Wellbeing for Researchers

This page is for Oxford Brookes University staff. Its purpose is to explain internal processes to staff members. It was moved into its current location on the website in Autumn 2022.

Page content is being revised to reflect the move to the new Research, Innovation and Enterprise Directorate.

Oxford Brookes University Support and Resources for Research Staff

Employee Health & Wellbeing
The University offers its staff help and support, resources to improve health and wellbeing, and guidance on stress management and developing resilience.

Work-Life Balance
The work-life balance web pages provide an overview of the University's flexible working policy and options, details of the on-site nursery and leave entitlements.

Occupational Health

Occupational Health (OH) is concerned with how work and the work environment can affect an employee’s health, and how employee health can affect a person’s ability to do the job. You can access  Occupational Health appointments, services and support from the OH web pages.

Managing Stress at work

These Stress web pages outline 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.

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

The University has partnered with independent organisation Health Assured to provide all employees with free access to wellbeing support. The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) offers expert advice and compassionate guidance by phone 24/7, 365 days a year. It provides counselling, legal advice, bereavement support, general advice on medical problems and a range of information resources and self-help tools on a broad range of issues including finance, childcare, eldercare or any other life issues.

In addition all staff have access to My Healthy Advantage, Health Assured’s comprehensive health and wellbeing app.

Wellbeing Training
The Staff Learning Portal lists training on wellbeing run by the Learning and Development team, such as "Wellbeing Conversations in the Workplace" and "Managing Stress and Overwhelm". It also lists e-learning Skills Boosters, such as "Building Resilience" and "Mental Health in the Workplace: Stress Less".

Time Management

The Learning and Development team runs a workshop on Personal Time Management, which provides tools and techniques for how to make the most of your time, in order to better manage stress and productivity. In addition, the Researcher Development team runs a workshop on Time Management for Researchers, as part of the annual University Research & KE Training programme. This very practical session explores strategies for time management for research-active staff, including ways of using your time effectively to 'work smarter rather than harder' and to achieve a good 'work-life balance', reducing your stress in the process.


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.

Brookes Staff Connect

Using Google Chat rooms, Brookes Staff Connect provides a way of connecting staff across the University around shared interests or experiences. Members of a Google Room may start message threads, group conversations, share files, or video conference with Google Meet. Colleagues are encouraged to create their own rooms.

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.

Brookes Sport

Brookes Sport offers Oxford Brookes Staff Membership options on use of its gym, fitness classes, squash and badminton courts, and more.

Brookes Active
Brookes Active offers initiatives such as Walk and Talk and Staff Yoga.

External resources


Vitae 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.

Vitae has put together a number of resources on 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:

The gov.uk web page lays out guidance for  5 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


The NHS has put together tips and exercises on self-help, covering mindfulness, how to be happier, raising low self-esteem and how to cope with depression. 

NHS Oxfordshire Talking Therapies

NHS Oxfordshire Talking Therapies is a free Talking Therapies service to help people in Oxfordshire who are feeling low, anxious or stressed. This includes access to courses, group therapy or one to one support.

Universities UK

Stepchange: mentally healthy universities 

Action for Happiness

Action for Happiness offers advice on making small daily actions for big positive changes. It runs talks, local groups and provides free monthly action calendars.


Mind is a charity which provides information, advice and support on mental health issues. Mind also offers toolkits on taking care of your staff and yourself in the workplace.

Please also see the Oxfordshire Mind Guide - a guide to mental health services across Oxfordshire. 


The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can talk to someone if you're having a difficult time, access the self-help app and find information about how to support someone you're worried about.


SANE is a leading UK mental health charity. SANEline is a national out-of-hours mental health helpline offering specialist emotional support, guidance and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers.

Education Support

Education Support is the only UK charity dedicated to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of teachers and education staff in schools, colleges and universities. They provide a helpline and resources to any member of staff in the education sector.

Charlie Waller Trust

The Charlie Waller Trust has also done a lot of work with universities and provides resources for staff to support students and to look after their own mental health and wellbeing.