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. 

Doctoral School Induction

We're looking forward to welcoming you to the Doctoral School in September! 

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 provide discipline-specific advice from faculty and more experienced PGRs

While we are mainly planning in-person events, we know that you won't all be on campus in the first week. We will be running an online session and provide recorded materials so you don't miss out.

We're pleased to announce the schedule for this year's induction events - booking is essential as we have limited capacity, and listings will be added shortly. In the meantime you can catch up on our most recent online Welcome event and Starting Your Doctorate panels below. See the RDP Canvas site for a full collection of past recordings. 

The Welcome to Sussex Canvas site is designed for students who are starting their studies at Sussex. While some content is aimed at a less experienced audience, the site provides information about support services including the Library, Careers & Entrepreneurship, University Therapeutic Services, SussexSport and the Students' Union, and may be useful for those of you who are new to the University, to Brighton or to the UK.


Induction events, September 2022

Welcome to the Doctoral School: Starting your PhD
Tuesday 20 September, 10.00-13.00
Student Centre (Woodland 2&3)
Join us for the main event, in the brand new Student Centre at the heart of campus. After a welcome from Prof Jeremy Niven, Dean of the Doctoral School, you'll hear talks from some of the key staff who support PhDs at Sussex. Then grab some lunch, chat to other researchers and browse a selection of stalls from teams including the Library, the Keep, English Language for Academic Study, Excursions postgraduate journal and the Students' Union.

Recorded on 20 September 2022
Watch the recording


PhD Essentials: Starting your Doctorate Panels - Arts & Humanities / Sciences / Social Sciences
Tuesday 20 September, 14.15-15.45
Student Centre (rooms tbc)
Our panels are designed to prepare you for the journey ahead. Discuss your hopes and worries with your peers, then put questions to a panel of experienced PhD researchers and faculty about starting a doctorate in your discipline. We'll cover issues like working with your supervisor, connecting with the community, finding support, planning, research, training, and dealing with any challenges that come your way.

Welcome to the Doctoral School Online Induction
Thursday 29 September, 10.30-12.00
Online via Zoom
A welcome session for those researchers who can't make it to campus. Meet fellow newbies and discuss starting a PhD with a panel of experienced PGRs and faculty.

Book your place via SussexDirect

PhD Essentials: Introduction to the Library
Wednesday 28 September, 15.00-16.00 - Library Open Learning Space
Friday 30 September, 11.00-12.00 - Online via Zoom

One of the first things to do when you start your PhD is get to know your friendly local librarian! Find out about the collections and discovery tools you can access at Sussex, the tailored services available from the Research Support team, and the dedicated Hive study space for researchers.

Book your place via SussexDirect

PhD Essentials: International Researchers Lunch
Monday 3 October, 11.30-12.30
Quiet Room, Meeting House
Whether you’re new to the UK or continuing your studies, this informal event is a chance to meet other international PhD researchers and get advice from international student advisors, over lunch in one of the most iconic buildings on campus.

Book your place via SussexDirect

Research Hive Scholars Social 
Plans to follow
The Hive Scholars are three PhD researchers who foster the doctoral community through events, articles and support. 


Induction recordings

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 25 January 2022
Watch the recording

An online welcome session to help you get started, including a talk from Prof Jeremy Niven, Dean of the Doctoral School, and some of the key staff who support doctoral research and community at Sussex.

PhD Essentials: Starting Your Doctorate Panel 
Recorded on 1 February 2022
Watch the recording

Developed to prepare you for the journey ahead, with a panel of current doctoral researchers and faculty from a range of disciplines. Catch up on the conversation as we discuss issues including progression reviews, finding materials, structuring your thesis, working with your supervisor, connecting with the community, training, teaching, and dealing with any challenges that come your way.

PhD Essentials: Starting Your Doctorate Panels
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


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. 

Starting your PhD during a pandemic

The pandemic has made this a difficult time for anyone starting their PhD, but we hope that researchers joining us in September will be able to enjoy everything our campus has to offer. A number of Covid safety measures, including hand sanitiser stations, are in place across the University. Please be considerate of your fellow researchers, who may feel less comfortable about returning to in-person activities.


Most supervision and research activities are now being delivered in person. You are encouraged to have regular discussions with your supervisors on how often you need to be on campus. In some disciplines it will be normal to visit occasionally, and for others there will be an expectation of daily attendance. Supervision can take place in person or online, via Zoom or similar. That is for you and your supervisor to agree on.

Our Researcher Development Programme workshops are running in a blended format, with a mix of both in-person and online sessions, and we are growing our online resources to enable you to learn in your own time. 

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

For the latest information see the University's Covid-19 webpages, and speak to your supervisor if you have any concerns.

Doctoral School