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Institute of Astronomy


Each person’s experience of a PhD is different, but sooner or later everyone encounters a difficult patch and wonders “why am I doing this?” It is a long road, and sometimes the problems you face may turn out to be more serious than the regular bumps. If you do find the pressures of a PhD are getting to you, the most important thing is to seek assistance when you need it. This can come in lots of forms depending on the problem and how you would feel most comfortable. Within the department your supervisor or co-supervisor is a good port of call, particularly if it is a work related problem.

Paul Hewett is also a good contact as he oversees all the PhD students. Some matters are also helped by going to see the support staff—particularly for issues with money, Debbie Peterson and David Savidge are often good points of contact.

Alternatively, you could talk, informally and in confidence, with one of the IoA's own Wellbeing Advocates or your 

For pastoral care, most people in the department are very approachable and you can turn to anyone who you feel comfortable with. However, it's always a good idea to get in touch with your College Tutor, who will normally arrange a meeting with you to discuss your concerns.

The University's Student Support pages are dedicated to signposting students to support on a range of issues including mental and physical health, finance and academia.