Developing Intellectually as a researcher

How will you develop critical analysis, problem-solving and decision-making skills?

Successful research demands a wide range of skills, including skills in creative & critical thinking.  During your PhD, you must be creative in order to develop new ideas in research, deliver engaging presentations and solve problems.  Gaining confidence in creativity will also help you foster critical analysis, risk taking and decision making in order to better manage the uncertainties that surface in the research process.

Developing skills in these areas in the research environment isn’t always easy. Workshops offer an alternative space where you can learn and experiment with new ideas in a safe environment.

Coming up, we have a workshop on improvisation by Dr Ahmed Al Naher, which introduces the ‘Improv’ technique to help you in making decisions and be spontaneous and creative in your work, particularly when presenting.

24 Oct 09:30 – 12:30 Improvisation in the workplace – a tool for research

Then there are two further workshops delivered by Dr Aimee Blackledge that will help you develop as a researcher by introducing creative approaches to support you in problem solving, building confidence and starting your professional development planning.

07 Nov 13:00 – 16:30 Setting Goals for 2019
22 Nov 10:00 – 15:00 Gaining Confidence as a Researcher

You can find out more on how the LDC Development programme can help with your creative & critical thinking through our theme: Creativity & Critical thinking, which also introduces the techniques of Design Thinking and Lego® SeriousPlay®, together with further online resources to stimulate your approach in this area.

How is your thesis writing going?

row of students writingIt is the start of the academic year, summer is over and the University is again buzzing with students. For us in the LDC Development team, this is an exciting time of year. We have a great new programme of workshops and webinars lined up and are looking forward to meeting lots of interesting PGRs, both familiar faces and new.

Many of us find it difficult to keep up the motivation for writing during a busy academic year. You may have teaching responsibilities to manage, or you may be busy with experiments or data collection. Or maybe just the long nights and gloomy days are getting you down. Joining a community of writers to share both successes and frustrations, and cheer each other on can help.

For our programme this academic year, we have added even more support for thesis writing. Based on the success of our summer writing retreats, we have added a series of monthly mini writing retreats. These are a great way of keeping your thesis writing (or other writing) progressing through the year. They provide time and space for writing, but crucially also moral support and motivation to keep writing. If you have never attended a writing retreat before, and are not sure what to expect, check out this brief video: https://spark.adobe.com/video/1V64D

The first mini writing retreat is scheduled for 24th October. Follow this link for details and booking: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mini-writing-retreat-registration-49939016944

And if you like the idea of writing retreats, check out the programme for WriteFest18. During November, also known as Academic Writing Month, we will have writing retreats scheduled every week along with a full programme of writing related workshops – a veritable Festival of Writing!

WriteFest 2018

Introducing Peer Support for Postgraduate Researchers

Would you like to join a peer support group for PhD students at the University of Liverpool?
image of people talking
Three PhD students from across the University are working with the LDC Development Team to improve the support available for PGRs. This peer support group will hold regular meetings off campus, focusing on a different theme each session – ranging from practical issues in academia and project management, to wellbeing threats and strategies for resilience. The group will emphasise problem-solving and supporting each other in navigating the PhD journey.

The first meeting will be held during Researcher Development Week. Come along to an informal session to meet fellow students and find out more:

Peer Support for PGRs – introductory session
Thu 11 October 2018
11:00 – 12:30

Lunch is included – please register in advance

This initiative was launched following recent research into the wellbeing and unmet support needs of PhD students. A team of PhD students from across the university sought the perspectives of fellow Liverpool students by organising a focus group for PGRs working in a range of research areas. It explored the challenges involved in doing a PhD at this university and discussed the supportive resources that are currently available.

Focus group attendees were able to identify wellbeing issues, discuss their PhD experiences, and provide recommendations for future support. It was recognised that there is a high degree of loneliness and uncertainty in undertaking a PhD, and it is not always clear who is best to approach for impartial support and advice. Although certain groups of students may be more vulnerable, there appears to be some common ground amongst students in the causes and consequences of stress. There are multiple sources of loneliness during the PhD, and these can be compounded by a lack of contact with peers and a working environment that can limit opportunities to share wellbeing concerns with departmental colleagues.

These conversations have informed the new approach for this academic year, which aims to provide opportunities for PhD students to develop a supportive peer network, through regular group sessions. All current PhD students are welcome, and we particularly invite those in the middle and later stages of their PhD.

If you are unable to attend the opening session, please feel free to express your interest in the initiative by contacting Natasha Bradley natasha.bradley@liverpool.ac.uk

New themes to introduce the LDC Development Programme 2018-19

Video introducing the LDC Development programme and the themes

For 2018-19 we are presenting the LDC Development programme through seven themes that address various different needs relevant to postgraduate researchers. You can find more details on these themes, through our video introduction, or you can view the video introductions for specific themes on the links below:


Taking Ownership of your PhD – Plan your PhD journey as a new researcher to develop into a confident and effective researcher


Resilience – Gain skills and find support to manage the challenges of life as a researcher.


Communication – Develop the skills to communicate your research effectively through posters, presentations and writing.


Creative & Critical Thinking – Explore how to develop creative mindsets and skills for problem-solving, innovation and critical thinking.


Public Engagement – Acquire the skills to make your research count through sharing it with the wider public.


Careers – Take control of your own career planning and prepare for the next step in your career.


Facilitation – Practise leadership skills in guiding groups towards making decisions and resolving conflicts.


New Researchers: While you can attend all parts of the programme at any stage during the PhD, the events in the ‘Taking Ownership of your PhD’ theme, which includes the highly recommended workshop of the same name, are particularly recommended for new researchers. The first date for this workshop is in Researcher week on the 8th Oct, and you can find out more details and register your place on the following link:

8th Oct   9:15 – 4:30      Taking Ownership of your PhD

See the Researcher week timetable for further events that week.

Contact & further information: More information about our themes and details of our programme can be found on our website: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/pgr-development/. Further sessions and new events are announced during the year, within the LDC Newsletter, on this blog and on Twitter: @livuniPGRDev.

Advance your skills in Facilitation

Facilitation is an extremely useful skill for all researchers , to help manage meetings and working with others, particularly if you work in teams, work with people as part of your research or have opportunities in public engagement. It is also an important leadership skill and an extremely useful skill  to demonstrate for your future career.

The LDC Development Team is offering a new series of short workshops in September to help attendees gain and practise skills in facilitation. The series begins with a webinar to help you learn more about facilitation, followed by a workshop, which expands on the techniques of facilitation and provides practice to learn and practise these techniques. The series concludes with two workshops that focus on designing and facilitating your own teaching session using an experiential learning model.

The workshops are as follows (click on the link for further details and registration):

Date Time Title
19 Sep 12:30 – 13:30 Introduction to Facilitation
20 Sep 13:00 – 16:00 Becoming a Facilitator
26 Sep 13:00 – 16:00 Designing & Facilitating Workshops I
27 Sep 13:00 – 16:00 Designing & Facilitating Workshops II

Note: These events are designed as a series and attendance at each event is strongly recommended before attending the later workshops in this series.

Development Tutor Scheme

The workshops are open to all postgraduate researchers at the University of Liverpool and you can register for each workshop individually to learn facilitation skills, or you can attend these workshops in preparation for the Development Tutor Scheme. This scheme is  open to postgraduate researchers who have completed one year of their PhD. The scheme includes:

  • Training in facilitation
  • Observation sessions
  • Paid engagement to assist at LDC Development workshops and webinars
  • Opportunity to design and deliver your own short workshops or webinars, that form part of the LDC Development programme, with support from the LDC Development team

Registration for this scheme is open throughout the year and you can view further details of the scheme on our website:
https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/pgr-development/ tutors/

LDC Development Team

Support for PGRs – Have Your Say!

2-3:30 pm 27th June   Faculty Room 4, Faculty Suite, 2nd floor, Central Teaching Hub

Delivered by postgraduate researchers:

Natasha Bradley, Institute of Psychology, Health and Society
Lorna Bryant, Institute of Translational Medicine
Rachel Heah, School of Law and Social Justice

What are the support needs of postgraduate researchers?
How can we improve the resilience and wellbeing of PhD students at UoL?
Would peer support groups be useful, what format should they take?

As part of the upcoming LDC Researcher development week, we are embarking on a fact-finding mission to inform our approach for the next academic year.
Come participate in an informal group discussion on the challenges involved in doing a PhD.

This is a real opportunity for you to use your experience to improve the wellbeing of current and future postgraduate students.

All PhD students and early career researchers welcome!

Please register your attendance to receive an email reminder and venue instructions.

Support for PGRs – Have Your Say!2-3:30 pm 27th June

Anyone who would like to contribute their thoughts, but does not wish to attend this session, is welcome to email us at Natasha.bradley@liverpool.ac.uk.


This event forms part of LDC Researcher Week. See the Researcher Week timetable for information of further events that week.

 

Postgraduate Researcher Week –25-29 June 2018

Postgraduate Researcher Week is a University-wide event that offers a variety of sessions running throughout the five days, 25-29 June 2018

Full list of Events

All events take place on Liverpool Campus, with the exception of the two Writing Retreats (26th and 27th June).

The planned events  cover a wide range of subjects and offers many opportunities for networking with other PGRs. We have two events led by postgraduate researchers:

Improvisation in the workplace – a tool for research  – 9:30-12:30  26th June
– a new event to help you explore improvisation techniques to help you make decisions on the spot and under time pressure. The event aims to be both enjoyable and provide confidence and team-building skills.

Support for PGRs – Have Your Say!2-3:30 pm 27th June  – an informal group discussion on the challenges involved in doing a PhD, to explore options for creating peer support groups in the coming year. All PGRs are welcome to come to  room 4 of the Faculty suite, Central Teaching hub – please register to receive an email reminder.

Further sessions in Researcher week include:

  • Introductory events for those new to the University;
  • Popular sessions from previous researcher weeks covering  ‘How to work with your Supervisor‘, ‘Planning your Final Year’,  ‘Viva Survivor’ and guidance to help you develop Evidence reviews;
  • A session on ‘Writing Targeted Grant Proposals’;
  • A visit from the library and talks on data access and Liverpool elements;
  • A tour of the Guild.

Find out more and register on the LDC Intranet site

Connect with us at #ldcpgrweek.

Making an impact week: smart strategies to drive your research impact

Making an Impact Week 11-15 June, 01831 FREE opportunities for PGRs to explore key concepts and skills required to engage with collaborators outside academia and to develop your personal and professional research impact.

The Leadership, Organisational, Staff and Academic Development Academy (The Academy) at the University of Liverpool invites you to your choice of any of 31 different sessions for Making an Impact Week 2018. The Week is a new initiative aimed at providing rich, varied and high-quality development opportunities, and forms a unique opportunity for PGRs to network with academic, research and professional services staff across the University. Timed to coincide with the International Business Festival (IBF) 2018, the Week consists of an engaging mix of 31 different sessions, including workshops, panels, keynote speakers, 1:1 surgeries, and tours of facilities at the event taking place at various venues across campus.

Making an Impact Week runs 11-15 June 2018.
Find out more and register for  events at:
https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/international-business-festival/impact-week-events.

These flagship sessions offer support for our ambitions for a borderless research community here at Liverpool and include unique opportunities for PGRs to network with Impact Leads, colleagues from across industry, University academic, research (including ECR) and professional services staff:

Monday 11 June: Welcome and Accelerating Innovation through the Industrial Strategy 11-12.30pm in the VGM Leggate Theatre

Hear about the Government’s Industrial Strategy and associated funding opportunities from Dr Rick Holland, the Innovate UK Regional Manager for the North West of England. The session is hosted by Professor Anthony Hollander, PVC R&I and will also feature a presentation from Professor Rasmita Raval, Director, The Surface Science Research Centre, who will speak about “Antimicrobial Surfaces: Innovation and Impact”, drawing on a range of Innovate UK projects that she has been involved in over the past 3 years.

You are invited to register here.

Wednesday 13 June: Knowledge Exchange Concordat for Universities: A model for approach, self-reflection and improvement 10-11.30am in the VGM Leggate Theatre

Universities have enormous impact on society and their communities. The Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) is being developed to help demonstrate the extent of this impact, the approaches that a university takes and the mechanisms by which we aim to continually improve what we do. The session will be led by Professor Trevor McMillan, (KEF Lead, VC Keele University).

You are invited to register here.

Friday 15 June: Liverpool at 2030: What it should look like and how we should get there 10-11.30am in the Foresight Centre Gallery

Professor Mark Boyle (Heseltine Institute) and Mark Basnett (Liverpool LEP) discuss the Liverpool City Region’s growing and uneven recovery as well as the city’s huge potential. The city region now has a metro mayor and combined authority, a national industrial strategy (and associated infrastructural strategy) and is well-placed to embrace a low carbon future, smart technologies and the digital age, welfare service reform, the circular economy, a jobs and skills strategy, and inclusive economic development.

You are invited to register here.

Other sessions which may be of interest are:

Monday 11 June: Getting Ready to do Business – Workshop
12-4pm in the Halsall Room, Foresight Centre

If you want to engage with external customers but are worried that you might not be well prepared – or even if your confidence needs a boost – then this workshop is for you. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to plan to make first contact and to deal with the awkward issue of price and payment for your work. Book here.

Monday 11 June: Working with data from third parties – Workshop
1-3pm in the Chandler Room, Foresight Centre

Contemplating a collaboration, started working with third party data, want others to share with you or need to prepare to share your data? Come along to this session to hear about colleagues’ experiences using and sharing third party data and their research, followed by Q and A session with the panel. Book here.

Monday 11 June: Panel Q&A – Social Value Panel
2-3pm in the Thornton Room, Foresight Centre

Ben Carpenter, Operations Manager from Social Value UK leads a discussion about the principles of social value in relation to research. Book here.

Tuesday 12 June What impact will your research have? – Workshop
2.30-4.30pm in the Thornton Room, Foresight Centre

This workshop will look at defining what research impact means, and in particular what it might mean in the context of PhD research. We will then explore practical strategies for using your time as a PhD candidate to raise your research profile and delivering real impact for yourself and others beyond the thesis. By the end of the workshop, you will have developed your own impact statement and plan for achieving that impact. Book here.

Tuesday 12 June: Panel Q&A – Working with the Media – Panel Q&A
12-2pm in the Thornton Room, Foresight Centre

This session will discuss how researchers can work with the media and what they can get out of it, and will be led by Andrew Naughtie. International Editor at The Conversation, Naughtie is used to working with researchers to get their work out to a general audience. He will explain some of the risks and rewards of using the media to reach people beyond the halls of academics. Also, hear from University Press Officer Matt Hurst, Professor Peter Kinderman and Professor Peter Shirlow about their experiences of dealing with the media. Book here.

Thursday 14 June: The Impact Road Leads to Success – Joint Keynote
10-11.30am in the Gallery, Foresight Centre

The impact agenda is far from new but impact continues to be conceptualised as an additional component to a research proposal rather than an embedded aspect of the research itself. This session will consider the shifting nature of the funding landscape and the increasing emphasis being placed on challenge-led and impact-driven research. This session will focus on the need to ‘normalise’ impact in this new funding context. This session will be led by the APVCs (R&I): Professor Georgina Endfield (HSS), Professor Malcolm Jackson (HLS) and Professor Ric Williams (S&E). Book here.

Thursday 14 June: Intellectual Property Crash Course – Workshop
12-2pm in the Laura Jones Room, Foresight Centre

This workshop will dispel many myths about intellectual property and will help you to identify, protect and disseminate your work to benefit a wide range of audiences both inside and outside of the University environment. It will also help you to confidently negotiate with external partners on collaborative projects so as to achieve mutual gains. Book here.

Thursday 14 June: Peer Review: what actually happens – Workshop
3-4pm in the Laura Jones Room, Foresight Centre

Do you wonder how peer reviewers come to their conclusions when assessing your research writing? Do you worry that they are not seeing its value? Do you wish you could gain more benefit from peer review? Do you worry about reviewing other people’s work? This session will examine the peer review of outputs in preparation for REF 2021. Book here.

Thursday 14 June: Impact Lead networking drinks reception
5pm onwards in the VGM Waterhouse Café

Join us for the chance to share ideas, make new connections with professionals spanning industry and academia in the lovely setting of the Victoria Gallery Museum Waterhouse Café. Drinks and canapes served. Book here.

Friday 15 June: Closing Showcase Event: Accelerating Impact – An IAA Showcase
2-3pm in the Gallery, Foresight Centre

A mini-workshop by Dr Ben Slater who will provide an overview of the funding opportunities available to researchers and academics will highlight their current projects, along with tips and advice on how to develop a successful project. The showcase will be brought to a close with a brief address by Prof Anthony Hollander, PVC R&I. Book here.

Booking is essential to secure your free place and many sessions have limited places left, so register now at https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/international-business-festival/impact-week-events

Making the Most of your PhD

Workshops to help you devise strategies to manage your research and professional development.

Upcoming workshops from the LDC Development Team will help you take action to manage your personal and professional development and to develop your research productivity.

 

 

Click on the titles below for further information and registration.

Developing Mindsets and Taking Action

Practical Thinking for Researchers            22 May, 9:15 – 16:30

Gaining Confidence as a Researcher         30 May, 10:00 – 16:30

Coaching for Researchers                                                           2 June, 9:30 – 16:30

Problem Solving and Decision Making for Researchers             5 June, 9:15 – 16:30

Improving your Social Wellbeing as a Researcher                     20 June, 10:00 – 16:30

Time Management & Motivation for Postgraduate Researchers

21 June 13:30 – 16:30                                    21 June, 9:30 – 12:30

 

Developing your Productivity

Planning and Preparing an Effective Research Presentation     23 May, 9:30 – 12:30

Writing a Scientific Article                                                                19 June, 9:30 – 12:30

Getting your Work Published                                                         19 June, 13:30 – 16:30

Introduction to Project Management                                              14 June, 9:15 – 16:30

Writing Targeted Grant Proposals                                                  28 June, 9:30 – 16:30

One to one support to help you prepare for your long term career

‘Chance favours the prepared mind’.

Keen to gain extra support with your career planning?

The Liverpool Doctoral College are offering a one hour face-to-face coaching session to help you with your career preparation, with a further follow-up session by Skype if required. This offer is open to all PGRs at any stage in their degree.

These sessions will provide focused and tailored support with issues such as:

  • Equipping you to create effective application forms, CVs, personal statements and cover letters for specific roles you are applying for
  • Preparing for interview (including carrying out mock interviews and providing feedback)
  • Making a positive impact within interviews/presentations – e.g. Influencing others and harnessing nerves and anxiety
  • Discussing career issues, e.g. expansion of your network for career success, choosing options
  • How to harness change as you move on from your PhD
  • Helping you think through self-employment – if this is a consideration

The one to one coaching is delivered by Sally Beyer who has specialised career coaching experience.  She will be familiar to many of you from our careers half day workshops and careers webinars.

Dates: If you would like to book a free one hour coaching session with Sally, please follow the link on the preferred date below. These dates are offered on a first-come-first-served basis.

12-1pm or 1pm – 2pm

Mondays 21st May, 18 June, 25 June, 02 July and 09 July.

Please only register for one slot. Following your registration, a further pre-session form will be sent out for you  to provide Sally with information to help her best prepare for your coaching session. Please return the form to gssp@liverpool.ac.uk. Your booking  will only be accepted on completion of this pre-session form.

About your coach

Sally Beyer
Sally is a Careers and Learning & Development professional with over 22 years’ experience of training and coaching people from all walks of life. Along with working for two local Universities, Sally has worked with many private and public organisations delivering career management support to help staff at all levels to achieve their full potential.

To find out more about Sally please take a look at her LinkedIn profile:   https://www.linkedin.com/in/sally-beyer/