WriteFest2020

Logo for event

Webpage: WriteFest2020 November 2020

A joint organisation between the Academy, the Library Open Research Team team and LDC Development

Writing is a core aspect of any academic role and forms an integral part of academic life. Developing skills in academic writing takes time and regular practice, while finding time and space to write is an ongoing challenge for any academic. WriteFest2020 is an international celebration of academic writing, that supports and encourages good practices and habits of writing.  Here at Liverpool, we are joining the celebrations with a month of writing related events including weekly WriteFest Coffees, writing retreats and workshops. You can find the full programme of events on our webpages. There should be something there for all researchers at any stage of their writing career.

Of particular relevance to PGRs writing up their thesis, journal articles or early reports, we are hosting a number of writing retreats. These are great opportunities to carve out time for thesis writing and get writing done in the company of other PGRs.

There are also some great workshops on offer from the library KnowHow team on copyright, systematic reviews, and turning your thesis into a monograph.

Cross-institutional PGR networking event

Tuesday 13 Oct 2020, 11:00 am – 13:00 pm

All postgraduate researchers at the University of Liverpool are invited to join post-graduate researchers from across the North-west and Yorkshire for a cross University event, where you will meet other Postgraduate Researchers and explore a range of topics such a your research aims and challenges within your field. This event provides the opportunity to connect with other researchers in your field and develop your research network across multiple institutions.

To book, please go to Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cross-institutional-pgr-networking-event-tickets-121683080369

To help us plan the session, please complete a short questionnaire: https://salford.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/pgr-networking-event

This event will be repeated in January 2021.

PGR Networking Event Online survey BOS salford.onlinesurveys.ac.uk

New Development Events for this Autumn

We have now opened registration for further events in the LDC Development programme for the coming Autumn. All events are online and open to all PhD and MPhil researchers at the University of Liverpool and LSTM. The events include workshops for those who have recently started their PhD and also for those further on in their degree, looking to develop new skills and preparing for their ongoing career.

A full list of events open for registration can be viewed on our programme timetable. Below we provide a summary by type of event. Follow the links on each title for more information and registration.
NB Places on these workshops are limited – please only book if you can attend and record the date in your diary. Unfortunately we can rarely fill a place when people cancel the day before!

Taking Ownership of your PhD – These sessions for those who have recently begun their PhD continue and also includes a repeat of two previously offered workshops,:

03 Nov10:00 – 12:15Taking Ownership of your PhD 1: Starting the PhD
10 Nov13:00 – 1515Taking Ownership of your PhD 2 :
Project Management of the PhD
18 Nov13:00 – 15:15Taking Ownership of your PhD 5:
Working with your Supervisor
24 Nov13:00 – 15:15Taking Ownership of your PhD 6: Developing as a Researcher

Registration will open soon for the two further workshops:

Dec 2 13:00 – 1515 Taking Ownership of your PhD 7 Surviving the PhD
Dec 9 13:00 – 1515 Taking Ownership of your PhD 3 Networking as a researcher

We have a further webinar to support those gaining familiarity with the PGR Toolbox:

12 Nov13:30 – 14:30Webinar: Effectively using the PGR Toolbox

Careers sessions: Our Careers sessions this Autumn include an early ‘Bootcamp’, for those late in their PhD who are facing a difficult (but not impossible) job market, and a Career planning workshop for those earlier in the PhD.

05 Nov09:30 – 12:00PGR ‘Career Ready’ Bootcamp
12 Nov09:30 – 12:00The Career Wise Researcher
19 Nov09:30 – 12:00Using LinkedIn to Develop your Career
26 Nov09:30 – 12:00Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
01 Dec09:45 – 12:00Online Writing Retreat
03 Dec09:30 – 12:00Shining at Interview

This series includes two workshops to support researchers in building their resilience (in Dec) and looking for ways to overcome Imposter Syndrome.

Writing and analysing research papers

We have three workshops to help you prepare and start your academic writing, presented by an external presenter Dr Jen Allanson:

04 Nov09:30 – 13:00Getting your Work Published
11 Nov09:30 – 13:00Getting Going on your Thesis Writing
18 Nov09:30 – 13:00Critical Analysis of Research Papers

Project Management

We are delighted to offer a repeat of these popular webinars delivered by Dr Fraser Robertson of Fistral Consultancy:

16 Nov09:30 – 11:30Webinar:Introduction to Project Planning, part 1
– Establishing Foundations
23 Nov09:30 – 11:30Webinar: Introduction to Project Planning, part 2
– Scoping the Project
30 Nov09:30 – 11:30Webinar: Introduction to Project Planning, part 3
– Creating the Plan

Creative, constructive and critical Thinking

We are also repeating the highly enriching sessions to inspire your ways of thinking, delivered by Dr Adrian West (Company of Mind):

10 Nov10:00 – 12:30Practical Thinking for Researchers 1 – Creative Thinking
17 Nov10:00 – 12:30Practical Thinking for Researchers 2 -Constructive Thinking
24 Nov 10:00 – 12:30Practical Thinking for Researchers 3 – Critical Thinking

Becoming a Mindful Researcher: 7 and 8 Dec – A 2-day Workshop delivered by
Priyanka Sakhavalkar. Registation will open soon.

Peers for PhDs: Uncertainty and Adaptability

Weds 30th Sept 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM BST

Details and registration

The world has changed a lot in the past few months, and our university life may not be what we expected. The PhD experience is itself surrounded with uncertainty. Many of us will be working towards long-term goals in less than ideal working conditions (e.g., lack of access to offices, closed labs, less use of facilities). How do we make the best of the uncertainty?

The aim of this session is to help us understand how we can adapt to this ‘new normal’. We will be talking about different ways of adapting to the uncertainty of the research, ‘the new normal’, as well as making sure to enjoy the PhD experience under the new circumstances.

All PhD students at the University of Liverpool are invited to join the conversation. Please register in advance using your university email.

Peers for PhDs is a student-led project for people undertaking PhDs at the University of Liverpool. We aim to support wellbeing by providing more opportunities for postgraduate researchers from across the university to meet, share practical solutions to common challenges and support each through the ups and downs of the PhD.

You can be added to the mailing list to hear about future events or ask questions by contacting mohamed.hammad@liverpool.ac.uk

The Peers for PhDs team.

Introducing ‘Taking Ownership of your PhD’

A new series of online workshops for researchers in the first few months of their PhD.

For new researchers we offer a series of half day workshops presented online in Zoom. Each workshop may be taken on its own, but together they will support you to take ownership of your own PhD. Collectively the series includes:

  • Advice to settle into the PhD in the first few months to an activity to help you envisage the whole PhD
  • Guidance to manage your own working time and support to build a good working relationship with your supervisor
  • Ways to build your resilience for the challenges in research and take a professional approach to your own development
  • Starting your networking and gaining practice in introducing your research to your peers

All workshops in the ‘Taking Ownership’ series are discussion based and include opportunities to network with other researchers from across the University. The use of a microphone and webcam are recommended for use in the small group discussions

These workshops will be delivered by Dr Shirley Cooper, from the LDC Development team, working with PGR tutors, who will share their own experiences of doing a PhD at the University.

We also offer a further webinar on how to effectively the software in the PGR Toolbox.

The full timetable for these workshops is listed below. The workshops in October are open for registration (follow the link on the title)

Places will be limited. If you book and find that you can no longer attend, please cancel your place so that it can become available to another researcher.

Support for postgraduate researchers over the summer months

How is your summer going?
Are you struggling with your motivation, or with isolation or loneliness through working from home?
Are you looking for a wider community for more support?

It is now over four months since the lock-down began and many of us are still faced with a longer period of working from home. This is not any easy situation for anyone and especially if you are struggling with difficult working conditions, possibly feeling isolated or lonely, in addition to concerns about access to the essential equipment for your research. The University is progressing with plans to open up access to buildings safely, and your Schools and institutes will advise further when this is possible, but the priorities will be for research and the opening process will take time.

Most researchers find it beneficial to have contact with peers experiencing similar problems, even virtually and some of you will have your own online networks. Below we outline a range of support for those continuing to work from home over the summer, including events run as part of the development team and the support provided by the wider University and a new online workshop for those in the middle years of their PhD.

If you are experiencing serious anxieties or lasting problems with motivation, this will be a particularly difficult time. There are many people in the University who do understand and are willing to talk with you about your concerns. The University offers a range of specific support, whether from peers or in the wider University, as outlined below, and we strongly urge you to make that first contact.

Online writing retreats

Our regular writing retreats are continuing on Tuesday mornings within August, moving to fortnightly in September. These provide a structure for your writing along with the experience of community support and peer accountability. You can use the session for your writing, or any other work that you need to progress with, producing diagrams, calculations, writing code and so on.

For further details and regular email reminders, please sign up to our email list for these sessions:

Online Writing Retreat – Tuesdays 9:45 – 12:00

A further group arrange peer-led sessions in Microsoft Teams and details are shared within the Tuesday morning retreats.

Surviving the middle years – NEW online workshop

Surviving the PhD – the middle years Wed, 23 Sep 2020 13:00 – 15:15

This new online workshop is for those in the middle years of their PhD, who are past the initial excitement at the start of their PhD project, possibly experiencing loneliness and isolation enhanced by the current pandemic and who are looking for ways to maintain their motivation and productivity for the years ahead. We will use small group discussions to explore these topics and to seek practical solutions.
(Follow above link for more details)

Peer support and Peers for PhDs

Peer ambassador scheme: Many Schools and Institutes in the University run the Peer ambassador scheme where you can discuss your problems with your peers in confidence. Yours schools can advise on contact details in these cases.

Peers for PhDs is a student-led project, who work across all faculties, aiming to improve PGR wellbeing at the university, through regular meetings for those who need a chat and to share problems with other researchers. During the current lock-down the group have had regular meetings in zoom.

Date of their upcoming meetings include:

  • Thursday 6 August, 10:00am
  • Tuesday 11 August, 9:00am
  • Thursday, 20 August at 10:00 am

Details are sent to all on the mailing list. To join this list, please contact one of the three organisers:

Wider support within the university and the Student Guild

Student Services: Counselling and Mental Health Advisory Service, and Student Welfare Advice & Guidance

During Covid-19, Student Services, which includes Counselling and Mental Health Advisory Service, and Student Welfare Advice & Guidance, continue to provide support and guidance for all students. If you would like to speak to an Adviser, please email them at advice@liv.ac.uk with your name and Student ID to request a telephone appointment and an Adviser will call you back.

Student services provide a range of wellbeing resources to help you look after your mental health and to find support if you are experiencing mental health difficulties. These include strategies and tips for coping with COVID-19 anxiety. You can find further information on their website at https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/studentsupport/advice/resources/ .

International Students

There is specific advice available for international students regarding Visas available on the University COVID-19 FAQs via the ‘I am a Student’ link and under the ‘information for international students’ heading.

If you still have further questions relating to visas or other concerns as an international student, please contact the International Advice and Guidance team either via email iagteam@liverpool.ac.uk or telephone 0151 795 1000 to speak with one of the team.

They have provided specific COVID-19 FAQs query pages for the following areas:

The Student Guild provide independent support, which can include academic issues and which is also available digitally. The Guild advice team is available to all students inclusive of PGRs and currently, they are operating as a digital support service . If you require an appointment please contact the advice team via email guildadvice@liv.ac.uk to arrange a telephone or online appointment.

There is also a specific page on the support provided for postgraduate researchers by The Guild which can be found here

External services supported by the university

There is lots of self-help information, guides and online counselling services available via the university which can be incredibly helpful in managing your own mental wellbeing not only during this time, but throughout your time completing your PhD.

There is also a very good online resource ‘The Wellbeing Thesis’ developed to support PGRs with their wellbeing, learning and research.

External sources of support

Further to this there a number of support services and organisations that offer support for mental wellbeing:

Researcher Cafe 23rd July and Research KnowHow sessions in July

Final Summer Research Café 23rd July 11am – call for presenters

The next Online Research Café will take place on the 23rd July at 11am. Research cafes are a great way to learn about new research and meet fellow researchers from across campus. Speakers can practice presenting their research to others and get feedback in a friendly environment. It’s also a good opportunity to try out presenting online. Presentations are short – ten minutes followed by a few minutes for questions and discussion.

If you’re interested in being a presenter, please email Sarah Roughley Barake: sarah13@liverpool.ac.uk

Researcher KnowHow – events in July

The Researcher Knowhow Team are proving the following sessions in July:

  • Publishing and Open Research Springer Natures perspective, July 2nd 2.00pm – 3.00pm
  • Literature searching: tips and tricks July 6th 11.00am – 12.00pm
  • Research data management and reproducibility July 7th 10.30am – 11.30am
  • Responsible metrics in research assessment July 9th  2.00pm – 3.00pm
  • Choosing the right journal to publish in July 15th  11.00am – 11.45 am
  • Copyright and your thesis July 16th 11.00am – 12.00pm
  • Advanced Endnote July 22nd 11.00am – 12.00pm

Visit Researcher KnowHow for further details and to sign up.

Statistics and Knowhow

Further sessions on statistics are provided by the Knowhow team, which may be of interested to PhD researchers new to this area

They are offering 5 sessions running from 1st July to 15th July, which collectively cover choosing statistical tests, introduction to SPSS, understanding normal distributions and T-Tests and understanding and performing ANOVAs. You can either sign up for all 5 or just the sessions that will help you with your research.

For further details, see the Knowhow platform.

The ‘New-normal’ – what might this offer for your development plans?

What do you most need, for your work and well-being, post lock-down?

What new opportunities can you create post lock-down?

The lock-down is easing, although it may take months or years to return to the working life we consider ‘normal’. The University is currently making plans for a safe return to campus, but where the priorities for researchers will be to return to laboratories. Most conferences will be online in the coming months; you will be able to share research progress and potentially present online yourself, but there will be fewer opportunities for more conventional networking. Most teaching will be at best in blended format. The challenge in the short-term is to find new solutions to meet your needs or that provide a new experience to build upon.

The LDC Development programme will be totally online for the Autumn. We hope to repeat many of the popular online workshops in this period. We are also creating a new fully online set of induction workshops for those at the start of their PhD and are keen to retain the options for networking across disciplines, aspects that we consider central to our face to face workshops. Further details will be announced in coming months. Currently we are looking for tutors to support this delivery. We have an online workshop coming up as preparation, ‘ Facilitation in Practice ’. All are welcome to join this interactive session, to help us all explore the opportunities for teaching online.

24 June 10:00 – 12:00  Facilitation in Practice (Online Workshop)

You can also challenge yourself! As the researchers of the future you might consider how you might help shape the future of academic/research life. Consider what aspects of working life are missing in current working arrangements and what provision, new types of events or new use of social media, might support alternative arrangements in this online or ‘blended’ world? What does the online world offer that did not seem possible in the ‘old-normal’? You might share and discuss ideas with your peers to identify new ways to support your community. In this uncertain world, small steps can lead to big opportunities.

If you have bigger ideas for events to help other PhD researchers, we would be happy to talk through these with you and may even be able to help you put these into practice.

Believe in yourself! Your ideas might be unique … All big movements start with small steps.

Planning for your future after Lockdown

Are you near the end of your PhD and wondering how you can prepare for your career?

Or do you time now to start your career preparation?

It is understandable to feel anxious or lack motivation about preparing for your future in the current period. There are many unknowns in the employment sector within within Universities or the wider world. However jobs and other opportunities are still available and are being advertised. There are also many steps you can take now before you even start applying for positions. For example, you could review your online presence and how this might be improved or you can review your personal preferences in terms of types of work and the work environment, and what you have learnt from your recent experiences. This is also a good time to review your skills and experiences gained during the PhD and build your confidence!

Online careers Workshops

We have four online careers workshops in June and July to support PGR career preparation, whether you are still early in your PhD or you are in the final year and considering your next step. All sessions will be delivered by our careers consultant, Sally Beyer.

4th June   10:00 – 11:30 am   Using Linkedln to Manage Your Career
11th June  10:00 – 11:30 am   PGR ‘Career Ready’ Bootcamp (for final year PGRs)
25th June  10:00 – 11:30 am   The Career Wise Researcher (for pre-final year PGRs)
2nd July   10:00 – 11:30 am   Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

These are all offered as online workshops in Zoom that include interactive exercises. They offer opportunities for more informal discussions and at the end of each workshop, Sally will be available for an additional half hour after 11:30 to answer any further questions.

Note, these are workshops, and as such the sessions will not be recorded.

VIRTUALCONNECT by Careers & Employability

The Careers & Employability service also provide a series of webinars to help all students develop essential skills in job preparation during the current period. See their list of events at the CareerHub.

Our Programme for June is open for registration!

We have a range of new sessions on offer for the coming weeks, covering topics in project planning, working with other people and career planning. Further details are provided on the links below.

Webinars providing an ‘Introduction to Project Planning

These two hour sessions are provided in Zoom by Fistral Training and Consultancy and now collectively replace the full day face to face workshop originally planned, ‘Introduction to Project Management’.

01 June 14:00 – 16:00 1. Establishing foundations
08 June 14:00 – 16:00 2. Scoping the project
15 June 14:00 – 16:00 3. Creating the plan

Online resources: Fistral also provide a series of short videos focussing on topics around project management, which free to view by all: Fistral Training ‘Exspressos videos’

Webinars on ‘Influencing without authority’

Delivered by Fistral training these two hour sessions present a mixture of informative advice supplemented by online discussions.The sessions below may be attended as a series or you may book on a single individual session.

03 June 14:00 – 16:00 1 – Mobilising your personal power
10 June 14:00 – 16:00 2 – Assertive communication 
17 June 14:00 – 16:00 3 – Making your case

Online careers-related workshops

These two hour online workshops, presented by our careers consultant, Sally Beyer, will be delivered in Zoom and will provide a mixture of advice and discussions. For further information, please follow the links below:

04 June  10:00 – 11:30 Using Linkedln to Manage Your Career
11 June  10:00 – 11:30 PGR ‘Career Ready’ Bootcamp (for final year PGRs)
25 June  10:00 – 11:30 The Career Wise Researcher (for pre-final year PGRs)
02 July  10:00 – 11:30  Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Sally will remain on-hand for a half hour at the end of each session to answer any individual questions.

Writing Retreats

Our morning writing sessions will also continue on Tuesday mornings in June, on the 2nd 9th , 16th, 23rd and 30th. For further details see the registration form below to add your name to our email list to receive reminders of upcoming dates. (NB you only need complete this form once!)

Online Writing Retreats