Essential guide for current postgraduate research students

Travel and international collaboration

  • Worldwide Universities Network
    The WUN is a global partnership of 18 research intensive universities committed to working together to support research and education in areas of global significance. The Researcher Mobility Programme provides funding for a period of overseas research for PhD students and research staff. 
  • Euraxess
    Providing a hub for all things related to international research. Find out about funding for your travels, fellowships and placements overseas, as well as useful pointers for life in a different country.
  • Funding a research trip
  • Cash passport
    If you have travel funding but would prefer not to cover the costs yourself and claim them back afterwards, you can apply for a Cash Passport card to take with you. All spending must be fully accounted for and any unspent funding must be returned. 

Research tools and resources

  • Research grants and fellowships
    Research Professional provides access to an extensive database of funding opportunities and research news items from over 30 countries around the world. Search for funding information by discipline, sponsor, database searches, by recent calls or by upcoming deadlines.
  • Unit catalogue
    If you are looking for additional training in a particular subject area, it may be possible to sit in on some taught lectures already running at the discretion of the relevant tutor. Search the catalogue for details of all taught units at the University of Bristol including suggested reading lists and resources.
  • Personal and Professional Development
    Alongside the specialist training opportunities offered within your school or faculty, the University provides a central programme of over 160 workshops, seminars and online resources to help you to manage your research project and get the most out of your time at Bristol.

Responsible research

Rules and regulations

  • Policy for PGRs Who Teach
    Postgraduate participation in undergraduate teaching is beneficial to students and staff. It enables postgraduate research students to gain valuable transferable skills and an insight into a career in academia, while helping to inform research-led teaching for undergraduates. The Policy establishes a common framework for supporting postgraduate research students involved with teaching.
  • Equality and Diversity Policy
    Find out about the University's commitment to providing a fair, equitable and mutually supportive learning and working environment for our students and staff. Bristol Students' Union also champions an approach where everyone can participate whatever their background, ability or beliefs, as demonstrated by their achieving full Investors in Diversity accreditation status in 2015.
  • Student rules and regulations
    Official University regulations on everything from the Student Agreement and the Student Complaints Procedure to the University policy on use of Turnitin UK plagiarism detection service. 
  • Regulations on Research Practice and Misconduct
    Information on what is expected of all those conducting research in the University and specifically those who are leading a research project. The Regulations on Research Misconduct define types of misconduct and the procedure for investigating cases of suspected research misconduct.
  • Plagiarism checks
    From January 2015 all postgraduate research theses submitted to the University of Bristol will be checked by a text comparison system; Turnitin. Throughout your studies, you may make up to 5 practice submissions using work such as annual progress reports, draft thesis chapters or an entire draft thesis. See your faculty handbook for further guidance.
  • Distance learning
    A research degree by distance learning offers a high level of flexibility for individuals wanting to pursue a research degree at the University of Bristol from anywhere in the world. Read our concise guide to the support and opportunities that are available.

University systems, data and support

  • MyBristol Portal
    A one-stop portal providing seamless integration and access to many University systems from email, calendar and your library loans summary, along with useful resources such as research funding announcements and quick links to your favourite services and news feeds. Not only can you tailor the content to reflect your own interests, you can change the colour scheme and layout too.
  • STaR
    Based on the relationship between students and supervisors, STaR brings together all aspects of postgraduate research, development, and support.Through STaR you can:
    • Take control of your research breaking your research down into easily digestible objectives and tasks
    • Keep track of meetings, drafts, shared documents and discussions with your supervisor in one place
    • Demonstrate your progress by completing the required forms and processes for formal progress monitoring
    • Explore and plan your personal and professional development options with direct links to booking and further information
    • Develop an online presence by promoting your research achievements in your own public profile space via Pure.
  • Explore Bristol Research and Pure
    All postgraduate research students have a personal profile listed on the University's Explore Bristol Research pages. These profiles are publicly available and are created from the information maintained in Pure, the University’s Research Information System. Your Explore Bristol Research profile will come up in Google searches and will help other researchers, external contacts and potential employers to find and contact you, so it is important that you keep this information up to date. The University's Institutional Policy on Open Access to Research Publications also stipulates that all eligible research outputs must be deposited in Pure.
  • Blackboard and Turnitin
    Blackboard is the University's centrally-supported online learning environment. Primarily used as a communication tool and space for taught course materials, coursework submissions and feedback, expected use of Blackboard for postgraduate research students varies from faculty to faculty. Those with a teaching responsibility are likely to use it when supporting their tutees, and some will use it if they have a taught component to their programme, but ALL PGRs must submit their thesis to Turnitin via a submission point in Blackboard. All PGRs also have access to the Researcher Development Online training modules in Blackboard (see Personal and Professional Development section).

Equality and diversity

  • Pregnancy, Maternity and Paternity
    Find out about the support available during pregnancy and maternity, and the steps that you should take should you fall pregnant during the course of your studies. This guide also includes guidance for students on issues connected to paternity.
  • Work and family
    It can be a challenge to balance work and family.  Not only for those of us with children, but also for those of us who have other responsibilities such as looking after elderly parents. This initiative brings together information and support for the diverse mix of people who work at the University of Bristol - mums, dads, and colleagues with other caring responsibilities - helping you to strike the balance between work and other responsibilities. If you are a new parent, you may also wish to join the Bristol University PGR Parents Google group.
  • Women in STEMM
    In building a talented and diverse workforce within the University of Bristol, there needs to be inspiration and examples of success. A key aim of the University is to commit in making women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics), of all backgrounds and ages, more visible and to provide the opportunities to help women within their STEMM careers. You may also be interested in the Women in Engineering pages.
  • Policy and procedure for dealing with unacceptable behaviour
    This guidance document provides examples of unacceptable behaviour and provides suggestions on what you should you do if you experience unacceptable behaviour whether from a fellow student, or a member of staff. If you are experiencing issues with your supervisor, you may also find it helpful to refer to the Just Ask Guide to Research Supervision.

Personal and professional development (PPD)

  • Introducing the Vitae RDF
    All of the activities in the University's Skills Training and Researcher Development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF), which is specifically designed to help UK researchers evaluate existing training and experience, and plan future personal and professional development.
  • STaR
    STaR is a bespoke online tool for Bristol postgraduate researchers to search, plan and map their personal and professional development. It provides an overview of all completed development activities against the Vitae RDF highlighting areas of strength and those which you may wish to develop. Live links for information and booking for the full central PPD programme alongside many specialist school / faculty activities can be accessed via STaR. 
  • Researcher Development Online
    All Bristol PGRs have access to the Researcher Development Online course in Blackboard. Here you will find a range of online training modules covering topics such as: Reviewing, Managing and Using Literature; Writing Papers for Publication; Getting the most out of conferences; and Careers in / beyond academia.
  • GW4 shared training
    The GW4 Alliance was set up in 2013 to enable the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter to work together to translate research into real-world applications and to stimulate growth. Postgraduate research students benefit from access to skills training and resources from across the four institutions, so if you can't find what you're looking for at Bristol, you may find it at Bath, Cardiff, or Exeter.

Health and wellbeing

Join the postgraduate research community

  • What's On Calendar
    Keep up to date with all of the upcoming PPD courses on offer across the University through our interactive calendar.
  • Become a student rep
    Research students can represent their faculty, school, department or Doctoral Training Centres on a number of Faculty & Senate Committees.
  • Postgraduate Network
    The PG Network is a student-led initiative for all postgraduate students (taught & research) that seeks an active, strong and vibrant community at the University of Bristol. Check out their Facebook page for fun events, updates and contact info.
  • GW4 Communities
    The GW4 is a joint initiative between the Universities of Bath, Bristol Cardiff and Exeter. They offer a number of networks and shared academic communities for postgraduate researchers to join.
  • Newsletters and bulletins
  • Social Media
    Heard of #phdchat, a forum for UK-based and European students that runs on twitter every Wednesday evening? What about #phdlife - the twitter channel that facilitates global dialogue about all things PhD-related.

Key information

Check out the following pages for ways to get involved in the vibrant community around Bristol, whether its online, within the University, or around the city:

BDC Bulletin