Doctoral School Welcome Event

A warm welcome from the UCL Doctoral School to research students

The UCL Doctoral School is here to support and guide you through your journey as part of our world-leading research community!

Doctoral School Welcome Events
October–November 2023

At the beginning of the new academic year we are offering two welcome and induction events for postgraduate researchers.

Online Information Event
Monday 2 October, 14:00–15:00

This is an online session for all new doctoral researchers, featuring speakers from the Doctoral School, and other key Research teams. The Doctoral School will welcome you and introduce you to life as part of the Research community at UCL. We will run through key steps in your doctoral journey and will explore the wide array of resources and support that will be available to you throughout your studies. From training and development opportunities to key aspects of our regulations and processes, this online session aims to introduce you to UCL and help you get started on your journey as a UCL doctoral researcher.

Please note that this booking is only for doctoral researchers or if you are on an MRes course leading to doctoral study.


In-person Doctoral Researcher Panel and Networking Event
Monday 6 November, 16:30–18:30
IOE, Jeffery Hall, 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL

This is your chance to connect with fellow new doctoral researchers as well as gain valuable insights into the world of research from your more experienced colleagues. Key members of the Doctoral School and other research support offices will also be there for you to meet in person. After a brief welcome from Professor David Bogle, Pro-Vice-Provost Doctoral School, and Elizabeth Halton, Director of the Doctoral School, a panel of doctoral researchers will share their experiences, tips, and tricks to help you navigate your own research journey. The panellists will also answer any questions you may have about postgraduate research study and life at UCL.

Following the panel there will be a drinks reception (with a variety of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options), which will give you the opportunity to meet other new postgraduate researchers and network with the Research Community.

Please note that this booking is only for doctoral researchers or if you are on an MRes course leading to doctoral study.


doctoral students at UCL

You are about to embark on an extraordinary journey, joining a vibrant community of around 8,000 research students and over 9,000 academic and research staff involved in research and supervision across our 11 faculties. UCL is a centre of innovative cross-disciplinary research, and has academic staff with some of the strongest backgrounds in their specialist fields in the world. You, our research students, play a vital part in this stimulating environment, and our ground-breaking research could not continue without your contributions.

This year has brought the additional challenge of research study with the effects of the global pandemic; however, we‘d like to reassure you that UCL is committed to maintaining supervision and teaching of the highest quality, and, as London‘s global university, we are looking forward to supporting you safely on campus as well as virtually. We have innovated new ways of studying, collaborating and doing research these past few months and we hope to retain the best of the virtual world as move into the ‘new normal’.


Undertaking a research degree is a very different experience to taught courses at both an undergraduate and postgraduate level with which you are familiar, or your recent professional environment if that’s where you are coming from. It will challenge you in new ways, but we also hope it will bring you novel rewards. Your research degree is a unique chance to develop and lead your own project and to generate new knowledge which you will learn to critique, contextualise, and ultimately defend at examination. There are many people within UCL to help you on this journey, not only within your Department or Division/Institute, but also within Central support services, of which the Doctoral School is one of many. In particular, your supervisory team will assist, question, support, and challenge you: they will help you develop as an independent thinker.

During your research programme, you will produce a research proposal which will frame your research question. Eventually you will produce a thesis which documents your original ideas about your focused topic, the methods you have chosen, the evidence to support your ideas, and the discussion and conclusions that arise; all of which will be considered within the context of current and past developments, and finally be defended during an oral examination (viva).

At UCL we are committed to equipping you with the research skills and experience not just to excel in academia, but also in a range of other careers which require originality, rigour, and methodological reasoning. We want you to become ‘creative, critical, autonomous intellectual risk takers’. You will be given numerous opportunities to develop these skills through your research work but also through activities within your Department, including courses, conferences, seminars, and teaching. We encourage students to look beyond the boundaries of their chosen discipline, and to broaden and share their knowledge via UCL‘s many networks, societies, and competitions.

Quick-start resources

Doctoral Skills Development Programme
offers an extensive catalogue of courses available for free via UCL's Organisational Development team.

Research Student Log
this online tool helps you manage your research project as well as monitor your skills and training progress, applicable to both the academic and non-academic worlds.

Introduction to Research Skills and Professional Development
session for all new doctoral researchers in their first month at UCL.
UPCOMING SESSIONS: 5 October 2023 (online), 27 October 2023 (hybrid).

Code of Practice for Research Degrees
set out the standards you can expect from UCL. We are committed to ensuring you receive the highest quality, internationally-renowned research training within a positive and supportive research environment.

Doctoral Researcher Compass. How to enrich your research experience at UCL and beyond?
outlines the support, activities and events available to you as a research student at UCL.

Doctoral School Website
regularly updated with information on policies, resources, competitions, societies, and other research activities available at UCL.

Discover UCL Library Services
a guidance for first time users of the library, features the ‘Getting started’video.

Open Science at UCL
an introduction to Open Science at UCL |
Open Science: a practical guide for PhD students

Doctoral School Welcome videos

Please take a look at these videos. They were recorded last year but are still relevant this academic year.

Welcome to UCL's research community. What is a research degree at UCL
Professor David Bogle, Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School

Key people, resources and spaces
Elizabeth Halton, Director, Doctoral School

Researcher development at UCL – Doctoral Skills
Kasia Bronk, Academic Development Manager, UCL Organisational Development

Careers Information for Research Students
Dr Jana Dankovicova, Career Consultant, UCL Careers

Innovation & Enterprise at UCL
Dr. Katherine Walsh, Vice-Provost Enterprise & Dr. Ruth Weir, Senior Programme Officer for Entrepreneurship

UCL Student Mediator
Dr Ruth Siddall, UCL Student Mediator, Office of the Vice-Provost for Education & Student Affairs

What Students' Union UCL offers
Viktória Makai, Postgraduate Students' Officer for 2021/22, Students' Union UCL