It was standing room only last Thursday afternoon as new doctoral researchers gathered together for The Doctoral College Welcome Reception.

The packed event provided a great opportunity for almost 200 researchers representing every Faculty and School to network with fellow students and staff while enjoying food, drinks and music.

The Reception opened with an interview with our Chancellor, His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex, which celebrated the wonderful research environment we have here at Bath. It was followed by a speech from Professor Jeremy Bradshaw, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International and Doctoral) who congratulated researchers on securing their place here, stressed the importance of the supervisor relationship and the need for self-care throughout doctoral study:

Welcome to the Doctoral College and to the University of Bath - you belong to the whole university and the whole university is yours. We hope you will enjoy reaping the benefits of the strong interdisciplinary research ethos that we have here. Doctoral study is a process and you will change: you may be in awe of your supervisor now, but by the end of your thesis you will have more expertise on your thesis topic than them. Writing a thesis is also one of the hardest things you will ever do. That's why one of the most important messages to take away today is to look after yourself throughout your study and ask for help when you need it. We are here to support you, just ask. I wish you every success in your research and look forward to meeting many of you over the coming months.

The Doctoral College's Welcome Team, a group of existing doctoral researchers, were on hand to answer questions throughout the event and share their own experiences. This included a session where new students were encouraged to explain the research question they were seeking to answer in one or two sentences. From understanding river flows, to personalities in politics and degree apprenticeships, the room was soon buzzing with ideas.

You can see some photos from the Welcome Reception here.