Support for PhD students

In working towards your PhD with CRESR, you could benefit from the following support mechanisms.

ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership and University Alliance Doctoral Training Alliance

CRESR is a member of two prestigious doctoral training networks. These provide a wide range of opportunities for training, collaboration and networking with fellow postgraduate researchers across the UK.

The White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership, accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council in 2016, is a collaboration in the social sciences at the White Rose Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York, in partnership with the Universities of Bradford, Sheffield Hallam, Hull, and Manchester Metropolita. For more information see the WR DTP website:

The University Alliance is a partnership if 18 Universities across England. Its Doctoral Training Alliance includes streams on social policy and energy: CRESR PhD researchers have opportunities to engage with the various events and training run by the DTA in these streams. For more information see the University Alliance website:

Candidates will therefore become part of cross-institution cohorts of high-achieving postgraduate researchers with similar research interests. 

High quality supervision 

CRESR PhD researchers are supervised by leading academics with extensive experience of undertaking high quality research and academic scholarship. Supervision princiipally takes place through regular face-to-face meetings between PhD researchers and their supervisory teams. As a University, we have put in place a number of mechanisms and support structures to ensure that supervision is of the highest quality, which is evidenced by our excellent completion rate. In the last five years alone, 16 CRESR  PhD researchers have successfully completed their studies. A further three PhD researchers are anticipated to complete within the next six months.

Access to workspace alongside CRESR research staff

You'll be based within our offices in the heart of the University’s city campus. The location of our PhD researchers here provides a greater opportunity to engage with CRESR research staff, and is hugely beneficial in terms of facilitating wider integration within the centre. This is very important to us, as CRESR PhD researchers are seen as being an integral and vital part of what we do.


Doing a PhD is highly rewarding but can also be challenging at times and having a peer support network around you can really make a difference in terms of being able to develop your ideas, share experiences and just generally put things in perspective. That's why we run a regular PhD forum to provide a lively and informal environment in which to engage with academic debates and support each other in the process of doing a PhD.

The CRESR PhD forum is facilitated by Rich Crisp (a Reader in CRESR) and attended by all PhD researchers.

The PhD forum has two distinct functions:

  • to provide an opportunity to present and discuss your own work with each PhD researcher taking a turn to lead one of the PhD forums. This typically involves circulating a piece of your own written work such as a draft PhD chapter or journal article and then responding to questions and comments from the group. PhD researchers find this a valuable opportunity to present ideas and receive constructive feedback on any aspect of the PhD from undertaking evidence reviews, through to conducting fieldwork and analysing data. In the first forum we will agree a schedule of presenters for the rest of the year.
  • to benefit from the experience and advice of external speakers on a range of topics including, for example, doing 'difficult' interviews, preparing for the Viva and finding an academic job.

Alongside their supervisory team doctoral researchers can access support from two wellbeing mentors in CRESR: staff with extensive experience of the challenges of conducting in-depth research, often on subjects that can cause distress to the researcher as well as the research participant.

CRESR PhD showcase

This annual event takes place in September and provides CRESR’s PhD students with an opportunity to showcase their research to a broader audience, including academics from outside of the Centre and members of the policy and practice community.  For more information please contact Will Eadson.

CRESR seminar series

CRESR researchers have access to the Centre’s long-running and highly successful seminar series, which has been a mechanism for promoting academic debate for a number of years. Reflecting its high standing, the series has attracted a number of keynote speakers in recent years including Beverly Skeggs, John Hills, Yvonne Rydin, Jonathan Rutherford, Gerry Stoker and Justus Uitermark. Additionally, you'll have access to seminar series run in other parts for University, including events run by Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies, the Department of Nature and the Built Environment and Politics, Sociology and Politics.

Faculty Graduate School and SHU Doctoral School

Dedicated support provided by the Faculty of Development and Society’s Graduate School provides additional, comprehensive administrative support for our PhD students. The Graduate School also offers scholarly advice and guidance, including an induction day and further seminars.

In addition the SHU Doctoral School provides access to a range training and skills development opportunities.

University facilities 

As a member of the student population you'll also have access to a range of facilities, including the latest online resources and advanced research methods training modules through the MRES. Our learning centres, library and IT services offer all the practical support you'll need to complete your studies. Find out more about University life and our facilities.

Get in touch

For further information please contact Will Eadson at or call 0114 225 4173.

Seminar series

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