NEW Spring/Summer Online Training Series for researchers working remotely

The first installment of our Researcher Development Online Series which we’ll be running between now and the end of the academic year is up on the RDP event listings page.

It’s a combination of our regular workshops and sessions tailored to help you cope with living and working remotely, including new webinars from coach Catherine Pope on becoming a healthy researcher and a productive researcher during a time of crisis.

If you sign up you’ll receive an email with the link to join on the day of the session. Facilitators are using a variety of online platforms and we’re all learning as we go along, so any feedback will be really useful.

We will be adding new titles over the next few weeks so keep an eye out for further details, and email if you have any issues or queries.

ONLINE RESOURCES (MOOC): Career Management for Early Career Academic Researchers

FutureLearn are reopening their free online course Career Management for Early Career Academic Researchers for a further six weeks. This MOOC aims to support researchers to explore their career options and make career plans.    

The course is divided into four sections with the goal of completing one section a week. It is aimed at PhD students and post-doctoral researchers and covers careers beyond academia as well as academic and HE career options. The content covers:

  • Week 1 – Making Career Plans
  • Week 2 – Exploring Career Options
  • Week 3 – Careers in Higher Education
  • Week 4 – Job Search and Application Processes

Through a series of articles, videos, discussions and reflective exercises, researchers are encouraged to consider what they want out of a career; to explore the academic career path and other career options; and to increase their confidence in job search and applications.

A collaboration between the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Sheffield, it’s a free online course and open to doctoral researchers and research staff at any institution in the UK and beyond.

For more information and to sign up visit the Career Management for Early Career Academic Researchers course webpage.

Employment Opportunity: Freelance Research Associate (deadline 3rd April)

Cumberland Lodge, the educational charity based in Windsor Great Park, is currently recruiting for a freelance Research Associate to support their forthcoming series of events on Climate Futures: Youth Perspectives.

The salary is £3,000 inclusive of VAT (paid in five equal instalments), and the deadline to apply is 3rd April 2020. Full details about the role and how to apply can be found on the Cumberland Lodge website.

Part of their 2020-21 series on ‘Youth & the Future: Democracy, Citizenship & Shared Values’, the programme explores how young people conceptualise the intersection of environmentalism, stewardship of the natural world, grassroots activism, and the limits or possibilities of representative democracy and international collaboration with regards to the future of the planet.

This role will involve researching and writing a briefing document and a report for a public audience, as well as participating in a residential conference and evening consultation in Windsor Great Park and a central London report launch.

Resources to connect the PhD community and help you work remotely

In this time of uncertainty we’re sure you have questions about what it means for your PhD, your research project and your working routine. Some of you will be working from home for the first time, juggling study with caring responsibilities, or feeling isolated from your fellow researchers.

We are here to support you. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing resources to help you adapt to working remotely and to connect you with others in the PhD community.

If you have a favourite podcast or Twitter account, or you come across any other useful resources, email us at and we will share on the blog. We’ll also be active on Twitter @SussexDocSchool and will be dropping in on the Hive Scholar Slack channels (see below).

It goes without saying that your health is the most important thing at the moment, so be kind to yourself and take some time to adjust. Please keep in touch and if you have any questions or concerns, email and we will do our best to help.

Coronavirus guidance

The university has a new advice page specifically for PGRs and supervisors, addressing everything from thesis submission and vivas to fieldwork, funding and what to do if you become ill. It will be updated regularly as the situation evolves so keep checking and if there’s anything you don’t think it addresses let us know by emailing


  • Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing during your PhD is essential, more so now than ever. There is a wealth of resources on the Doctoral School’s Wellbeing webpages.
  • The Wellbeing Thesis is a new online resource for postgraduates to support wellbeing, learning and research, developed by the University of Derby, King’s College London and Student Minds charity alongside a panel of PGRs. It includes tips on chair yoga, breathing exercises and getting a good night’s sleep as well as a section on managing adversity and bitesize videos on a wide range of topics. Explore by theme or use the menu to navigate.

Online communities

  • The Research Hive Scholars are moving their events online for the next few months, and building a virtual PhD community in the digital platform Slack. If you want somewhere to chat with other Sussex researchers, work alongside them or join the regular Shut Up & Write sessions, find out more on the Scholars blog.
  • Claire Durrant, a doctoral researcher in ESW, has compiled a guide to creating your own online support group based on a successful video call model she set up with some of her peers. You can download the guide from the Doctoral School website.
  • Silent Zoom Writing Group, set up by staff at the University of York, is an online writing group for researchers, academics and creatives. The two-hour sessions run twice a day, every weekday on Zoom.
  • The PhD Game Night team are exploring online gaming as a way of continuing their popular monthly event. If you have any suggestions get in touch with them on Twitter @PhDgamenight and book to join on Eventbrite.


  • Planet PhD: a podcast from local researchers Veronica and Gigi and a host of Sussex PhD guests
  • Impacted: the Sussex podcast series about research for real change
  • Viva Survivors: if you’re approaching your viva this is the podcast for you

Blogs and social media

RDP online training

We’re in the process of moving all of our scheduled workshops to online, where possible, and postponing those that won’t work as webinars or virtual modules. We’re also looking at webinars that will help support you through the current uncertainty, particular on wellbeing and working remotely.

Keep an eye on the RDP listings webpage and we will promote the new programme once it’s finalised.

Adam Weiler Doctoral Impact Award: Nominations now open

Recognising and celebrating outstanding academic impact

The Doctoral School are pleased to announce that nominations for the Adam Weiler Doctoral Impact Award are now open until Friday 15th May 2020.

The award is available to exceptional researchers currently registered for a doctoral degree at Sussex who have demonstrated the potential to achieve outstanding academic impact in their field.

One award of £1,000 (to go towards the winner’s research) is available each year, the result of a generous donation in memory of Adam Weiler, who studied International Relations at Sussex. Doctoral researchers can be nominated by their supervisor or the Director of Doctoral Studies in their School.

Find out more about the award, including guidance notes and the selection process, on the Adam Weiler Doctoral Impact Award page.

You can read an interview with Swastee Ranjan, last year’s winner, on the Doctoral Connections blog. The University’s Research Impact Officer, Christina Miariti, also gave her insights into what research impact is on the Hive Scholars’ blog last year.

Cumberland Lodge Scholarships 2020-22

The Cumberland Lodge logo with the slogan, 'exchanging views, inspiring minds'

If you have at least two years left to complete your PhD and are committed to working for the betterment of society, apply for this exciting opportunity to get involved with the work of Cumberland Lodge.

Designed to fit around and enhance your doctoral studies, Cumberland Lodge two-year scholarships provide a unique opportunity to develop the communications, public engagement and interdisciplinary skills that will set you apart.

  • Network with leading academics, politicians, civil servants, chief executives, faith leaders, journalists and activists
  • Receive communications and public engagement training
  • Be mentored in intellectual leadership
  • Take part in interdisciplinary debates and contribute to recommendations for policy change

Applications deadline: Tuesday 31st March 2020.

For full details and to apply, visit the Cumberland Lodge scholarships website.