Join the virtual Careers Fair to meet employers, make connections and explore your options

A promotional flyer for the Virtual Careers Fair on 4 November, 10-4.

Taking place on Wednesday 4 November, the Careers and Employability Centre’s annual Careers Fair is entirely online this year, so you can take part from wherever you feel comfortable.

With over sixty exhibitors including American Express, Aldi, Fisherwack Health, Teach First, Schroders and Sky, there is a huge range of opportunities on offer for doctoral researchers.

Find out about placement opportunities, volunteering and summer work, attend webinars and drop-in sessions, and pre-book a one-to-one chat using the ‘meetings’ function on the website to speak with your preferred exhibitors.

If you’re not sure how the format will work or how to get the most out of the day, tune in to the webinar on Preparing for the Careers Fair next Monday 2 November (link to join

To view the full list of exhibitors, see the event programme and find out more about the Careers Fair Plus app see the Careers Fair website.

CHASE Knowledge Exchange Hub to build connections with external organisations

The logo for the Chase knowledge exchange hub.

The CHASE Knowledge Exchange Hub is an exciting new resource enabling CHASE-funded scholars and supervisors to connect and collaborate with external organisations.

This may involve gaining valuable professional development/skills from industry, or enlisting specialist outside expertise to assist you with a research problem. By sharing academic research outside a higher-education setting, research findings can have a greater impact on your community/society.

The hub can also help non-CHASE funded doctoral researchers at Sussex in a more limited way. If you’re interested in a placement but don’t receive CHASE funding, contact for more information.

Conception X: Exciting opportunity for elite entrepreneurship training for Science PhD researchers

A black female student wearing lab coat and gloves adjusts an experiment in a University of Sussex science lab.

Do you want to tackle big industry challenges or launch a startup? Conception X empowers the brightest researchers to explore entrepreneurship as an exciting career choice during their PhD degree, training them to become venture scientists – researchers specifically trained in enterprise skills that address our future economies and societies.

The programme is designed to suit the demands of doctoral researchers, fitting in with your research schedule. Training is delivered over nine months (March-November 2021) and is based online with some events in London. There are two tracks – for those who are building startups, and those who want to develop skills in entrepreneurship.

The programme consists of five core elements:

● One-to-one Business and Technology Coaching
● Industry Challenges and Mentorship
● Deep Tech Entrepreneurial Training
● Show and Tell Sessions & Community Events
● Conception X Expert Network
● Plus: Finalist Demo Day

Who can apply?

To be eligible for the Conception X programme, researchers must:
● be registered at a university at the time of application as a PhD student;
● be working on an innovative technology based on their research;
● be able to commit to the full length of the programme.

For further details about the scheme see the Conception X website. Applications open on Wednesday 4 November – you can register your interest using this online form.

Digital productivity for doctoral researchers: five-day bitesize course from Technology Enhanced Learning

An overhead shot of a woman working with two connected computers and a laptop.

This short online course, running over five consecutive days from Monday 9th to Friday 13th November, is a chance to explore the tools that interest you and learn alongside other researchers, with Technology Enhanced Learning on hand to guide you.

Members of the TEL team will be on call to answer questions, contribute to discussions and try out things with you. It’s up to you when you engage with the course and how much time you spend on it, but you should be able to cover the basics in 30 minutes a day.

The course focuses on how digital technologies and services can support us to work in more efficient, dynamic and connected ways. Many of the approaches and tools you will explore can be used for personal/domestic activities as well as work and study.

The five days will cover:

  • Teamworking with Microsoft Teams
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Managing and organising tasks
  • Notemaking
  • Reflection, tips and tricks

Sign up via Sussex Direct by November 6th, when bookings will close.

TEL’s online bitesized courses are short, facilitated self-study courses. Each course is split into five ‘bitesize’ pieces – one a day Monday to Friday. Each day builds your understanding to give you a solid foundation. Members of the Technology Enhanced Learning team will be available throughout the course should you have any questions or wish to learn more about any of the topics.

Free Cumberland Lodge webinar: Is education the answer to social mobility?

Logo for Cumberland Lodge: exchanging views, inspiring minds.

The next Dialogue & Debate webinar with Cumberland Lodge takes place at 11am on Wednesday 4 November, and poses the question, Is education the answer to social mobility?

Education is often seen as the key to boosting social mobility and improving equality of opportunity; but there is also a theory that creating better job opportunities would have a greater impact than encouraging more and more people into higher education.

Everyone is welcome to join and discuss this topic with guest panellists:

– John Craven – Chief Executive, Upreach
Dr Lee Elliot Major – Professor of Social Mobility, University of Exeter
– Jouja Maamri – Sustainability & Impact Manager, Regenerative Creations

You can join this webinar for free on Zoom, as a non-video participant, and interact with the panel via our live Q&A. Please register in advance via this Zoom link.

The discussion will also be streamed on the Cumberland Lodge Facebook page and webpage, if you prefer not to register or to watch back later.

For email alerts about upcoming webinars in this series, follow Cumberland Lodge on social media or sign up for Dialogue & Debate email alerts. You can watch all Dialogue & Debate webinars on the Read, Watch, Listen webpages, or listen to the audio-only versions on SoundCloud.

Cumberland Lodge is an educational charity founded in 1947, in the aftermath of World War II, that empowers people, through dialogue and debate, to tackle the causes and effects of social division. They convene multi-sector, interdisciplinary conferences, seminars and panel debates to engage people of all ages, backgrounds and perspectives in candid conversations on societal and ethical issues that affect us all. They actively involve young people in all aspects of their work, to nurture their potential as future leaders and change-makers.

IMPORTANT: Changes to the way UEA Online Training Series is booked

The banner for the UEA: University of East Anglia online training series, showing UEA university buildings and university logo.

The UEA Online Training Series, run by Dr Simon Watts, is open to all doctoral researchers at Sussex.

Due to exceptionally high competition for places, all sessions between 17 November and 26 January will be opened for bookings NEXT MONDAY 26 OCTOBER at 12 NOON.

Please remember that these workshops are repeated throughout the academic year. If you aren’t able to secure a place, there will be the opportunity to do so in the spring, and further dates are being added as demand dictates.

Please also be mindful of how useful each workshop is to your development at this point – it’s tempting to grab hold of every training opportunity going, but there is little value in attending a workshop on career prospects or academic publishing, for example, if you’ve just started your PhD!

The research methods modules and workshops on writing research proposals and securing a first academic post are also running exclusively for Sussex researchers; see the listings on the RDP website to book onto those.

If you’re still struggling to access a particular workshop, session recordings can be requested through the Training Series website as a last resort, and this is a great alternative for those who can’t book the live sessions. They will be delivered to you at three points throughout the year, see the website for further information.

RDP course: Using reference management tools to help your research

Orange banner reading 'managing references'.

Your PhD is probably the biggest piece of research you’ve undertaken so far, and juggling numerous references to articles and other resources can quickly get out of hand. It’s also a pain to have to write out and format your citations and bibliographies manually. Luckily, there’s an app for that!

Reference management tools enable you to create a personal database of references relevant to your work. These tools can help you gather bibliographic data from a range of sources, organise and manage this data, cite references in your writing and generate bibliographies automatically.

There are a number of software options available, and choosing the right tool for you will depend on your personal preferences and technical requirements. The Library is providing training on three different reference management tools this month: Zotero, Mendeley and Endnote.

Take a look at the Using Reference Management Tools self-guided course, and follow the materials to learn about reference management, explore the software and choose the one that suits your needs. Then book onto a Library Q&A session if you have any queries or need further support.

Course structure:

  • Step 1: Watch this 30-minute introductory video which will outline what reference management software does and the tools that are available.
  • Step 2: Choose which software option you want to explore – there are online tutorials for Zotero, Mendeley and Endnote.
  • Step 3: Follow the tutorial, and practice adding, managing and citing different types of materials to get a feel for the functionality.
  • Step 4: Sign up for a live Q&A if you get stuck or have any specific questions – these aren’t training sessions, but an opportunity for hands-on troubleshooting from one of the Library team. There are Q&As for Mendeley (26 Oct), Endnote (29 Oct) and Zotero (3 Nov).

Get involved in Union decision-making and give doctoral researchers a voice – PGR Part Time Officer

This year, the Students’ Union has introduced the new role of PGR Part Time Officer to ensure that research students have a voice in the decisions that affect them.

Part Time Officers are part of the Executive team at the Union and play a key role in decision-making and influencing the University. 

Do you want to represent your fellow postgraduate students and help to improve the PhD experience? You have until 9am on 26 October to nominate yourself via the USSU website.

This role can be shared between two researchers. Any questions, contact

Voting will happen from 26 to 30 October 2020, see the USSU website for further details.

Open Access Week 2020, 19-25 October: Explore open publishing and data practices and how they can benefit your research

Open Access Week 2020 logo. The theme of the week is Open with Purpose: Taking action to build structural equity and inclusion.

Open Access Week is an annual global event broadening awareness and understanding of open access to scholarly research results and celebrating open access to data, publications and more. This year’s theme is Open with Purpose: Taking action to build structural equity and inclusion.

The Library is hosting a series of events next week examining the current state of open access in academia, introducing you to some of the key concepts, and demonstrating practical ways you can open up your research, raise your profile and contribute to a more diverse culture of knowledge.

See the Library’s Open Access Week webpage for further details and to book your place on any of the week’s events.

  • Braving the Elements: weathering changes to your Sussex profile and research outputs
    Monday 19th October, 10.00 – 11.00
    Developing your online profile will increase the visibility of your work, expand the reach of your research and help to facilitate collaboration. This session will introduce you to Elements and share some tips to help you get started.
  • Making your research data available to support your publication
    Monday 19th October, 14.00 – 15.00
    Many journals now ask for research data to be made openly available to support publications. This session will explore options open to researchers to do this effectively.
  • Using open access resources for study [open to all students]
    Tuesday 20th October, 11.00 – 12.00
    This workshop will introduce you to some tools to help you discover scholarly publications and resources that are freely available to all, and look at techniques for evaluating materials that you find online.
  • How do funders and researchers work with open data?
    Thursday 22nd October, 13.00 – 14.00
    Prof Rachel Thomson will talk about developing collaborative approaches to archiving, sharing and reusing qualitative social research with the Everyday Childhoods collection and Reanimating Data project; Dr Sonya Towers (Wellcome) will explore how Wellcome supports researchers to maximise the impact of their research outputs; and Suzanne Tatham will give a brief update on the work of Sussex’s DORA Task and Finish Group.
  • Open Access Week Wikipedia Editathon
    Friday 23rd October, 10.00 – 12.00
    Celebrate and share your research expertise and contribute to the creation and dissemination of open knowledge. This workshop is for anyone interested in learning how to improve diversity by developing Wikipedia pages on notable women, LGBTQ+ and BAME professionals. No prior experience of web editing required.

MeCCSA Postgraduate Network survey – what training do you want to see?

The Postgraduate Network of the Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) is surveying doctoral researchers to find out what training events would be useful in the 2020-21 academic year.

If your research covers any of these areas, including sociology and anthropology, take the survey now.

For more information about MeCCSA’s Postgraduate Network see the MeCCSA website, follow them on Twitter @MeCCSAPGN or join the MeCCSA PGN Facebook community.