Undertaking a doctoral qualification is a time of significant personal and professional growth. This page, written and maintained by a Postgraduate Research (PGR) student member of the University Research Committee, aims to connect students with resources that others have found helpful and which can provide support with common practical and emotional challenges that PGRs experience. It will also host comment and encouragement from St Mary’s PGRs who are at various stages of their doctoral journey, supplementing support from supervisory teams and St Mary’s other services.
St Mary’s Researcher Development Programme provides a broad range of development opportunities to meet students’ needs at different stages of their research. Toward the start of your research, you may like to supplement those events and your supervisory meetings with other resources to learn about the process of doctoral research as a whole, helping you prepare for the tasks ahead.
It is important to make space for reflection amid the personal and professional growth that doctoral research can bring. This growth may come through the practical and emotional challenges of research. Support is available within and beyond St Mary’s to help students thrive.
The Wellbeing Service offer a range of information and advice on wellbeing during your studies. The Wellbeing Service offers you somewhere to discuss, in confidence, any concerns you have that may affect your studies or your time at University.
The Chaplaincy is a place to discover and nurture your faith, have conversations and build friendships. The Chaplaincy creates a culture of dialogue, providing social activities and collaborating on charitable outreach. All are welcome.
Other resources relating to common PhD experiences, which some students find helpful:
- LinkedIn Learning:
- The PhD Life Raft Podcast:
In addition to these resources, your supervisors and the research lead for your school are points of contact for support during your research.
Students may undertake research alongside many other life commitments. This, along with the independent nature of doctoral research, may lead students to feel isolated from a wider research community at times. Alongside St Mary’s support and community, some students benefit from connecting with online resources such as podcasts which discuss many aspects of the doctoral research experience.
St Mary’s will support you with your career. Focusing on your career aims during your doctoral research can help increase your impact and motivation.
The Careers Service is here to help you if you want to seek opportunities during your PhD or if you want to talk confidentially to someone impartial about your next steps after you've completed your doctorate.
In addition, other online resources such as these can help you reflect on your aspirations during and after your research: