Free online learning: Courses on networking, building a website and intellectual property

Logo for Electv.

We still have nine free places available for Sussex doctoral researchers on the online Digital Course Collection from Electv Training, who deliver the Posters and Data Visualisation workshops on our regular training programme.

One free code gives you access to:
1) Your professional profile & networking (reflective)               
2) Build your own website in a day (software)               
3) Intellectual property essentials (information) 

The three courses in the collection are complementary but distinct from one another, and can be completed in any order. You will receive a downloadable certificate when you complete each course. 

If you would like to benefit from these online courses for free, email with the subject: “Digital Course Collection”. Access codes will be given on a first come, first served basis.

New University funding schemes to support PhD researchers impacted by Covid-19 – apply today

A calculator and a pen sit atop a printed balance sheet.

The University Executive Group has agreed two new funding schemes in support of doctoral researchers impacted by Covid-19: the Sussex Scholarship Extension Scheme and the PGR Hardship Fund, both launching today.

The PGR Hardship Fund is open to PhD researchers without access to external funding extensions (e.g. UKRI scholarships). Any queries regarding the Hardship Fund should be sent to colleagues in the Student Life Centre –

The Sussex Scholarship Extension Scheme is open to PhD researchers funded by Sussex, to apply for scholarship extensions. Questions around extensions can be sent to

Please note that:

  • any PhD researcher experiencing financial difficulties – regardless of their funding source – can apply to the general Student Hardship Fund.
  • PhD researchers experiencing Covid-19 related financial difficulties – bar those with access to externally-funded scholarship extensions (e.g. UKRI) and the Sussex Scholarship Extension Scheme – can apply to the new PGR Hardship Fund. Priority will be given to students in the later stages of study.
  • PhD researchers who are applying to the Sussex Scholarship Extension Scheme can subsequently apply to the general Student Hardship Fund, once they’ve received an outcome from the Extension Scheme.

For full details, including how to apply, see the PGR Hardship Fund and Sussex Scholarship Extension Scheme webpages.

Careers: Have your say in the development of a new CEC Entrepreneurship Team

Are you running a registered business, developing or thinking about starting a business?

The Entrepreneurship Team are a new team within the Careers & Employability Centre and if you answered YES to any the above questions, they would love to hear from you.

They want to understand your views and your needs as they create a new entrepreneurship support service for University of Sussex students and graduates.

By completing this quick survey you will help develop a dynamic, relevant and valuable service that delivers everything you need and helps you succeed. It doesn’t matter whether you are freelancing, starting or running a business, involved in a social enterprise or simply curious and keen to develop new skills – they want to support you and they want your input

**They’re particularly keen to hear from you if you’ve registered a business during the period 1st August 2019 – present day**

The survey should take no more than 5 minutesComplete now.

For further information see the entrepreneurships and startups webpage, or email

RLI Projects: Looking back at the Way-Back Weekender (3-5 July)

Poster for Zooming in on Nostalgia: The Way-Back Weekender, supported by the Researcher Development Programme. The image shows a cassette tape, with the tape spooled out in the shape of a heart.

The aim of this RLI project was to create a community of people in these oddly uncertain times to think creatively and critically about ‘looking back’ while also indulging in some nostalgic ‘throwback’ fun. We had a film night, a musical evening, and a book discussion, before Dr. Pamela Thurschwell from the School of English gave her closing remarks in the form of a talk titled ‘Brushing Nostalgia Against the Grain’.

The event gave us an excuse to watch some of our favourite old-timey films and listen to some music that gives us hope – the Weekender playlist is still collaborative and accessible for all and contains music added by our attendees. We then got together on Zoom to discuss how or why we feel nostalgic about these films/music/books and the ethics of such longing. As a host, I found these conversations immensely rejuvenating – it was fantastic to hear people talk about the difference between personal and political nostalgias, what it means to long for a time that didn’t exist, colonial/postcolonial nostalgias, and more.

Dr. Thurschwell’s talk was a lovely way to close the event on a relaxed Sunday evening. She talked about the film Pretty Woman and the song Sun City, and briefly about BoJack Horseman. Her talk sparked ideas about the politics of nostalgia, and also located it within the ongoing discourse of Black Lives Matter and our role as academics (and non-academics) in the critique of nostalgia. Overall, it was a vibrant event, attended by people from different parts of the world – an upside to the otherwise bleak Zoom business!

I am currently working with a video editor to explore the curation of a short video that captures the essence of the event.

Aanchal Vij, doctoral researcher in English

MeCCSA Postgraduate Network Call for Committee Nominations (2020-21)

The MeCCSA logo.

The Postgraduate Network of the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association is calling for nominations from postgraduate students interested in joining the Committee for the period of September 2020 to September 2021.

The aim of the Postgraduate Network is to bring together Masters and Doctoral students in media, communication and cultural studies from different intellectual traditions and cultural backgrounds in order to form networks for research, teaching and learning, as well as ensure peer support.

The Postgraduate Network Committee is comprised of postgraduate students at universities across the UK. All positions are voluntary and offer excellent opportunities to contribute to enriching the postgraduate community as well as experience being part of the postgraduate arm of the UK’s association in the field of media, communication and cultural studies. Committee work is mostly done remotely, though the Committee is expected to attend the Annual General Meeting at the PGN conference (currently slated for September 2021).

The deadline is 30th July. For more information on the roles available, full specifications and how to apply, see the call for nominations on the MeCCSA website.

Want to search peer-reviewed journals? Explore Web of Science with a free webinar (July and August)

A photograph of bound volumes on a bookshelf. A wooden library ladder stands in front.

Summer can be a quiet time for researcher development, particularly at the moment while campus remains closed. The RDP workshops are on hiatus until September, but we will be sharing any opportunities we come across for those of you who are still keen to learn!

The team from Clarivate are hosting free webinars throughout July and August to help researchers get to grips with Web of Science, a database that holds abstracts and indexes of articles from over 21,000 academic journals across all disciplines (not just the sciences!).

Sign up for a one-hour tour of the database and its associated tools, and learn some tips and tricks to help you navigate the world of research, find key articles and identify the experts in your field.

For more information on what the webinar will cover, and to register, choose one of the dates below – all sessions are the same, so pick the date that suits you best:

Web of Science is only one of the tools you can use to find relevant articles for your literature review and keep up to date with developments in your field. The Library subscribes to a range of abstract only and full text databases; take a look at the full A-Z of online resources, or use the Subject Guides to help focus your searching with some subject-specific databases.

The Library’s RDP workshops on topics including literature searching, keeping up to date in your subject and publication metrics will be starting again in the autumn. In the meantime, book a 1-2-1 with a research librarian to explore the best tools for your research, and work through some specific search examples to get you started.

Find out more about all of the ways the Library can help you on their Support for Researchers webpages.

Library starts Click and Collect service for print collections

Sussex Sustainability Research webinar: How might the pandemic impact climate change? (14 July)

A Tale of Two Crises: The Pandemic and Climate Change, Tuesday 14th July, 11.00

Logo for the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme.

Over the past few months the world has rightly focused on the tragedy of the Covid-19 pandemic. But what about the other global crisis, climate change? Is there a connection between the two?

Join the discussion in this Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP) webinar, featuring short talks followed by a Q&A with two climate experts: Dr Melissa Lazenby (Global Studies), whose research focuses on climate projections over Southern Africa; and Prof Benjamin Sovacool (SPRU), whose research focuses on energy policy, energy security, climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The webinar will be moderated by Prof Joseph Alcamo, director of SSRP and a professor of environmental systems science. He previously served as the first Chief Scientist of UNEP, and play a strategic role in the international climate negotiations leading up to the Paris Agreement.

For more information and to register, see the webinar sign-up page on Zoom.

DOC Grant reopens: apply now for funding to cover online conference fees

A laptop on a desk next to a coffee mug shows multiple people on a Zoom style conference call.

As a temporary measure that will be kept under review, we are reopening the Doctoral Overseas Conference Grant to applications for online conference registration fees only. We are temporarily expanding the scheme for conferences in the UK as well as overseas.

The DOC Grant supports doctoral researchers who are presenting their research at a conference. Applicants must be registered for a doctoral degree at Sussex University, and the application must be made prior to submission of your thesis.

While under normal circumstances researchers are able to apply for a maximum of £1,000 during the period of their registration, we will consider applications for online conferences that take you over the £1,000 threshold at the moment. 

For further information, including the updated guidance notes, eligibility criteria and the application form, see our DOC Grant webpage.

Business Boost 2020: Calling all social sciences researchers – survey on business engagement

SeNSS have launched an online survey of doctoral and early career researchers in the Social Sciences, with the hope of identifying opportunities to support researchers working with business, and increase business engagement.

The data they collect will not only inform decisions regarding the provision of the Business Boost programme – including here at Sussex – but also any future SeNSS training provision for PGRs. The survey closes on 11 July.

Sussex’s own ESRC IAA / SeNSS funded Business Boost 2020 programme is designed to help doctoral and early career researchers to develop and enhance their skills in engagement with businesses. Funding is available to people who are seeking to develop new relationships with industry, or continue established links.

The scheme supports two funding streams – six-month residencies at The Fusebox in Brighton, and a Business Engagement Fund offering up to £1,000 to support engagement activities.

For more information contact Mary Harris, ESRC IAA Administrative Assistant (, or Nora Davies, ESRC IAA External Partnerships Manager (

Take some time out with the Research Hive fortnightly Quaran-Time Tea & Talk

Lockdown has been a real challenge for many researchers, and socialising and self-care may be proving difficult. Join the Hive Scholars for an online Tea & Talk, bringing the doctoral community together to chat and connect over a cuppa / coffee / lemonade (delete as appropriate).

Sign up using this Doodle and the Scholars will be in touch with more details. These sessions will continue fortnightly until campus reopens, so there’s plenty of opportunity to connect with your fellow researchers. The next two dates are Wednesday 8th and Wednesday 22nd July.

The Tea & Talks and accompanying PGR self-care packages are part and parcel of the Hive’s Researcher-Led Initiative, supported by the Researcher Development Programme. The first batch of packages were scooped up in record time, but join the waiting list to be first in line when the scheme reopens in the Autumn term.

For more information see the Hive’s Quaran-Time Tea & Talk blogpost, and keep an eye on their @SussexResHive Twitter feed for regular updates.

This great initiative is another example of how the Hive Scholars continue to support researchers and foster an (online) doctoral community. They know the risk that social isolation brings for researchers, and have worked hard to focus on wellbeing and support. Visit the Hive Scholars website for more PGR-related fun, or join their Slack channels to chat with or work alongside your fellow PhDers.