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 January! 

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. 

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.

For those of you who can't join us on campus, please see the RDP Canvas site for a full collection of past recordings of our Welcome events, including talks from the key services supporting PhDs at Sussex and previous panel discussions on starting your PhD.

Induction events, January & February 2023

Welcome to the Doctoral School: Starting your PhD

Thursday 26th January, 10.30-12.30
Quiet Room, 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. The 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.

Book your place via SussexDirect

Research Hive Welcome Event - Pub Quiz
Thursday 26th January, 17.30-20.00
Quiet Room, Meeting House
The Research Hive is planning a Pub Quiz Welcome event at the Meeting House on the 26th of January from 5:30pm to 8pm! Come, have fun and meet other PhD Researchers. We are encouraging all PhD Researchers at Sussex, new and old, to come and join us for a fun evening full of laughter, free drinks and prizes for the winners! There will be some snacks and free drinks for everyone. The Pub Quiz itself won't be too difficult, and it will be the perfect opportunity to meet other PhD Researchers, as well as hang out with some of your friends after the Holiday break.

Book your place via Eventbrite

PhD Essentials: Starting Your Doctorate panel discussion
Monday 30th January, 13.00-14.30
Online via Zoom
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 panellists 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 via SussexDirect

PhD Essentials: Introduction to ethics 
Wednesday 25th January, 11.00-12.00 - Freeman F22
Tuesday 14th February, 11.00-12.00 - Online via Zoom
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 via SussexDirect

PhD Essentials: Introduction to the Library for Doctoral Researchers 
Friday 27th January, 11.00-12.00 - Online via Zoom
Tuesday 31st January, 14.00-15.00 - Open Learning Space, the Library
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 via SussexDirect 


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 January 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