Sussex Undergraduate Research Office

For supervisors

2021 marks the JRA scheme’s thirteenth year. We know the invaluable role that our supervisors play in the scheme, and we're incredibly grateful to every academic who agrees to take part. The JRA program wouldn't exist without your support.

Looking backward, moving forwards…

On behalf of the Sussex Undergraduate Research Office, I’d like to extend to you all a warm welcome to our webpages. We’ve been working hard to have these ready in time for our 2019 JRA cohort, and we’ve just about made it!

Our 2018 cohort was our biggest yet - over 70 Sussex students became JRAs, and we welcomed more than 100 undergraduate researchers in total, which included students visiting from our institutional partners, onto campus. With these new strands adding diversity and richness to the scheme, last year was undoubtedly our most successful. The students themselves certainly felt so:

  • 100% of JRAs found the scheme a rewarding experience.
  • 97% found the experience of working with a supervisor rewarding.
  • 85% found participating in the scheme has helped them with post-degree study/career plans.

We also received extremely positive feedback from our supervisors:

  • 95% of supervisors felt that their JRA project was successful.
  • 93% of academics were either 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied' with the academic performance of their JRA (70% being 'very satisfied' and 23% being 'satisfied').

We are, however, also aware that the scheme has experienced some significant growth in recent years (see the group photos showing the difference between 2011 and 2017's JRA cohort!) which has created new challenges and highlighted the need for some structural change.

We were therefore keen, when reading your feedback, to note any concerns and suggestions. We have tried to incorporate these into our planning and to come up with solutions. For example:

  • Several supervisors mentioned that they felt somewhat left out of the communications loop. To fix this, we've created this new website, which will be constantly updated, and we'll also be sending out a fortnightly newsletter to both students and supervisors.
  • Several of you expressed a wish for a clearer timetable and more explicit statement of duties, delivered in advance of the scheme's commencement: you will be able to find timetables of all events, plus other useful information, on this website by the end of April.
  • A small number of supervisors and students expressed a wish for more social interaction among the JRAs themselves. This year we have bolstered the scheme's social aspects with several JRA student meet-ups.

It is our hope that these changes will make the scheme an even more rewarding experience for both supervisor and student. We'd like to extend our huge thanks to those of you who have made such a valued contribution to the scheme thus far and wish a very warm welcome to those of you who are joining us for 2020.

Julie Carr: Sussex Undergraduate Research Office.