International Student Support: Welcome to Sussex

International Student Support are facilitating some sessions for January starters during Welcome week. These sessions are open to all students who wish to attend, they will be focused for international students who may have arrived in the UK before current restrictions for semester 2 of their studies or those beginning their studies in the UK or remotely this January.

Sessions include:

  • Monday 18th January at 12pm – Student Panel hosted by International Student Support and Student Connectors
  • Wednesday 20th January at 3pm – New to Sussex for International Students hosted by International Student Support with guest speakers from the Students’ Union

Links to the events are available on the Student Hub Events page.

No sign up necessary, the sessions will be recorded and made available for those who cannot attend.

New to Sussex? Join the Buddy Scheme to expand your network

Have you heard of the Buddy Scheme?

It was created for students like you, who are new to Sussex, to help you meet friendly people and expand your network.

When you sign up to the Buddy Scheme, you can choose to get matched with a current doctoral researcher who knows Sussex University and has experienced it during ‘normal times’.

Your Buddy can give you advice and tips on all aspects of being at Sussex, how to find PhD support, share the best places to visit in Brighton, and hopefully become a good new friend.

You get matched with a Buddy based on your preferences, such as studying in the same school, year of study, interests, age, LGBTQ+ community, ethnic minorities, language and more.

We also run a programme of online events for postgraduate students, from quizzes and game nights to yoga and craft sessions. It’s a wonderful resource if you’re not sure how to meet people in these strange times. You can join whether you live on or off-campus, or are studying remotely.

If you’re interested in joining and would like to get matched straight away, please sign up via the Buddy Scheme website.

Publishing and Research Impact workshops

Taylor and Francis have organised two workshops on the 28 January on the topic of Publishing and Research Impact, aimed at Early Career Researchers and final year of study researchers in the Arts and Humanities. The workshops are being run in collaboration with impact professionals at the University of Reading, UK.

The workshops are open to global participants (sessions at 8am and 4pm GMT to try and be as inclusive as possible). For more information and to register your interest, please see their website found here.

Adapting to change: panel session and workshop coming in January

Research plans often change as a PhD progresses, but this year the coronavirus pandemic has caused havoc with everybody’s research projects. Doctoral students are facing disruption and delays to research, data collection and fieldwork, alongside coping with the impact of the pandemic itself.

Being flexible in your plans – adapting to change as it happens – is a useful trait for all researchers to develop. In January we’re hosting a series of online events to help you learn to adapt, develop a plan B, and overcome any obstacles that come your way, whether they’re Covid-related or otherwise.

Covid-19 and field research: interruptions, challenges and responses
Thursday 21 January, 11.00 – 12.30

Book a place via Sussex Direct
In this knowledge-sharing panel session, three Sussex PhD researchers and their supervisors will discuss the challenges they faced in 2020, and the different approaches they took to tackle the issues, adapt their projects and continue with their fieldwork. 

How to adapt your PhD in a pandemic: mapping alternative routes to completion
Tuesday 26 January, 14.00 – 16.00

Book your place via Sussex Direct
Flexibility and adaptation are key skills for doctoral researchers. In this practical and interactive webinar, Dr Catherine Pope will get you back on track. We’ll clarify your aims, map out some alternative routes, and create an achievable plan B. By the end of the session you’ll have the confidence and clarity you need to take the next steps towards finishing your thesis.

We’re also planning a series of blogposts and case studies highlighting specific research projects and how different methods can be amended. If you’ve adapted your research project for any reason we’d love to hear from you – get in touch

Embracing Chaos: issue 10.1 of Excursions postgraduate journal out now

Copies of the December 2020 Excursions journal issue Chaos.

Excursions is an open access University of Sussex journal run by and for postgraduate researchers. Read the entire issue on the Excursions website.

When Excursions chose ‘chaos’ as our theme for 2020, we had no idea how prophetic this choice would turn out to be.

A year ago, we published our Call for Papers inviting researchers to embrace chaos – and then, just a couple of months later, the world had to face a whole new level of chaos. Embracing chaos was no longer a choice, it was a necessity.

In this issue, Excursions had the pleasure of assembling a collection of papers that examine chaos in a variety of ways and inspires thoughts and dialogues: chaos opposes order and is fuel to a new order; chaos is violence and inspiration; chaos is part of being human and part of research.

Alongside eight articles, we also published eight essays by doctoral researchers examining the challenges of doing Research in Times of Chaos – our response to the global pandemic that has undoubtedly shaped this issue.

In the midst of this chaotic world and your own personal chaos, we hope you enjoy this issue. If 2020 taught us anything, it was to adapt and embrace chaos. So we invite you, yet again, to embrace chaos with us.

– Louise Elali, Excursions Managing Editor and Sussex PhD researcher (MAH)

PhD Life Raft Podcast looks at doctoral wellbeing

The PhD Life Raft Podcast logo featuring an open book on a life raft.

Dr Emma Brodzinski, an academic at Royal Holloway, University of London and also a therapist in private practice, has launched a new podcast looking at PhD mental health and wellbeing.

The PhD Life Raft Podcast offers weekly episodes on topics from Imposter Syndrome to “What Your Supervisor Wants You to Know…”, and aims to support doctoral researchers and ease their feelings of isolation in lockdown.

Subscribe via Apple Podcasts or tune in on the PhD Life Raft website.

Become an Associate of the Sussex Humanities Lab

A presentation on Artifice and AI policing from the Sussex Humanities Lab. Photo: Sussex Humanities Lab

The Sussex Humanities Lab are offering the opportunity for faculty staff and doctoral researchers to become a Sussex Humanities Lab (SHL) Associate.

All you need is an interest in digital humanities or a desire to learn more. You don’t need a deep understanding of digital humanities, a fledgling interest is sufficient.

Benefits of SHL Association:

  • Share interests around digital transformations, digital society, digital culture with a network of colleagues
  • Discover more about digital humanities methods and concerns and how they might impact or contribute to your own research
  • Once the lockdown ends, the opportunity to use the Sussex Humanities Lab space and technologies for your own research and events

To register your interest in becoming an SHL Associate complete this short form. If you have any further questions email

Call for applications: British Library PhD placement scheme

A man and woman studying a large bound volume of artworks on an archival block. Image: British Library

Current PhD students are invited to apply to the British Library PhD Placement Scheme.

Placement projects are offered from a variety of areas across the Library, from art collections, cataloguing and community engagement to digital preservation and climate policy.

Placements are for 3 months or part-time equivalent, to be undertaken from May 2021 onwards (unless indicated otherwise). Some projects are suitable for partial or full remote working.

A list of all available placement projects and full details of how to apply are available on the British Library website.

The deadline for applications is 17.00 (GMT) on Friday 18 December.

Recently started your PhD? Find out about paid tutoring, archives and peer review at our PhD Essentials event

Colourful bunting against a blue sky, above the arches of Falmer House.

If you started your PhD in September you will have received lots of information from your School, your supervisors and our induction sessions, which takes a while to process!

Now you’re a few months in and have got to grips with the basics, it’s time to explore some opportunities further afield that can enhance your research or help you develop as a researcher.

Our PhD Essentials event on Wednesday 9 December is your chance to hear about paid tutoring placements in schools that are offered to doctoral researchers by the Brilliant Club; the rich archival resources and support on offer to researchers at The Keep archives; and the opportunity to gain peer reviewing and publishing experience with Excursions, Sussex’s own postgraduate journal.

Presenters include:

  • Siri Minsaas from The Brilliant Club, an educational charity who work on widening participation in higher education by putting researchers into schools
  • Karen Watson, Sussex’s Special Collections Archivist based at The Keep, a world-class archive on your doorstep
  • Jamie Chan, part of the Editorial Team at Excursions, an academic journal for and by doctoral researchers

Book your place via Sussex Direct – and if you’re not a first year but you’re interested in any of the speakers you’re welcome to book the session too.


Get paid tutoring and public engagement experience with the Brilliant Club

(Re)Connect, Excursions Journal issue 11.1

All you need to know about peer review, from SAGE Publishing and the Hive

Books arranged on bookshelves in rainbow colour order, from red to purple.

The Research Hive Scholars may not be stationed in the Hive space in the Library at the moment, but they are busier than ever supporting Sussex PhDers virtually.

Each year, the Hive works closely with SAGE Publishing. Recently, SAGE hosted a webinar about peer review for Sussex doctoral researchers and answered questions about the peer review process.

The Hive Scholars have written their Top Tips and Takeaways from the webinar on the Hive blog. Head over for advice on getting started, when to say yes to reviewing, and how to write a good review.

SAGE have kindly shared the recording of the webinar so if you weren’t able to attend, you can catch up with the presentation and Q&A session online.

See the Hive’s November calendar for other events this month; the December calendar will be published on their blog soon.