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. 

May 2022 Doctoral School Induction

As a small cohort, our inductions plans are more informal for May starters. However we don't want you to miss out on any of the essential information you need to get started at Sussex! Alongside our online resources from key staff who support doctoral research across the University, we are planning a get-together for those of you on campus, and will be in touch about this by email. Your School should also contact you about their induction plans.

The Festival of Doctoral Research (6-10 June) will be a great opportunity to get to know other PhD researchers and to hear about some of the other research being conducted at Sussex, and the Research Hive Scholars hold regular events to bring the doctoral community together. We'd encourage you to get involved.

Our recorded induction events introduce some of the key services that support PhD researchers at Sussex and provide discipline-specific advice from faculty and more experienced researchers to help you get your doctorate underway. Catch up on our most recent online Welcome event, PhD Essentials sessions and Starting Your Doctorate panels below. See the RDP Canvas site for a full collection of past recordings.

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

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, Counselling, 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.


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 and researchers who support PhD research and the doctoral 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, our panel of current doctoral researchers and faculty cover 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

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


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 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 we are hopeful that researchers joining us in May 2022 will be able to fully enjoy what our campus has to offer.

For the latest information from the University on how Covid-19 may affect your research, see the University's advice for doctoral researchers and supervisors and the 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 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, including sanitiser stations, are in place across the University. There is an expectation that face masks will be worn in crowded spaces, including in teaching rooms. Please be considerate of your fellow researchers, who may feel less comfortable about returning to in-person activities.

Doctoral School