Riddles of the doctorate
Duration 2 hours 30 minutes
Team Researcher Academy

This face to face course is run by the Researcher Academy

The Researcher Academy courses are very popular and the majority are run in both semesters to give you the opportunity to attend at a time of the year that suits you.

Target Audience: This course is ideal for doctoral researchers who have recently started or are in the early stages of their research but all doctoral researchers are welcome.

Please ensure that you arrive on time, as once the escape room activity begins, the tutor will be unable to admit latecomers.

Course Description:

The aims of this course are to explore the nature and expectations of doctoral study through the lens of an escape room-style game. 

This course will: 

  • begin to prepare you for what a doctorate entails and what you can reasonably expect 
  • identify the knowledge and skills you will need to draw on and/or develop in order to be awarded a doctorate 
  • consider the challenges commonly faced by researchers during their doctorate (and possible solutions) 
  • also develop your team-working skills and give you an opportunity to meet other researchers from across the University. 

What does an escape room have in common with a doctorate? Come along and find out! 

Feedback from previous participants: 

“This in my opinion is a fantastic hands-on and fun way to help students really understand and come to terms with the roller coaster journey that they may experience during their PhD study. Personally, the escape room scenario has played out repeatedly during my PhD study. But I was quite prepared for this, thanks to the course I had attended.” 

“This was a really useful course - we also had fun!” 


Interactive workshop, group work, reflective time and whole group discussion. 

Please note: the nature of this workshop involves close collaboration and team work to problem solve.

If you're a researcher from the Faculty of Arts and have previously attended Starting out as a researcher, you will find the content of this workshop very similar (though you are still very welcome to attend).

Course Accessibility

The following table shows a summary of what is needed to participate in the course. 

If you feel you will experience any difficulties participating, please let us know via the ‘special requirements’ tab, providing as much information as possible. The special requirements tab can be completed when you book your place. Alternatively, you can contact us directly at ra-training@nottingham.ac.uk.

Access seminar room on campus
Take part in group activities/ discussions
Watch and listen to the course tutor(s) and/ or other attendees
Follow presentation slides during the course
Attend the course at a specific date and time


Booking Guidelines

Latecomer policy
Researchers should plan to arrive prior to the advertised course start time. Except for exceptional reasons, there will be no admittance to a Researcher Academy or Faculty Training Programme (FTP) course 15 minutes after the advertised course start time.

Importance of booking commitment
 When booking on to a Researcher Academy short course you are entering into a commitment to attend. If you find that you are no longer available to attend you MUST cancel your place (on the system if more than three days before the course) or if at short notice by emailing ra-training@nottingham.ac.uk. This will ensure that your place can be offered to another researcher on the waiting list. Failure to cancel a place results in other researchers missing out on places through the waiting list process.

It is unacceptable for researchers to just not attend when booked onto a course. The Researcher Academy maintains records of those who repeatedly do not attend courses they have booked. This may affect future eligibility to book onto further Researcher Academy courses and will affect considerations for Researcher Academy funded opportunities.


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