Mental health and wellbeing of international doctoral students in the UK: An investigation of supervisors’ understanding and existing support provision

This research investigated how well supervisors understand the mental health and wellbeing of international doctoral students, and what support supervisors can provide given the seemingly poor levels of psychological wellbeing experienced by this group. Based on our recent engagements with HE stakeholders in supporting international doctoral students, a focus on supervisors’ role was strongly endorsed. We explored this timely but less explored area through: a) extant blog narratives on international supervision; and) b) in-depth creative interviews with experienced doctoral supervisors from UK HE institutions. With the breadth (whole UK), depth, and complementarity of textual and visual data, findings yielded evidence-based understanding and inform the development of interventions and an invaluable training package tailored to supervisors of international doctoral students.

PI and Co-Is

PI - Dr Chris Blackmore (PI) Senior University Teacher, University of Sheffield

Co-I - Dr Dely L Elliot, Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow, School of Education

Dr Rob Daley (Advisory role) Academic Developer, Heriot-Watt University

Dr Kay Guccione (Advisory role) Mentoring and Coaching Consultant, University of Sheffield


Start and End Date

October 2018 to July 2019


Funder and Funding Amount

UK Council for International Student Affairs - £10,000


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