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University of Bath

Support and opportunities in SAMBa

You will be supported throughout your PhD from the moment you accept your offer with us.

Group of students and staff at a workshop.
Throughout your time in SAMBa, there are many opportunities to expand your skill set and experience.

Before you start your PhD

Right from applying to SAMBa, you will be supported by the management team and current students.

The management team will assist with your application queries and organisation around interview preparation, and offer support and guidance where necessary. On the interview day itself, you will meet with a range of current students and you will also have the opportunity to meet with academics in the Department.

Once you have accepted your offer, you will be part of the SAMBa student cohort, and you will receive invites to various events and activities before starting in September.

We will also assign you a co-factor and first year supervisor.

Mentoring

You will be assigned a student co-factor ready for your first year, and you'll be expected to act as a co-factor to incoming students in your second year.

Co-factors are current SAMBa students who have a mentoring role, in helping you settle in SAMBa. They will be there to support you and to give you advice during your time in SAMBa.

It is hoped that the co-factor relationship will last throughout the SAMBa experience and beyond.

First year supervisor

First year supervisors are your academic supervisor during your MRes year. They don't necessarily become your PhD supervisor.

They will work closely with the SAMBa management team to help you with unit choices, support you in choosing your thesis project and supervisors, provide guidance on the expectations on you within the Department, and generally monitor how you are finding the SAMBa course.

Summer invites

We will then start inviting you to upcoming events over the summer. One of those events is a SAMBa welcome event. The SAMBa welcome event is for the incoming cohort, and will be held at the beginning of the summer. This will be a chance for you to see the management team again, meet your first year supervisors and co-factors, see a bit more of the University and city and meet the rest of the SAMBa cohort.

Reading list

You will work with your assigned first year supervisor and co-factor to develop a tailored reading programme. You'll be expected to complete the reading list before starting the SAMBa programme in order to have the best chance to hit the ground running.

Induction

During induction week, SAMBa students will be part of the standard University induction as well as having SAMBa-specific social and academic events.

This will include talks given by students who started a year earlier.

Opportunities to gain wider experience

Throughout your time in SAMBa, there are many opportunities to expand your skill set and experience. Some of these activities, you will be expected to engage with as a way to deliver effective research, and as part of the SAMBa cohort. Others are more tailored to the research project you will end up working on. These include :

  • participating in workshops and conferences, both in the UK and overseas
  • organising conferences and workshops hosted in Bath, both in general and specific research topics
  • getting involved as mentors to other SAMBa students through ITTs, student-led symposia, reading courses, and more
  • tutoring undergraduates (time for this is paid)
  • spending time working at industrial partner sites, either long-term or a series of short visits, as part of a PhD jointly supervised by the partner
  • long-term visits to international academic institutions to undertake collaborative research
  • taking secondments (suspending PhD study) to gain experience working in industry, policy, or a different academic environment
  • supporting the delivering of training workshops overseas to those interested in using statistical applied mathematics techniques to deliver impact
  • delivering public engagement and outreach activities in Bath and further afield
  • a programme of skills training provided by the University

These opportunities will be made available through SAMBa, the Department, and the Doctoral College but can also be sought out by students themselves, who can then apply for funding to support their experience.

Departmental activities

There is a nice supportive student environment in the Department and there are a number of social activities throughout the year, which includes weekly social events. The most popular one being Wednesday Cake. This is followed closely by Drinks in the Parade. Both of these are organised by students.

There are also a number of ad-hoc social activities throughout the year, such as away days, Christmas and summer socials.

There are also opportunities to get involved with members from the Department with sports such as football and cricket.

There are a number of activities within the Department which SAMBa students are encouraged to participate in, as appropriate.

Tutoring

Most PhD students tutor during their PhD. This is a paid opportunity and is arranged at the beginning of each semester by the Department Tutor Coordinator. Students can teach either one or two tutorials per week. Tutorials are small group classes (16-40 students) to support first and second year lectures. The Department provides a training session in induction week, which new tutors must attend, and further training is available through the Doctoral College. There is also the opportunity to be paid for exam invigilation, marking and checking of scripts.

Seminars

There are a number of Departmental seminars that students can attend. There are also student seminars and the most general one is the Postgraduate Seminar Series (PSS). PSS is a weekly seminar that provides a friendly environment for students to share the mathematics they find interesting with their fellow postgraduates. This could be related to their research but certainly doesn’t have to be.

Bathematicians

The Bathematicians is a group of mathematicians from the University of Bath, including both undergraduate and postgraduate students. They are focused on communicating how helpful and awesome mathematics can be to the public, whether that be by visiting students in schools or presenting at Science Festivals. This is something that as a PhD student that would give added value to your CV at the end of your studies.

Bath Student Chapter of SIAM and IMA

The Bath Student Chapter of SIAM and IMA is formed by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and includes students from across the University of Bath who are interested in mathematics or scientific computing and their real-world applications. It is a group of postgraduate students organising events to share ideas, foster interdisciplinary research, and explore career opportunities. Anyone enrolled as a student at the University of Bath is eligible for free membership of the student chapter. Students with an interest in mathematics and its applications from across the university are encouraged to join.

Women in Maths Network

The Department is a supporter of the London Mathematical Society Good Practice Scheme. Funds are available to cover expenses of staff and postgraduate students wishing to attend Women in Mathematics events or other related activities. The Department has a Women in Maths network which provides a welcoming environment for maths students who identify as female or non-binary, and to encourage interactions between mathematicians.

Mathematics Resources Centre (MASH)

MASH is the institutional mathematics resources centre which can offer help with maths and stats problems for all students at the University of Bath. You can go to them for help, or as a PhD student you can also be involved in working for them.

Maths Jam

Maths Jam is a monthly opportunity for like-minded self-confessed maths enthusiasts to get together in a pub and share stuff they like. Puzzles, games, problems, or just anything they think is cool or interesting.

High-performance computing

SAMBa students have access to the University’s high-performance computing service, Balena.

Student support

There are lots of places to go for information and support during your time in SAMBa. The most important people will be the other SAMBa students and the SAMBa management team.

Department of Mathematical Sciences

SAMBa is based in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. You will be a member of the Department and will have lots of opportunities to explore during your time here. The Department is committed to supporting an inclusive culture that values the diversity of its staff and students.

There are almost 70 academics staff and more than 100 postdocs and PhD students in the Department, as well as the Department office. This is an enormous source of support and information at the hands of students joining.

Doctoral College

The Doctoral College runs across the University aiming to support and enrich the experience of doctoral research as well as developing policy and strategy relevant to doctoral study. The Doctoral College will support you throughout your time as a PhD student at Bath and will ensure all milestones are met.

Student Services Centre

The Student Services Centre is the first point of contact for a range of information and support services to help you. They offer students support and guidance, including counselling and mental health, disability support, money management and international student advice.

Director of Studies

Outside of the SAMBa management team, there is also a Director of Studies assigned to each part of the programme (MRes Phase and PhD Phase). They are available to help and guide students and supervisors through all aspects of the postgraduate experience.