Doctoral College

Doctoral College

Timely but useful chatter from the Doctoral College - guest contributions welcome.

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What was the best piece of advice that you received during your doctorate?

Written by Dr Katryna Kalawsky Hindsight is a great thing…and so is foresight! Drawing both together, I thought it would be useful to our current doctoral researchers to share what some members of staff at Loughborough University considered to be the best piece of advice that they received during their doctorate: “Just get writing” – […]

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Finding your doctorate challenging? You aren’t alone but it will be OK!

Written by Dr Katryna Kalawsky Undertaking a doctorate is a unique experience for each and every doctoral researcher; no one else is doing the same project and everyone has different academic and personal circumstances. Although I don’t want to appear hypocritical because my last blog post ‘What do people enjoy most about their doctoral experience?’ […]

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What do people enjoy most about their doctoral experience?

Written by Dr Katryna Kalawsky As someone who has a keen interest in Doctoral Wellbeing, when I’ve read the literature in this important area, I’ve noticed that whilst it’s now common to learn about potential/actual challenges that doctoral researchers may face/have faced, it’s less common for papers and reports to showcase the positive aspects of […]

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Why doctoral researchers are important!

Written by Dr Katryna Kalawsky It should come to no surprise to those that know me, even just fractionally, that I think KNOW doctoral researchers are awesome and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to work with and support such inspiring people – not just in my Doctoral College role but also as a […]

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Is undertaking a doctorate beneficial?

Written by Dr Katryna Kalawsky “Is undertaking a doctorate beneficial?” – that’s a question I occasionally asked myself before and sometimes during my doctorate and it’s often a question i’m asked during postgraduate open evenings or when i’m chatting with a doctoral researcher experiencing the ‘2nd year blues’… Being honest, when I experienced my research […]

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Revisiting the Doctoral College’s Wellbeing Twitter Chat

Written by Dr Katryna Kalawsky Today (May 18th 2020) is the start of Mental Health Awareness Week; a national campaign hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. This year’s theme is ‘Kindness’; something that’s always important, but perhaps more so during the current circumstances . To mark and promote Mental Health Awarness Week, we thought it […]

The Twitter Chat had several aims that related to the Doctoral College’s 3 V strategy (value, vitality and visibility):

  • To highlight the importance of doctoral researchers to Loughborough and beyond
  • To raise awareness of (and normalise – i.e. ‘it’s not just me’) common challenges faced by researchers during their doctorate
  • To raise awareness of internal and external support available to doctoral researchers at Loughborough

Ultimately and importantly, the Twitter Chat had a positive focus. That is, it focused on providing advice to enable our researchers to thrive during the doctoral journey and not survive!

Throughout Mental Health Awareness Week, responses to each question will be shared via separate blog posts. To follow the actual conversation on Twitter, search #LboroDRWellbeing (the Twitter Chat took place on 5th March 2020).

Please feel free to share your thoughts and advice to our doctoral researchers via the blog comments box or via Twitter. After all, one of the many aspects of ‘kindness’ is about taking time out for others.

  • Dr Manuel Alonso – Associate Chief Operating Officer // Director of Student Services
  • Dr Ash Casey – Senior Lecturer in Pedagogy (School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
  • Dr Ksenia Chmutina – Senior Lecturer in Sustainable and Resilient Urbanism (School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)
  • Dr Janine Coates – Lecturer in Qualitative Research Methods (School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
  • Dr Sophie Crouchman – Senior Planning Officer (Planning Office)
  • Dr John Harrison – Reader in Geography (School of Social Sciences and Humanities)
  • Dr Katryna Kalawsky – Doctoral Researcher Development Officer (Loughborough Doctoral College and Centre of Academic Practice)
  • Professor Elizabeth Peel – Professor of Communication and Social Interaction (School of Social Sciences and Humanities) // Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Loughborough Doctoral College)
  • Dr Ksenija Kuzmina – Lecturer Institute for Design Innovation (Loughborough University London)


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Doctoral Wellbeing Week Reflections

Written by Ursula Davis – Doctoral Researcher March 2nd – 5th 2020, saw the first (of many more, hopefully!) Doctoral Researcher Wellbeing Weeks. Organised by the Doctoral College, the purpose of this week was to not only promote doctoral wellbeing but to also deliver pragmatic sessions on how we could all elevate our wellbeing. A […]

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Viva online? No problem!

Foreword from Dr Katryna Kalawsky With the change in working practices at the moment, many of our doctoral researchers are facing the prospect of conducting their viva examinations online; something that might be hard to imagine especially after spending time over the last few years envisaging what your face-to-face viva will be like! But it […]

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Looking after your back

I don’t know about you, but my back is killing me!  I’ve had lower back pain on and off for the last 5 years or so.  A couple of years of physio and a new exercise routine, alongside focussing on my posture in my ergonomic work chair, meant that last year I was finally on […]

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How to advance your doctorate during lockdown

It can be frustrating and stressful when you can’t do the things you think you need to do to advance your doctorate. Instead try and focus on the things you can do – and there are plenty of ideas around, like those in the image below. Alternatively, if you are a social researcher you might […]