Derby has a vibrant research environment and a close-knit community. There are around 400 research students and 300 research-active staff. We provide high levels of support and encouragement to all of them, helping them to achieve and succeed.

Our community

We organise regular events and opportunities to network and celebrate the research that takes place here, such as:

Discover our Research events

Research Café

The Research Café is a series of informal meet-ups to provide Derby’s research community with opportunities to get to know one another, receive regular updates and share learnings and insights across disciplines and career stages. These events are open to anyone interested or involved in research and are designed to help foster a more cohesive research environment at the university.

Student and staff wellbeing

Our University has a culture that promotes wellbeing, diversity, and opportunity for all. This is achieved through a range of initiatives, policies, staff networks, student societies and events that run throughout the year.

Find out more about:

Researcher Development Programme

Our Researcher Development Programme develops the skill you need for your research and future career. The programme will help you to secure funded research, support your research practice and facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations.

The programme is aligned with the University's strategic aims, the wider higher education environment, particularly the Vitae Researcher Development Framework and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

Supporting our Postgraduate Research Students

Our Postgraduate Research (PGR) students are an active and integral part of the University’s research community. We nurture and support these students in the following ways:

We run a year-round programme of training and events to help you complete your doctorate and prepare for your future career.

The PGR training is organised around the three main phases of the research degree: beginning; middle; and completing the doctorate. Our tailored programme ranges from the doctoral induction, research methods and tools, research ethics, research management, public engagement and impact from research.

We also hold lots of other research-focused events that PGR students are invited to attend, such as:

  • The PGR Student Conference
  • The Annual University Research and Knowledge Exchange Conference
  • Research cafés
  • Professorial Inaugural Lectures
  • The Annual University Professorial Council event
  • PGR networking events
  • Events organised by the colleges, such as research seminars

Our PGR students also participate in the East Midlands Doctoral Network (EMDoc), enter the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition and have the opportunity to become a member of our PGR Network on Twitter.

Our PGR Development Fund supports students in their research development. If you are eligible, you can apply for funding to support a wide variety of purposes, such as attending training events or conferences. We make funds available at different points throughout the academic year and award them on a competitive basis.

We have careers advice available for our postgraduate research students through our Careers and Employment Service.

Whether your desired career is here at the University of Derby or elsewhere, in your current field or something different, we are committed to giving you impartial and independent career development and employability support, advice and guidance.

For example, we can help you to:

  • Research your career options, plan and prepare for a transition
  • Find the most relevant, up-to-date careers information
  • Use a wide range of career planning tools
  • Explore options for your next step
  • Receive end-of-contract careers advice
  • Offer business support programmes for self-employment or business start-up
  • One to one appointments, face-to-face or via Microsoft Teams, can be booked on the Careers website (login required)

As well as having access to the University’s full range of student support and clubs and societies, our international students can also receive specific support from our International Student Centre. We also offer our students a free course on Academic English Language that is tailored specifically to their needs.

Supporting our Research Staff, including Early-Career Researchers

We have a range of teams and programmes in place to support our researchers and help them deliver research that is ground-breaking and has real-world impact. Whether that is through our Impact Officer Team or through finding funding and grants, we ensure our researchers are fully supported. Plus, if additional support is required in an area, we are happy to look into this.

We know that there are different definitions for the term ‘Early-Career Researcher’ (ECR) but at Derby, we class you as an Early-Career Researcher if you are within four years of completing your doctorate and are embarking on the first stages of your research career.

If you are a researcher or early-career researcher, we have several initiatives to support you:

The University's Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (URKEO) can help you navigate the research funding landscape and gain advice on appropriate internal and external funding opportunities. We can also support your research in identifying career-stage specific opportunities, including our Early-Career Researchers Development Fund.

This fund enables you to apply for additional funding to support your professional development. For example, you could ask for funding to help pay for hosting or attending events or conferences, research consumables, or travel.

As an applied university, we’ll encourage you to use your research to make a positive impact on the industry, the public services, or the wider society. We have a dedicated Impact Officer Team who can work with you to help identify ways to embed impact from the very outset of research projects, evaluation evidence and the safe storage of impact evidence.

The University will also help you make any submissions to the Research Excellence Framework (REF): the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

This forum aims to encourage shared learning across colleges, research centres and academic disciplines and aims to stimulate collaboration between our ECRs. It runs a range of workshops (at least once per term) to support your professional development; these will generally address the common challenges that ECRs experience and develop your research skills.

The forum also gives ECRs a voice within the University Professorial Council and other University committees. This means that ECRs get the opportunity to input into wider University strategic planning, which is particularly beneficial if you aspire to become an Associate Professor.

Through this mentoring scheme, you can receive support and guidance on your research objectives from a senior member of staff. You will meet regularly to reflect on your work and progress, in a way that matches your personal requirements.

ECRs at the University have the opportunity to join the British Academy Early-Career Researcher Network which will support UK-based post-doctoral research in the humanities and social sciences. The network will support career development through opportunities to strengthen skills and networks and will offer additional experience.

Library support

Our library team offers training and support to both postgraduate research students and those who are established in their research career. They provide training on library systems along with information on how to get published, understanding research metrics and Open Access publishing including using the University of Derby research repository.

The Library has access to an extensive range of both printed and online resources, including over 50,000 journals and over 450,000 e-books. If an item you require for your research is not available from our collections, you can use our Inter Library Loans service.