It’s the end of September: the leaves are starting to turn, our morning commutes to work are dewy and brisk, and summer feels like a half-remembered dream. But it’s not quite autumn yet, and in the world of academia this can only mean one thing: WELCOME WEEK! That’s right, the time has arrived for the annual inundation of new faces and minds across University of Bristol’s campus, freshening the scene with the enthusiasm that typically accompanies new beginnings and opportunities. We at the Bristol Doctoral College love this time of year because we can feel new students’ anticipation for the year ahead, and more importantly, because it doesn’t only mean the arrival of 8,000 undergraduates but also the arrival of a large portion of our postgraduate researchers. Amidst the daunting undergraduate crowd that typically dominates Welcome Week, it can sometimes be a struggle to find what the University and city have to offer its new early researchers, and so we’re here to help you navigate your way.
First and foremost, the BDC is a portal for all questions and queries regarding the postgraduate researcher experience. See our ‘about’ page for an overview of our values and objectives. We are delighted to announce the roll-out of our new website, which offers a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the latest news, events and opportunities, as well as an insight on the goings-on in PGR life around Bristol. Recent highlights include the development of our Information Hub, an essential guide to all things PGR-related, and the results of our “Where In The World Are You?” survey we conducted via facebook and twitter, through which we marked a map to trace the exciting research-related travel of all our PGRs over the summer.
The BDC is also a central provider of your personal and professional development. We believe everyone can build their desired experience whilst at Bristol, and we are here to provide the tools and resources for you to do so. Whether it is a specific research tool you need to learn in order to conduct your work, or the chance to teach in schools, or an ongoing opportunity to develop a personal goal, we are here to help you. Check out our entire catalogue of training & development through STaR, our Skills Training and Review tool. For more information about STaR, we are hosting a STaR drop-in sessions on Friday 25 September, Wednesday 30 September and Friday 2 October from 12-2pm in the lower study area of Senate House.
Finally, we’d like to extend a warm “HELLO” to all of our new postgraduate researchers, and a thank you for choosing to study at Bristol. Be sure to read through the latest Bulletin so you can plan your diary around the exciting events coming up: the Festival of Ideas kicks off this week and runs through October, and the Bristol Bright Night this Friday (25th September) is a wonderful research-oriented introduction to the harbourside and local Bristol treasures. We hope that you can find something to suit your wants and needs in these coming weeks, and that your transition into PGR life at Bristol runs smooth. Between us and the PG-specific Welcome Week events, we are sure you are busy already exploring the city and getting to know your way around campus, meeting fellow researchers and setting up appointments with your supervisors!
Welcome, and in the words of poet Rainer Maria Rilke, “and now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been”.