Sussex Researcher School

December 2015


Doctoral Connections: The Newsletter of the Sussex Doctoral School


Christmas Break

Christmas is nearly upon us and for some this will mean staying on campus, and perhaps working towards doctoral-related goals for the festive period, while others will be taking a well-earned break away... Continue reading

Our First Thesis Boot Camp

Last weekend 25 later stage doctoral researchers from across campus gathered for our very first and very successful Thesis Boot Camp... Continue reading

Profile: Helen Quin and Joanne Chee - International Student Support

Did you know that there are more than 4000 international students at Sussex and over 130 nationalities on campus?

This month, we met with Helen Quin and Joanne Chee from the International Student Support Office, who talked to us about the work they do and shared with us their Christmas Guide for international students staying at Sussex over the festive period... Continue reading


Doctoral researchers shortlisted for Political Studies Association (PSA) 'Total Exposure' initiative

Congratulations and good luck to School of Law, Politics and Sociology doctoral researchers Jess Garland, Rebecca Partos, Sam Power and Jake Watts whose pitch ‘How to build a party’ has been shortlisted for the Total Exposure Grand Pitching Event at The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) in London on 28th January 2016.

Total Exposure is a new initiative from the Political Studies Association designed to bring international broadcasters and political scientists together in order to create TV and radio programmes that underline why the study of politics matters.

At the Grand Pitching Event in January Jess, Rebecca, Sam and Jake will be filmed while they present their pitch to a panel of international broadcast commissioners including the BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4.

With the exception of only one other, the Sussex doctoral researchers were the only PhD students to get through to the final stage.

Doctoral researcher curates exhibit at National Portrait Gallery

Congratulations to School of History, Art History and Philosophy doctoral researcher Lizzie Heath, who has put together an exhibit on George Scharf at the National Portrait Gallery as part of her Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Collaborative Doctoral Project.

The exhibition George Scharf and his Circles: the National Portrait Gallery and the Victorian art world runs until 20th March 2016.

Update on 2015-16 PGR Reps

Following on from our article in the November issue of Doctoral Connections, we’re pleased to announce that further doctoral researchers have now been confirmed as Student Reps for the forthcoming academic year.

You can find out more on the Doctoral School's Help and Support webpage

The Student Rep scheme is co-run by the University of Sussex and the University of Sussex Students’ Union. Student Reps provide an essential link between Students, the Union and the University. PGR Student Reps are doctoral students, elected by fellow students or self-nominated, to represent the views and interests of doctoral researchers in their subject.

Reps find out about issues impacting on students’ studies and experience. They may raise these informally with individual members of staff or more formally at department, school, and university level committees in order to effect positive change.

Find out more about the scheme here:

Autumn Researcher-Led Initiative (RLI) Awards

We are delighted to announce that nine researcher-led initiatives have been awarded funding following the Autumn call for applications.

The successful initiatives are:

  • Lidia Cabral (Institute of Development Studies) for Rising Powers Young Researchers Network Conference
  • Nicolas Farina (BSMS) for a regular networking forum The Postdoctoral Network
  • Paul Fisher (School of English) for British Consortium of Comics Scholars: Graphic Scholarship Day.
  • Paul Gilbert (School of Global Studies) for the workshop Confronting Elite Anthropology: Collaboration, Hostility and Critique
  • Martin Jung (School of Life Sciences) for Interdisciplinary quantitative analysis group
  • Sofia Kesidou (School of Business, Management and Economics) for 22nd SPRU Dphil Day
  • Jackson Nash (School of Media, Film and Music) for a half-day panel event Critical Perspectives on ‘The Transgender Tipping Point’
  • Chelsea Olsen (School of English) and Laura Cofield (School of History, Art History and Philosophy) for NGender 2016 Feminist Film and Talk Series and Conference
  • Joe Watson (School of Media, Film and Music) for a doctoral colloquium as part of the International Conference on Live Interfaces

The next call for applications to the fund will open on Monday 25th January 2016 with a deadline of Friday 18th March.

Visit the funding pages of the Doctoral School website to find out more about the Researcher-Led Initiative Fund and other funding opportunities for doctoral researchers at Sussex.

Doctoral researchers invited to illuminate kindness through their research

As featured in a recent Sussex news item, on World Kindness Day (13th November) doctoral researchers at Sussex were invited to apply for an award to support them in giving a conference presentation on research that is relevant to the topic of kindness. Applications are invited for funding of up to £1,000 to support the costs of presenting the research at a national or international conference.

Successful applicants will be asked to write a short blog about their work and also to contribute to a kindness symposium for a non-specialist audience, timed to coincide with next year’s World Kindness Day (13 November 2016).

The deadline for applications is 31st January 2016.

Student-Led Teaching Award - now open for nominations

The Student-Led Teaching Awards are now open for nominations. The awards are a partnership between the University and the University of Sussex Students’ Union, and they are your opportunity to say “thank you” to staff who have made a difference to your experience of teaching and learning at Sussex.

Categories of award include:

  • Outstanding or Innovative Postgraduate Teaching
  • Outstanding or Innovative Assessment and Feedback
  • Outstanding Support for the Learning Experience of Students
  • Outstanding Professional Services Support for the Learning Experience of Students

Nominations can be made online via the Students’ Union webpages by Friday 18th March 2016.

British Library Doctoral Student Open Days 2016

The British Library have announced a series of Open Days for Doctoral Students, taking place in January and February 2016.

These Open Days are a chance for doctoral researchers to discover the British Library’s unique research materials. They are designed to explain the practicalities of using the Library and its services, and to help you navigate the physical and online collections. You will also hear from expert staff and have the opportunity to meet other researchers in all disciplines. Places cost £5.00 including lunch.

Interdisciplinary Research Events

Call for Papers - Rising Powers Young Researchers Conference

Taking place on 1st March 2016, the organisers of the Rising Powers Young Researchers Conference would like to invite you to submit completed papers or substantial abstracts (4-7 pages) on the broad topic of Emerging Trends Within and Roles of Rising Powers in Global Development.

Download the full Call for Papers to find out more.

If you are interested in presenting, please send your submission to and by the deadline of 15 January 2015. Presenters will be notified in late January if their abstracts have been accepted, and papers/presentations will be required by 17 February 2016.

The month ahead

Researcher Development Programme: Spring 2016

Most of our Spring Term Researcher Development Programme workshops are now open for booking.

You can browse the list of events coming up via our Events listing, or add your name to a waiting list through our All Events page.

Don’t forget we also provide a range of online modules and resources, which you can access at any time. Find out more on our Researcher Development Online webpage.

Keep in touch & get involved

Doctoral Connections is produced by the Doctoral School, for all current doctoral researchers at the University of Sussex. You can find out more about the Doctoral School through our webpages, and keep up-to-date with what's going on by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

We'd really love to hear your ideas for future issues of Doctoral Connections. Why not get in touch with us by sending an e-mail to You can also fill in our online feedback form at any time.

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