1st International Conference on the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Postgraduate Researchers

The Doctoral School is delighted to announce the 1st International Conference on the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Postgraduate Researchers, which will be taking place in Brighton at the Jury’s Inn Waterfront Hotel from 16-17 May 2019.

Taking place during Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 and in association with Nature Research, the conference is organised by the UK Council for Graduate Education in partnership with the University of Sussex and the University of Portsmouth, and brings together leading researchers and practitioners to present the latest research and highlight good practice in the provision of appropriate and timely support to this unique cohort.

The conference will provide delegates with a national and international view of sector policy developments, insights into the realities of implementing institutional strategies, the latest research into the mental health and wellbeing of postgraduate researchers, plus good-practice approaches to supporting postgraduate wellbeing.

Confirmed keynote speakers include

  • Prof Gordon Harold (University of Sussex – UKRI Mental Health Network Lead, e-Nurture);
  • Prof Barbara Dooley (University College Dublin – EUA Council for Doctoral Education Steering Committee);
  • and a PGR student panel (members TBC).

The Call for Papers is now open, and submissions are invited in the form of presentations, posters, workshop sessions and round table discussions. The conference organisers seek submissions of the latest academic research into the mental health and wellbeing of postgraduate researchers, and submissions showcasing initiatives implemented at institutions to support postgraduate researchers’ mental health and wellbeing.

Please refer to the Call for Papers for further details including submission guidelines.

The deadline to submit an abstract is midnight on Friday 18 January 2019.

For more details about the conference, or to book a place to attend, please visit the UKCGE website.

For questions or queries, please contact Sophie Valeix (Project Co-ordinator, University of Sussex).


See also: Understanding the mental health of doctoral researchers project

Doctoral Open Days at The British Library

Have you just started your doctorate? Doctoral Open Days are a chance for you to discover the British Library. Learn about their manuscripts, archives, books, maps, visual art, sound recordings, newspapers, zines, stamps, official publications, journals, databases, websites … and more! Spanning over 3,500 years of history, drawn from across the world and covering hundreds of languages, the Library’s collection is an essential research resource, unique in its size, variety and potential to support scholarship across a wide range of different disciplines and subject areas.

These events are designed to introduce you to the Library, explain the practicalities of using the catalogues and services, and give you tips on navigating the fascinating, vast and diverse physical and digital collections. You will also have the opportunity to meet expert and friendly staff and other researchers in your field.

All events take place in the British Library Knowledge Centre at St Pancras, London, except for the event on 30 January 2019, which takes place at the Library’s site in Boston Spa, Yorkshire.

Doctoral Open Days

Music –  – 

Asian and African Collections –  – 

Social Sciences –  – 

17th and 18th Century Collections –  – 

Boston Spa and beyond –  – 

19th Century Collections –  – 

20th and 21st Century Collections –  – 

Pre-1600 –  – 

The Americas Collections –  – 

Places cost £10 each and include lunch and refreshments. Booking is essential.

Find out more and book a place: www.bl.uk/events/doctoral-open-days-explore-our-research-collections 

Understanding the mental health of doctoral researchers: there’s still time to get involved!

Kick-started in April, our Office for Students funded project to better understand the mental health of doctoral researchers (U-DOC) has made excellent progress, but we still need your help!

The project includes a mixed methods research package conducted by mental health researchers Dr Cassie Hazel and Dr Clio Berry, including one of the first national surveys of doctoral researcher mental health.

If you are doctoral researcher at Sussex and haven’t yet completed the survey, please consider doing so to ensure that the interventions we develop here at Sussex represent your views and experiences.

The findings of the research will be used to develop a suite of preventative and targeted responsive interventions that support doctoral researcher mental health at Sussex:

  • Resources to enhance doctoral researcher awareness of mental health and the support available
  • Mental health management workshops for all doctoral researchers
  • A funding scheme to support peer-led mental health initiatives and interventions
  • Training for doctoral supervisors, focused upon mental health and wellbeing
  • A mental health training module for professional services staff that directly support doctoral researchers.

The survey includes questions about your own mental health, factors that may impact on or be affected by mental health, and your thoughts on seeking help. We’d really like to hear from doctoral researchers who have, as well as people who have not, had personal experience of mental health problems.

The survey is completely anonymous, and takes around 20-30 minutes to complete. There are also two chances to win an iPad Mini 4.


Complete the survey


If you have any questions about the project or the survey, please contact Laura Chapman.

You can also keep up to date with the project by following @projectUDOC on Twitter.