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Events and support sessions

We run a variety of community-building and research-sharing events to help postgraduate research students learn new skills and meet one another. We also offer support for personal and professional development.

I have made friendships with people I cherish that I would have never encountered had it not been for the common ground of hands-on workshops, inspiring seminars and interdisciplinary conferences.

Adelle, School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Our key events

Over the academic year, we offer a range of online activities, both structured and less formal, that you can participate in to further expand your network within a vibrant research culture.

Starting Out: Induction

This is an enjoyable opportunity to meet other postgraduate research students and to begin to develop important personal and professional networks. It introduces the wider research environment at Cardiff University and the services available to help you through your PhD. You will also learn about the training and learning opportunities at the Doctoral Academy and across Cardiff University, to help you start planning your skills and personal development. Starting Out will complement the more tailored induction provided by your school.

Re-orientation events are also open to students entering the second or final year of their doctoral studies, to help reflect on development needs and find out about the opportunities, services and support most appropriate at each stage.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®)

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by the University of Queensland.

We encourage all of our postgraduate research students to challenge themselves and take part. By participating in the event, you will develop your academic, presentation and research communication skills in a supportive environment, including the ability to effectively explain your research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

Writers' retreats

A common struggle for postgraduate research students is finding the motivation and will to stay focused and get a substantial piece of work done around your specific writing goals. Our full-day retreats provide an opportunity for you to devote time to writing in a quiet, structured, and supportive environment.

We also organise an annual residential writers’ retreat. This provides an intensive writing environment. The aim is to give you the time, space, and encouragement to make significant progress on writing your PhD thesis.

Lunchtime roundtables

Our lunchtime roundtable event series offers postgraduate research students a regular, safe, informal space in which to set the agenda and share experiences on topics of mutual importance and interest, all while enjoying a free lunch. Roundtables are hour-long sessions, each focusing on a specific theme suggested by you, the participants.

Past themes include:

  • managing your motivation during your research degree
  • managing your research and development whilst caring for children
  • undertaking a research degree in a cost of living crisis


Our informal sandpit events give you the opportunity to collaborate and share ideas on various themes from different disciplinary perspectives. These sandpits will bring you up to date on the wide-ranging research being conducted at Cardiff University, and give you the opportunity to share your own experiences and insights on conducting research in specific areas, as well as creating and strengthening links with researchers across a wide range of disciplines.

One-to-one support sessions

If you’re looking for advice and guidance about a particular aspect of your research, your personal and professional development, your thesis, or even life as a postgraduate research student more generally, the Doctoral Academy is here to help.

You can book a confidential one-to-one appointment to talk through your options with an experienced and senior member of the Doctoral Academy team, who has completed a research degree themselves and has up-to-date knowledge and expertise in doctoral education and development.