Help disrupted learners be brilliant – The Brilliant Club

With every day of the pandemic, and lockdown, young learners are disrupted. Pupils from underrepresented backgrounds face an even greater education challenge that grows by the day. Every day of the pandemic, pupils are disrupted. Those from underrepresented backgrounds face an even greater education challenge that grows by the day. The Brilliant Club need your help to tutor and #HelpDisruptedLearners.

The Brilliant Club works with PhD students and PhD graduates, who work across three core programmes, from catch-up in key subjects to sharing PhD research to inspire specialist subject learning. With the guidance of the PhDers we work with, over 65,000 learners from underrepresented backgrounds have graduated from our programmes.

The pandemic presents pupils from underrepresented backgrounds with an unprecedented disadvantage reaching further education. A generation of lost learners would have serious implications for university access, so we have pledged to do all we can to support the catch-up effort in schools. We are a National Tutoring Programme approved Tuition Partner and our PhD tutors will be delivering catch-up tutoring to schools through the recently launched Brilliant Tutoring Programme.

Visit The Brilliant Club website for more details and to apply!

Students’ Union PGR forum: How has Covid-19 impacted your research?

Has your research been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic? The Students’ Union is running a virtual forum to get your views on how Covid-19 has impacted doctoral research.  Join the session this Wednesday 3 February, 4-5pm, to discuss how Covid-19 has affected your studies and share your experiences with other researchers.

You can find the Zoom link to join the forum on the Student Union events page.

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.

Call for papers: Culture, Things, and Empire virtual seminar series

Logo for Culture, Things, and Empire seminar series.

The call for papers is now open for the interdisciplinary AHRC Midlands4Cities-funded virtual seminar series Culture, Things, and Empire, organised by two PhD researchers at the universities of Leicester and Birmingham.

Between November 2020 and April 2021 they will be hosting five online Zoom seminars (20-minute papers and 40 minutes of discussion) and one masterclass for all registered participants, on themes such as race, gender, class, and materiality in the fields of imperial, colonial and global studies.

Deadline for abstracts: 19 October 2020, 17.00. 

For more details see the Culture Things Empire WordPress blog and follow them on Twitter @CTEseminars. If you have questions about the call for papers email 

Registration to attend the seminars will open on the blog soon.

SPRU PhD Forum (Thursday 14th & Friday 15th May 2020)

The 26th annual SPRU PhD Forum is going online this year, with presentations live streamed on YouTube over two days. You can access the full schedule below:

Thursday May 14th – live on YouTube: SPRU PhD Forum Day 1
Friday May 15th – live on YouTube: SPRU PhD Forum Day 2

Two further sessions will take place on Zoom – on Thursday afternoon, a workshop on researcher wellness during Covid-19, provided by Sussex Doctoral School; and on Friday afternoon, a panel on academic career development from the ST Global Consortium. If you would like to join, email for Zoom links.

Join the LinkedIn group and follow on Twitter for regular updates, and contact for further details.

Distant Viva Voce examinations and thesis submission during the Covid-19 outbreak

A new set of Sussex guidelines regarding online thesis submission and Distant (online) Vivas during the Covid-19 outbreak has been released. The new guidance is available here, and features on the Advice for Supervisors and Doctoral Researchers (during Covid-19) webpage.

The UK Council for Graduate Education has also developed A Guide for Institutions and Candidates, which includes support for PGRs approaching an online viva.

The Doctoral School Researcher Development Programme is running online versions of the PGR viva-preparation workshop, which will take the new guidance into account:

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.

Call for Papers – Excursions Journal (deadline extended – 4th March)

The Excursions journal, run by University of Sussex researchers, has a Call for Papers on the concept of chaos.

The journal the invites researchers to embrace chaos and investigate the complexities of society, nature, science and being human. Is chaos a natural, universal phenomenon of “disorder” or a perspective-bound construct? What meanings and functions can we attribute to chaos in theory and practice? How can chaos aid contemporary scholarship in its quest to understand the complexity of our lived experience? 

In this issue, Excursions seeks to assemble a collection of articles that reflect on the concept of chaos, whether as a natural phenomenon in an objective reality or as a socially-constructed subjective phenomenon. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Chaos as a metaphysical concept or theory
  • Chaos as a process in the biological, physical and social world
  • Chaos as a theme in popular culture and political discourse
  • Chaos as fuel to incite change
  • Chaos as a source of creativity
  • Chaos as constructed by ideology and epistemology
  • Chaos as part of a research method

Please submit your paper by 4th March 2020 via the Excursions website. If you have trouble with the submission system, please email

Visit the Excursions website for further details on the Call for Papers.

New drop-in service for Doctoral Researcher Ethics Applications (every Wednesday, 14.00 – 16.00)

  • Does your research involve participants and/or the collection of data?
  • Do you need help with your ethics application?
  • Would you like advice on the ethical issues in your research?

EDIT: Due to coronavirus, there will be online Ethics Applications drop-in service provided by the Research Ethics, Integrity and Governance department.

The drop-in sessions will take place every Wednesday between 14.00-16.00.

For further information and to book, please contact Lauren Shukru ( or Tim Parkinson (

Job Opportunity: REF Impact Case Studies Development

The School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences is looking for PhD researchers to support the development and refinement of their REF Impact Case Studies through the collection of additional evidence (including from German language sources) and re-drafting of existing text.

View the full job and person specifications here.

To apply, please send a statement of no more than 500 words about how you address each of the person specifications to Ian Sillett ( as soon as possible but no later than 14th February 2020.