Sussex Researcher School

Online PhD peer support groups

Studying for a doctorate is exciting but it can also be challenging, and having support from other researchers who share your experiences and understand what you're going through can be hugely beneficial.

***PLEASE NOTE: This scheme is currently closed. Please contact us at if you have any questions or would like advice on connecting with other researchers in the postgraduate researcher (PGR) community.***


Our U-DOC research into PGR mental health shows that staying in touch with other researchers throughout your PhD can help combat isolation, provide motivation and improve your wellbeing, as well as boost your research. 

Developed by Sussex PGR Claire Durrant, whose own online support network has proved invaluable, our guide and accompanying webinar set out steps you can take to form a successful group. Fill in the form and we will match you with two or three others who best meet your needs.

Think carefully about what you want from a support group - is it important that you're all in the same discipline? Do you want to be paired with other part time researchers, or other parents? What about your research area? 

Which online platform you use, how often you meet, and what topics you discuss are for your group to decide - use the advice on setting up an online group to guide you.

We'll check in after two weeks and, if the group isn't a good fit, we can match you with different researchers. We'll also check in at the end of the academic year, to make sure you're still on track.

If you have any questions about completing this form, please contact

Sussex Researcher School