PGR Well Bee-ing Project

Improving provision, support, and resources for wellbeing and mental health issues in our PGR community.


Project updates

Keep up-to-date with what’s happening on the project.

short video update on the progress and impact of our project was presented to the UKCGE Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference in May 2021.

Read our blog for other news.


Dissemination of project findings

Read the dissemination of key findings from the project and our resulting recommendations to the University.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved and made a contribution.

Our aim

The PGR Well Bee-ing Project is one of 17 projects taking place across the UK funded by the Office for Students and Research England.

The aim of our project is to better understand wellbeing and mental health issues from a PGR perspective and improve and tailor our provision, support, and resources for our PGR community at the University of Manchester. 

Our approach

Our approach is to focus on prevention, supporting and referring.

Prevention work will involve:

  • Gaining a better understanding of the challenges to the mental health and wellbeing of our postgraduate researchers.
  • Introducing a wellbeing tool to support PGRs to check their wellbeing.
  • Enhancing PGR engagement with the University’s Six Ways to Wellbeing framework.

Support work will include:

  • Developing training with and for PGR reps in areas identified by them, such as peer to peer support
  • Improving the visibility of existing wellbeing resources and training.
  • Testing and promoting the use of wellbeing apps suitable for PGRs.

Referral work will focus on improving our links and pathways to local NHS providers.

Who we are

We are governed by over twenty experts from a number of areas within the University.

The project is coordinated by the Graduate Education Team and involves academics, colleagues from student support, researcher development, the library, the counselling service, University of Manchester Students’ Union, and PGR reps.

Key contacts

Professor Melissa Westwood, Associate Vice President Research (PGR), is the project lead and responsible for the delivery of the project and reporting to our funders.

Dr Sarah Peters, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, is responsible for the PGR survey and analysis of existing data.

Jane Hardman, Student Support Advice and Guidance Manager, is leading on developing a wellbeing tool to support PGRs and on PGR engagement.

Nicola Grayson, Learning Developer and Alys Kay, Online Development Officer in the Faculty of Science and Engineering are working together on developing and delivering training to PGR reps.

Will Carey, Head of Education and Advocacy at the University of Manchester Students’ Union, is ensuring the project engages with the PGR community and meets the training needs of PGR reps.

Dr Dawn Edge, Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Mental health, and Dr Terry Hanley, Senior Lecturer in Counselling Psychology, are responsible for curating and making visible wellbeing resources and materials for PGRs.

Dr Warren Mansell, Reader in Clinical Psychology, and Dr Sara Tai, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, have developed a number of mindfulness based apps and are testing their suitability for the PGR community.

Sarah Littlejohn, Head of Counselling Service, is leading on discussions relating to an improved pathway for NHS mental health services.

Project team

The project team has been supported by Chloe Whittaker, Project Coordinator, based at the Students’ Union, who focussed on our PGR training and engagement work, Rebecca Crook, Research Assistant; focussing on our survey and data analysis, and Lindsay Wilson, Project Assistant.

Claire Faichnie in the Graduate Education Team coordinates the meetings of the project board.

This work is funded by the Office for Students in collaboration with Research England.


For general information on PGR Well-Beeing Project, please contact:

For up to date news follow us on Twitter @PGRwellbeingUoM