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Exploring the wellbeing and resilience of postgraduate researchers.

Casey, C., Harvey, O., Taylor, J., Knight, F. and Trenoweth, S., 2022. Exploring the wellbeing and resilience of postgraduate researchers. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 46 (6), 850-867.

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DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2021.2018413


Much research around student mental health focuses on undergraduate students. However, recent research suggests that depression and anxiety are just as prevalent among postgraduate researchers (PGRs). This study explores the experience of PGRs in the UK (N=50) and their wellbeing and resilience. The results of the survey indicated that the participants had significantly lower wellbeing and resilience levels in comparison to the general population. The analysis of qualitative survey responses highlighted five factors that affected the participants’ perceived wellbeing: supervision, expectations, support, balance, and coping. A benefit of the current study is that it investigates a whole range of known stressors in contrast to previous research that tends to focus on one or a small number of factors. The study puts forward several key recommendations for supervisors and universities. The authors recommend that supervisors and doctoral schools encourage peer support networks and open dialogue with students around the reality of PGR study, to manage expectations and reduce self-doubt. Further research should look to investigate in more detail the challenges faced by PGRs across the whole journey to develop beneficial wellbeing interventions that are aligned to PGRs’ specific needs.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Wellbeing; resilience; postgraduate research; doctoral researchers; higher education; student mental health
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:36548
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:25 Jan 2022 14:40
Last Modified:19 Jul 2023 01:08


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