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University secures HEFCE award to support the mental health and wellbeing of doctoral researchers

The Doctoral School are delighted to announce that the University has been successful in securing funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in response to their Catalyst Fund call ‘Supporting mental health and wellbeing for postgraduate research students’. This is one of only 17 bids funded.

The project, which will be formally launched at the Doctoral School’s Festival of Doctoral Research (26–28 June), will focus on prevention and early intervention in relation to the mental health of doctoral researchers at Sussex.

The project will deliver a number outputs, including:

  • A comprehensive suite of training for doctoral researchers, supervisors and relevant professional services staff aimed at identifying and preventing poor mental health in doctoral researchers
  • Mental health management workshops designed specifically to meet the needs of doctoral researchers
  • Improved access to local statutory NHS services
  • Funding to support mental health and wellbeing initiatives proposed by Sussex doctoral researchers

The project will be overseen by Dr Jeremy Niven (School of Life Sciences) with Dr Cassie Hazell (Research Fellow, BSMS) and Dr Clio Berry (Research Fellow, Psychology) leading on the research elements alongside administrative support from the  University Counselling Services, and the Doctoral School.

On receiving the news of the University’s success, Dr Niven commented, “I am delighted to be leading the delivery of this much needed project at Sussex, and look forward to engaging with the 16 other HEFCE Catalyst funded bids.”

Professor Michael Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), who leads the doctoral agenda at the University, stated, “I am exceptionally grateful to the doctoral students who provided valuable input to the bid team led by Professor Sam Cartwright-Hatton. The strong collaboration between doctoral researchers, faculty and the professional services staff has secured this wonderful opportunity.”

For more information on all 17 HEFCE mental health and wellbeing for postgraduate research students, please click here. Further information about the Sussex grant will shortly be available via the Doctoral School website. 

If you have any queries about the project, please contact Paul Roberts, Assistant Director of the Doctoral School, Research and Enterprise Services Division.


By: Alexander Aghajanian
Last updated: Friday, 23 March 2018

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