Researcher community

Postgraduate researchers (PGRs) and early career researchers (ECRs) are the foundation of a vibrant research environment. We support a number of on-going events, forums, and engagement opportunities for you to get involved with.

Doctoral College on SurreyLearn

What's on

There is always something going on in the researcher community! Check out what is happening through RDP, but also look in your own faculty or department. 

Virtual Researcher Café

Every Wednesday, 11am to 12pm

Over the last few months we have all adjusted to new working arrangements and challenges. Many researchers will still be working from home, and find themselves missing the social contact of the office or the lab. We want to continue to provide an opportunity for you to take a break, share your thoughts, and maintain your support network in the face of these changes, so our Virtual Researcher Café will continue to run weekly over the summer and into the new academic year.

Virtual Researcher Café takes place over Zoom, and operates on a drop-in basis – no need to book a place. Each week, members of the Researcher Development Programme team will be available to chat with whoever wants to join in. If you have questions or need advice we’ll do our best to help. But if you just want to take a few minutes’ break to chat, to listen to others chat, or to show off your favourite coffee mug via webcam, that’s fine too.

Find the Zoom link on SurreyLearn. We also send out an email reminder with a link to the Zoom meeting every Wednesday morning. 

Forums, groups and societies

We help support a number of active groups and forums. Contact groups directly, or ask us about how to get involved.

Each faculty runs a Student Engagement Forum around three to four times a year in which PGR academic representatives from each department, Students’ Union staff, and staff from the University meet to discuss the experiences of colleagues in each Department.

Your departmental representatives are available to raise important issues from the PGR community and disseminate central information. 

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This group represents the views and ideas of early career researchers from across the University. There are two reps per department / school or centre who meet three times per year with members of the RDP and the Doctoral College leaders along with representatives of the HR Excellence in Research working group and Athena Swan implementation group. The forum reports into the Doctoral College Board and university research committees.

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The Anti-Racism Reading Group is a monthly discussion group aimed at getting PGRs and ECRs involved in the difficult questions of race, colonialism, and equality. It invites people from as many backgrounds as possible to attend, freely share their perspective, and take part in meaningful discussions about race in the modern world. Each month, the reading list will be in the form of a few articles spanning topics from anti-Blackness, the construction of racial identity, the history of British colonialism, the current realities of being BAME in academia, and many others. This is not a group of experts, this is a group of people who want to widen their horizons, share new perspectives, and become better anti-racists.

You can learn more about the inspiration for the development of the reading group on the Doctoral College Blog.

Register for the next session on Eventbrite

The Surrey Arts and Humanities Research Group (SAHRG) is a PGR-led hub for sharing and discussing curve-leading research, with a focus on interdisciplinary writing that has political, scientific or philosophical impact today.The group organises its activities collectively, and its work focuses on the foundational theoretical texts in our chosen disciplines and the major names and theories in tangential disciplines, with a specific interest in critical theory and philosophy.

Our core programme is a monthly seminar series with a unifying theme. Researchers present cutting-edge work in their field (often their own work in progress), followed by opportunities for extended discussion.

We are also expanding what we do into panel discussions, podcasts and publications, to support collaborative and innovative work by researchers in all disciplines.

Enquiries should be directed to Dr Mike Rose ( 

For more information and dates of meetings, visit the SAHRG webpage

The SuRSA is a society for postdoctoral research staff and early career academics working at the University of Surrey.

The society aims to build a community of early career scholars by running regular activities and events to get people together across departments, faculties and disciplines. This can include social/networking events, informative seminars and workshops, and more. It’s nice to know where to go to find a few kindred spirits.

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The postgraduate society organise e​vents and activities for all taught or research postgraduate ​studen​​ts at the University of Surrey. It's our mission to build an active, supportive, and inclusive postgraduate community that is represented within the University and its Union. 

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The Public Engagement Forum (PEF) offers researchers the opportunity to discuss ways of presenting research at Surrey to the wider world. Whether you have a long track record, or are new to the area of public engagement, the PEF is a welcoming forum open to all researchers.

This Fall, one main focus will be supporting Brilliant Club and in-schools engagement.

The forum takes place on the last Thursday of each month from 1pm-2pm in the RDP training room (09LB05). 

Coffee, tea and biscuits provided, no need to book.

You can also check out the Univeristy's page for Public Engagement with Research.

What happens when the University of Surrey’s world-class academic and research staff share the stage with side-splitting comedians?

Described as ‘the thinking person’s comedy night’, Bright Club is an event that transforms academics into comedians for one night only with highly entertaining (and surprisingly educational!) results.

Staff from the University are taken to a local pub where they are given just a few minutes each to spin their specialism into comedy gold, and hopefully teach something along the way, alongside headlining professional comedians.

Bright Club Guildford happens once per term and makes its home at popular community arts and music venue The Boileroom.

For more information, visit:

Or get involved via @BrightClubGLD

RDP run a Facebook group for our part-time and distance PGRs. This group facilitates a virtual community for you to engage with whilst you are off-campus. We also run live sessions to post questions to our experts.

If you are part-time, distance, or conducting research off-campus, please email for access to the group.

Stay connected


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Putting the coffee on shortly... Anyone else ready to take a break to mark the exact middle of the week?
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Researcher Cafe is on again tomorrow - Weds 11-12. Join us to chat with other researchers. Last week's themes inc…
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Same thing we do every Wednesday at 11: Researcher Cafe - relax and chat for a bit; all welcome!…

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Researcher Development Programme
10 LB 05
University of Surrey