• Wellbeing for Researchers
  • Wellbeing for Researchers

    What do we mean by “wellbeing”?

    Wellbeing is defined as relating to a person’s state of welfare, health and happiness. There are numerous resources and services available to researchers across the university and beyond.

    Oxford Brookes University Support and Resources for Research Staff

    Staff Experience – Wellbeing

    The University recognises that wellbeing is fundamental to a positive staff experience. The Staff Experience web pages on Wellbeing cover Work-life balance, Feel Good Festival, Brookes Active, Occupational Health and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion.

    Feel Good Festival

    Look out for the Feel Good Festival, held every February. This includes a series of lectures, workshops, sports, training and other wellbeing events for staff.

    Occupational Health

    Appointments for staff, services & support

    Managing mental wellbeing and stress at work

    Oxford Brookes University recognises that excessive or prolonged pressure can have a negative impact on individuals and the organisation; and that this can be mitigated through appropriate action on the part of individuals and their managers. Occupational Health runs a course for line managers and supervisors on their role in promoting mental wellbeing and managing work-related stress.


    Mindfulness can help us increase awareness and subsequently make more skilful choices in our everyday lives. Mindfulness helps to reduce stress, enhances focus, increases self-awareness and awareness of others, enables clearer communication and encourages us to feel more relaxed and at ease. This Mindfulness course is run by a freelance mindfulness teacher and anxiety management therapist and organised through Occupational Health. It is open to all Oxford Brookes University staff.

    Mental Health First Aid

    Mental Health First Aid is the help given to someone experiencing a mental health problem before professional help is obtained. This course run by Occupational Health teaches people to recognise the symptoms of mental health problems, provide initial help and guide a person towards appropriate professional help. It aims to provide a better understanding of mental health conditions; more confidence about mental health and what to do to help others; reduced stigma about mental health and better awareness of your own and other people’s mental health.

    Managing Stress at work

    This Occupational Health web resource outlines the University policy for the prevention and management of stress in the workplace and resources for both staff and their line managers on managing workplace stress.

    Research Rambles

    Do you sometimes find your research role isolating? Would you benefit from some time away from your desk/lab to recharge your batteries? Would you like the opportunity to connect with other research staff across the university in an informal setting?

    Join us for Research Rambles, a series of fortnightly walks for contract research staff and professional services staff who support research.

    Let's achieve three of the “five ways to wellbeing” in one swoop! (1. Be active, 2. Connect with the people around you and 3. Take notice of the world around you.) 

    No need to book, just turn up. Dates, times and locations will be advertised by the Researcher Development Co-ordinator. Any queries, contact Jennie Cripps,  jcripps@brookes.ac.uk.


    All University staff can access the Brookes Coaching Pool to set and work towards achieving their work-related goals. Coaching is empowering others to find their own solutions. The coach's role is to facilitate thinking by providing challenge and support, to help the coachee unlock their own answers.

    University Research Staff Mentoring Scheme

    Mentoring is a developmental partnership between colleagues in which a Mentee (the scheme is open to all research staff from PGRA through to Reader) is guided by a more experienced Mentor (research-active academic), who uses their expertise, knowledge and personal experience to help the Mentee achieve their research-related goals.

    Diversity networks

    The University has a number of Staff Networks and forums to connect and support staff, based on shared identity or experience. These networks can assist in personal and professional development, organise events and activities, act as a sounding board for policy development and review, and provide a consultative forum for the university to gather views and feedback.

    The Wellbeing Centre

    Information for staff supporting students

    Brookes Sport

    Brookes Sport offers group exercise and wellness classes including: cycling, spin, pilates, yoga and Zumba.

    The Glass Tank

    A recent report by the Art Fund reveals that 63% of us have visited a museum or gallery as a way to de-stress.Why not take a breather and make a visit to our on-site university art gallery? The Glass Tank hosts a range of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. It’s completely free to visit and can be found on the ground floor of the Abercrombie building.

    The research shows that people who say they regularly visit museums and galleries report a greater sense of satisfaction with their lives than those who never go. The Glass Tank changes exhibition every four to six weeks giving you a reason to re-visit regularly.

    Special Collections of the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History

    Visit the treasure trove of special collections at Harcourt Hill campus. Collections include a number of archives, papers and art collections comprising portraits, sketches, paintings, etchings and other media. Don't miss it!

    Click here for more information

    External resources


    Vitae is a non-profit organisation, part of The Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Ltd with over 45 years' experience in enhancing the skills and careers of researchers. It is dedicated to supporting the professional development of researchers. OBU pays to be an organisational member of Vitae which unlocks additional content to OBU research students and staff. You can access this by registering on the Vitae web site using your institutional email address.

    Wellbeing and mental health

    Vitae/Taylor & Francis - 15 minutes to develop your research career podcasts:

    Episode 4: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome (15:32)

    Episode 6: The unspoken challenges of research life (15:11)

    Five ways to mental wellbeing:

    1. Connect with the people around you
    2. Be active
    3. Take notice of your surroundings and savour the moment
    4. Keep learning and try something new
    5. Give to others


    Universities UK Step change framework: Mental Health in Higher Education

    For Research Leaders and Supervisors

    Universities UK - Student mental wellbeing in higher education – a good practice guide

    For Research Leaders and Supervisors

    Meditation, mindfulness & relaxation apps

    There are numerous external apps available for breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness, relaxation, etc. Here are just a few: