Student conferences

Every year, Cumberland Lodge delivers two highly-regarded, interdisciplinary residential student conferences, with the aim of creating a space for participants to learn together, to build networks, understand differences, and enjoy themselves.

Life Beyond the PhD

This interdisciplinary conference takes place over five days in August, bringing together doctoral students from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines, to explore the value and potential of academic research, foster collaboration, and develop public engagement skills.

With input from a range of guest speakers and facilitators, our programme explores: 

  • the potential for academic research and skills to support social change;
  • ethics in decision-making and leadership;
  • strategies for collaborative and interdisciplinary research;
  • skills for successfully engaging stakeholders with your research ideas, including writing for diverse audiences, public speaking and digital media.

Life Beyond the PhD has been taking place at Cumberland Lodge since 2009, offering a supportive environment for the exchange of ideas, and planning and preparing future careers. Hundreds of postgraduates have participated from over 100 higher education institutions across the UK. As well as providing space to reflect on how academic work and careers might help to promote more inclusive and just societies, the support networks established have proven to be invaluable to many.

This conference opens for applications in spring. Some universities offer competitive application rounds to secure funding to attend this conference. Please enquire with your graduate office to see whether this support is available to you.

Commonwealth and International Student Christmas Conference

Since 1947, we have opened our house to extend a warm welcome to students from all over the world who are currently studying in the UK, to enjoy thought-provoking seminars and workshops, meeting others who are studying away from home, facilitating intercultural dialogue and to experience a British Christmas in our beautiful 17th century home and surrounding park.

Our programme is designed to inspire discussion and debate on themes related to the work of Cumberland Lodge, supported by guest speakers, facilitators, and performers. In recent years, topics have included: ‘how to argue better with people we disagree with’; and ‘the ethics of consumption at Christmas’.

Additionally, the programme includes:

  • a carol service in Cumberland Lodge or at the Royal Chapel of All Saints;
  • a guided winter trail through Windsor Great Park (weather permitting);
  • a traditional Christmas dinner, including a visit from Father Christmas;
  • and evening entertainment.

Applications are open from October and final details of the programme are available on our website in December.