Doctoral School

Online resources

Our online resources provide an opportunity to learn at a time and place that suits you

Researcher Development Progamme Online Modules - mini imageLearn key research skills when and where it suits you. Access our online modules via Study Direct or on the Researcher Development E-Learning webpage. You will need your ITS username and password to sign in.

Getting started
New doctoral researchers at Sussex

We are excited to be able to launch a new website to welcome new doctoral researchers to Sussex and to help you navigate the early days of your doctorate. The website provides all the information and guidance you need to get started. Including video interviews from current doctoral researchers and staff, giving lots of advice on making the most of your time here. You'll find out about supervision, networking, wellbeing, progress, training and lots more.

Explore New Doctoral Researchers at Sussex

How to plan your doctorate

Learn 'How to Plan your PhD' and about 'The seven secrets of highly successful research students'. These slides and audio are taken from Hugh Kearn's workshops. Internationally recognised as a public speaker, educator and researcher, Hugh Kearns has delivered a series of workshops for researchers at Sussex. See How to Plan your PhD

Time & project management

This module is for doctoral researchers who would like help with organising and planning their time for their doctoral research and to learn about productivity tools to aid their time and project management. See Time and Project Management.

Finding theses and dissertations

This Library Research Support module will introduce you to a range of tools to enable you to find and access doctoral-level theses within the UK and worldwide. See Finding theses and dissertations

Developing as a researcher

This Vitae webpage provides information about personal development planning and how to analyse your training needs. See Developing as a researcher

 

Research Integrity

The University of Sussex has a published statement on Research Integrity and detailed information about Research Governance and Integrity can be found on the Research Governance webpages, including:

Doctoral researchers can also access an online programme on Research Integrity. The programme aims to provide practical advice on dealing with the complex issues that can arise while designing, planning, conducting and reporting or publishing research. There are five modules to choose from, available for the following broad disciplines:

  • Arts and Humanities
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Sciences
Working with your supervisor
Supervision at Sussex & what to expect 

The Handbook and Regulations for Doctoral Researchers provides advice about your first supervision and what you can expect from the supervisor- student relationship. You can also read frequently asked questions about supervision on the Throughout your research degree page of the Research Student Administration Office website.

Our new website New Doctoral Researchers at Sussex also guides you through supervisory expectationsscheduling and planning meetingscommunicating with your supervisor, and dealing with any problems

There are  a range of sources of help & support available at Sussex. If you are unsure of how to proceed with issues concerning academic support, or wish to raise any matter in confidence, please feel free to contact the Doctoral School.

 

The Good Supervision Video

This short film (32 mins) is produced by Angel Productions with Birkbeck, University of London, to help doctoral researchers get the best from their relationship with their supervisors. The film includes advice and guidance from doctoral researchers and supervisors, and will help you to gain an understanding of what support to expect from your supervisor, how to get the feedback you need, and how to develop a productive relationship with your supervisor. See The Good Supervision Video.

Organising your research
Managing your research with Evernote

Evernote is a suite of software designed for note making and archiving, making is a useful tool for research. This module will guide you through the different stages of learning how to use this very useful software. See Managing your Research with Evernote

Managing your bibliographic references

The best way of managing and citing your references is to use dedicated software. See choosing bibliographic software or explore the links below for further information about Mendeley, Zotero, and EndNote.

        This module explains how to use Mendeley, a desktop and web program for managing and sharing research papers, discovering research data and collaborating online, and managing your references. See Using Mendeley to Manage Your References.

        This module explains how to use Zotero, a free easy-to-use Firefox extension that helps you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It is similar to Endnote, but many users find it more straightforward. See Using Zotero at Sussex.

We also provide an online Zotero course for beginners, designed for complete beginners. This course will walk you through every step with clear instructions, screenshots and short videos.

        Access information and help resources provided by ITS online. See Using Endnote.

Using Scrivener to write your thesis

Scrivener is a word-processing program designed especially for writers which provides a sysyem for documents, notes and metadata, and has been described as a literary management tool and ideal solution for writing your thesis. This module will explain the key features of Scrivener and show you how to best use it for writing your thesis. See Using Scrivener to write your thesis

Defeating self-sabotage

Internationally recognised public speaker, educator and researcher, Hugh Kearns has delivered a series of workshops for researchers at Sussex. The below link takes you to the slides and audio recording from the Defeating Self Sabotage workshop. See Defeating Self-Sabotage

Finding theses and dissertations

This Library Research Support module will introduce you to a range of tools to enable you to find and access doctoral-level theses within the UK and worldwide. See Finding theses and dissertations

Literature Searching

This Library Research Support module will explore how to develop useful search terms and structure searches effectively. It will also signpost useful databases for literature searching. See Literature searching.

Keeping up to date in your subject

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 module explores the tools and techniques available. See Keeping up to date in your subject.

Time & project management

This module is for doctoral researchers who would like help with organising and planning their time for their doctoral research and to learn about productivity tools to aid their time and project management. See Time and Project Management

Overcoming challenges common to doctoral researchers

This section of the Vitae website looks at some of the challenges common to doctoral researchers, and how they might be overcome: See Overcoming challenges common to doctoral researchers

Your wellbeing
Sources of help & support

Doctoral research can be challenging and sometimes result in stress and unhappiness affecting academic performance. Problems can arise with motivation and focus, be exacerbated by a sense of isolation, or by not knowing how to access help. See our page on sources of help and support to find out about the support services available to you.

The University Counselling Service can help to reduce the sense of feeling overwhelmed and isolated by providing a range of free and confidential services that postgraduates have found helpful in keeping them on track:

  • One to one counselling, where you can talk confidentially to a counsellor experienced in working with postgraduates
  • Procrastination and insomnia workshops for postgraduates
  • An online self-help programme

Find out more about counselling services for postgraduates.

See also ‘Staying positive during your doctorate

Research methods & data analysis
Research Data Management

The Library provide comprehensive information around research data management, including information about funder requirements and how to create a Data Management Plan.

Visit the Research data management pages to find out more about data management and learn how to organise, store, and share your research data.

Sage Research Methods

Sage Research Methods provides a range of research methods resources to help you design and conduct your own research: See Sage Research Methods

Bristol Online Quantitative Methods

The University of Bristol offer an online multilevel modelling course. All of the modules within the course have a conceptual component, and most include practical exercises.

Ready to research

Ready to research provides a range of Open Educational Resources for research students. See Ready to research

Qualitative data analysis with NVivo

NVivo is a qualitative data analysis (QDA) software package for Windows PCs produced by QSR International. It has been designed for qualitative researchers working with very rich text-based and/or multimedia information, where deep levels of analysis on small or large volumes of data are required. Our Study Direct module will introduce this software and help you get started. See Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo

Resources from QSR International

QSR International also provide comprehensive support in getting started with the software, including free 1 hour online demonstrations and a series of short video tutorials offering step-by-step demonstrations. These cover topics such as:

  • Getting up and running
  • Working with audio, video and images
  • Working with survey results
  • Working with interviews, articles & other documents
  • Organising material into themes with coding
  • Exploring your coding
  • Finding themes and analysing text

 

Getting started with SPSS

The University of Surrey offer a free interactive online tutorial 'Getting started with SPSS' which is designed to help you familiarise yourself with the software package and learn about basic statistics. See Getting started with SPSS

Statistics

Discovering Statistics is a collection of statistics resources created by Professor Andy Field. The website links to introductory statistics materials intended for Psychology students.

Presenting & promoting your research
Better presentations

This module will guide you through the process of creating a well written presentation, taking into account your audience, with effective use of visuals (where appropriate), and clearly communicated findings/data. It also covers body language, voice, and techniques to deal with your nerves. See Better Presentations

Creating a blog with WordPress

This module will guide you through the basics of setting up a blog for your research, with step-by-step instructions on the key technical aspects and some ideas to get you writing your first post. See Creating a blog with Wordpress

Building your academic web presence

This module is designed to introduce you to the different ways in which you can promote yourself online and give you the ability to assess the usefulness of the tools available to you. See Building your academic web presence

Developing your Sussex Online Profile

An increasing number of researchers have an online profile, and many links are established through online networking. This module is designed to show you how to create and publish your Sussex online profile. See Developing your Sussex Online Profile. You can also download our guide to Creating a Sussex Online Researcher Profile.

Effective communication

How could you improve communications with your supervisor, your participants or your colleagues? Would you like to be able to communicate more clearly, listen more effectively, and be more confident in building and maintaining your professional and academic relationships? This module provides advice and information on assertive communication methods to help you give and receive feedback and increase your confidence in building and maintaining your professional relationships, both in person and via other other methods. See Effective Communication

The Good Presentation Video

This short film (28 mins) is produced by Angel Productions with Birkbeck, University of London, to help doctoral researchers improve their presentation skills. The film includes advice and guidance from doctoral presenters, academic experts, and a presentation coach. The film will show you how to develop the content and focus of your presentation, use your voice and body language to your advantage, deal with difficult questions and nerves, and expect the unexpected. See The Good Presentation Video.

Preparing for a conference

This module will help you make the most of your conference experience, with tips and suggestions on selecting an appropriate conference, how to get the most from your attendance and how to effectively prepare. See Preparing for a Conference

Presenting your research with confidence

Internationally recognised public speaker, educator and researcher, Hugh Kearns has delivered a series of workshops for researchers at Sussex. This audio recording is taken from his session on Presenting your Research with Confidence.

Using Prezi

Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software and storytelling tool which allows for presentations to be constructed and delivered on a virtual canvas. Doctoral researchers can sign up for a free Prezi Education account 'Edu Enjoy' using their Sussex e-mail address. The Prezi YouTube channel includes a range of official Prezi tutorials to help you get started.

Research Impact Toolkit

This web guide promotes the understanding of impact and offers ideas for building impact into research projects: Research Impact Toolkit

Writing up & publishing your research
Using Scrivener to write your thesis

Scrivener is a word-processing program designed especially for writers which provides a sysyem for documents, notes and metadata, and has been described as a literary management tool and ideal solution for writing your thesis. This module will explain the key features of Scrivener and show you how to best use it for writing your thesis. See Using Scrivener to write your thesis

Getting your book published

This module provides guidance on finding a publisher and preparing your book proposal, along with some background information on the publishing process. It is based on a monograph written by a single author, but is also applicable to other formats. See Getting your Book Published

Turbocharge your writing

Internationally recognised public speaker, educator and researcher, Hugh Kearns has delivered a series of workshops for researchers at Sussex. This resource takes you to the slides and audio recording from the Turbocharge Your Writing workshop. See Turbocharge your Writing

Writing a literature review

This module provides guidance on where to begin your literature review, including what tools and resources are available to you. It also includes subject specific tips and advice on how to plan and structure the content of your literature review.  See Writing a Literature Review

Writing an article

This module is designed for both research students and early career academics who are looking to get their work published for the first time, or who want to improve their technique for writing scholarly papers. See Writing an Article

Writing tips for researchers

Communicating your research well is crucial if you want people to engage with your work, and as a researcher, the written word is a vital tool for getting your ideas out there. This module will provide you with practical pointers and advice, combining tricks and tips from the worlds of creative writing, marketing, and academic editing, to help you improve your writing. See Writing Tips for Researchers

Writing your thesis

This module is for both researchers who have yet to start writing their thesis, and those who have already begun. It includes advice on: planning and structuring your thesis; writing style; staying on track; dealing with 'writer's block'; and knowing when you're finished. See Writing your Thesis

Turnitin

Turnitin is a text-matching service, which enables you to check the text in chapters or sections of your thesis or research reports, to ensure that material from other sources have all been identified and referenced. Turnitin does this by comparing your submitted text with its database of digital text from journals, books, conference proceedings, web pages, and archived student papers. You then have a confidential and detailed report on text similarities, which you can use to identify material taken from other sources. The site also provides links to helpful resources such as copyright and referencing information and guidance for researchers.

Access Turnitin via Study Direct, or find out more about Turnitin on the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) website.

Open Access for researchers

Find out more about making your research Open Access; how to go about it, the benefits, and how to comply with funders' OA policies. See Open Access for researchers

Sussex Research Online - Publications repository

Sussex Research Online (SRO) is the institutional repository of the University of Sussex. It provides a single location for information about our research outputs, making them globally available. By adding your research outputs you will:

  • Increase the visibility and impact of your research
  • Maximise the chances of being read and cited where your work is available in full-text
  • Reach potential research collaborators, funders, and students
  • Easier to comply with funder requirements to make publications available via open access

Outputs added to SRO will be displayed in the publications tab of your online profile

Preparing for your viva
The Good Viva Video

For doctoral researchers everywhere, the viva is a daunting challenge, often approached with anxiety and confusion rather than careful preparation. This two part video (approx 30 mins) by Angel Productions and Birkbeck, University of London, will help students in all institutions to understand the viva and handle it well. See The Good Viva Video

Preparing for your viva

The viva can seem a daunting process, but with the right preparation it can be a rewarding experience. This module explains what to expect from your viva, the possible outcomes, and some techniques to help you prepare. It also includes types of questions you could be asked during your viva and possible strategies to best respond. See Preparing for your Viva

Viva Survivors

Viva Survivors is a podcast website about PhDs, the viva, and life afterwards. In addition to a series of podcasts, the website also contains a number of other resources and links.

Career development
Career development

Visit the Careers and Employability Centre webpages for doctoral researchers, bringing together a range of resources about careers both within and outside academia.

Vitae Researcher Booklets

Vitae have produced a series of booklets giving practical advice and tips tailored to researchers. Topics include: 

Vitae (2008) 'The Balanced Researcher' booklet thumbnail

  • The balanced researcher- strategies for busy researchers
  • The informed researcher- because interacting with information is at the core of research
  • The enterprising researcher- analyse and develop your enterprising abilities
  • The leading researcher- explore and develop your leadership potential
  • The engaging researcher- inspiring people to engage with your research
  • The career-wise researcher- develop your career management skills and get the right job for you
  • The creative researcher- tools and techniques to unleash your creativity

All researchers have full access to the Vitae website and resources if you register with your Sussex email address

 

Doctoral School

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