Postgrads at UEA UCU

UCU@UEA recognises that postgraduate students are often hardest hit by issues of pay inequality and casualisation.  We would encourage all postgraduate research students to consider joining UCU and have worked collaboratively with the Student Union to ensure that postgraduate voices are heard.

Why join UCU as a postgraduate student?

  • Postgraduates in employment have the right to join a trade union and UCU has the capacity to represent employed postgraduates if they have grievances and issues related to their employment.
  • Postgraduates who aren’t employed by their institution can join UCU as student members for FREE.
  • Joining UCU gives you collective strength: UCU exerts an important influence on institutional and national higher education policy and conditions of employment UCU fights for greater job security for staff on fixed-term and hourly-paid contracts.
  • UCU offer professional development courses and downloadable resources covering a range of topics for postgraduates and early career researchers.

If you are not already a member, then please join up today.

What issues have our postgraduate members raised?

We are aware that postgraduates also have unique issues that we at UCU can help to support and challenge.  The list below is not exhaustive, but we would encourage our members to consider these when interacting with postgraduate researchers in a managerial or supervisory capacity and to fight for best practice at a local level.  UCU’s commitment to the Postgraduate Employment Charter can be found on the UCU website.  If you are a postgraduate researcher and want to add to the list of priorities below, then please get in touch via

  • Lack of admin support for PhD research.
  • Lack of consultation with postgrads, and a sense that post-grads are seen as marginal within schools and departments.
  • Lack of funding for research and other costs that are often necessary to successful completion of PhD
  • Lack of technical support (in the sciences)
  • Expectation that PhD students will replace teaching staff
  • Concerns about the job market and a lack of mentoring in career progression
  • A lack of concern for equality issues, particularly around gender and disability
  • The impact of the REF on early career researchers and the need for PhD students to be prepared and guided on how to engage with the REF

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