Find out what the Connector Programme is and what it’s like to be a Student Connector.

What is the Connector programme?

The Connector Programme is a student-staff community that aims to improve the student experience at Sussex through shared development and collaborative working.

As a student, you are invited to join the community if you have an interest in participating in collaborative, co-created, and community activities. You will be able to take part in your choice of online discussions, participatory social and student voice activities, training, and workshops to boost your skills.

Once you have joined, you will also be able to apply for paid roles on Co-Creation Projects, which may last just a few weeks or up to a full academic year. You don’t need any professional experience; we’re looking for creativity, teamwork skills, and your individual perspective as a student.

There are different types of Connector roles which support in different areas of the University. Connector teams might develop careers support, improve inclusivity for specific communities, support the development of digitally enhanced learning and co-design new modules, and more. Connector projects make a real difference to the University community.

The main aims of the programme are to:

  • support the delivery of the University of Sussex Strategy 2025 through co-creation between staff and students, including the University’s Access and Participation Plan (transitioning to the new Strategy 2035).
  • create a sense of belonging for students at the University of Sussex.
  • engage students in active participation with the evolution of their Student Experience, including opportunities to advise the university on putting policy into practice where student experience is directly affected.
  • involve students in dialogic practice to ensure student voice is embedded into policy and process development at the university.
  • provide paid opportunities for students which will help support their studies during their time at university.

Who can be a Connector?

All students at Sussex, IDS, or BSMS can join the Connector Community. Our development and social opportunities and some paid projects will be open to all students, including our international and postgraduate student community.

The majority of paid Co-Creation Projects are funded by, and support, delivery of the University's Access and Participation Plan (APP). This focuses on improving equity of access and success for home-domiciled (UK) students currently underrepresented in higher education. We will, therefore, prioritize appointing students who identify with our APP criteria for APP Co-creation Projects.

From time to time, other types of projects will be available, and so we encourage all interested students to join the Connector Community, especially students who are keen to develop skills and confidence through training, feedback, and experience, and who understand the value of students and staff working together to improve our University for all.

Inclusivity is hugely important to us and as part of our commitment to the APP, we want to amplify the voices of under-represented student groups. We encourage students from all backgrounds to apply for Connector roles but are particularly interested in applications from students who are:

  • from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) cultures and identities,
  • disabled, or who have mental health conditions, long-term health conditions, are neurodivergent or have social and communication difficulties,
  • care-leavers, care-experienced or estranged from their family,
  • parents or carers,
  • refugees, forced migrants or seeking asylum,
  • mature students (aged over 21 at the start of your undergraduate course),
  • from military families,
  • from Gypsy, Roma or Traveller backgrounds,
  • from low-income or lower socio-economic backgrounds and postcode areas,
  • or who are the first in their family to study a degree.

We would also like to encourage male students to apply for the role, as male students are currently underrepresented in our Co-Creation projects.

Meet our Connectors and see what they do.

What the Connector Community involves

By joining the Connector Community, you will be invited to a collaborative, social community, with lots of opportunities to get involved, build your network and boost your skills.

  • be welcomed to our online community, where Staff and Student Connectors... connect!
  • attend fun and/or collaborative Connector socials
  • take part in engaging training and workshops
  • be invited to apply for paid Co-Creation Projects
  • discover ways to boost your personal skills and employability

It’s a positive, diverse and welcoming environment where students feel supported and connected to each other and the wider Sussex community.

What paid Co-Creation Projects involve

There are projects set up across the University, so the focus of your role depends on which project you work on. Paid projects are advertised throughout the year to the Connector Community.

If you take part in a paid project, you can expect to:

  • attend meetings with staff
  • collaborate with other Connectors
  • work independently to develop ideas and plans
  • manage your own time, tasks, emails, and calendars
  • be supported to reflect on your development in the role.

Some projects may be just a few weeks, others could last a full academic year. You’ll know when you apply how many hours of work are involved, and projects are designed to be flexible around your study.

What you gain from the role

As a Student Connector, you develop professional and personal skills, build your confidence and become part of a community of students and staff who want to make change together.

If you are employed for a paid Co-Creation project, you will be paid at £11.70 per hour. You will be employed via Reed, an employment agency, and paid on a weekly basis. To be employed on paid projects, you will need to provide legal proof that you can work in the UK – typically your passport or similar identification.

Our Student Connectors say they have gained:

  • interpersonal, team-work and collaboration skills
  • leadership experience
  • organisation and time-management skills
  • self-confidence in working independently
  • good relationships and connections with staff
  • a sense of community and friendship with other Student Connectors
  • new opportunities and challenges to learn and develop.

Support for Connectors

You’ll be supported by our diverse network of students and staff within the Connector Programme, from the first day of training to your last day of work.

The Connector team will look out for you, support you to take part in the community, and help you build your strengths. You will be encouraged to set your own development goals and boost your skills throughout your time with us.

If you work on a paid project, your Staff Connector (line manager) will start by meeting you and agreeing flexible ways of working, and any adjustments you might need. They will meet you regularly to discuss your work and check how everything is going.

Join the Connector Community

Find out about the application process.

You can also follow us on Instagram


Download our Connector Programme Impact Report for 2022 [PDF 4.5MB] for more information about what Student Connectors have achieved.

See more from Connector Programme