Author: Sarah R-H

PGRs: Rate the Students’ Union and review the year

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A message from the Sussex Students’ Union…

Students' Union logoYou can rate the Students’ Union via our annual online survey –

Whether you love the Students’ Union, hate us or are indifferent, we’re really keen to hear your thoughts. You can comment on a range of services and activities to help ensure they reflect a broad range of student opinions. You could also win a cash prize!

Tomorrow (Friday 7 June) the Students’ Union are holding an end-of-year review meeting. All members are invited to attend to hear about what the Union has been doing, what we have planned and put your questions to the Full-time Officers. This meeting is the Union’s Annual Members’ Meeting to which all students are invited.

What do you want to find out? Come along and ask your question:

  • Why do I have to pay to join a sports club?
  • How much money will be spent on Student Reps next year?
  • How did the Union choose its campaigns this year?
  • What are the plans for the Falmer House Common Room?

There will be a presentation in the Falmer House Common Room at 4pm, followed by a opportunity to ask the Full-time Officers questions.

You can join this event on Facebook –

There is more information online including details of our accounts and budget plus reports from each of the Full-time Officers at

You can subscribe to fortnightly emails from the Students’ Union to hear more about events, news and what we’re working on. You can sign up at

Sussex PGRs: Organisers wanted for Postgraduate Association Conference!

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Today’s post is from Akin Oyawale, the Chair of the Postgraduate Association at Sussex…

USSUfalmerHse2Dear PGA Member,

This is to inform you that the Postgraduate Association will hold a small 1-day Postgraduate Conference based on the topic: ‘how can we create a postgraduate students’ community at Sussex?’

The conference may discuss AT issues, PG networking and funding, postgraduate social events among other things. This is just a broad suggestion as it will be up to the working group to decide the content of the conference and how it is structured.

The date of the programme is most likely between June and July 2013 and the PGA is looking for a small group of PGT and PGR students (possibly between 6-8 students) who will be willing to help organize the conference.

Your response is required by latest next week so preparations can begin in earnest.


Akin Oyawale,

Postgraduate Association Chair,
University of Sussex Students’ Union

T: 01273 678641
Tw: @ussupga

Researcher Development Programme: June workshops

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Summer 2013 programme of workshops and development opportunities


June workshops for the RDP are listed below. If you find the workshop of your choice is fully booked, it’s worth adding your name to the waiting lists as places may become available. These activities are free, but booking is essential. Book your place. If you have any questions about our workshops please get in touch with us at

3rd June 13.30-17.00 – Presenting and Performing your Paper

This highly participative theatre-style workshop will use techniques borrowed from the stage to teach you how to make the best use of your voice, control your nerves, deal with the unexpected, control your body language, and perform your academic paper.

4th June 10.30-12.30 Managing your Research Data: how to plan, organise, keep safe and share your data

How safe is your research data? What would happen if you lost it all? This session will help you to consider where and how to store your data to keep it safe, find other datasets that might save you time and discover how your data can be shared to increase your citations.

4th June 14.00-16.30 – Creating a Blog with WordPress

This hands-on session will take you through the basic process of creating a blog with WordPress, from initial setup through to your very first post. Participants should have a basic level of technical knowledge and have a blog idea ready, along with some content to publish.

4th June 16.00-18.30 – Save a Life: First Aid Training with the Red Cross

The course will show participants how to recognise and deal with someone who is choking, someone who is unconscious, someone who is not breathing and someone who is in cardiac arrest. It will be a very practical course giving everyone the chance to practise various skills.

5th June 09.15-17.15 – Tell the World About It! Media Training for Researchers

This workshop is run by two ex-BBC journalists and will benefit researchers wishing to gain media interest in their research, or to present their work to non-academic audiences. You’ll learn what the media want, how to identify and present ‘media-friendly’ elements in your research and how to deal with difficult questions in interviews.

10th June 13.00-15.15 – Writing your Thesis (for Doctoral Researchers in the Social Sciences)

Do you need advice or tips on how to write your thesis? This workshop is designed for both researchers who are about to start writing and those who have already begun. Suitable for Social Sciences researchers in their 2nd year and above.

11th June 14.00-16.30 – Making the Most of Conferences

Are you due to attend your first academic conference? Come along to find out how to make the most of your conference experience, hear tips from experienced researchers, and learn how to effectively prepare for conference attendance.

12th June 14.00-17.00 – Working with your Supervisor

Would you like to be able to communicate more clearly, listen more effectively, and be more confident in building and maintaining your professional and academic relationships? This session will help you deal with any current communication issues and make the most of supervisory and professional relationships throughout your doctorate and beyond.

17th June 10.00-17.00 – Becoming an Effective Researcher

This one-day workshop aims to enhance your effectiveness as a doctoral researcher by building your understanding, skills and confidence in communication, time management, problem solving, and assertiveness. The workshop will cover the keys skills required of a researcher, such as project management, working effectively with others, and managing professional relationships. Suitable for 1st and 2nd year researchers.

17th June 11.00-12.30 – Developing your Sussex Online Profile

Within this session you will receive support to set up and develop your online researcher profile, a useful tool in promoting yourself and your research. We will cover what sort of information you should include, how to make the most of it, and provide guidance in setting up and maintaining your profile.

18th and 19th June 09.30-16.30 – Creativity in Academic Writing

This two-day writing workshop gives you an opportunity to reflect on your academic studies, your writing processes and yourself as an academic writer. We will introduce creative writing techniques such as freewriting and finding your writing voice to improve your own academic writing.

18th June and 25th June 14.00-16.00 – Advanced Presentation Skills (Arts and Humanities)

This two-part workshop covers advanced presentation skills, and how to present complex research data, techniques and ideas. Participants will receive guidance, advice and feedback in how to design and deliver a presentation. Suitable for Arts and Humanities researchers in their 2nd year and above.

19th June 14.00-17.00 – Preparing to Complete your Doctorate

How can you effectively prepare for the final year of your research studies? How do you ensure that you stay on track, overcome obstacles, and get over the final hurdles of submitting your thesis and undertaking your Viva? For those researchers preparing to complete their doctorate, this workshop will help you.

24th June 10.30-12.00 – Publishing Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences

This is an eye-opening lecture on academic publishing in the 21st century, covering the state of the market for scholarly publications, online publishing, open access and more. The lecture is packed with insights into editors’ decision-making and strategies for maximising the chances of publication in a competitive climate. There will be opportunities for questions and discussion.

26th June 14.00-17.00 – Taking Control: Time, Project and Stress Management

Are you in the later stages of your research studies? Perhaps working part time and/or teaching as well, whilst trying to maintain a life outside your doctorate? In this session we will equip you with time and project management tools which will increase your personal effectiveness and help you to manage your doctoral research and responsibilities.

26th June 14.30-16.30 – Does your Research Require Ethical Review?

This practical workshop will cover the key principles of undertaking ethical research, and how to go about obtaining university ethical approval for your research project. There will be an opportunity to consider some case studies and to ask questions about your own research.

27th June 10.00-12.00 – Introduction to Poster Presentations

This workshop is an opportunity to consider poster presentation: what you want from your poster, how are you to go about producing it, and what level of effort to invest in it. We will have past posters put up around the room, with opportunities for viewing and criticism.

BBQ tomorrow: now at East Slope Bar! Plus drinks voucher offers.

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Change of Venue

The weather forecast is not great, so we have initiated our rain plan! The BBQ will go ahead, now at East Slope Bar, rather than Falmer Bar. East Slope bar will be closed to the public for the afternoon, and the premises entirely used for our BBQ! Plenty of inside space should it be required, and a covered outdoor cooking area – what’s not to like?

Drinks Vouchers exchange rate

Your drinks vouchers can be used at both bars tomorrow, and will also be accepted in Falmer Bar tomorrow evening should you wish to use them there for the Cocktail night.

Pool your vouchers for more! Get together with pals, and for 5 x drinks vouchers you can get either a bottle or Cava or two jugs of Pimm’s. Bargain.voucheroffer

Apply to be a Hive Scholar: 3 x £3k bursaries for 2013-14

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The Library and Doctoral School are now recruiting for next year’s Hive Scholar roles. There are three, ten-month Scholarships with an attached bursary of £3k, and the deadline for applications is Thursday 6th June 2013. Full details available on the Hive Scholar recruitment page of the Doctoral School website.

SAGE Research Hive Scholarships 2013-14

Hive Hexagonal Heads
Illustration by Jaime Huxtable, Brighton

The Library’s Research Hive is a space dedicated for use by the research community at Sussex, open exclusively to doctoral researchers and academic staff. The Library, in partnership with the Doctoral School, is offering three SAGE Research Hive Scholarships to support the Research Hive and the needs of the research community at Sussex. Each scholarship attracts a fixed bursary of £3,000 for a ten-month duration: from September 2013 to the end of June 2014.

The scholarship holders will be required to contribute on average 25 hours per month for the duration of the scholarship period to provide support for the Research Hive. These hours will be flexible and dependent on any planned events. Some of this time will be spent on-site in the Hive at times to be agreed, but the Scholars will also be expected to spend time in Schools and Departments finding out about the needs of the research community at Sussex and actively promoting the Hive. The Scholars will need to work together effectively and flexibly as a self-managing team, including regular contact by email/other social media and monthly face-to-face meetings. The role will include some evening and weekend working, with emphasis on raising awareness of the Research Hive and the benefits it has to offer; generating ideas and arranging events to support the research community; and evaluating the facility.

These scholarships will provide an ideal opportunity for doctoral researchers to develop professional skills in a number of areas including: organising events; marketing; communication; project management.  The scholarship holders will be able to improve and expand their professional research networks, and to gain valuable insight and knowledge of issues affecting researchers at all stages of their careers. There will also be an opportunity to find out more about academic publishing and develop links with SAGE.

How to apply

Read the Hive Scholar specification 2013-14.

The scholarships are open to Sussex doctoral researchers who are currently registered and intend to stay registered until June 2014. Applications should take the form of a statement clearly outlining how you meet the criteria listed in the person specification, together with a short CV, and be sent

The closing date for applications is Thursday 6th June, and interviews will be held on Thursday 20th and Friday 28th June. Please specify if you are unable to make one of these dates in your application.  Although the scholarship will not begin until September, the successful candidates will ideally be able to meet informally during July. For an informal discussion about the scholarships, please contact Joanna Ball, Academic Services Manager ( or Helen Webb, Research Support Supervisor (

Thank you for taking part in PRES

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A big thank you to all of those who completed the recent Postgraduate Research Experience Survey which closed last week. A total of 472 doctoral researchers completed the survey, around 34% of the overall population . The data will be analysed over the summer, and a report considered at the Doctoral School Committee meeting (which is chaired by the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, and involves all School Directors of Doctoral Studies) in the early autumn term.

If you still need to collect your voucher please come and find us in room 208 sorry, that’s room 238! of Essex House (top floor). We have also received over £100 in donations for the Alumni Hardship and Opportunity Fund.

HEA and US logos for PRES

NatureJobs Career Expo 2013: London, 19th September

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Nature Jobs Career Expo 2013Naturejobs Career Expo 2013 will take place in London on 19th September.

The event is focused on providing career opportunities for young, science based researchers.

• FREE exhibition

• 50+ employers expected

• Networking opportunities

• Insightful conference sessions • In-depth company workshops • One on one CV reviews

Please refer to the event website for more details:

Mindfulness and food research, 22 May in Lewes

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Tasting Mindfulness

tasting mindfulnessWed 22 May, 10:00 – 15:15
Lewes Subud Centre, Station Street, Lewes BN7 2DB

In brief, it promises to be a really worthwhile and enjoyable day for anyone interested in the psychological, emotional and behavioural aspects of eating – and food education, research and activism.  The focus of the workshop will be on directly experiencing mindful eating practices and exploring them together.

Explore how mindfulness meditation and cognitive therapy can inform food research, education and activism


    • 10.00 Arrival and refreshments
    • 10.30 Welcome and warm up
    • 10.50 Introduction to mindfulness
    • 11.30 Chocolate meditation
    • 12.00 Body scan and mindful movement
    • 12.30 Silent lunch gathering
    • 1.15 Exploring foods we dislike
    • 1.50 Mindful eating in pairs
    • 2.20-2.50 Exploring applications to our own work
    • 2.50-3.15 Check out and evaluation

Download the Tasting Mindfulness 22-05-13 poster, or take a look at out facebook page.

Tickets are £6 and available from our page on eventbrite

Many thanks,

Rachael Durrant, MA Cantab, MA SDA
Doctoral Researcher (Sustainable Lifestyles)
SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research)
University of Sussex Freeman Centre,

Final day for Sussex PGRs to have their say: PRES closes at midnight tonight

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PRES closes at midnight tonight – last chance to have your say about your experience of being a PGR at Sussex!

HEA and US logos for PRESPostgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES): Have your say and receive a £5 food voucher  (or donate £5 to the Alumni Hardship and Opportunity Fund)

The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey gives you a chance to share your views on what it’s like to do a research degree at Sussex. The survey asks you about things like supervision, resources, research culture, progress and assessment, responsibilities, research skills, professional development, opportunities and overall experience.

PRES is the only national survey of postgraduate research students and so the only way for us to compare how we are doing against the national average, and to make changes that will improve your experience in the future.

How do I take part?

You can complete the survey anonymously at:

What happens to the results?

Survey results will be disseminated to the Doctoral School Committee (whose remit is to oversee the delivery of provision for postgraduate research students and postdoctoral research staff, including their educational and career development) and Directors of Doctoral Studies within each School. Collective responses about the need for improvement will help the university to work to make things better.

Who should I contact for further information?

Helen Hampson, Researcher Development Officer (TLDU) is coordinating the survey. Please contact her for further information at

Online resources for Sussex Researchers

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e-learningThe Researcher Development Programme offers a range of E-Learning modules specifically designed for doctoral researchers at Sussex. These modules are free to access, and provide the opportunity to learn and develop new research skills at a time and place that suits you.

The full list of modules is as follows:

Technical Programs and Software

    • Building a website with WordPress
    • Building your academic web presence
    • Document preparation with LaTeX
    • Introduction to UNIX
    • Managing your research with Evernote
    • Qualitative data analysis with NVivo
    • Using Mendeley to manage your references
    • Using Scrivener to write your thesis
    • Using Zotero at Sussex

Writing Skills and Support

    • Getting your book published
    • Writing an article
    • Writing tips for researchers (COMING SOON)
    • Writing your thesis (COMING SOON)

Research Skills

    • Writing a literature review
    • Preparing for your Viva

Communication and Presentation Skills

    • Better presentations
    • Effective communication

Personal Development

    • Preparing for a conference
    • Time and project management

The Researcher Development Programme also offers a number of Resources and Videos on a wide variety of topics to help you with your doctoral research. These include short films on giving good presentations, preparing for the viva, improving your writing and tips for becoming a successful research student.

Visit the Researcher Development E-Learning site on Study Direct to see all the E-Learning modules and videos that are on offer. Further modules are being developed, so if you would like to suggest a topic or provide any feedback please contact us at