"A Combination of a Hamster Wheel and a Rat Race" - an Exploration of Postgraduate Researchers' Wellbeing

Milicev, J. , Biello, S. and Gardani, M. (2019) "A Combination of a Hamster Wheel and a Rat Race" - an Exploration of Postgraduate Researchers' Wellbeing. International Conference on the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Postgraduate Researchers, Brighton, UK, 16-17 May 2019.

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Abstract

While recent research has revealed high rates of mental ill-health among postgraduate researchers (PGRs) in the USA and Belgium, more knowledge is needed to understand the mental health and wellbeing of PGRs in the UK. The current study employs a qualitative approach to address this gap by focusing on the PGR experiences and perceptions. We used open-ended survey questions (N=459) and focus groups (N=20) to explore PGR wellbeing, the factors that affect it and the strategies to improve it. Thematic analysis resulted in four master themes: (1) “Department is where one starts from”; (2) “Supervisor; friend or foe?”; (3) “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”; (4) “PGR coping and self-regulation”. Each theme culminates in participant suggestions on how issues in question could be addressed, which may help inform institutional strategies and efforts to improve student welfare.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gardani, Dr Maria and Milicev, Jelena and Biello, Professor Stephany
Authors: Milicev, J., Biello, S., and Gardani, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
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