Doctoral School


Hello, and a very warm welcome! If you’re reading this page, then you are probably a new doctoral researcher at the University of Sussex. You might not even have started yet, and perhaps just want to get an idea of what PhD life is like. In that case, you’re in the right place.

The purpose of these webpages is to provide you with all the information and guidance you need to get started on your PhD programme. We cover areas including supervision, networking, wellbeing, progress, training, and lots more.

We’ve brought together resources from the main Sussex website, and added interviews with current PhD researchers and professional services staff from around campus. They’ll give you lots of advice on making the most of your time here.

In the video below, a wide range of researchers and staff reveal what they wish they’d known when they started their PhD:

Navigating through the webpages for new doctoral researchers

Click on the boxes below or use the left-hand sidebar to skip to the different sections of our webpages for new doctoral researchers. Once you have selected a section, navigate through the relevant sub-pages using the sidebar on the left.

About these webpages

These webpages are part of a project to improve the induction process for new doctoral researchers at Sussex. Partly funded by Santander and Technology Enhanced Learning, the Researcher Development team worked with two Sussex doctoral researchers – Yumiko Kita and Maria Silvia D’Avolio – to develop these resources.

We sent a web-based survey to all existing PhD researchers, asking them to give us feedback on both the positive and negative aspects of their own induction experiences. After assessing the responses, we identified the six main themes that arose: supervision, networking, wellbeing, resources, progress, and training. We then recruited a focus group of 12 doctoral researchers to discuss these themes in more detail. This helped us bring together relevant content and also develop original material to better support new students.

We regularly review the content and update it in response to feedback and the changing needs of researchers.

If you have any comments or queries, please contact us at

Doctoral School