UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics


PhD Student Support

The Department offers a wide variety of support for its PhD students.

The Department offers many options to support students. All students have access to the central UCL Student Support and Wellbeing services including Student Psychological and Counselling Services, Students’ Union UCL Support and UCL Student Mediator who offer a wide range of help and support on both personal and academic issues.

A great deal of support can be found on the UCL Doctoral Support pages.

Within the department, there are a number of additional ways to access support.

Departmental Postgraduate Tutor and Postgraduate Administrator

The first port of call is usually your supervisors, if you feel comfortable doing so.  You can also contact the Departmental Postgraduate Tutor Daisuke Kawata (d.kawata) and Senior Postgraduate Teaching and Learning administrator Philippa Elwell (p.elwell). If you still have concerns that you do not feel comfortable raising, you can also contact your panel chair.

Panel chairs

Each PhD student within the department is assigned a panel chair. The panel chair is a researcher within the department who works in a different research group from you and your supervisors. The panel chair is present during many panel meetings over the course of the PhD, including the probation and upgrade meetings. They are primarily there to help ensure PhD students are making good progress with their research but they are also an additional point of contact to raise any issues or concerns about your PhD progress that you may or may not feel you can discuss with your supervisors.

Dignity Advisors and Welfare Contacts

The department has Dignity Advisors and Welfare Contacts who are available to have confidential discussions with students and staff on all welfare matters.

You can find more information about who to contact on the Intranet.

Pastoral tutors

The department has two pastoral tutors Lucie Green (lucie.green) and Tom Kitching (t.kitching). Pastoral tutors are members of staff that you can go to for support on both academic and personal issues and are completely independent from your PhD. Pastoral tutors can help sign post you to relevant support options available to you and can offer help to resolve issues where possible.

The pastoral tutors are a unique support contact for students in the department. The Dignity Advisor and Welfare Contacts are accessible to all staff and students within the department.

Student Staff Consultation Committee (SSCC)

The SSCC is a departmental committee comprised of a number of student and staff representatives, including the Departmental Manager, Dimitra Stamogiannou, Departmental Postgraduate Tutor Daisuke Kawata and Senior Postgraduate Teaching and Learning Administrator Philippa Elwell. The aim of the SSCC is for students to anonymously raise concerns and issues to staff and senior departmental staff, via the student reps. Concerns raised at the SSCC tend to be broader issues impacting students or the wider lab, for example one previous issue raised at the SSCC was increased access to UCL Student Support and Wellbeing services for MSSL students as well as questions and concerns about the PhD upgrade process.

For current students at the department, more information on student support can be found on the Intranet. 

UCL 24/7 Student Support Line (no longer Care First) 

UCL 24/7 Student Support Line, is a free, confidential wellbeing support service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

You can talk to an adviser by phone on +44 (0) 808 238 0077 

UCL 24/7 Student Support Line is offered as part of the three ways you can access support services: 

  1. Go online through askUCL 
  2. Visit the walk-in UCL Student Enquiries Centre 
  3. Call the UCL 24/7 Student Support Line

In-the-moment support is available via the UCL 24/7 Student Support Line, in 35+ languages, including sign. You will be able to speak to an adviser who can help you through any issues you are facing. This may include feeling anxious, stressed, having money worries, cultural differences, homesickness, addiction, relationship difficulties, bereavement, bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct or anything you feel is impacting your mental health, wellbeing, or time at UCL. 

The advisors reflect the diverse range of backgrounds needed from our students. You can curate your own experience by selecting to speak to a male/female, a BAME or an advisor with additional training in LGBTQ+ related issues.