Dealing with academic bullying

Bullying, harassment and abuse is sadly not unusual within academia and can be distressing and debilitating. Here you’ll find resources and support to help you understand bullying and abuse, what to do if you are being victimised, and where survivors of academic bullying can get assistance. These resources cover a range of issues that victims/survivors are harmed by – including ableism, racism, sexism, classism, ageism, LGBTQ+ phobia and all intersections of these.


Anti-bullying organisations and websites

National Bullying Helpline (UK) offers training, advice and resources on bullying within the workplace, school, colleges and universities.

Workplace Bullying Institute (US) has information and guidance on what workplace bullying is, and how to address it.

University and College Union (UCU) guidance on discrimination, bullying and harassment.

The Mix’s advice on bullying at work (UK) support for young adults being bullied at work or college.

NHS (UK) pages on bullying at work (includes information on health implications of abuse).

ACAS (UK) information about bullying, harassment and discrimination.

Bullying UK provides advice on bullying on and offline for different age groups, including bullying at university.

Bullied Academics writings and reflections on bullying and harassment.


Books, guides, toolkits and reports

UCU’s Bullying and Harassment Toolkit (UK) includes posters, handouts and other practical resources.

UNISON’s (UK) guide to Tackling Bullying at Work (for safety reps).

The Royal Society of Chemistry have a dedicated telephone and email support service plus a free digital pack of resources about bullying (including posters to share on and offline).

The British Medical Association’s has guidance in their report Bullying and harassment: how to address it and create a supportive and inclusive culture

UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) have a new forum for addressing bullying and harassment.


My writing on bullying and academia

The Research Companion: a practical guide to the social sciences, health and development. Chapter Six – Researcher Safety and Wellbeing. Routledge 2016.

Times Higher Survey: Experiences of Bullying in Academia September 2005.

Time to tackle abuse head on. Times Higher Education. September 2005.

Bullying rife across campus. Times Higher Education. September 2005.

Pandemic is amplifying the toxic aspects of academia. Research Professional News. 13.05.20.

Adequate is enough and some days we won’t even manage that. Times Higher Education. May 2020.

From awareness to action. Research Professional News. 10.12.19

Academia can no longer afford to ignore bullying. Research Professional News. 19.09.18.


University approaches/models to challenging bullying

Stop Bullying at the University of Newcastle (Australia)


Other useful articles

Academic Bullying: Desperate for data and solutions. Science. 16.01.20

‘My PhD Broke Me’: bullying in academia and a call to action. ECR Life. November 2019.

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