The Social Transition Research into International Doctoral Experiences (STRIDE) project, funded by UKCISA, is a year-long project seeking to understand the holistic social support networks of international doctoral students across three institutions in two countries.

A mixed methods design was used to triangulate and complement findings through multiple quantitative and qualitative perspectives, including social network analysis surveys, longitudinal reflective diaries, focus groups, interviews, and reflective essays.

A comparison across multiple institutions also provided an additional lens to understand institutional and departmental effects. Findings indicated a wide range of factors that impacted social transitions, including departmental support mechanisms, PhD cohort development, age, family dynamics and academic workloads.

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This research won a UKCISA award for Innovation in International Education.


Jenna Mittelmeier, University of Manchester

Divya Jindal-Snape, University of Dundee

Bart Rienties, The Open University 

Kate Yue-Zhang, The American University of Paris