Doctoral School

All RDP workshops

The workshops and events offered by the Researcher Development Programme are broken down into six categories: managing your research; academic and library skills; writing and communication; career development; wellbeing; and digital researcher.

Browse our full list of workshops or skip to the relevant category using the buttons below. If there isn't a date scheduled for the workshop you are interested in, you can add your name to the waiting list and we'll get in touch by email when a new date is organised. 

You can also browse our listing of scheduled events coming up soon.

Managing your research
Becoming an effective researcher - Early stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers in the early stages from all disciplines.

Workshop description: 

Pursuing a PhD isn’t just about knowledge – you need to manage yourself, too. Make a successful start to your doctorate with this practical workshop, designed to prepare you for the journey ahead. You’ll get the opportunity to meet researchers from across the University and build your skills in communication, problem-solving, and time-management.

By the end of the session, you’ll have:

  • Identified the key skills and attributes of an effective researcher
  • Considered the challenges of a PhD
  • Established your priorities
  • Boosted your confidence in planning & managing your research
  • Developed a peer support group
 
Introduction to ethics - Early stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers in the early stages from all disciplines. Research staff are also welcome to book a place on this workshop.

Workshop description: At an early stage of your doctoral research, it is essential to explore the need for obtaining ethical approval.

This workshop will look at the key principles of undertaking ethical research, and explain how to go about obtaining ethical approval from the University.

There will also be opportunities to consider some case studies, ask questions about your own work, and gain insights on how to embed good ethical practices in your research.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • Understood the University process for gaining ethical approval and received guidance on how to make a strong application
  • Had the opportunity to discuss ethical issues arising in your research and explored how to address them

Workshop feedback:

  • "I now have a much better idea of the ethics clearance forms"
 
Master your workload- Early stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers in the early stages from all disciplines.

Workshop description: 

Competing priorities, tight timeframes, and a sense of overwhelm are common in research roles, where researchers are striving for consistently high standards in an increasingly competitive field. Defining what is important to you as a person, as well as in your research career, will empower you to make better decisions about your day-to-day workload, your long-term goals, and how progress towards them.

Directing and containing your efforts to key areas of personal and professional development with the most impact, will offer you a greater sense of control and fulfilment in all areas of your life. Cultivate your capacity for focus, and you will make more effective and productive use of your energy. In this workshop, you will review a range of strategies to reduce work-related stress in the research environment and empower you to free up time and attention for your own wellbeing.

Engaging with this workshop will enable you to:

  • Define your primary priorities and core values
  • Articulate your objectives and triage your projects and responsibilities accordingly
  • Take deliberate control of your time, your energy, and your workload
  • Feel more confident in making workload decisions that align with your goals

 
Planning, structuring and writing your thesis (Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences) - Early/mid stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers in the early-mid stages from any Arts and Humanities or Social Science discipline.

Workshop description: With essential advice and guidance on writing a thesis in the Arts and Humanities or Social Sciences, this practical workshop is suitable for doctoral researchers who are about to start writing as well as those who have already begun. The emphasis is on planning and structuring your thesis, and motivating yourself to start writing.

For more specific guidance on academic writing, please see the 'Practical Tips to Improve Your Academic Writing' workshop. There is also a seperate workshop on 'Undertaking a Literature Review'.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • Understood the requirements and elements of a doctoral thesis
  • Assessed what you've already achieved and what is left to do
  • Received guidance on developing the structure and content of your thesis
  • Discovered useful tips for planning and scheduling the writing (and finishing) of your thesis

Workshop feedback:

  • "Covered everything I needed -I found it very informative"
  • "Great to know others are feeling and experiencing the same things as me - I feel very encouraged now"
  • "Calming! Good ideas for planning and thinking about how to structure thesis and overcome problems"
  • "The whole workshop was extremely useful"
  • "Tips, techniques and websites to write, edit, and motivate"
 
Preparing for your final year - Mid/late stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers in the mid-late stages from all disciplines.

Workshop description: There's so much to fit into to your final year and careful planning is essential. With clear guidance, individual exercises, and group discussion, this practical workshop helps you prepare for the last stages of your doctorate, including submission, the viva, and what happens next. Please note, there is a separate workshop that goes into much more detail on the viva.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • A strategy for the successful completion of your thesis
  • More confidence in your ability to get through the final year
  • A clear idea of the skills you need to develops

Workshop feedback:

  • "Unravelled mysteries about the last few months before and after submission"
  • "It's going to save a lot of time"
  • "Essential workshop. Excellent and knowledgeable trainer. Should be compulsory. So glad I spotted it"
  • "Covered many topics/elements of editing in a clear comprehensive way"
  • "This was excellent, one of the most useful doctoral researcher development workshops I have done"
  • "All very useful - really enabled me to move forward with shaping my thesis"
  • "Clarity, inspiration, and very useful tools"
  • "It was great, with a very nice presenter"
 
Preparing for your viva - Mid/late stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers in the mid to late stages from any Arts and Humanities or Social Science discipline.

Workshop description: The doctoral viva can be a daunting experience for which you need to be well-prepared. This workshop will de-mystify the viva process and requirements, and provide you with useful guidance on preparing for the big day.

You'll also hear examples of real questions and experiences from recent successful vivas across different Schools, and benefit from the opportunity to participate in a mock viva.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • Understood the viva process and possible outcomes
  • Received practical guidance on familiarising yourself with your thesis and preparing for potential questions
  • Gained useful insights on what to expect and how to get ready for your viva

Workshop feedback:

  • "It was incredibly useful!"
  • "Very useful handouts and extra readings"
  • "The workshop was very useful. Brilliant!"

Preparing for your viva (Sciences)

 

Preparing for your viva (Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences)

 
Undertaking a literature review (Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences) - Early stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers in the early stages from any Arts and Humanities or Social Science discipline.

Workshop description: The literature review forms a substantial part of your doctoral thesis and is also an ongoing process. Through clear examples, individual exercises, and group discussion, this workshop gets you started with your review. You will also receive guidance from the Library's Research Support team to help you with your literature searching.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • Understood the purpose of the literature and the process behind it
  • Developed your research questions and identified keywords
  • Discovered the tools available for your literature search and techniques for effective notetaking
  • Assessed different structures and critical writing styles

Workshop feedback:

  • "Some really useful info on good methods for searching for sources online. And great info about literature reviews in general. Very informative!"
  • "Lots of practical resources and good explanations on how to use them"
  • "Today's workshop was very interesting, helpful and informative. I will recommend this workshop to other researchers"
  • "So clear and structured and relevant. The examples of critical writing etc. were particularly helpful and I loved the verb cheat sheet"
  • "I now feel ready to tackle this mammoth task!"
  • "Has given me a lot more confidence before starting my review and fuller research plan. Should be a required session for new researchers! Thanks a lot"
 

  

Academic and library skills 
Ethical considerations to managing research data - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at all stages and from all disciplines. Research staff are also welcome to book this workshop.

Workshop description: Presenters from the Ethics team and the Library Research Support team will explore best practice for working ethically with research data.

The workshop will discuss how to combine ethical and research data management considerations when planning for data collection and keeping data secure. We will look at ethical approaches to data sharing.

This workshop will include time for discussions in small breakout groups.

 
Finding dissertations and theses for your research - Early stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers in the early stages from all disciplines.

Workshop description: Theses and dissertations form a valuable body of work that can be really useful for your own research, and there are a range of tools available for finding these resources in your research area.

This session introduces several online tools that can be used to access dissertations and theses from academic institutions within the UK and beyond.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • Learnt how to find Sussex theses using Sussex Research Online (SRO) and the Library catalogue
  • Discovered how to access UK and international theses using a number of online databases
  • Learnt about providing online access to your own doctoral theses

Workshop feedback:

  • "The workshop was very useful and introduced me to many databases I was not aware of"
  • "It opened my eyes on how to get information on available theses within Sussex as well as the rest of the UK and worldwide"
  • "I feel a lot more confident about finding theses"

About the facilitators: The Library Research Support team support researchers at all levels across the University. They offer bookable one-to-one sessions tailored to suit your specific research needs, run various group training workshops, and organise seminars and events to engage with the research community on campus.

 
Introduction to NVivo - for qualitative data analysis - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at all stages from all disciplines. Research staff are also welcome to book a place to attend this workshop.

Prerequisite: a basic understanding of the theory of qualitative data analysis.

Workshop description: This course is an introduction to using NVivo to assist you in analyzing qualitative data. On most qualitative research projects, one of the primary challenges is to make good use of the large volume of data that you can collect - for instance transcribed interviews, notes and journals from observations, institutional or personal documents, as well as social media data, surveys and literature. Computer assisted qualitative data analysis software packages such as NVivo have evolved to help to manage this data effectively.

Nvivo allows you to code your data extensively in layers and then to view the data by code, to easily search all the data using a variety of parameters and groupings, to directly attach notes to particular documents or segments of text, and to use hyperlinks between data, internal memos or outside documents. It has the facilities for allocating demographic variables and relationships to your data. It provides a space to record your conceptual thinking, and to use visual models to explore your themes and ideas.
The two-day course is suitable for first time users or as a refresher for those who have used previous versions. In addition to a mix of presentations, demos and hands-on practice with sample data, the course includes a session each day where participants can take the opportunity to apply what they have learnt working with their own data or consolidating further with the sample data.

In these two sessions we will work directly in the programme to briefly introduce the use of NVivo. This will include:

  • Starting and storing a new project
  • Importing data and setting up new folders and documents
  • Coding techniques and structures
  • An introduction to the search facilities
  • Setting up Notes and Hyperlinks
  • Assigning Attributes

We also briefly discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using computer assisted qualitative data analysis software instead of more traditional methods of dealing with data.

Workshop feedback:

  • "Brilliant!"
  • "I understand of all the different ways in which Nvivo can explore my data"
  • "Very practical, we practiced what we learnt about which makes it easier to understand and to remember"

About the facilitator: Patsy has over 30 years’ experience in research including 16 years at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and 20 years working with QSR software, including NVIVO, for qualitative data analysis.

Introduction to R  - At any stage

Workshop description: This two-part course aims to introduce you to carrying out statistical analysis using R. It assumes that you will have no prior familiarity with R, but that you have completed a course in statistics that includes topics such as multiple regression and multivariate analysis of variance.

At the end of the course you should:

  • Be able to run analyses in R, including the use of R Studio and Deducer
  • Understand objects and functions and be able to write simple functions
  • Be able to enter, save and manage data files
  • Carry out statistical analysis, including multiple regression, logistic regression, and linear mixed models.
  
Intermediate R  - At any stage

Workshop description: This two-part workshop builds on the Introduction to R course. Students should have some familiarity with R, and have attended Introduction to R or equivalent (essentially an introduction to the 'tidyverse').

The first day will be devoted to further exploration of the graphics package ggplot2, including comparing groups, and customising chart appearance using scale functions and themes.

The second day will introduce R Markdown as an alternative way of working with R and producing documents reporting analysis. We shall also look further at data manipulation, including data restructuring and joining datasets.

Introduction to SPSS - for quantative data analysis - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at all stages from all disciplines.

Workshop description: This two-part practical workshop is ideal for researchers with no previous experience of using SPSS & covers the basics to get you started. This is a hands-on session focusing on how to use the SPSS program. A basic knowledge of statistical concepts and terms is required and participants are expected to attend both parts of the course.

Working through a number of practical exercises, you will learn some of the key functions of SPSS, from data entry and creating basic output, to plotting figures and running more advanced statistical analyses.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop you will have learnt how to:

  • Enter data, plot figures and create some basic output such as descriptive statistics
  • Run t-tests, correlations and simple linear regressions
  • Run factorial ANOVA's
  • Use the split file and filter functions
  • Run a multiple regression
  • Examine outliers, normality and transform data

Workshop feedback:

  • "I am completely new to SPSS and felt that this was spot on as an introduction"
  • "It was very interactive, provided enough time for everyone to catch up and understand. Really helped"
  • "Excellent course. Really clear and well presented"
Literature searching with Scopus and Web of Science - Early stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers in the early stages from all disciplines.

Workshop description: Scopus and Web of Science are online databases which search thousands of peer-reviewed journals to find articles across all disciplines.

With useful guidance from the Library Research Support Team, this workshop will show you how to make the most of these two major resources.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • Learnt effective strategies for constructing and refining searches in Scopus and Web of Science
  • Had the opportunity to run your own search with guidance from Library Research Support Team staff

Workshop feedback:

  • "Gave me more ideas on how to refine my search. I actually found 10 articles which were directly related to my current research!"
  • "Really helpful and personable workshop leaders"
  • "Confirmed what I know and told me things I didn't know, which will improve my practice"

About the facilitators: The Library Research Support team support researchers at all levels across the University. They offer bookable one-to-one sessions tailored to suit your specific research needs, run various group training workshops, and organise seminars and events to engage with the research community on campus. 

 
Managing your research data - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers in all stages from all disciplines. Research staff are also welcome to book a place to attend this workshop.

Workshop description: How safe is your research data? What would happen if you lost it all? This session will help you to write a data management plan that will keep your data safe, secure, and organised.

It will also cover how to find existing datasets and share your own data.

Workshop feedback:

  • "Brilliant. Comprehensive overview presented in a non-threatening and non-scary manner"
  • "Easy to understand - thank you"
  • "Thank you, this was an interesting session"

About the facilitators: The Library Research Support team support researchers at all levels across the University. They offer bookable one-to-one sessions tailored to suit your specific research needs, run various group training workshops, and organise seminars and events to engage with the research community on campus. 

Read guidance from the Library on research data management

  

Writing and communication 
Communicating your research to non-specialists - All stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at all stages and from all disciplines.

Workshop description: 

Communicating your research to non-specialists in a concise and engaging way is a premier skill for researchers: not everyone does it well, yet everyone has the capacity to do so.

This intensive workshop brings together the crucial factors for success, and will help you to prepare if you're thinking about entering the Three Minute Thesis competition*. Take-away tools will support you in the early stages of choosing what to include (and what to leave out); constructing an engaging and meaningful narrative; and how to convey appropriate detail of your research (and its impact) in accessible language. Includes opportunities for experimentation in putting these skills into practice alongside the theory.

Engaging with this workshop will enable you to:

  • Start constructing a concise and engaging narrative of your research
  • Identify and express the 'so what?' of your research
  • Select accessible language for articulating complex ideas
  • Practice communicating your research to non-specialists
Creative ways to stimulate your writing - All stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at all stages and from all disciplines.

Workshop description: 

Do you struggle to get started with your research writing or get into a ‘zone’ where your ideas flow? This workshop looks at different creative strategies – including freewriting, poetry and clay modelling - to help stimulate your thinking and writing.

In the session we will write together, using these creative prompts, to explore topics such as:

  • Imagining yourself as a writer and writing yourself into the text
  • Thinking about your readers and how this can be both inhibiting and encouraging
  • How the process of writing brings about different meanings to the ideas we have
  • We ask that you come along with something to write about (even if this is at its very early stages), as well as something to write with.

This workshop is run by Dr Emily Danvers and Dr Rebecca Webb from the Department of Education at the University of Sussex. Along with Dr Tamsin-Hinton Smith, they created the Writing into Meaning group and blog space for researchers to explore and develop their academic writing in a supportive space.

Figures, images and visualising information - All stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at all stages and from all disciplines. Research staff are also welcome to book a place to attend this workshop.

Workshop description: 

Displaying information in a visual format is an excellent way for researchers to communicate their work. You can enhance your research papers, thesis, conference posters, presentations and public engagement activities with accurate and clear visual representations. This workshop is designed to introduce participants to various types of visual formats including standard graphs, information visualisations and graphics for publication.

There are a number of different ways to display your data or ideas visually and it depends on who you are aiming to engage and what you want to tell them. Building excellent graphics and summary figures takes time, practice and a willingness to learn the appropriate software. This workshop will provide an overview of information visualisation and further resources for participants to explore in their own time.

Data and information visualisation is a vast and rapidly growing field. This workshop covers the principles of visualising data, examples of excellent visualisations and poor visualisations and case studies including examples from the instructor’s own publications and experience.

At the end of this workshop researchers will have:

  • been introduced to the principles of good information visualisation
  • an overview of various types of visualisations and considered how they can represent their own work visually.

*Please note: this is not a workshop on digital tools, though a list of tools will be provided for participants to explore in their own time.

How to edit your own writing - Mid/Late Stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers from all disciplines at a mid to late stage of their degree. Research staff are also welcome to book a place to attend this workshop.

Workshop description: 

Are you close to a full draft of your book, article, or thesis chapter? Does it resemble a baggy monster that needs taming? If so, this workshop is for you. Through activities and tutorials, you’ll learn techniques for getting your writing into shape. By the end of the workshop, you will have a polished chunk of writing and a clear strategy for tackling the rest of your publication.

We’ll cover:

  • How much time do you need for editing?
  • Improving your structure
  • Signposting your argument
  • Maintaining consistency, clarity and connections
  • Wrangling with grammar and style
  • Proofreading your own work
  • Soliciting and implementing feedback

Attendees need to bring a printed copy of their draft (article, or thesis/book chapter) and a laptop.

Each topic comprises a facilitator-led tutorial and discussion, followed by an opportunity for participants to apply the learning on their own writing. Everyone swaps a draft during the final session to practice giving and receiving constructive feedback.

Introduction to Open Access publishing - All stages

Workshop description: 

This workshop will introduce you to Open Access (OA) publishing and what this means for you as a researcher. We will cover:

  • An introduction to Open Access developments and debates
  • the different routes to making your work Open Access
  • the benefits of making your doctoral thesis more widely available
  • consideration of publisher attitudes towards publishing open theses: fact vs fear
  • finding OA material to support your own literature searches

Workshop feedback:

  • "Excellent"
  • "As someone who didn't know much about Open Access before, this workshop not only introduced me to the concept of Open Access publishing itself, but thoroughly took us through the ways in which we could do it ourselves"

Find out more about Open Access for researchers. 

About the facilitators: The Library Research Support team support researchers at all levels across the University. They offer bookable one-to-one sessions tailored to suit your specific research needs, run various group training workshops, & organise seminars & events to engage with the research community on campus. Together with the Hive Scholars, the team also look after the Sussex Research Hive, the Library's dedicated space for researchers.

Posters: designing, presenting and networking - All stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at all stages and from all disciplines. Research staff are also welcome to book a place to attend this workshop.

Workshop description: How can you display your research in an engaging visual format using accurate and clear visual representations? How should you present and discuss it during a poster session at an event? How can you use your poster to engage senior colleagues and expand your network?

Communicating your research on a poster is an excellent way to engage your peers, attract attention to your work and network with senior colleagues. Effective poster presentations require the researcher to consider several aspects such as design, data visualisation, image quality, key messages, concise written communication, public speaking and networking; it is therefore important to start planning your poster well in advance of the event.

This workshop is designed to introduce participants to effective poster design and networking strategy. It will also touch on some online tools and technologies that may be helpful for poster presentations. Short group exercises, case studies and the facilitator's personal experience will be included to illustrate key points.

Workshop feedback:

  • "Having a go at presenting our own poster was useful to condense your thoughts but also to build confidence"
  • "Finding out what happens at poster sessions and how they work made me think more about visual aspects of my research."
  • "Helpful to know about which software to use, which fonts to use and ideas for how to make the poster look good."
  • "Trainer was very good and knowledgable"
Presentation skills for doctoral researchers - All stages

Structure and content

The first part of the workshop is a short seminar which covers:

  • How to structure a presentation – story writing for beginners
  • Slide content – the do’s and don’ts
  • Body Language – where to stand and where to look
  • Pacing – using pace, energy and gesture to keep an audience engaged
  • Preparation – how best to prepare for the main event

The second part of the workshop offers practical exercises to improve confidence. This includes:

  • Breathing from your core
  • Voice training and vocal projection
  • Feeling confident and projecting confidence though physicality

Learning outcomes

By the end of this workshop participants will be able to;

  • Structure a clear and engaging presentation with appropriate and informative slide content
  • Avoid many of the common pitfalls that lead to bad presentations
  • Use voice and body techniques to project confidence in presenting your work
  • Feel more confident in presenting to large audiences
The Productive Researcher: how to keep writing - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at any stage in all disciplines. Research staff are also welcome to attend this workshop.

Workshop description: Academic writing can be hard at the best of times. It's especially challenging during the current pandemic. In this interactive webinar, we'll discuss how you make writing more manageable, even under difficult circumstances. We'll cover:

  • Understanding the Circle of Control
  • Planning a Piece of Writing
  • Getting Your Materials Ready
  • Improving Productivity
  • Staying Focused
  • Looking After Yourself

By the end of the webinar, you'll have a range of strategies you can apply right away to help you keep going.

The webinar is hosted by Dr Catherine Pope, a self-employed coach and workshop facilitator.

Voice, audience and reflexivity in writing - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at all stages and from all disciplines.

Workshop description: 

What is the connection between who we are and what we write? What place does our audience, context and identity hold in the production of our ‘writerly’ voices?  This workshop using freewriting and group discussion to consider the connections between voice and audience and suggests ideas for how and why we might think and write more reflexively.

This workshop is best suited to those from Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, although all are welcome

 

Career development 
Career exploration for doctoral researchers - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at any stage and from any discipline.

Workshop description: 

Explore the range of options available to you both inside and outside academia after your PhD.

Outcomes:

  • Reflect on your career to date and where to go from here
  • Discuss possible career pathways
  • Reflect on the skills gained from a PhD
  • Identify and take away tailored information resources
  • Learn how to manage your career and take the next step

Facilitator: Sarah Coleman, Careers and Employability Centre

Effective CVs for doctoral researchers - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at any stage and from any discipline.

Workshop description: Find out how to produce an excellent CV for roles inside or outside academia after your PhD. This session will look at different styles and approaches to help you market your skills effectively.

Learning outcomes:

    • Learn about the options to enhance your own CV
    • Review and access both academic and non-academic CV examples 

Facilitator: Sarah Coleman, Careers and Employability Centre

Interviews for doctoral researchers - At any stage

What can you expect in an interview? Whether you have had ten interviews or zero, interviews can still be a daunting prospect if you’re not prepared. That’s why we are here to help you.

Find out how to succeed at interviews for roles inside and outside of academia after your PhD. This session will look at different styles and approaches to help you market your skills effectively.

We will cover:

  • What to expect from interviews
  • How to build your confidence and feel positive
  • Variances in structure of an academic and non-academic interview
  • Key differences between an academic and non-academic interview
  • How to handle unusual questions and showcase your skills
  • Questions you might ask

Facilitator: Sarah Coleman, Careers and Employability Centre

 

Wellbeing 
Boost your resilience and manage stress in the research environment - At any stage

Outline: Boosting your capacity for resilience and handling stress are skills you can expand at any stage, wherever your starting point is. These skills will support you when you are anticipating a stressful situation, preparing for an upcoming challenge, and recovering from difficulty.

This workshop will provide you with insights into how to boost your personal capacity for resilience, and introduce you to a variety of techniques to help you better identify, manage, and recover from stress. You will formulate personal action plan for both the short and long term, taking into account the nature of your specific research environment and need for balance in your life.

Engaging with this workshop will enable you to:

  • Identify the origins and outcomes of stress and resilience
  • Analyse your own responses to stressors and challenging situations
  • Practice and evaluate a range of stress management techniques
  • Create a personal action plan for handling adversity and boosting your capacity for resilience

Facilitator: Dr Sarah Robins-Hobden (Learning and Development Consultant)

Looking after yourself during the PhD - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at any stage from all disciplines.

Looking Out for One Another is a workshop for all doctoral researchers who are looking to support fellow researchers who may be struggling with their mental health. You will gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to support your peers while also looking after your own mental health.

This workshop has been developed by the Understanding the Mental Health of Doctoral Researchers (U-DOC) team at the University of Sussex in collaboration with Student Minds, the Student Mental Health UK charity. This workshop is based on U-DOC findings from a programme of research focused on doctoral researcher mental health and wellbeing, funded by the Office for Students/Research England.

This workshop is new and one of the initiatives of the wider mental health and wellbeing support and resources for doctoral researchers. Other workshops that are being developed include Looking Out for One Another in the PhD Community and Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Supervisory relationship (for supervisors only). Further support includes the Student Life Centre, University Counselling Service, and Student Support Unit. For more information and resources, please visit the Doctoral School’s Wellbeing page.

Facilitators: Kim Leader (counsellor at the University of Sussex Counselling Service) and Dr Sophie Valeix (U-DOC Project Coordinator)

Looking out for one another in the PhD community - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at any stage from all disciplines.

Looking Out for One Another is a workshop for all doctoral researchers who are looking to support fellow researchers who may be struggling with their mental health. You will gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to support your peers while also looking after your own mental health.

This workshop has been developed by the Understanding the Mental Health of Doctoral Researchers (U-DOC) team at the University of Sussex in collaboration with Student Minds, the Student Mental Health UK charity. This workshop is based on U-DOC findings from a programme of research focused on doctoral researcher mental health and wellbeing, funded by the Office for Students/Research England.

This workshop is new and one of the initiatives of the wider mental health and wellbeing support and resources for doctoral researchers. Other workshops that are being developed include Looking After Yourself during the PhD and Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Supervisory relationship (for supervisors only). Further support includes the Student Life Centre, University Counselling Service, and Student Support Unit. For more information and resources, please visit the Doctoral School’s Wellbeing page.

Facilitators: Beth Kent (Sussex Student Wellbeing Coordinator) and Jane Trueman (Sussex Students' Union Participation/Buddy Scheme Manager)

Overcoming perfectionism and imposter phenomenon - At any stage

Audience: Postdoctoral Research Fellows and PhD researchers.

If you’ve ever felt that you could do so much better if you just got out of your own way - then the chances are you’ve experienced a level of self-doubt. In this workshop we address two familiar thinking patterns of self-doubt: perfectionism, and imposter phenomenon. If you experience either (or both) of these issues - putting yourself under more pressure to achieve, experiencing increased stress and reduced effectiveness - then this workshop is for you.

Perfectionism is setting such high standards that you find yourself unable to reach them. You may feel that no matter how hard you work, you are not satisfied that the work is 'good enough' or 'ready'. Imposter phenomenon describes the experience of feeling you are a fraud, coupled with an intense fear of being found out. Contrary to what common sense may suggest, the more success you experience, the more intense the imposter feelings can become.

In this session you will practice with a range of techniques that help you tackle perfectionist tendencies and imposter feelings, unlocking more of your true potential and reducing stress in the process.

Engaging with this workshop will enable you to:

  • Explore the aspects and impact of perfectionism and imposter feelings
  • Analyse your current responses to these factors, and identify what you can change
  • Experiment with a range of techniques to minimise self-sabotage
  • Develop your personal action that works for you and your context

Facilitator: Dr Sarah Robins-Hobden (Learning and Development Consultant)

The Healthy Researcher: how to look after yourself and keep going - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at any stage in all disciplines. Research staff are also welcome to attend this workshop.

Workshop description: It's important for us to be kind to each other during the current pandemic. It's also vital that we're gentle on ourselves. In this interactive webinar, we'll discuss how we can best adapt our habits and stay productive.

We’ll cover:

  • Playing the Long Game - avoiding quick fixes
  • Getting Back to Basics - looking after our immediate needs
  • Putting First Things First - working out our priorities and ditching everything else
  • Being Gentle on Yourself - listening to your body

By the end of the webinar, you'll have a range of strategies you can apply right away to help you keep going.

The webinar is hosted by Dr Catherine Pope, a self-employed coach and workshop facilitator.

Working with your Supervisor: practical tips for optimising the supervisory experience - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at all stages and from all disciplines.

Workshop description: 

The supervisory relationship is crucial to the success of your PhD. In this interactive 3-hour workshop, you’ll discover practical tips for optimising this relationship. We’ll consider common problems and develop strategies for overcoming them. By the end of the session, you’ll have:

  • A clearer sense of the supervisory relationship and how it develops
  • Tools & templates for getting the most out of your supervisory meetings
  • Techniques for requesting & implementing constructive feedback
  • An awareness of common problems and how to deal with them

  

Digital researcher 
Digital productivity for doctoral researchers - online course  - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at all stages and from all disciplines.

Workshop description: In this short online course, running over five consecutive days from Monday to Friday, we will be exploring and learning together with lots of opportunities for you to try tools that look interesting to you. Members of the Technology Enhanced Learning team will be on call to answer questions, contribute to discussions and try out things with you. It's up to you when you engage with the course and how much time you spend on it, but you should be able to cover the basics in 30 minutes a day.

The course focuses on how digital technologies and services can support us to work in more efficient, dynamic and connected ways. Many of the approaches and tools we will explore can be used for personal/domestic activities as well as work and study. The 5 days will cover:

  • Teamworking with Microsoft Teams
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Managing and organising tasks
  • Notemaking
  • Reflection, tips and tricks

Course structure: TEL's online bitesized courses are short, facilitated, self-study courses. Each course is split into five ‘bitesize’ pieces - one a day Monday to Friday. Each day builds your understanding to give you a solid foundation. Members of the Technology Enhanced Learning team will be available throughout the courses should you have any questions or wish to learn more about any of the topics.

Keeping up to date in your subject  - Early stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers in the early stages from all disciplines

Workshop description: There are a number of quick and effective ways to keep yourself up to date with the research going on in your subject area. This workshop will explore the tools and techniques available.

Learning outcomes: By the end of the workshop you will have

  • Learnt how to set up database alerts to discover newly published articles and track relevant citations and authors
  • Discovered services for keeping up to date with new issues of journals and tools for discovering forthcoming conferences
  • Found out about using key resources and social media to discover who is researching in a similar field to you

Workshop feedback:

  • "Very useful to know how many ways you can keep up to date! I had no idea you could receive alerts from so many resources"
  • "Everything was explained very clearly and the presenters had a great deal of knowledge even if very subject-specific questions were asked"
  • "Very helpful. I found fresh ways to source resources for my research"

About the facilitators: The Library Research Support team support researchers at all levels across the University. They offer bookable one-to-one sessions tailored to suit your specific research needs, run various group training workshops, and organise seminars and events to engage with the research community on and off campus.

Networking and LinkedIn for doctoral researchers - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at any stage and from any discipline.

Workshop description: 

This webinar looks at ideas and methods to help you with your networking with organisations and people who might help your career choices. Building a network of resources and people who can help you can be important in researching and developing a career.

In this webinar we will:

  • Explore what is meant by networking and its value to you
  • Identify networking resources
  • Consider networks you may already have
  • Learn how to identify networking opportunities
  • Establish a winning LinkedIn profile and learn how to network effectively using this unique online platform

Facilitator: Sarah Coleman, Careers and Employability Centre

Raising your profile: introduction to Elements  - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at all stages and from all disciplines

Workshop description: This workshop will introduce the university's new central research management system, Elements, explore the benefits of building your digital profile, and show you how to edit your profile.

We'll also look at how to auto-claim your existing publications and how to deposit accepted manuscripts.

About the facilitators: The Library Research Support team support researchers at all levels across the University. They offer bookable one-to-one sessions tailored to suit your specific research needs, run various group training workshops, and organise seminars and events to engage with the research community on campus. Together with the Hive Scholars, the team also look after the Sussex Research Hive, the Library's dedicated space for researchers.

Understanding publication metrics - At any stage

Target audience: Doctoral researchers in all stages from all disciplines. Research staff are also welcome to book a place to attend this workshop.

Workshop description: Bibliometrics and altmetrics are frequently used to demonstrate the impact and influence of research.

This practical workshop will introduce you to some of the tools that you can use to measure the research impact of authors, articles and journals.

The workshop will cover:

  • Impact factors
  • Citation analysis
  • H-index
  • Altmetrics

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • Discovered the advantages of each metric as well as the potential for misuse, and considered how to use metrics responsibly
  • Learnt how to find and evaluate the impact factor of journals
  • Discovered how to use bibliometrics and altmetrics to illustrate the use of your research and that of others

Workshop feedback:

  • "Lots of researchers don't know they need to know this stuff - very useful"
  • "Novel insights into how each research/publication are rated and cited. Explained the pros and cons of how each different citation metric works"
  • "Informative and useful - thanks"

About the facilitators: The Library Research Support team support researchers at all levels across the University. They offer bookable one-to-one sessions tailored to suit your specific research needs, run various group training workshops, and organise seminars and events to engage with the research community on campus. 

Using reference management tools – Zotero, Mendeley and Endnote - Early/mid stages

Target audience: Doctoral researchers at early to mid stages from all disciplines. Research staff are also welcome to book a place to attend this workshop.

Workshop description: Reference management tools enable you to create a personal database of references relevant to your work. These tools can help you gather bibliographic data from a range of sources, organise and manage this data, cite references in your writing and generate bibliographies.

There are a number of software options available, and choosing the right reference management tool for you will depend on your personal preferences and technical requirements. The Library is running workshops on three different reference management tools: Zotero, Mendeley and Endnote.

You can read more about each of the tools on the product webpages and compare compatibility, or come along to all the workshops to learn how to use each reference management tool, and decide which is best for you. These workshops will get you up and running with the software of your choice.

 

Using reference management tools - Zotero

Target audience: Doctoral researchers in the early stages from all disciplines. Research staff are also welcome to book a place to attend this workshop.

Workshop description: Zotero is a reference management tool that helps you create a personal database of references and add citations and bibliographies to word processed documents using your chosen citation style. This practical workshop will cover the main features of Zotero.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Access Zotero
  • Gather bibliographic references from a range of sources
  • Manually enter and edit citations
  • Organise and manage a reference collection
  • Generate automatic citations in a MS Word document using your chosen referencing style

 

Using reference management tools - Mendeley

Target audience: Doctoral researchers in the early stages from all disciplines. Research staff are also welcome to book a place to attend this workshop.

Workshop description: Mendeley is a reference management tool that helps you create a personal database of references and add citations and bibliographies to word processed documents using your chosen citation style. This practical workshop will cover the main features of Mendeley.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Access Mendeley
  • Gather bibliographic references from a range of sources
  • Manually enter and edit citations
  • Organise and manage a reference collection
  • Generate automatic citations in a MS Word document using your chosen referencing style

 

Using reference management tools - Endnote

Target audience: Doctoral researchers in the early stages from all disciplines. Research staff are also welcome to book a place to attend this workshop.

Workshop description: Endnote is a reference management tool that helps you create a personal database of references and add citations and bibliographies to word processed documents using your chosen citation style. This practical workshop will cover the main features of Endnote.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Access Endnote
  • Gather bibliographic references from a range of sources
  • Manually enter and edit citations
  • Organise and manage a reference collection
  • Generate automatic citations in a MS Word document using your chosen referencing style

Doctoral School

E: doctoralschool@sussex.ac.uk
T: 00 44 (0)1273 87 7767