Sussex Researcher School

What do you do?

There are many staff in professional services across campus working to support doctoral researchers. In this regular item we will be highlighting a staff member and service supporting the doctoral community & telling you a bit more about their role, and how they can help you.

Name: Danny WeddupImage of Danny Weddup, Student Life Advisor
Role: Student Life Advisor
Department/Division: Student Centre

What do you do?

I work in the Student Centre as a Student Life Advisor, providing information, advice, and guidance to all Sussex students, including doctoral researchers.

Students can contact the Student Centre to discuss any issues, difficulties or concerns related to their life as a student at Sussex, whether personal, financial, or course-related.

Our role is to ensure that if you run into problems whilst at Sussex you receive the appropriate guidance and support. Beyond the resources available within the Student Centre itself, we also make referrals to a wide range of specialised services both on campus and across Brighton & Hove.

The bulk of my work is made up of 1:1 appointments with students, including doctoral researchers. I also attend School induction events, including inductions organised by the Doctoral School, and University Open Days, where I provide information to new and prospective students about the support available from the Student Centre, and work with colleagues to give advice on student funding.

I am the ‘link’ Advisor for Global Studies and BMEC, but I also see students from all other Schools of study. I am a named Advisor for LGBTQ students at Sussex, though students are free to book in with any Advisor as they prefer.

What support do you offer to doctoral researchers?

The Student Centre offers the same level of support to doctoral researchers as is available for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students, but we have an understanding of the particular challenges that are involved in carrying out doctoral research.

Services available to doctoral researchers at the Student Centre include

  • 1:1 bookable appointments with a Student Life Advisor
  • A drop-in service at our reception in Bramber House for queries, questions and signposting to other services.
  • 1:1 budgeting advice from our Student Money Advisor
  • Bookable drop-in counselling appointments

The Student Centre also administers the University’s Student Hardship Fund, a limited fund to which doctoral researchers in unexpected hardship can apply.

How can doctoral researchers get in touch?

There are lots of ways to access the services available at the Student Centre.

Doctoral researchers can get in touch by dropping in to our reception on the Ground Floor of Bramber House, which is open Monday – Friday from 9.00 – 5.00.

Researchers can also book a 1:1 appointment with a Student Life Advisor using Sussex Direct, by clicking on the ‘Study’ menu, and then selecting ‘Student Life’ and ‘Student Centre’. You can then choose which Advisor you would like to see, at a time that is convenient for you.

You can also get in touch with the Student Centre by sending an e-mail to or calling 01273 876767.

What's the most common question you are asked by doctoral researchers?

We tend to work with complex issues rather than straightforward questions. Common issues and themes in our work with doctoral researchers include:

  • Difficulties striking the right balance between work life and social life
  • Challenges around occupying multiple roles at the University
  • Relationship difficulties with colleagues and peers
  • Concerns about progress
  • Barriers to carrying out research
  • Setbacks and frustrations
  • Money worries

If a doctoral researcher does have a question relating to life as a student at Sussex we will do our best to answer it straight away at our front desk in Bramber House.

Sussex Researcher School