Support & Wellbeing

While it is hoped that your time at Sheffield will be an untroubled one, there may be occasions when you need additional help and support. In times like these, there is a comprehensive support structure available to help with all kinds of different problems. By engaging with the support services below we hope you will be able to work through any difficulties and achieve your potential.

Support in your department

Primary Supervisor

Please refer to the Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes which clarifies the responsibilities of your supervisor. Your primary supervisor is responsible for the day to day supervision of your research. They will provide guidance on the nature of the research project and the standard expected, the planning and timing of the successive stages of the research project, literature and sources, research methods and techniques. If you have any issues that might be compromising your academic progress you should feel able to discuss this with them.

Second Supervisor

Their prime role is to offer an independent perspective on your research, providing direct supervision if your primary supervisor is absent, but otherwise playing a more loosely-defined supportive role. However, in all cases, the second supervisor will act as the monitor of the student’s training plan and will be responsible for commenting on their training progress and for formally approving their portfolio as part of the transfer process. If for any reason it is difficult to speak to your primary supervisor, you should contact your second supervisor on personal non-work related issues.

PGR Tutor/Director of Research

The role of the departmental PGR Tutor is to deputize for the Head of Department on matters concerning doctoral studies and students. They can be contacted to discuss difficulties you may have with individuals within your supervisory team and to provide guidance on how to access professional services support.

Head of Department

As the highest authority in the department, it will always be possible to raise any concern you have with the Head of Department. This would particularly be the case if the PGR Tutor happens to be part of your supervisory team.

PGR Administrator

Your departmental PGR Administrator can advise on issues of academic progress and regulatory queries.

Personal Tutor

In addition to two named supervisors, as a doctoral research student, you should have access to a personal tutor who is unconnected to your research project, and who is available to provide advice and support on personal and pastoral issues when required. They are not expected to take part in your day-to-day academic supervision.

The role of your personal tutor is pivotal in supporting and guiding you as a doctoral research student towards becoming an independent researcher and reaching your full potential.

Your personal tutor will be a member of academic staff who will:
  • retain an interest in your personal and academic development throughout your academic career;
  • assist you in the process of induction and orientation into University life;
  • provide advice to you on your professional development;
  • respond as promptly as possible to requests for help and advice about pastoral/non-academic matters insofar as they are able to do so;
  • signpost and refer you to professional University support services for further assistance if necessary;
  • signpost you to relevant services for careers advice and skills development;
  • act as your advocate when advocacy is needed;
  • act as a possible referee;
  • keep a record of discussions with you and any agreed follow-up action.
Research Degree Support Team

The Research Degree Support Team is responsible for providing advice and guidance to research students, on matters relating to a student’s progression, through their research degree and on the examination and award processes.

Health & Wellbeing

issue by problem

support by service

Welfare & Advice


The University’s Union of Students has a Nursery providing care and education for students’ children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. The Nursery also runs half-term play schemes and can offer information on child minding for older children at the end of the school day.

Central Welfare and Guidance

The Central Welfare and Guidance team supports students experiencing personal difficulties which are having a significant impact on their student experience and ability to study. This extends to offering support and guidance to staff supporting or concerned about students; students who find themselves in a position where they are living with or providing support to fellow students and also providing a point of contact and source of guidance for concerned parents or other family members.

Telephone: 222 4321 Email: