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There's plenty of support available from the wider University, to help you to get the most from your studies and your time at Reading.


“I've tried to make the most of the abundant resources, via the library, departmental activities, Reading Researcher Development Programme (RRDP) sessions, counselling and study advice. I have had fruitful interactions with my liaison librarian, and have found most RRDP sessions well conducted, engaging and worthwhile.”

Sheweta Samir Ghosh

PhD in Film, Theatre and Television


Health and wellbeing

We know that, on occasion, some doctoral students face situations in relation to their research, supervision or personal lives that affect their progress. If this happens to you, particularly if you are concerned about your health or wellbeing, there are people you can turn to for help.

Let your supervisor know about your situation as soon as possible, or, if more appropriate, speak to your School's director of postgraduate research studies.

Contact a member of staff from the Doctoral and Researcher College's Doctoral Research Office, if you need help with practical or administrative matters.

Get in touch with the University's Student Wellbeing service for short-term counselling and mental health support. The service offers specialist one-to-one support for any developmental, clinical or academic problems that you may experience, as well as talks, books and online resources that may help your situation.

Send your questions to Dr Alicia Pena Bizama -


Disability Advisory Service

The University of Reading welcomes disabled students and has a dedicated Disability Advisory Service, which coordinates a range of support and services to enable all students to participate fully in University life, and can provide advice and guidance on a range of matters.


Local medical services

If you are moving to Reading, make sure you register with a local doctor (GP). There are three medical practices in the local area:


Study advice

The Library's study advice team can help you to develop more effective ways of working, so that you find studying less stressful and achieve a better outcome.

You can arrange to have a one-to-one session with a member of the team or visit their desk on the ground floor. Alternatively, you can speak to a fellow doctoral student in your department who has been trained and mentored to give advice.


Keep fit for your doctoral studies – discussion group

The "Keep fit for your doctoral studies" discussion group takes place online on Tuesdays from 11:00–12:00. Dr Alicia Peña Bizama, Student Wellbeing Service, will cover issues pertinent to your doctoral research such as:

  • managing academic pressure
  • increasing concentration and motivation
  • managing procrastination
  • perfectionism.


Booking is not required and attendance will not count towards your annual RRDP training requirement.

You can access the discussion group link via the "Keep fit for your studies" module on the Doctoral and Researcher College's Blackboard site.

Please contact  Dr Alicia Pena Bizama -  for further information.


Academic liaison librarians can advise you on the best resources to support your research and the most efficient, time-saving ways to search them, including using reference management software to create bibliographies. For in-depth one-to-one advice, contact our academic liaison librarians to arrange an appointment.

The Library's research publications adviser can advise on choosing where to publish your research, your digital researcher identity, obtaining funding for open access publications and how to track the impact of your research outputs using bibliometrics and altmetrics. Read our Library research support page for more information.


Learn a new language

There are many benefits to developing your language skills – it can open up global opportunities, broaden your understanding of other cultures, help you to develop useful and transferable skills, and improve your employability. Here at Reading, there are opportunities suitable for everyone.

The Institution-Wide Language Programme at Reading offers modules in 10 languages, at up to five different levels from complete beginner onwards. As a doctoral student, you can take a module if agreed with your School's director of postgraduate research studies.



The University's Careers service offers an interactive online programme for exploring careers, building employability skills and finding job opportunities. The service also offers dedicated one-to-one advice sessions, recruitment events, and other career development workshops specifically for doctoral students, which you can access through the Doctoral and Researcher College.


Reading Students' Union

Reading Students' Union is an organisation designed to represent the interests of students across the University. As a doctoral student, you can choose to become actively involved in the operation of Reading Students' Union or just take advantage of the services it offers. For example, you can:

  • join Reading Students' Union clubs and societies that match your interests – in particular, the Doc Soc is a society that runs social events specifically for doctoral students
  • benefit from the Doctoral and Researcher College's wellbeing project, which is being run in collaboration with Reading Students' Union
  • access independent and confidential information, advice and support from the Reading Students' Union, regarding academic, housing, welfare, money and drug and alcohol issues
  • stand as a student representative in the part-time role of Postgraduate Research Students' Officer.