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Subject LibGuides

PGR Supervisor Guide to Supporting the Mental Health and Wellbeing (MHWB) of Postgraduate Researchers: Two Short Videos for PGR Supervisors

UKRI and OFS produced videos for PGR Supervisors

‘The role of the supervisor in postgraduate researcher mental health’ – UKRI and OFS produced video

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Video transcript: ‘I think in terms of the role that supervision has, it’s really, really important to remember that it has an active and often complicated relationship with the wellbeing of the supervisee but that it’s also a mutual two-way interaction. One of the key findings that we had was supervision is currently highly unstandardised. So, it was about really standardising and firming up practice, and in fact things that might actually save them time over the longer term, particularly with the signposting side of things so that they knew quickly and effectively where to go and where to give things over to other professionals. And the other element that we emphasised to them as well, was that some ongoing support would be offered, that the training wouldn’t be some sort of one off done deal. In terms of the kind of behaviours that I think supervisors can be modelling those should have the broad themes of being inclusive, reflective and being responsive as well, and promoting that as a research culture. Create humanised boundaries in the relationship. So that would be part of my advice to supervisors take every opportunity you can to humanise the process not to assume also and to know your universities wellbeing professionals really, really well… so that you can quickly and effectively draw on them as needed.’ (Taken from the UKRI website).


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‘The importance of supporting the mental health of postgraduate researchers’

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Video transcript: ‘I think there are many reasons why it’s important to adequately support and promote the mental health of PHD and masters students. The UK’s half a million postgraduate students are the future of our research communities. When we create sustainable cultures where researchers are well, we will deliver better research! The funded projects go across the whole breadth of that strategic approach covering preventative work, early intervention approaches, and also service provision. Without the support from the Office for Students and Research England this work would not have been able to happen at the same rate or scale. We’re working to ensure that postgraduate research students have a key focus in other national initiatives like The University Mental Health Charter. We now have a framework composed of 8 themes, mapped against the UK’s StepChange: Mentally Healthy Universities ‘framework’, that opens up conversations on everything that’s relevant to PGR students, from workplace and research culture to the supervision systems and facilities. I’m very optimistic that working together, we can absolutely create communities where all of us thrive.’ (Taken from the UKRI website).