Graduate School’s Postgraduate Development Officer as secretary.

It is anticipated that additional staff with specific expertise/responsibilities will be invited to attend for discussion of specific topics.



Graduate School: 
Chair and Deputy Director of the Graduate School (Professional Development) Professor Peter Allison
Director of the Graduate School Professor Yun Xu
Manager of the Graduate School Mrs Laura Lane
Head of Postgraduate Development Dr Janet De Wilde
At least two representatives from each of the four Faculties: 
Business Dr Omar Merlo
Engineering Dr Ferdinando Rodriguez Y Baena
Engineering Dr Mike Templeton
Medicine Dr Laki Buluwela
Medicine Dr Abbas Dehghan
Natural Sciences Dr Louise Rickard
Natural Sciences Dr Carl Paterson

Representatives from College Support Services who deliver Professional Skills Courses:

Library Ms Ruth Harrison
Careers Service Mr Jason Yarrow
Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication Dr Robert Sternberg
Representative from the Educational Development Unit Dr Iro Ntonia
Head of the Postdoc Development Centre Dr Liz Elvidge
Chair of the Professional Skills External Advisory Board  [Dr Mike Templeton]
Chair of the Research Integrity Working Party [Dr Ferdinando Rodriguez Y Baena]
Director of the Doctoral Student Coaching Programme [Mrs Laura Lane]
MRC DTP representative [Dr Laki Buluwela]

Student representatives:

ICU Deputy President (Education) Ashley Brooks
GSU President Mohit Devgan

Representatives from other College Support Services who may be invited to attend particular meetings:

International Relations Office Ms Laura Bulmer
Student Counselling Mrs Rosie Summerhayes
Postgraduate Development Officer, Secretary Mr Nicholas Moult

2019/20 dates & deadlines

Date of committee meetingDeadline for submissions
  • 25 November 2020 | 14:00–16:00 
 11 November 2020
  • 31 March 2021 | 14:00-16:00 
 17 March 2021
  • 07 July 2021 | 14:00-16:00 
 23 June 2021
Queries about submissions can be emailed to the secretary, Nicholas Moult -
PPDC dates and submission deadlines