As a student at the Open University, you are automatically a member of the OU Students Association. Our mission is to be the community and voice for all Open University students, including postgraduate research students!

How are Post-Graduate Research Students Represented?

Student Leadership Team

The Deputy President is responsible for representing the postgraduate research (PGR) student community as part of the Student Leadership Team at the Association. They work closely with the Graduate School and attend the regular PGR liaison group, referring any issues back to the Student Leadership Team or raising them with the OU. The Deputy President can also be found at the induction for new students as well as a range of other events where you can find out more about the Association and network with other students.

Representation on OU Committees

There are a number of student representatives who sit on OU research governance committees as part of our wider team of Central Committee Representatives. These representatives act as the voice of OU students and speak on matters from the committee papers which affect students, seeking to create positive change for students. They are also able to raise any student issues that they encounter.

Our PGR academic representatives also have the opportunity to help shape research policy and strategy at both a faculty and institutional level, and so these volunteer roles are a fantastic way to grow your skills in this area.

Get Involved

Applications for new PGR academic reps are now open! Find out more about the different committees and apply now. Applications close at 00:01 Tuesday 29 November


  1. Enhance your CV and boost your career prospects
  2. Gain an understanding of research governance and strategy at a UK higher education institution
  3. Become part of a vibrant volunteer community
  4. Improve the experience of current and future research students
  5.  Allow OU staff and key decision-makers to draw on your expertise and insights as a student

Time Commitment

Reps attend 3-5 committee meetings per year during normal office hours. You would also need to set aside approximately 1 hour per week to engage with fellow reps and Association staff.

Apply Now

Highlights and Achievements

  1. The Association recently helped secure additional PGR student representation at faculty level as part of its work in supporting the OU's academic governance review in 2022
  2. PGR academic representatives worked alongside key OU stakeholders in the development of the OU's Research Plan 2022-2027
  3. PGR students were invited to share their research with undergraduate students at Freshers and Student Voice Week events.
  4. Worked with the OU Graduate School to promote the “Bake your Research” competition across the OU student population
  5. Held pre-pandemic postgraduate research student ‘drop-in’ sessions in the Association’s Student Zone, giving postgraduate research students and our Student Leadership Team the opportunity to meet and discuss any issues they had faced during their induction period, and to enable new postgraduate research students to learn more about the work of the Students Association