Mental Health and mindfulness – two PGR-led sessions

Two events, in February and March, offer Postgraduate Researchers different forms of support for maintaining wellbeing and managing stress. These events are developed for and by PGRs. Follow the title links for further details and  to book a place:

Peers for PhDs – February Session – Protecting your Mental Health

Tue, February 19, 2019   12:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Natasha Bradley presents Peers for PhDs – February Session – Protecting your Mental Health

Peers for PhDs is a group for PhD students at the University of Liverpool. We host regular peer-led support sessions with a different theme each month – instead of facing common PhD challenges in isolation, we can learn from each other and find ways to get the most out of the PhD journey. This month the theme is ‘Protecting Your Mental Health’. We know that undertaking a PhD is risky for your mental health, but do we know what positive steps we can take to maintain wellbeing and resilience? 

Lunch is included – we have the room from 12 and will start our group discussion at 12.30.

Becoming a mindful researcher

Fri, 15 March 2019  09:30 – 12:30 GMT

Presenter: Priyanka Sakhavalkar, Institute of Translational Medicine

“It’s not stress that kills us, but our reaction to it” – Hans Selye (Father of the field of stress research)

Whether it is about getting desired results of the difficult experiment, a power presentation at the conference, or preparing for the final viva, stress is an inevitable part of a researcher’s life. Work can become demanding and we tend to lose our work-life balance.

Stress management is the necessary skill to enjoy not only research but life in general. Mindfulness is about being aware of the present moment. It’s the kind and compassionate way of acceptance of own self and life experiences. This is one of the proven scientific techniques for stress reduction and mind management that helps to produce a right response to stress.

In this workshop, we will focus on mindfulness and some techniques to achieve your best performance. Join us in finding that balance for the stressful situations in life.

Introducing Peer Support for Postgraduate Researchers

Would you like to join a peer support group for PhD students at the University of Liverpool?
image of people talking
Three PhD students from across the University are working with the LDC Development Team to improve the support available for PGRs. This peer support group will hold regular meetings off campus, focusing on a different theme each session – ranging from practical issues in academia and project management, to wellbeing threats and strategies for resilience. The group will emphasise problem-solving and supporting each other in navigating the PhD journey.

The first meeting will be held during Researcher Development Week. Come along to an informal session to meet fellow students and find out more:

Peer Support for PGRs – introductory session
Thu 11 October 2018
11:00 – 12:30

Lunch is included – please register in advance

This initiative was launched following recent research into the wellbeing and unmet support needs of PhD students. A team of PhD students from across the university sought the perspectives of fellow Liverpool students by organising a focus group for PGRs working in a range of research areas. It explored the challenges involved in doing a PhD at this university and discussed the supportive resources that are currently available.

Focus group attendees were able to identify wellbeing issues, discuss their PhD experiences, and provide recommendations for future support. It was recognised that there is a high degree of loneliness and uncertainty in undertaking a PhD, and it is not always clear who is best to approach for impartial support and advice. Although certain groups of students may be more vulnerable, there appears to be some common ground amongst students in the causes and consequences of stress. There are multiple sources of loneliness during the PhD, and these can be compounded by a lack of contact with peers and a working environment that can limit opportunities to share wellbeing concerns with departmental colleagues.

These conversations have informed the new approach for this academic year, which aims to provide opportunities for PhD students to develop a supportive peer network, through regular group sessions. All current PhD students are welcome, and we particularly invite those in the middle and later stages of their PhD.

If you are unable to attend the opening session, please feel free to express your interest in the initiative by contacting Natasha Bradley natasha.bradley@liverpool.ac.uk

Support for PGRs – Have Your Say!

2-3:30 pm 27th June   Faculty Room 4, Faculty Suite, 2nd floor, Central Teaching Hub

Delivered by postgraduate researchers:

Natasha Bradley, Institute of Psychology, Health and Society
Lorna Bryant, Institute of Translational Medicine
Rachel Heah, School of Law and Social Justice

What are the support needs of postgraduate researchers?
How can we improve the resilience and wellbeing of PhD students at UoL?
Would peer support groups be useful, what format should they take?

As part of the upcoming LDC Researcher development week, we are embarking on a fact-finding mission to inform our approach for the next academic year.
Come participate in an informal group discussion on the challenges involved in doing a PhD.

This is a real opportunity for you to use your experience to improve the wellbeing of current and future postgraduate students.

All PhD students and early career researchers welcome!

Please register your attendance to receive an email reminder and venue instructions.

Support for PGRs – Have Your Say!2-3:30 pm 27th June

Anyone who would like to contribute their thoughts, but does not wish to attend this session, is welcome to email us at Natasha.bradley@liverpool.ac.uk.


This event forms part of LDC Researcher Week. See the Researcher Week timetable for information of further events that week.