Graduate School

A supportive environment of discovery and innovation.

Our Graduate School is a dedicated facility located at the heart of the University, providing support, training and professional development opportunities to our vibrant postgraduate community and researchers. Specially designed to promote integration and inculcation of interdisciplinary and collaborative working in our next generation of researchers, postgraduates study and learn together - from Environmental Management to Law, Psychology, Bioscience, Economics and Business, Cybersecurity and Computer Games.

Our shared space has been designed to promote cross-discipline exchange amongst the student and academic research community so that ideas and expertise might permeate across discipline boundaries to spark innovative discoveries, creativity and new thinking.

When you join us as a Postgraduate Research Student or researcher, you’ll be joining a community of creative like-minded scholars and will automatically be provided with access to our dedicated study and social spaces – a forum in which you can meet, work, collaborate, learn and socialise with other researchers, postgraduates and academic staff from across the University.

The Graduate School offers an integrated training and professional development programme to enhance research excellence, impact and individual employability. Postgraduates benefit from support with funding applications, placement opportunities, industry collaboration, teaching practice, public engagement and outreach activity.

The Graduate School offers:

  • a flexible and integrated portfolio of online training and researcher development opportunities, seminars and workshops that can be tailored to your aspirations and needs;
  • personal development planning and reflection aligned with the Vitae RDF;
  • a ‘Beginning to Teach in Higher Education’ short course and teaching opportunities in some disciplines for qualified candidates;
  • teaching opportunities in some disciplines for qualified candidates;
  • public engagement and outreach training, and opportunities to implement what you have learned in the real world (e.g. Science Festivals, competitions and schools);
  • help with academic writing, publishing, funding applications and business development;
  • placement opportunities in industry, charities or government;
  • access to discipline-specific advanced and specialist facilities, laboratories, equipment, technical support and specialist training or teaching;
  • opportunities to present your research to the academic community through Graduate School Conferences and other events;
  • a fund to which researchers can apply for conference attendance and researcher training support;
  • opportunities to engage with researcher and postgraduate networks beyond Abertay;
  • a single point of contact for guidance, advice and support to all postgraduate students;
  • dedicated desk space/PCs, seminar and meeting rooms, a kitchen with refreshments – all open until late.

Meet the team

Prof. Nia White

Nia White

As Head of Research and Dean of the pan-University Graduate School, I lead the development of the research agenda at Abertay. I am a microbiologist by background with over 30 years of experience as a researcher and academic. I truly believe that our Postgraduate Research Students are central to the Abertay research community and to driving our research excellence, innovation and ultimately our success going forward. The world requires passionate but professional researchers who can think critically but also creatively, to better understand and offer solutions to the complex problems that face us today. At Abertay, we promote a collaborative, cross- and inter-disciplinary approach to the way our researchers work; highly-skilled discipline experts working together and learning from each other, to innovate and find creative solutions for the modern world. We would be pleased to welcome you to the Abertay Graduate School for your postgraduate studies. We pride ourselves in being a small and friendly University with an excellent research environment, extensive researcher development opportunities, close links with industry, the public and third sectors, and a welcoming student support service. We are here to help you reach your full potential and to achieve your ambitions and goals.

Dr Alison Elliott

Alison Elliot

I am the Head of Researcher Development.  My background is in psychology and epidemiology and I worked as a researcher and academic for over 20 years.  As part of my role I am responsible for developing the Graduate School Researcher Development Training Programme ensuring that staff and students have access to a wide range of courses, seminars and workshops on a range of topics, from research methods to project management and from public engagement to media training.  I work closely with academic staff and postgraduate students to help them develop their portfolio of research skills, particularly their academic writing.  In addition to running a series of lectures on writing grant applications and journal articles throughout the year, I also run ‘Writing Academies’ and provide one-to-one support on writing grant and fellowship applications, academic papers, impact case studies and conference abstracts.  I also manage the University Internal Peer Review Process, am a member of the University REF group, chair the Graduate School Forum, sit on the University Research Degrees Assessment Panel and am a member of the Universities Scotland Research Training Sub-Committee.

Mrs Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith

I am the Outreach and Researcher Development Coordinator, and also the Nuffield Research Placements Coordinator for Scotland. I have over 10 years’ experience working in public engagement (at both local and national level) and facilitate training workshops for our Postgraduate students who would like to get involved in public engagement and outreach projects. Part of my role within the Graduate School is to coordinate the Nuffield Research Placements here in Scotland (a UK wide scheme that places post-16 year old school pupils into research placements during the summer vacation period), and the Dundee Primary Schools Science Week (a week long science programme in November each year that gives around 3000 primary school pupils and teachers the opportunity to participate in a diverse and exciting range of STEM workshops). I am the point of contact for schools, students and staff who would like to engage with either the University or schools, and am always happy to help on new or existing initiatives.

Mrs Wendy Nicoll

Wendy Nicoll

I am the Graduate School Coordinator.  I support the Dean of School in managing the day to day running of the Graduate School and in planning and delivering our rolling programme of online and in-house training and events throughout the year, for postgraduate research and taught students, and research active staff. I am the main point of contact for Graduate School queries.

Mr Simon Bright


I am the point of contact within the University for advice on:

  • Research contracts and collaboration agreements;
  • Intellectual Property policy and agreements;
  • Non-disclosure agreements.

I should be consulted by any colleagues who are preparing to or have been asked by an external contact to sign any of these types of agreements.

I am also the University REF Manager, which involves co-ordinating the University submission to the UK Government’s assessment of the quality of Universities’ research, an exercise that affects both Abertay’s funding and reputation.

Postgraduate Study and Researcher Development

Check out the links below for more information on postgraduate research degrees, postgraduate taught courses, and researcher development.

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Postgraduate Research

Explore Doctorate and Research Masters opportunities. Enjoy expert supervision within a multidisciplinary Graduate School and research environment.

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Postgraduate Taught

Our postgrad degrees build on existing skills and undergraduate studies, improving your employment prospects or facilitating a move into research.

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Researcher Development

The University is committed to all seven principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

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