Sussex Researcher School

Celebrating Researcher Success

We are keen to share your successes with the wider doctoral community, and will be using this monthly slot to celebrate and highlight some of your achievements. If you have any news for this section get in touch with us at

Andrea Brock Elected New Chair of Sussex Postgraduate Association

Congratulations to International Relations Doctoral Researcher, Andrea Brock, newly elected Chair of the Postgraduate Association (PGA).  

The PGA represents all postgraduate taught and research students, and you are automatically a member. The Association aims to campaign and lobby on issues affecting the membership; research and represent the views of Sussex postgraduates; foster a sense of community and empowerment by facilitating peer-to-peer support and interaction and organising a programme of social activities. You can find out more about the PGA on the USSU website.

Twenty doctoral researchers in Schools across the university have also been elected as your Postgraduate Research Reps. These researchers have an important role in finding out about the experience of doctoral researchers, and raising and highlighting issues at department, School and University level, to effect positive changes.

See the Student Rep webpages to find out who your School students rep are.

Santander Mobility Fund grant awarded to Laura Cofield and her supervisor

We are pleased to announce that doctoral researcher Laura Cofield from the School of History, Art History and Philosophy and her supervisor Dr Lucy Robinson have been awarded a grant from the Santander Mobility Fund to undertake some research at the Fales Library in New York.

It is hoped that following this visit an agreement will be signed between both institutions to explore the possibility of 3 month long doctoral placements at the Library archives for future scholars.

My Research Internship Experience: Rebecca Partos

Rebecca Partos has kindly shared with us her experience of undertaking a very successful internship at the Home Office. Rebecca is an ESRC-funded doctoral researcher and associate tutor in Law, Politics & Sociology and spent six exciting and hard-working months on an ESRC internship.

"This year, I bravely ventured off the University of Sussex campus and spent six months as a Research Officer at the Home Office, the department which helps to put together government policy on immigration, policing and terrorism. I worked within the European Migration Network (EMN) team, which is part of the Migration and Border Analysis Unit – and particularly suitable for me as my doctoral research considers the development of British immigration policy. The scheme was kindly funded by the ESRC.

I spent time working with experienced researchers (many of whom had PhDs) on bringing together existing evidence on migration policy. The pace of work was extremely fast, with substantial pieces of work scheduled to be completed within just a few days. I worked on briefings for colleagues and senior members of staff, helped organise a workshop on detention policy and put together research packs with economists and statisticians. One piece of work even made it into a submission to the Home Secretary.

I was lucky enough to be able to attend an EMN meeting in Brussels as a UK representative, in which different methods of comparing migration policies across EU countries were examined. I was also able to give a presentation of my research to my Unit – and was given much helpful feedback and suggestions for contacts and further research.

I am a much more efficient researcher now and certainly better able to bring together diverse sources into a concise and comprehensible piece of work. My Home Office supervisor and colleagues were very supportive of my doctoral research and gave me time off when I had scheduled interviews with former ministers and civil service staff. Most importantly, perhaps, I have a much better understanding of how policy is made, how evidence is used, and how unforeseen events can interfere with the process of policy-making.

It was difficult working full-time in London, commuting daily from Brighton and keeping up with writing papers for my own research. (While I was not working on my doctoral research for the period in question, I could not say no to the conferences and other opportunities that came up!) Nonetheless, the experience was greatly rewarding and of enormous use to me as a researcher; I would highly recommend the experience."

Find out more about the ESRC student internship scheme.



Sussex Researcher School