We are loud with our own voices!

With two days until International Women’s Day, Gizem Guney questions her initial optimism about the success of women in her field, in this guest blog.







Gizem is a Doctoral Researcher                                                          and Tutor in the School of Law,                                                     Politics and Sociology,                                                                  University of Sussex

When I was luckily asked to share my experience of being a female early-career researcher, the first thoughts that I had were quite positive. As a last year Ph.D researcher focusing on gender, I have spent quite a lot of time on researching, teaching, thinking and writing about gendered facets of life disproportionately harming women. Continue reading


Find Allies, Be Wise; Navigating Academia as a woman

This guest blog by Josie Paris discusses her experience of navigating academia as a woman, as part of our collection of guest blogs celebrating women in research for International Women’s Day on Thursday.




Josie is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Evolution, Behaviour and Environment department (Life Sciences) investigating the ecological genomics of adaptive polymorphism in the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata).

Early on during my undergraduate degree (done here, at the University of Sussex), I was pretty certain that I wanted to continue in academia. I was fairly naïve – you often are as you enter the whirlwind – but I was fortunate to have encountered a handful of wonderful academic chaperones who armed me for the PhD campaign. They helped me adjust to the nuances of the supervisor-student relationship, the loneliness, the demand for passion; the idiosyncrasies of professional science, the sense of wading through treacle. Being female, however, was not discussed. Continue reading

London Philharmonic Orchestra 26/2

On Saturday 24 February,  we took a group of PhD students to the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance at the Brighton Dome as a social event for the Hive.  Attendees from the Institute of Development Studies, the School of Law Politics and Sociology, the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Brighton Sussex Medical School and a wide range of national backgrounds made for a particularly diverse cohort.


25 year old soloist Albrecht Menzel wowed the audience with his creative cadenzas in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.  During a furious sequence of double stops the audience could see shredded hairs of his violin bow hanging astray, although it may be worth noting that his bow stayed entirely intact for longer than Itzahk Perlmann’s in a famous 1979 performance. Menzel received a well-deserved three rounds of applause from a stunned audience.

Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade was a real pleasure to hear in person, especially after refamiliarising myself with the musical themes and storytelling before the concert. During the most dramatic moments of the fourth and final movement, titled The Festival of Baghdad, the orchestral percussion seemed to make the air of the entire concert hall turbulent.

Watch this space for more information about our next outing to the London Philharmonic on 14 April. We will once again have a batch of tickets available to PhD students for just £5.

Celebrating women in research! Coffee break for International Women’s Day

We’re claiming International Women’s Day for female PhD researchers at Sussex! Join us for a coffee break with cake in solidarity, at 10 – 11am on March 8th 👊

It’s 100 years since women won the vote, though it turns out this amazing success for suffragists was only for some women – if they were over 30, owned property or were a graduate in a university constituency…. detail I didn’t even realise until it was pointed out by the brilliant, imperfect, feminist legend Deborah Frances-White in the Guilty Feminist podcast. Now, a century later, women still experience unequal opportunities, workplace discrimination and a gender pay gap which, in UK academia, has been predicted to take 40 years to close.


As early career researchers in a world that’s tough enough for all of us, our community is everything, and joining together to create an environment in which women can thrive and succeed is surely in everyone’s best interests. There’s a lot more to say on the topic – but for starters, join us on the 8th to promote the recognition of our diverse community of researchers at Sussex!

Continue reading