Sussex Researcher School

October 2015


Doctoral Connections

Welcome from the Director of the Doctoral School


I'd like to offer a very warm welcome - and congratulations on obtaining a place to study at Sussex - to all our new doctoral researchers! And if you are returning, welcome back! It's a privilege for us to be working with you as you take on, and continue, this extraordinary - and sometimes daunting - commitment: a PhD.

As you will probably know by now, Sussex has a very large and diverse graduate community, with a research culture driven by disciplinary innovation and interdisciplinary problem-solving. As a doctoral researcher, you will make an invaluable contribution to that culture and to spirit of critical inquiry for which Sussex is renowned. From our side, it is always humbling to see the intellectual passion, the richness and initiative in the research proposals that come through to us. And, indeed, to see our researchers develop over the period of their studies. Continue reading...


Starting your doctorate at Sussex

For those of you just starting out on your doctoral journey, we hope you'll be able to join us at our welcome event on Wednesday 7th October. You'll get the chance to meet some of the key teams working with doctoral researchers at Sussex... Continue reading

Settling in at Sussex

Starting a doctorate can seem daunting, so if you're not sure where to start why not have a read of our suggestions for settling into life as a doctoral researcher at Sussex... Continue reading

Meet the new Sussex Research Hive Scholars

The Research Hive is a dedicated space for doctoral researchers at Sussex. Located on the top floor of the library, the Hive features plenty of desk space, wide screen desktop computers, and two private rooms that you can book for meetings or group work... Continue reading


Thesis Boot Camp comes to Sussex

Friday 4th Dec (16:00) – Sunday 6th December (20:30)

  • Are you a late candidature doctoral student struggling with the writing up battle?
  • Do you put off writing tasks until 'tomorrow'?
  • Are you finding it tough 'going it alone'?

Thesis Boot Camp is a no-excuses, no-time-for-procrastination intensive writing weekend designed specifically for late-stage doctoral researchers. Facilitated by Dr Peta Freestone and supported by the Researcher Development Team, the weekend will include motivational talks and introductory sessions on goal setting and strategies for writing quickly and well. Thesis Boot Camp researchers will then go on to battle through writer’s block and thesis fatigue to achieve significant progress on their manuscript.

A limited number of places are available and interested researchers must submit an application demonstrating how they meet the eligibility criteria for participation.

For further details, to read the eligibility criteria and to download an application form, please visit our Thesis Boot Camp webpage.

The deadline for applications is Friday 30th October.

Call for applications to the Researcher-Led Initiative Fund

We are pleased to announce that the Autumn call for applications to the Researcher-Led Initiative (RLI) Fund is now open.

The Researcher-Led Initiative (RLI) fund supports doctoral researchers and early career research staff to organise and run activities that will enhance their professional and research skills.

We are keen to sponsor initiatives that expand or build on current provision for researchers, and that benefit groups of researchers across Schools (although applications for initiatives benefiting a broad group of researchers at School level will also now be considered).

Types of activity that might be funded include:

  • Career development forum
  • Networking event, or regular networking forum
  • A seminar or conference programme
  • Journal club
  • A workshop to address a specific development need (not already offered at Sussex).

The fund is currently open for applications to be submitted by Friday 13th November.

Please see the Researcher-Led Initiative Fund webpage for further details, to read the guidance notes, and to apply online.

Do you have experience of using NVivo to analyse your qualitative research data?

The Researcher Development Programme team is looking for a doctoral researcher experienced in using NVivo to assist with a new practical Working with your data in NVivo one-day workshop, which will be taking place on Saturday 28th November.

The role will involve supporting individual researchers working through workshop exercises and following the training. If you’re interested in this paid opportunity, please e-mail, outlining your experience of using the software.

Santander Mobility Grants 2015

Applications are now being accepted for Santander Mobility Grants.

These grants provide pump priming to support research students and/or their supervisors to undertake visits to institutions within the Santander Network of 1,208 universities and research institutes in Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, Ghana, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, Spain, USA, UK, UAE and Uruguay. 

Visits could be for the purposes of:

  • Developing links with another research group;
  • Working on collaborative grant proposals (H2020, Newton Fund, Erasmus+, doctoral training centres);
  • Attending a symposium or workshop relevant to the research of the student or supervisor.

However, the focus of the scheme is to encourage collaboration between institutions.  The strongest applications will be able to clearly evidence how collaboration will be sustained.

In the current round there are 10 awards of £1000 (£500 per person) for visits within the UK or involving short-haul flights and 10 awards of £2000 (£1000 per person) for long-haul flights.

The deadline for applications is 16.00, Friday 30th October 2015.

For more information and how apply visit our Santander Mobility Grants page.

Interdisciplinary Research Events

CHEER/UMEA Doctoral Seminar - Neo-liberalism, Education and Changing Values - Apply for a place by 1st November

For all social science doctoral researchers at the University of Sussex, 14-17 March 2016

The Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER) and the Doctoral School, University of Sussex, UK along with The Postgraduate School of Educational Sciences, School of Education, Umeå University, Sweden, will work together for 4 days to examine theories, methodologies and doctoral work-in-progress. The free 4-day seminar will include:

  • Opportunities to present your work and receive feedback from international experts
  • Networking and knowledge exchange between Sussex and Umea students and faculty
  • Social events

Find out more


CHEER Doctoral Seminar on Inclusive Education and Ethnic Identity

Monday 2nd November 2015 (10.00) - Gallery 2, The Conference Centre, Bramber House

On Monday 2nd November, The Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER) and the Doctoral School will be hosting a keynote presentation by Dr Iulius Rostas (Visiting Lecturer at Corvinus University of Budapest and Associated Fellow with the Institute of Advanced Study at the Central European University) on the inclusiveness of education policies towards Roma using ethnic relevance as an indicator.

This is part of a series of events linked to the EU funded Higher Education Internationalisation and Mobility (HEIM) project. More information can be found on the HEIM website.

The month ahead

Doctoral School welcome event for new researchers

Wednesday 7th October (15.00 – 17.00) – The Terrace Room of the Conference Centre (3rd Floor, Bramber House)

Over 100 new doctoral researchers have already booked a place to attend our welcome event on 7th October. If you haven't already booked your place, why not sign up now to explore our exhibition of stands providing information and guidance on the support and opportunities available to you as you adapt to life as a doctoral researcher.

The event will open with a welcome from Professor Vicky Lebeau (Director of Doctoral Education), and you will have the chance to:

  • Meet key staff supporting the research community, and discover the activities, opportunities and support available for doctoral researchers
  • Collect your copy of the 2015-16 Researcher Development Programme brochure
  • Enjoy some refreshments, and get to know other new researchers from across the University

Book a place

Online webinar: welcome – for new doctoral researchers

Monday 19th October (13.00 – 14.00)

This short welcome webinar is intended for those unable to join us at our welcome event on 7th October.There will be a chance for you to ask questions, and find out more about the thriving doctoral research community.

Book a place

Research Hive Welcome Event

Thursday 15th October (17.00) - The Research Hive, then onto the IDS Bar

The new Sussex Research Hive Scholars invite new and existing doctoral researchers to meet, have fun, and learn from one another at their Welcome Event on Thursday 15th October.

The event starts at 17:00 at the Research Hive with quick talks by the Hive Scholars and invited guests.

Book a place

Researcher Development Programme: October

Many of our Researcher Development Programme workshops are fully booked for October, but you can add your name to the waiting lists via our All Events listing, as workshops are repeated throughout the year.

Workshops coming up in October include:

    • Literature searching using Web of Knowledge and Scopus: 8th Oct – fully booked, waiting list
    • Effective Researcher- 15th Oct- fully booked, waiting list
    • Keeping up to date in your subject- 16th Oct- fully booked, waiting list
    • Undertaking a literature review in the Arts & Humanities: 14th Oct- spaces available
    • Introduction to Open Access publishing: 19th October – spaces available
    • Practical tips to improve your academic writing- 21st Oct- fully booked, waiting list
    • Zotero Reference Management Tool – *New* online course for beginners with live chat (Week 1): 26th October- spaces available
    • Using technology to manage your research: 28th October- limited spaces available

Visit our webpages to book a place, or add your name to a waiting list.

Open Access: What Lies Ahead?

Tuesday 20th October (12.00 - 14.00) - The Library Meeting Room

With momentum gathering around open access, traditional channels of scholarly communications are being redefined. Universities are faced with new challenges in dealing with the changes across all disciplines. This seminar will explore two areas where these changes are being felt: The potential use of metrics to support the transition to a more open and accountable research system and how the shift to open access might impact on the authors of scholarly monographs.

Chaired by: Prof David Hendy - Professor of Media & Communication, University of Sussex


  • Prof James WilsdonProfessor of Science & Democracy, University of Sussex - "The MetricTide: How can we use responsible metrics to support open science?"
  • Dr James Baker  - Lecturer in Digital Humanities, University of Sussex - "Open Access monograph publishing for Arts, Humanities and Social Science Researchers"

Book a place.


Wednesday 7th October (doors at 19.30 for 20.00 start) - the upstairs function room of The Eagle, Brighton (BN1 4AF)

October Speakers:

  • Biochemistry: Rob Simmons, University of Sussex -  How X-ray crystal structures can be used to study viruses
  • Social Science: Bruno de Oliveira, University of Brighton - Manufactured to rot: Homelessness, democracy and well-being
  • Psychology: Marie Rogers, University of Sussex - Colourful language: can the language we speak influence how we see colour?

About PubhD: PubhD is a speaking event set where three PhD student speakers each have 10 minutes to talk about their subject area to an interested audience in a pub. Find out more about PubhD

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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Sussex Researcher School