Doctoral School

New doctoral researchers

Our website for new researchers is designed to help you navigate the early days of your doctorate.

These pages provide all the information you need to get started, bringing together resources from the main Sussex website in addition to video interviews with Sussex doctoral researchers and staff, giving lots of advice on making the most of your time here. 

January 2022 Doctoral School Induction events

Our induction events introduce some of the key services that support PhD researchers at Sussex, offer you a chance to meet other new PhDers and get to know the doctoral community, and get discipline-specific advice from faculty and more experienced researchers. 

Our welcome events for Spring 2022 are listed below.

Some of our previous online Induction and Starting Your Doctorate panel discussions were also recorded, meaning you can catch up or refer back to them whenever you want. Scroll down for a full list of available videos. 

Welcome to the Doctoral School - ONLINE
Tuesday 25th January, 11.00-12.30

For those of you who can't join our Induction event on campus, for whatever reason, this online session will help you get started on your PhD journey.

You will be welcomed by Prof Jeremy Niven, Dean of the Doctoral School, and hear short presentations from the Researcher Development Programme, the Library, the Careers & Entrepreneurship team, the Student Life Centre, the Students' Union and the Research Hive Scholars. There'll also be information for new international researchers.

Book your place now via SussexDirect


Welcome to the Doctoral School - CAMPUS
Wednesday 26th January, 10.15.-12.00
Meeting House

Are you starting your doctorate at Sussex this Spring? Join us for the Doctoral School welcome event and hear from the key support services around the University who will help you throughout your PhD journey. This session is designed to be an informal way to find out more about the support available and a chance to ask questions and get to know teams and peers.

After hearing some short introductions, there will be a chance to chat to staff from key services around campus, over food and refreshments - as well as get a chance to get to know other new researchers.

Please note that this event is scheduled to take place in person on campus, but this will be dependent on Covid guidelines in January. If we need to cancel we will let you know. An online alternative is also available. 

Book your place now via SussexDirect


PhD Essentials: Introduction to the Library 
Thursday 27th January, 11:00-12:00 (UK time)

One of the first things to do when you start your PhD is get to know your friendly local librarian! Find out about the resources and collections you can access at Sussex, the tailored support available to doctoral researchers, and the Research Hive study space for PGRs.

This workshop will introduce you to Library collections and discovery tools. With useful guidance from the Library Research Support Team, this workshop will highlight key Library research resources and services.

Book your place now via SussexDirect

The Hive 20 Questions!
Thursday 27th January, time TBC

If you find inductions stressful and awkward, this is the event for you! Join Nathali, Erin and Jamie for an unconventional game of 20 Questions, and get the chance to ask your own questions about starting a PhD after. This is a fun, casual and informal way of meeting and getting to know doctoral researchers and we highly recommend it! No prep needed, just come along virtually with a cup of coffee or tea and we’ll do the rest - see you then!

Book your place now via SussexDirect

PhD Essentials: Introduction to Ethics
Monday 31st January, 14.00-15.00

Join Lauren Shukru and Tim Parkinson from the university's ethics team for a brief introduction to the ethics review process and how to start thinking ethically about your research from the outset.

There will be a short presentation after which we encourage you to ask questions relating to ethics and your research.

Book your place now via SussexDirect


PhD Essentials: Starting Your Doctorate Panel 
Tuesday 1st February, 14:00-16:00 (UK time)

Make a successful start to your doctorate with this panel discussion developed to prepare you for the journey ahead. The session will have representatives across a range of disciplines, and panelists will include current doctoral researchers and a Director of Doctoral Studies.

You'll have the opportunity to discuss your hopes and worries with other new researchers in break-out rooms, then come together to put questions to the panel. We'll address issues such as managing your research, first-year milestones, working with your supervisor, training and development, and dealing with any challenges that come your way.

Book your place now via SussexDirect


Starting your PhD during a pandemic 

The pandemic has made this a difficult time for anyone starting their PhD, but here at Sussex we have a clear plan to help support you through this and help you get settled in. The University campus is currently open and as the lockdown restrictions change in the UK, we are hopeful that researchers joining Sussex in January 2022 will be able to fully enjoy what our campus can offer.

For the latest information from the University on how Covid-19 may affect your research, see the the University's Covid-19 webpages which include some useful FAQs about how campus, research and supervision is expecting to run this year. If you are an international researcher travelling to the UK, see the University website for international guidance.

Currently, most supervision and research activities are being delivered in person on campus. You are encouraged to have regular discussions with your supervisors on how often you will need to be on campus. In some disciplines, it will be normal to visit campus occasionally, and for others there will be an expectation of daily attendance. All patterns of time on campus are permitted, as agreed with your supervisor.

If your plan of doctoral research includes the collection of data overseas whilst on fieldwork, this will be under continual review and will be supported when it is safe to do so. We will, of course, always prioritise health and safety and it may be necessary to make other changes during the academic year.

Our Researcher Development Programme workshops are running in a blended format this year, with a mix of both in-person and online sessions. This will also be kept under review in line with government advice. 

A number of Covid safety measures are in place across the University, including sanitiser stations, track and trace QR codes, and lanyards to indicate if you prefer greater social distancing. There is an expectation that face masks will be worn in crowded spaces across campus, including in teaching rooms. Please be considerate of your fellow researchers, who may feel less comfortable about returning to in-person activities.


IT at Sussex: your essential guide to IT Services

Read the IT Services Essential Guide to get your IT fully set up, with infomation on connecting to the campus wifi, registering a zoom account, installing Microsoft Office and other useful tips. 


Previous Induction event recordings

Please note - the auto-captioning on these videos is variable and mistakes should be expected. If that causes you any issues please contact


Welcome to the Doctoral School: Online induction
Recorded on 29 September 2021
A special welcome session with an introduction from the Director of the Doctoral School and talks from key staff supporting the doctoral community. 
Watch the recording

Welcome to the Doctoral School: Starting your PhD in a Pandemic
Recorded on 22 September 2020
A special welcome session with an introduction from the Director of the Doctoral School and talks from key staff supporting the doctoral community
Watch the recording
Slidedeck from the Welcome session
Student Life Centre presentation

PhD Essentials: Starting Your Doctorate panel discussions
Recorded on 22 September 2020
Split by discipline, our panellists included current doctoral researchers and Directors of Doctoral Studies from across Sussex departments. 
Arts & Humanities - watch the recording
Sciences - watch the recording
Social Sciences - watch the recording

PhD Essentials: Tutoring, archives and peer review
Recorded on 9 December 2020
When you've got to grips with the PhD basics it's time to explore opportunities further afield. Hear about paid tutoring placements in schools with the Brilliant Club, the rich archival resources and support on offer at The Keep, and the chance to gain peer reviewing and publishing experience with Excursions, Sussex's own postgraduate journal. 
Watch the recording
Slidedeck from the tutoring, archives and peer review session

Doctoral School