Queen Mary was one of 17 successful institutions that received funding from Research England and the Office for Students to improve support for the mental health and wellbeing of postgraduate researchers.
The project ran between April 2018 and January 2020 and Queen Mary is committed to continuing to offer the initiatives launched during that time.
The majority of attendees reported:
79% of attendees:
The interim results of the project were presented at the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference 2019 as a Catalyst Fund poster - 2019 Vitae International Conference [PDF 1,754KB].
The results from the PhD Support Groups have been published as an article: Panayidou, F. and Priest, B. (2021), "Enhancing postgraduate researcher wellbeing through support groups", Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education.
Slides with notes for the trainer and participant workbooks for all workshops
Queen Mary University of London worked with the Charlie Waller Trust to develop the following training sessions for PhD students and PhD supervisors during this project:
The PhD sessions, tailored for researchers in their first, second and third years, cover topics from stress management to self-compassion and optimism for the future. Practical tools, such as mapping a support network, are designed to help researchers manage emotional pressures, acknowledging that this is as important as academic skills training in navigating the PhD journey successfully.
The workshop for supervisors and staff supporting PGRs was designed to enhance pastoral support and increase mental health awareness. The training includes guidance on recognising signs of poor mental health, practical advice on talking and listening to students in crisis and highlights the importance of caring for your own mental wellbeing as a supervisor.
The resources for these training sessions are free to download and have been updated to include recommendations on online delivery.
The project manager was Dr Magda Chanopoulou, Head of Student Life. The training initiatives and evaluation of the project were led by Dr Fryni Panayidou, Researcher Development Adviser (PGRs) in the Researcher Development team.