Doctoral student support services

The Doctoral College ensures that every member of the research community at Surrey has one, clear place to go to get the support they need to achieve the best outcomes. 

Researcher Development Programme 

Our Researcher Development Programme provides training and development opportunities for postgraduate researchers, research staff and supervisors. We provide a comprehensive programme of face-to-face training workshops, coaching, mentoring, online resources, as well as supporting information.

One of our core principles is to make sure your access to training is timely, thus our workshop and training programme is tailored to be flexible to meet the dynamic and individual needs of our researchers.


We offer more than 60 different themed workshops, covering everything from analytical skills, research funding, and impact and engagement to research project management and writing skills.


Our unique mentoring scheme is open to all postgraduate researcher applicants who receive an offer from Surrey. With your offer letter, you will receive information and contact details for the RDP team who can pair you with a mentor who is in the later stages of their doctoral programme at Surrey.

They will become your mentor immediately, via email and Skype, thus, you will be able to benefit from their advice and experience prior to arrival and through the first six months of your time here. 

As a researcher at the University, you will be able to access our Employer Mentoring Programme as well, pairing you with employers from a variety of employment sectors, based on your individual career plans.

One-to-one coaching and advice

We offer one-to-one in-person or virtual appointments. These sessions provide an opportunity for you to meet with an experienced member of the team to get the advice or support you need to move your research and your professional development forward.

Appointments could cover:

  • Presentation or fellowship interview practice
  • Managing your time and/or research project
  • Academic writing or spoken fluency support.

For those who choose to study part-time or through distance learning, you can also have any of the workshops delivered through these individual appointments with supplemental online resources also available.

Disability and neurodiversity support

Prospective doctoral students with disabilities

The University of Surrey will not discriminate against you because of your disability. However we cannot arrange for reasonable adjustments unless you have disclosed your disability/disabilities. We are very experienced in supporting students with a range of disabilities which might be physical, long term medical, mental health or autistic spectrum conditions, or specific learning differences.

Support for doctoral candidates. You are encouraged to discuss how your disability might affect your performance during the application process with one of our disability advisers. They would be able to advise if reasonable adjustments could be made so you have the same opportunity to demonstrate your academic ability as non-disabled candidates. To discuss your requirements with a disability adviser please contact

Support during your studies

UK students are encouraged to apply for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) or the research councils’ equivalent allowances. These non means tested allowances fund assistive technology and non-medical helper support for students with disabilities.

The University of Surrey makes funds available to provide similar support for EU and international students who are not eligible to apply for the DSA. The disability advisers will be able to advise you on how to apply for this support. Please contact

Research Degrees team

Our Research Degrees team at Surrey is dedicated to supporting our research students and supervisors across the three faculties, ensuring you receive consistent and accurate advice on all of the stages of your doctoral programme from registration to award.

They are responsible for your initial induction to the University, managing progression milestones and the examinations process, and working with student finance and student records to answer student data and funding queries.


We will assist you in developing your career plan and help you identify and strengthen your employability skills, to aid you into a successful career as you move on from Surrey. Our strong external partnerships and relationships across the University provide our PGRs with excellent opportunities to collaborate, gain skills and get practical experience.

Our tailored framework is centred on your research journey, whether you are looking to stay in academia or develop your career outside of education. Our aim is to ensure you are focused on your aspirations and ultimate objective from the beginning of your doctoral programme, and to support you to reach your career goals.

Library and learning support

Subject support is available from the Learning Development Librarians and help with writing your papers. The Open Research team is also a valuable resource to help you comply with funder and open access requirements. 

The team can help:

  • Work in partnership with you to ensure the Library is meeting your research needs
  • Liaise with you on the information resources you need for your research
  • Offer specialist subject support to researchers and training to PhD students - in-depth help in finding information, using e-resources and bibliographic software effectively
  • Support you alongside the Open Research team offering advice on open research practices and services.

Contact us

Find us

Map of the University of Surrey


Doctoral College
Fifth Floor, University Library
University of Surrey