For more information: Researcher Development (

Trainer: Dr Jeremy Niven (previous Director of Doctoral Studies, Life Sciences and Principal Investigator on the U-DOC research project)

Location: Research & Enterprise meeting room 1, Falmer House

Target audience: New doctoral supervisors (one PhD completion or less) from any discipline.

In the last few years, there has been growing evidence for a mental health crisis in graduate education. Compared with the general population, Doctoral Researchers are more than six times as likely to experience depression and anxiety. A smaller study suggested that in the Arts and Humanities, 64% of Doctoral Researchers suffer poor mental health. These results are compounded by the fact that many Doctoral Researchers are reluctant to seek help or to disclose issues. This is often caused by fear of stigma or a negative impact on their future career.

All of these issues also affect supervisors, too. Supervisors alone cannot take responsibility for the mental health of their students. However, in this workshop, we hope to share resources and approaches to help both Supervisors and Doctoral Researchers prioritise their wellbeing. Happily, data indicates that a strong, supportive and positive supervisory relationship resulted in significantly less anxiety and depression.

By the end of the workshop, you should have:

The workshop draws on research undertaken at Sussex in the OfS/Research England project: Understanding the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Doctoral Researchers(U-DOC). Workshop participants will be asked to complete a short, anonymous pre and post workshop online evaluation, which will inform the project outcomes.

If you are a new doctoral supervisor (one PhD completion or less) and would like to book a place, please email with the subject "Supervisor Workshop".

Bookings will close on Monday 11th November and the attendees for the workshop will be emailed to confirm their place on the workshop.

This workshop will form one element of a new programme of support for Doctoral Supervisors, and will run again – for supervisors of levels of experience – in 2020.