Researcher community

Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs) and Early Career Researchers (ECRs) are the foundation of a vibrant research environment. RDP supports a number of on-going events, forums, and engagement opportunities.  

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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. 

Researcher Cafés

Researcher Cafes give you a chance to step away from your office or lab and meet fellow researchers. This allows you to get an outsider’s perspective, support and insight into the research that is taking place University wide. This can foster collaboration and a support network.

  • What? A space for researchers to meet informally and share their thoughts on life as a researcher.
  • When?  First and third Wednesday of each month at 11am.
  • Where? RDP Training Room 09 LB 05 or Networking Zone 14 LB 05.
  • What? If you are struggling to find motivation to write, join others like you in this informal session. Set and work towards your writing goals in a supportive environment.
  • When? Monthly; date will be advertised on Surrey Self Service/SITS.
  • Where? Networking Zone 14 LB 05 or RDP Training Room 09 LB 05.

Forums, Groups and Societies

RDP helps support a number of active groups and forums. Contact groups directly, or ask RDP about how to get involved.

PGR Reps Forum

Each Faculty runs a Student Engagement Forum around 3-4 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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ECR Reps Forum

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 3 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 Surrey Research Staff Association (SuRSA)

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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Postgraduate Society

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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Public Engagement Forum

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 1-2pm 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.

The Surrey Arts and Humanities Research Group (SAHRG)

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. For spring 2019 this will be ‘Power’ in various manifestations. 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 Christian Gilliam ( or Dr Mike Rose ( 

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

Bright Club

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

Part-time and distance group

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.

Past Events

Discoveries on your Doorstep

Discoveries on your Doorstep was a series of three events (Nov, Mar, Jul) to connect local professionals with researchers at the University of Surrey. On the day, researchers from all levels showcased and discussed their work on the theme of each of the University of Surrey’s research Grand Challenges. The University's own Professor Michael Kearney as well as mayor of Guildford and his wife were present. More events like this to follow!

Doctoral College Conference

The 7th Annual Doctoral College Conference at the University of Surrey was in July. The Grand Challenge this year was ‘Uniting Re-search Cultures’. This encompassed, Surrey's three grand challenge themes, united ECR and PGR students, and for the first time, united research cultures internationally through collaboration with Santander Bank to include participants from international universities.

The conference is run every year and all are encouraged to present and attend. Keep a look out on the webpage for updates. 

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Stay connected


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📢It's the 2nd session of our ⭐️new⭐️ Career Drop Ins tomorrow Thurs, 11am open to all Surrey Researchers…
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Wherever you are in the world today, we're pretty sure 11am UK time is ok for coffee. Join us for a bit of a break…
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Last week's Researcher Cafe was a disaster - 15 Phds in deep discussion, and someone argued #Xena was better than…
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Reflecting on those Career Conundrums?🤔Why not join fellow researchers and our professionally qualified careers con…

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Researcher Development Programme
10 LB 05
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