School of Social Sciences

  • Research environment

    The following sections outline the research facilities and funding support available to research students at Faculty level, as well as training events available to research students.

  • Gipsy Lane Campus

    Research students have access to the Faculty’s shared hot-desking PC workstations in room G4.01 of the Gibbs building (see Links in the Useful Documents and Links for a map of the Campus). The access to this room is by SALTO card and can be obtained via your Research Administrator (see Research Administrators in the Important Contact Details). The Gibbs building is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, throughout the year. Students are issued with 24 hour access to Gibbs when they are given access to G4.01.

    You will also have access to another hot-desking space in the Tonge building, T534. If you require out of hours access to Tonge you will need to apply for a 24 hour access card with an application form that can be obtained via your Research Administrator.

    The Tonge Conservatory, on the ground floor of the Tonge, is a recreational space for staff and Research students that you are welcome to use. The door code can be obtained from your Research Administrator.

    Harcourt Hill Campus

    Research students have access to the Faculty’s shared hot-desking PC workstations in the Smetham Room in block D4 (see Links in the Useful Documents and Links section for a map of the Campus). The door code to access this room can be obtained from Marinka Walker (see Research Administrators in the Important Contact Details). The opening hours are between 08:00–20:00 Monday to Friday. Weekend access is possible phoning the Harcourt Estates and Facilities team) via the yellow phone box located outside Harcourt Reception.

    If you encounter any computer-related problems when using any of the above rooms please contact the OBIS helpdesk:

    Tel: 01865 483311

    Each research student in the Faculty will be allocated £500 towards the costs associated with specific research activities during their research programme. This is not an annual payment but an allocation over the duration of your research programme. Please note that:

    • This allocation is to be drawn on throughout the programme, starting in year two. It is not available to students in their first year of study.
    • Full-time students can draw on these funds in years two and three, part-time students in years two, three and four. It is not available to any students in the writing-up period.
    • The research activity must be approved by the Director of Studies who must confirm that the student has met the required level to benefit from the specified research activity.
    • The allocation is only to be used for research activities and cannot be used to fund printing, stationery, books, business cards (see below) or electronic equipment etc.
    • The cost of interlibrary loans will be deducted from the £500 allowance – see below.
    • The allocation can be used for the payment of a professional proofreader in the timeframe of the allocation as stated above.
    • It is not to be used to travel to Oxford. As a student enrolled at the University, you are expected to finance your own travel to and from Oxford.

    Printing and copying

    Students across the university can now print and copy via the Brookes Print-anywhere facility. The Faculty will reimburse research students up to £150 in total (over the course of their programme) for printing/copying costs, provided they produce receipts and claim using the Research Students’ Expenses Claim Form which can be obtained from the PGR Administrators.

    The procedure for claiming research activity expenses has two stages:

    1. First, all requests for Faculty funding support must first be approved using the PGR Research Activity Expenses Application Form. This form, together with the Research Student’s Expenses Claim Form, are circulated to all research students by the PGR Administrators. This must be signed by both your Director of Studies and the relevant PGR Tutor. Once your application has been approved please forward it onto the relevant PGR Administrator who will keep a record of what has been approved and how much you have used of the £500 allowance.
    2. Second, reimbursement of expenses can be claimed using the Research Student Expenses Claim Form. Please remember to attach all receipts and sign the claim form as the claimant. Forms that are not supported by receipts will not be processed. Completed claim forms should be forwarded onto the relevant PGR Administrator for processing.

    While there are no deadlines for applications and bids related to student entitlements, allowances or additional resources: these can be made at any time of year. An application should be considered “approved” once a signature has been obtained from the PGR Tutor.

    Inter-Library loans

    The cost of interlibrary loans for students in their second and third years (and fourth year for part-time students) will be deducted from the £500 allowance. Students should request a loan through the library’s online request service at

    Fill in the form as instructed but leave the field requesting a code blank – you can submit it without this code. The Library staff will inform the Research Administrators of any requests and these will then be deducted from the student’s £500 allowance. NB: There is no need to fill in either the Research Activity Expenses Application Form or the Claim Form for Inter-Library loans.

    The cost of any interlibrary loans made by students in their first year will be met by the relevant Department to the limit of three loans. Any subsequent loans must be paid for by the student.

    Much of the research done within the Faculty is grouped into Research Centres or Groups. Most of them hold seminar series, lectures and conferences as integral components of their activities. We very strongly encourage you to attend these events as much as possible. Furthermore, most research centres or groups also have informal subject groups which meet regularly, and which students are similarly encouraged to attend. In addition, the University runs a series of training events for research students.

    More specific training in research methods may also provided within each Department/School of the Faculty. Please check this with your Director of Studies.

    Personal Development Planner and diary

    All sources of training and professional development support should be drawn upon in relation to the Personal Development Planner and Diary for Postgraduate Research Students Generic Skills Training guide that is issued to all new students at enrolment by the Graduate Office (see Documents in the Useful Documents and Links).

    The planner and diary is provided for students and supervisors to plan a programme of study best suited to the needs of their research and to provide the appropriate skills training necessary for studies and/or employment here or elsewhere.

    You will be asked to fill this planner in with your Director of Studies at least twice a year – at the start of the year and towards the end of the year to review your progress.