Welcome to our weekly update about news and upcoming events for the PGR community.

Don’t forget that if you have any requests for support or would like to see any specific sessions offered by the Doctoral School, please get in touch via doctoralschool@shu.ac.uk – we’d be pleased to hear from you.

  1. Research update – Guidance for Research & Knowledge Exchange during the Covid-19 Pandemic
  2. PGR Wellbeing Sessions – Wednesday 15 July
  3. Save the Date – Online Workshop on Academic Writing: Reduce Anxiety
  4. ‘Opening up’ of our PGR Virtual Café


1.   Research update – Guidance for Research & Knowledge Exchange during the Covid-19 Pandemic

We have brought together a supplementary guidance document available via this linked document that supports our academics and research students in continuing or returning to research and knowledge exchange activity and engagements. This is in addition to guidance provided by the UK government, professional research bodies and by the University, and emphasises our commitment to maintaining the health and safety of our staff and students.  The guidance includes a reminder of the risk assessment process, not a request for a new assessment, as you may already have engaged with the risk assessment process within your Research Institute.  PGR students should return all required risk assessments to their Director of Studies as per their local process.

The University will also be launching a new web area that will extend this guidance to bring up to date information on all aspects of our research and knowledge exchange activity, including returning to our sites, labs and makers spaces, latest Government guidance and legislation, training and the latest news of interest to our R&I community.

All information on processes relating to the current Covid-19 situation can be accessed via the Research Degrees Blackboard organisation site in the Coronavirus Documents folder.


2.  PGR Wellbeing Sessions – Wednesday 15 July

The PGR Wellbeing group was established in 2019 with support from the Hallam Guild to develop a better shared understanding of the specific needs of PGR students, the support available and best practice approaches, activities and interventions.  It is important that both PGR students and their supervisors know what help is available to support their wellbeing and feel confident in accessing the appropriate services and resources.

We are running two online sessions on 15 July with representatives from different areas with a role in supporting PGR and/or supervisor wellbeing.  The sessions will consist of a brief introduction to each area of support and how to access it followed by a panel discussion and opportunity for you to ask questions.

PGR student session: Wednesday 15 July | 2 – 3 pm online |  Book via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pgr-wellbeing-session-for-pgr-students-tickets-112262754922

PGR supervisor session 15 July | 4 – 5 pm online | Book via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pgr-wellbeing-session-for-supervisors-tickets-112263011690

The details about the panellists will be confirmed shortly and you will be able to submit questions in advance.

Links to various sources of support can be found in section 4 of the SHU PGR handbook.


3.  Save the Date – Online Workshop on Academic Writing: Reduce Anxiety

We are hoping to run a 3-hr online workshop on 16 July Academic Writing: Reduce Anxiety.   Further details and a booking link will be advertised shortly.


4.  ‘Opening up’ of our PGR Virtual Café

From Friday 17 July we’re making some changes to our PGR Virtual Café.  We’re opening them up in terms of widening opportunities to connect with more people.  Our café concept will be shifting from paired random coffee-style sessions to group-based informal coffee catch up sessions.  The aim is to offer more virtual spaces for informal catch ups with community peers.  You can drop in or stay for the whole session between 9.00 and 10.00 am on Friday mornings to say “hi”, share ideas and experiences or just have a chat with other PGR students.

For now, we’ll be running these for PGR students but if there is an appetite we’re happy to open up a virtual café for PGR supervisors (supervisors, please let us know if you would be interested in this type of regular session at doctoralschool@shu.ac.uk).


Don’t forget that you can find help and information about supporting your wellbeing via the University website on https://www.shu.ac.uk/current-students/student-support/student-wellbeing

Look after yourselves and each other

Nicola, Elizabeth and Liz