Loughborough Doctoral College

Training and events

Doctoral Researcher Wellbeing Fortnight 2021

Following the success and feedback of Loughborough University's first Doctoral Wellbeing Week last year, an online event from 1-12 March 2021 has been organised to coincide with University Mental Health Day on Thursday 4th March 2021.

What is the Wellbeing Fortnight all about?

At Loughborough University, we recognise and value the vast contributions that Doctoral Researchers make to the institution and beyond. To enable them to achieve their full potential, we need to take a proactive and responsive approach to support and enhance doctoral wellbeing.

Whilst wellbeing is important 24/7, 365 days a year, the Doctoral Wellbeing Fortnight is an event which hopes to increase awareness of various support services available and equip our Doctoral Researchers with information and skills that they can apply throughout their doctorates and beyond. Providing a bespoke event for Doctoral Researchers is important because the challenges they may face can be different to taught student populations.

The Doctoral Wellbeing Fortnight is a huge collaborative effort with input from colleagues internal and external to the University. The event came about following the success of the University's first ever Doctoral Wellbeing Week in 2020 that was funded by Dr Katryna Kalawsky's Vice Chancellor's Award of Excellence. All sessions will take place online and topics are aligned to Loughborough University’s definition of wellbeing.

We are extremely greatful to those who have willingly agreed to give their time and expertise (particularly during a pandemic!) freely to support this exciting event.


Please note that some sessions from last year's Doctoral Wellbeing Week can be viewed via the 'Doctoral Wellbeing' section of the Doctoral College's Virtual Learning Environment on Learn.


In need of support? Please visit the Doctoral Wellbeing webpages on the Doctoral College website to access information on a wide range of internal and external resources for doctoral researchers and those on the front-line of their support.

Sessions for Doctoral Researchers

Sessions for staff supporting Doctoral Researchers


We are consistently told about the benefits of getting outside for fresh air and exercise. But when you’re out on your walks, how present are you?

Many of us, instead of noticing our immediate surroundings, are caught up in our thoughts, feelings and emotions. To truly benefit from our time outside we must aim to be mindful of our thoughts and feelings, but not let them dominate our headspace.

To help you make the most of nature and to introduce several mindfulness techniques, PhD students Kathrin Burdenski and Ursula Davis have developed a one-hour circular walk through Burleigh Woods as part of Doctoral Wellbeing Fortnight (1-12 March). Staff, students and their families based in the local area are encouraged to take part.

Along the path, you will find signs with activity instructions that are suitable for all ages. The walk is designed not only to immerse yourself in the surrounding nature but also to understand your own wellbeing, and perhaps identify ways to deal with current worries and thoughts.

Ursula finds that implementing mindfulness techniques throughout [her] day has been a key tool in developing [her] resilience”. The duo hopes that the activities, including a breathing exercise and an activity that encourages you to connect with friends, will help you feel the same benefits.

Visitors are asked to be open-minded throughout the walk and engage in the activities so you may reap the benefits.

Kathrin explains: “With this walk, we tried to combine three boosters to our wellbeing: mindfulness, physical activity and nature. We hope people will welcome this opportunity to engage in an offline activity that offers the opportunity to try something new.”

The activity signs displayed across the walk will be up until 21 March. You can enter Burleigh Woods through the main entrance and follow the signs along the footpath; this can be accessed via Nicolson Road, Loughborough.

Please bear in mind the walk can be muddy so wear appropriate footwear. Be respectful of the woodlands around you by sticking to the paths and not disturbing habitats within the woodland. Bring a pen and a piece of paper if you want to take some notes from the activities.