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Hello everyone, Happy New Year and welcome to the first edition of pn for 2005 and the first edition of pn that I've had the pleasure of editing.

My name's John Grainger and I am, as you may have guessed, the new NPC Communications Officer 2004/05. When not performing this role I'm a first year postgraduate representative at Edinburgh University studying molecular biology. You can learn more about me and the rest of the new executive in this edition of pn, hopefully not too traumatic an experience.

Also in this edition you can find out what happened at the launch of the higher education academy, hear our esteemed General Secretary, Jim Ewing's, thoughts on the year ahead and get to grips with what the code of practice for research degrees means to postgrads.

To keep yourself updated with all things NPC don't forget to visit our superb website, and browse to your hearts content.

Hope that all you pn readers have a great 2005 and please send any ideas for articles or, even better, complete articles for the next issue of pn to me, by 25th February 2005. Bye until the next issue.

In this issue: