Wellbeing and mental health

In addition to the resources below, take a look at the resources and pages created for Mental Health Awareness Week

Catalyst Fund projects

Catalyst Fund projects

In March 2018 Research England and Office for Students (OfS) awarded £1.5M to 17 projects to support the wellbeing of postgraduate researchers (PGRs) through the Catalyst Fund.

The projects resulted in a number of resources being developed to support postgraduate researcher mental health and wellbeing.

Read about some of the of the resources developed by institutions through the Catalyst Funding

Read the Catalyst Fund Supporting mental health and wellbeing for postgraduate research students programme evaluation and associated publications:


Stakeholder briefing for Supervisors

Stakeholder briefing for Senior Leaders

Stakeholder briefing for Professional services

What can institutions do?

What can institutions do?

The Exploring wellbeing and mental health and associate support services for postgraduate researchers report recommends institutions:

  • Have a researcher wellbeing and mental health strategy
  • Invest in wellbeing and mental health support and resources targeted to specific research career stages
  • Integrate wellbeing and mental health support into researcher development
  • Support both parties to manage the supervisory relationship
  • Provide mental health literacy training to all
  • Ensure researchers know when and where to ask for help and feel safe doing so
  • Provide targeted support to at-risk populations
  • Support all those who are engaged in research, not just those employed on research contracts
  • Monitor researcher wellbeing and mental health and evaluate progress
Opportunities for Researcher Developers to engage

Opportunities for Researcher Developers to engage

The promotion of good wellbeing and mental health features in the revised Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, published in September 2019. This is an opportunity to reflect on how the research culture is impacting on the wellbeing and mental health of research staff, and the role of the Concordat in affecting positive change.

Consider joining the Vitae Wellbeing and Mental Health Working Group to help guide us in our ongoing advocacy for the wellbeing of all research professionals.

Share practice and ideas via the Vitae Researcher Wellbeing community

Universities UK (UUK) Framework for Mental Health: a whole university approach

Universities UK (UUK) Framework for Mental Health: a whole university approach

Consult the Stepchange: mentally healthy universities framework for a whole university approach to mental health and wellbeing. An updated version of the previous StepChange framework, this is a call for action to universities to see mental health as foundational to all aspects of university life, for all students and all staff.

The framework includes a self-assessment tool to encourage unversities to plan and implement a whole university approach.

Focus on...

Focus on...

There are lots of useful resources relating to wellbeing and mental health to draw on from our Focus-on themes and from our podcasts with Taylor & Francis, including:

Focus-on work life balance and well-being

Mentoring and coaching for researchers

Inclusive Research Environment

Realising your potential

Staff supporting researchers with an interest in mental health and well-being Vitaehangout

Coping with stress and anxiety: Health and wellbeing for researchers: google Hangout for researchers

Podcasts The ‘overcoming impostor syndrome’ and the ‘unspoken challenges of research life’ are particularly relevant