MBB Postgraduate


Hello! Welcome to the MBB PhD Society page!


We are a group of postgraduate students within the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology department of the University and we host all sorts of fun socials, talks, quizzes all throughout the year. We also host a three day retreat every summer, but more about that later!


It’s so important that we all get to experience the other research that’s going on in the department, not only for our scientific development but also so that we can meet lots of new people outside of our research groups! That’s why almost all of our socials and events are free, and why our main aim is to promote inclusivity and cross disciplinary communication across the department.


Don’t worry about signing up or enrolling, every PhD student is automatically enrolled into the MBB PhD soc., and we always turn a blind eye if you’re a masters student or post-doc who wants to come along to our socials, the more the merrier!


If you’re looking to take a break from the daily PhD grind, MBB PhD soc has you covered! We’ve been organising wonderful online socials every two weeks, which have included quizzes, games nights, and crafts challenges. Our online socials are ideal if you’re looking to meet new people from other lab groups across the department!


In days of old, MBB PhD soc used to organise in person events such as trips to Ice Hockey matches and visits to food halls such as Cutlery works. Once 2020/2021 has gotten all of the history out of it’s system, we’ll be providing you with plenty of chances to meet each other in the real world, which should hopefully be less laggy. In the meantime, it’s more important than ever to do fun stuff with and chat to other students- they understand the PhD struggle better than anyone!


The Retreat:

Every year, in collaboration with the APS and BMS PhD societies, we organise a retreat to Ilam Hall, a country house in the beautiful Peak District. The main purpose of the retreat is to provide an annual escape from the hectic life of a PhD student, with ample opportunity to play games, go for scenic walks, and join in quizzes and other social activities. Most importantly, the retreat is a fantastic opportunity to befriend other postgrads from across our three Departments! We do have to include a scientific poster presentation session, but in return our Department pays for the retreat, so it’s free for you to attend!!

Sadly, in 2020 the retreat had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. This summer, we’re planning to have a fully outdoor retreat in compliance with whatever Government restrictions are in place. Expect BBQ food, a walk through the lovely Endcliffe Park, hit-or-miss British weather…and a warm welcome no matter what!

Mental Health Services:


Doing a PhD is no small feat, and it is so important to take care of your mental health. Please reach out if you need any support, or think it could be of use to you. The links below are for services found within the University where you can access help, and other Helplines, and further information can always be found in the MBB handbook.


Your first point of contact should be your General Medical Practitioner (your GP/Doctor). If you are registered with the University Health Service you should contact them via telephone 0114 222 100; or see https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/health-service. If you are registered with another practice you should contact them.


If you require urgent out-of hours medical care you can call 111 or in an emergency contact 999. 


Student Access to Mental Health Support (SAMHS): https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/mental-wellbeing/about-samhs

This is usually the first point of call for both undergraduates and postgraduate students who wish to explore a broad range of psychological support needs. A triage appointment will allow you to be guided to the type of professional support that will personally suit your needs best.


Faculty of Science Wellbeing advocates: https://sites.google.com/sheffield.ac.uk/edi/wellbeing-advocates


University counselling service (UCS): https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/counselling/services

UCS provide workshops and events, as well as a self-help section on its web site. Individual counselling is only accessed via SAMHS referral (see above).


The Big White Wall: https://www.bigwhitewall.com/v2/LandingV2.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f

The Big White wall is an anonymous forum for online peer and professional support, with trained counsellors. Big White Wall provides a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings and learn how to improve and self-manage your mental health and wellbeing.



The Samaritans


If you need to talk, they are always there to listen.

Call: 116 123 (free) Open 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year 

Email: jo@samaritans.org May take 24 hours to get a response

Visit: 272 Queens Road, Sheffield, S2 4DL Open 10am - 10pm




This is an anonymous and non-advisory student-run listening service

Call: 2228787 Open 8pm-8am during term time


NHS Sheffield Helpline


A telephone support service for anyone affected by mental health issues

Call: 0808 801 0440 Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week


Papyrus – Prevention of Young Suicide


Papyrus run the HOPELinkUK helpline, if you are having thoughts of suicide or are concerned for a young person who might be you can contact HOPELINEUK for confidential support and practical advice. Their website also provides resources and information.

Call: 0800 068 4141 Text: 07860039967 Email: pat@papyrus-uk.org

Open 9am – 10pm weekdays, 2pm – 10pm weekends, 2pm – 10pm bank holidays




Shout is a Crisis Text Line for anyone in crisis: Text 85258 at any time, day or night.


Further helplines available



Contact us!


Hello! Don’t be afraid to contact us if you have any questions regarding upcoming socials, have any ideas for future socials, or just want to chat to one of us about anything to do with society/your PhD (we can’t promise we will be much help but are here to lend a hand and can offer advice). Here are places you can reach us as well as some useful links which may help you:


Email: mbbphdsoc@sheffield.ac.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MbbPhDSociety

Twitter: @mbbphdsoc

Slack: https://join.slack.com/t/mbb-shef/shared_invite/zt-f40jy5tf-qVESjsG711OuaIRouLON1w


Useful links:

MBB Handbook 


Best of luck with all that science,

MBB PhD society committee 2020/21 xx


Please see our consitution:




All of our clubs and societies are run by a committee.

A committee is a team of people that lead, organise and publicise a group within your Students' Union.

It can be really rewarding as well as being a great way to gain experience and invaluable skills for your future career.