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Graduate School of Life Sciences

An inspiring educational experience in a unique environment

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Graduate Committee

The Committee is responsible for the organisation and administration of the Graduate School of Life Sciences on behalf of the Faculties of Biology, Clinical Medicine and Clinical Veterinary Medicine.  In consultation with the Board of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Student and Postdoc Forum, and the Faculty Degree Committees , the Committee will:

1.  Develop and promote best practice in graduate education and training across the Graduate School in the areas of:

  • student admissions, training, support, monitoring and assessment
  • supervisory practice (including training) and examination procedures.


2.  Oversee and support departmental and institutional graduate management through organizing and promoting shared approaches to best practice in admissions, monitoring and supporting research students.

3.  Promote those aspects of graduate education that can be best organised across departmental/institutional boundaries and which are complementary to those provided by the supervisor, department and college: 

  • co-ordinate recruitment of students through its website and by advertisement
  • assist faculties, departments and institutions with external bids to fund studentships and organize the distribution of certain studentship funds (e.g. MRC Doctoral Training Account)
  • assist in the allocation and management of certain studentship trust funds


4.  Ensure a balanced portfolio of courses on generic and transferable skills, organizing such courses where applicable and monitoring their impact, and promote specialist technical skills courses that have a broad application 

5.  Offer similar training for postdoctoral workers where this is appropriate and funding allows.

6.  Promote communication and interaction between graduate students within the separate Departments and Institutions that make up the Graduate School, organising events as appropriate

The Graduate Committee shall be accountable for its actions in educational matters to the Faculty Boards of Biology, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, and to the Board of Graduate Studies; Minutes of its meetings shall be sent to these bodies. Minutes shall be presented to the Graduate Education Forum for report, discussion, information or consultation as appropriate.

The Graduate Committee shall refer such matters to the Degree Committees of the parent Faculties as are appropriate to the admission, monitoring and assessment of graduate students and the development of new or amended degree programmes. The Graduate Committee and Degree Committees shall consult mutually through the membership of the Graduate Committee of the two DC Chairs.

On matters relating to resources, the GC shall report to the Councils of the Schools of the Biological Sciences and of Medicine. The GC shall have a power to commit resources within ts budget without reference to higher authority except where this involves changes to a University contract of employment, or where it involves expenditure greater than 33% of the estimated annual budget for the given academic year.

The GC should

  • seek representation on the Board of Graduate Studies, the Transferable Skills Training Steering Group  and other appropriate internal committees, to represent the views of the Graduate School to other parts of the University
  • collaborate with other Graduate Schools to promote good practice and efficient graduate management across the University
  • seek to represent the views of the Schools of Biological Sciences and of Clinical Medicine, and where appropriate of the University of Cambridge, on graduate educational matters to national policy making bodies
  • develop informal links with other similar institutions, sharing experience and co-operating with them; should the Committee consider formal links should be established, to recommend this to the Board of Graduate Studies and the Council(s) of the School(s).


Queries regarding the Graduate Committee should be addressed to the Secretary, Meg Staff (





Welcome to the Graduate School of Life Sciences

We are the largest centre for research and professional training in the Life Sciences in the UK, offering a very special experience to a community of around 2000 graduate students across departments within the School of the Biological Sciences, School of Clinical Medicine and eleven University Partner Institutes in the Cambridge area.

Every year some of the world's brightest and most determined students are attracted by the opportunity to carry out research projects with renowned scientists in a vibrant, multidisciplinary environment at one of the world's most respected research-led universities.

The School co-ordinates funding opportunities within the Life Sciences for their postgraduate education, as well as ensuring students receive the highest quality supervision and training.