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

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.

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

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.

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.

Finding Balance in Uncertain Times - Wellbeing at work

OCSLD runs a workshop open to all staff to enable participants to develop an understanding of what is realistic and achievable in the current climate to maintain a place of balance, and what strategies can be employed to support yourselves and your work teams.

Time Management

OCSLD run a popular Personal Time Management course which is open to all staff and is recommended by our research-only staff. The course focuses on how you currently manage your time, planning, prioritisation and how to maximise your energy levels. 

Coaching

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 1:1 Connect scheme

The 1:1 Connect scheme (formerly known as Brookes Buddies) is available to any member of staff, at any level, who may be feeling isolated and wishes to connect with a colleague for an informal chat and coffee. Visit the Brookes Staff Connect Google site for more information on 1:1 Connect and staff chatrooms.

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 group exercise and wellness classes, and equipment, including: cycling, spin, pilates and yoga.

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!

External resources

Vitae

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

NHS

The NHS has put together numerous resources on  Mental health and wellbeing, including mental wellbeing audio guides, 5 steps to mental wellbeing, mindfulness, self-help and support on improving low mood and reducing stress. 

TalkingSpace Plus

TalkingSpace Plus is a free, confidential NHS service for adults in Oxfordshire, to help people when they’re feeling stressed, anxious or low. If you feel you would benefit from support please contact its service directly on (01865) 901222 or visit its website.

Universities UK

Stepchange: mentally healthy universities (Universities UK, May 2020) 

Action for Happiness

Action for Happiness offers advice, news, events and monthly action calendars.

Mind

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. 

Samaritans

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.

SANEline

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.