Research is supported

As a research student, I was told that support and guidance from the departments at the university is crucial, be it physical, emotional or spiritual support and I find it extremely true. I believe that it is better to prepare and make possible mistakes early rather than making the mistakes in the later phase of my study. That is why I try to get/gain as much input as I can in the beginning phase of my study. I am very glad to say that the University of Sussex provides a lot of support organised by different departments and they are overwhelming.

I especially love the support and guidance provided by the Library, Doctoral School and the school. This is a list of my favourite support and guidance for research students.blog2 2

  1. Library

I love going to the library. It is one of my favourite places to hang out and do my work. There are plenty of PCs/Macs that I can use for my research. And I like the fact that my account is synced on the PCs/Macs anywhere on campus. In the library, other than the massive amount of books and journal articles, I love the fact that the library provides us with support and guidance which are essential and especially only for research students, for example, Research Hive, one-to-one support and a lot of other workshops and seminars which support various research skills such as literature searching. To book for a place on the workshops and seminars is very simple. I did talk about it here: These workshops and seminars provide opportunities for many research students to mingle and share their research (which are interdisciplinary).

Research Hive is also located on the top floor of the library building. This space is only available for academic researchers and research students. There are also PCs/Macs available for use within the space. There are also two group study rooms which are available to be used. In each of this room, there is a PC. I’ve used this space several times for interviews and focus group discussions. They are spacious and suitable for these reasons. The Research Hive Scholars are also very helpful. They organized many academic activities related to research, research students and academic researchers. My favourite, much-anticipated and must participate activities are inductions, photo competition, Shut-Up and Write sessions. During the induction, I get to meet current and new research students and share my experiences, be it about academic or personal with them. These types of sharing sessions are very fulfilling. The scholars also organize Shut-Up and Write session once a month. This session helps us to get our writing done and at the same time getting our much-needed break over coffee.blog2 3

  1. Doctoral School

Other than the library, the Doctoral School also provides support and guidance for research students especially in terms of developing and improving our research skills and writing skills. The Research Development Programme covers a varied/wide range of skills for both science and arts and humanities research students and in both qualitative and quantitative research. Although I love all the workshops and seminars I attended, my most favourite one, which I would definitely recommend for every researcher (no matter what stage you’re in), is the Effective Researcher workshop. The input given is overwhelming and extremely helpful to organize and manage my research work, research progress, research development, research data, well, basically my research. The facilitator also gives us the opportunity to plan ahead on what I plan to do for my personal research plan.blog2 4

  1. School

I believe that getting support from the school is also important. The school I am attached to provides detailed information and shares relevant activities with all the members. Weekly or monthly seminars are organized to provide opportunities to research students to get updated information or share current research by both academics and research students, both from the university, department or from other universities.

These sharing sessions provide us with new information and they help us to keep updated with the latest research in the field. They also provide opportunities to mingle with other research students of the same field of study. The research coordinators also share information on possible research funding, conference funding and upcoming conferences.blog2 6

In short, all the opportunities are provided and it’s up to us to grab them! 🙂

Zurina Khairuddin is a Malaysian student who is currently studying for a PhD in Linguistics.


What to pack for a year abroad?

Although, I can just speak about packing stuff for Singapore, I believe that it would apply to other countries where the average temperature reaches above 30 degrees Celsius. The absolute essentials are:

  1. Sun Cream

Most of Asia is very hot all year around and even though there are rainy seasons the sun will heat up your skin almost every day. Most of us want to get tanned quickly, especially coming from England, but make sure you protect your skin all the time. When buying a sun cream make sure you check the SPF; Sun Protection Factor for protection from UVB rays (burns and tanning) and and PA; Protection Grade of UVA rays (photoaging) that is indicated by PA+++ ( the higher the PA the better protection!). And remember UVB protection does not increase proportionally with the SPF number. The sun blocks can be quite expensive in Singapore so remember to buy some on sale in England!DSCF4697 Continue reading


Over spring break I was lucky enough to pass through Missouri and Kentucky and eventually reach the state of Tennessee – to Nashville. I didn’t know what to expect from Nashville and had only stereotypical ideas of an endless mass of cowboy hats and blaring country music. What I did immediately notice was the fresh air; something I took for granted before reaching the big city of Chicago. So the first thing I did was take a deep breath.12900100_1223884837639689_844227831_n Continue reading

The EU Referendum and the Importance of Voting

On Thursday 23rd June 2016, the UK will decide whether or not to remain in the European Union, and oh boy is this a big deal. This blog is designed to be accessible, to clear up some common misconceptions about the EU and to explain the methods of voting.  You shouldn’t need any background in European politics to understand this. I am a firm fan of the EU and fully encourage you all to vote, and to vote to stay in.6004.item Continue reading

Student life in the States v the UK: Pros and cons

I thought this month I would do a slightly more informative, hopefully useful blog for anyone who is interested in the variation between student living in the good ol’ US of A versus back home.  Having conversed with a fair few friends at different US universities I can say with some certainty that supermarket food is more expensive here than at home. Particularly when it comes to fresh produce, the prices differ quite substantially. Even in the cheapest supermarket here, the average price for a pepper, for example, is $2.50. $2.50!! Yeah, OK, that translates to a little less in pounds, but seeing as you can get a pack of 3 for a quid in Sainsbury’s, I’m gonna go ahead and say that they’re ridiculously expensive.1123 Continue reading

Mythbusting: Student Media

With all the Media Anniversaries this year (URF 40, Badger 20, UniTV 5 years) I would like to take this opportunity to rebut some myths surrounding Student Media here at Sussex. As a member of UniTV and URF, these are concerns that are always brought up whenever I encourage people to join.

Student Media are only for Media students
This couldn’t be more further than the truth. In fact, I speak from experience (being also a non-media student), you’ll be very surprised but in fact, the majority of the people who are actively involved in the Student Media are actually from non-media studies. The majority of the execs for UniTV are from courses as varied as History to Physics to Computer Sciences. The manager of URF is not a media student, or a journalism student, she’s studying Neuroscience.

Your course doesn’t dictate your passion to join or interest to check out the work of the Student Media. Also, another perk that you get when you join as a non-media student, you get to have access in the Media School Edit and Sound Suites, or those restricted-access rooms in Falmer House. Aren’t you curious what’s behind those doors?1941476_609271712490448_883144214_o
Continue reading

When Culture Shock Strikes

Whether you move to the other end of the world like Australia, or just across the channel to France – or even hopping across the Atlantic to the seemingly similar USA, you will not escape the symptoms of culture shock. It’s often pointed out across many different briefings, with even a few examples or charts to go along with it, yet despite this, we all shrug it off.

“It’s not that big of a deal!” 

“It won’t affect me! I’ll be fine!”12670876_10206293812925740_1817583365444984034_n Continue reading