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Where to Get Help

The most important thing is for you to seek help when you need it. This page lists many sources of help and support, together with ideas, hints and tips for getting help and helping yourself. Make sure you read to the end. 

There are many sources of information, resources and help available for DPhil students in the University and the aim is to summarise as many as possible here.  However it may not be completely comprehensive so do remember that there is lots of help available – more than is listed here.

For most DPhil students, the majority of your time and connections will be with your research group and department, and college – although it may be different for some of you - and help is available from all these places. There are also resources, information and support available at University level, and from the division:



In your college your Senior Tutor, the Tutor for Graduates or your College Advisor should be available to help.

MPLS Division

Your Department

If you experience difficulties during your DPhil the first step should always be to discuss the issue with your supervisor. There is also a range of other sources of help: 

  • Director of Graduate Studies
  • Graduate Secretary or Administrator
  • Head of department
  • Departmental Administrator
  • Harassment – Departmental Harassment Officer

Looking after yourself, Helping yourself

There are a lot of things you can do for yourself that will help you progress and help you look after your physical and mental health. The University's Welfare and Wellbeing page is a good place to start.

The University has a range of online courses and podcasts covering topics such as the Imposter Syndrome, Planning your PhD and more. How to Beat the Imposter Syndrome is also covered by the website.

Vitae have a range of information and advice sheets around this topic: 

Settling in

Overcoming challenges

Support and advice

The website have some good resources, in particular Seven Top Tips for Resilience

General Hints and Tips

Plan your DPhil project

Develop a project plan for DPhil management – make it realistic, flexible, built of small manageable timebound tasks. See the Time Management section for more tips. Be prepared for your plan to change and aim to review it on a regular basis. Use the MPLS Project Initiation Document which you can download from the page on Supervision and Termly Reporting.

Start planning and writing your thesis in good time – do it in small chunks.

Look after your supervisory relationship

Looking after your relationship with your supervisor will pay dividends. See the section on managing your supervisory relationship for hints and tips.

Balance your time and take holidays

Work to make sure you have a healthy work / life balance, making sure you have time for non-work activity and rest. Negotiate expected working hours with your supervisor if needs be. See the MPLS Division’s Policy on Working Hours and Holidays, available on the page on Your Rights and Responsibilities, for more information.

In general

Keep sight of the bigger picture

Build up a network of support

Keep up non-work interests – sport, music, friends, whatever is important to you

Seek help when you need it

Linkedin Learning Courses 

Happiness Tips

Achieving Happiness and Success

Building Resilience

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