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A week in the life of Kathryn Brown – Head of the Graduate School


Ahead of the official launch of the Graduate School on Tuesday 27 February, we met up with Kathryn Brown - who heads up the team - to find out what a typical week in her diary looks like.

Kathryn Brown Graduate School induction

As the Head of the Graduate School, I manage our full administrative service – which takes our postgraduate research students from admission to award, and runs development opportunities for our staff and students across the university.


9am-12pm – I am attending the Research and Enterprise service’s strategic away day this morning at Cloth Hall Court. All of the Heads of teams get together with our Director, Professor Cathy Barnes, to prepare for our annual accountability meeting with the Vice Chancellor – where we share our successes in achieving our goals and set out our plans for the future.

12-3pm - I travel back to Headingley Campus, have lunch, and catch up on my emails.

3-4pm - I have my weekly one-to-one meeting with Joanne Burgess, our Research Student Manager.

4-5pm - I catch up on emails again before hitting the campus gym.

Kathryn Brown


I start the morning at my desk, looking over the follow-up materials from the away day yesterday.

10-11am - I meet with our staff and student development team in my office – Jo Scerri, Sarabjit Bissas and Jane Page. Today we are focusing on the changes we want to make to the development programme.

11am-12pm - We have our first full Graduate School team meeting since welcoming new members to the team. We introduce ourselves and what we are working on, before sharing updates on changes within schools and how we are striving to work flexibly to give them the best possible service.

I’ve got this afternoon booked off as annual leave so I head home after the meeting.

Kathryn Brown with the Research Training team
Meeting with the staff and student development team - l-r Jane Page, Jo Scerri, Kathryn and Sarabjit Bissas


I am a Graduate School student myself, doing a PhD in the School of Built Environment & Engineering, so I have a day’s study leave today. I’m researching the building of arenas for popular culture in post-industrial cities and comparing how this is done in England and France. I’ve just prepared my ethics proposal and am getting together potential survey questions and finishing a chapter on urban planning and planning and cultural policy in England.


I have a meeting-free day so I’m getting up-to-date with my emails.

My main tasks today are: looking at our data on staff who are also students and strategies for recruiting new research students; starting work on our team’s risk register; catching up with the speakers presenting at our Graduate School launch event on the 27th; and making the final touches to my speeches for tomorrow’s new student induction day.


I start by sending through some presentation slides on postgraduate research study to Joe Rossiter in International Recruitment & Partnerships, for him to use on a recruitment trip to China.

10-11am - I arrive at our induction event in the Great Hall for our new research students. I have a chat with students and then give a welcome presentation.

Kathryn Brown at Graduate School induction

11am-12pm - I have a meeting with marketing colleagues about the new Graduate School website, which will be launched later this year.

12-2pm - I have lunch and mingle with our new students at the induction before catching up on emails.

2-3pm - I meet up with Sam Sherman, who coordinates research and enterprise in the Carnegie School of Sport. We have regular catch-ups so that I can find out about upcoming activities in the School.

3-4pm - I head back up to the induction in time to help Dr Beccy Watson, academic lead for our research training programme, fill the students in on our development opportunities and then I say a few final words to thank everyone for attending and welcome them into our research community.

The Graduate School launch event takes place from 14:00-16:00 on Tuesday 27 February. Read more here and book your free place at the event here. For more information, contact Kathryn at k.brown@leedsbeckett.ac.uk


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