Are you planning for your future? Are you a ‘career-wise’ researcher?

When did you last take some quality time to think about you,  your future and your future career? Some decisions can be left until later in your PhD, but some essential planning is best started as early as possible.

The Career Wise Researcher 21st March 09:15 – 12:30

This workshop, delivered by an experienced Careers consultant, Sally Beyer, has the following aims:

  • Highlight key themes from contemporary career theory to inspire proactivity and creativity in you for your personal career agility
  • Opportunity to reflect on and collate a foundation of information about yourself that will help you make career choices in the future (relating to both work and life)
  • Give you some breathing space in an environment where no judgments will be made about you – the chance to be honest with yourself about what you really want
  • Time to create a strategic plan for how you will make the most of the next 1-3 years so that you are going in the right direction for you
  • Network with your colleagues to discuss ideas, reflect on experience and support one another

It’s a workshop that helps you to focus on what you are doing, what you want to do in the future and plan how you would like to achieve it
Past Participant

The workshop is one of a series of Careers workshops & a webinar on offer in March & April:

21-Mar 13:30 – 14:30 Webinar: Promoting yourself through networking
28-Mar 09:15 – 12:30 Networking for your Career
04-Apr 09:15 – 12:30 Shining at Interview
11-Apr 09:15 – 12:30 Get that Academic Job!

Online Resources

The LDC Development programme also includes a range of career resources that supplement this programme:

·  30 min video: The ‘What Next?’ Video

·  Online resource linking to specialised subject and career information: Career Management Skills

Peers for PhDs Meeting, 12th March 5pm

Recognising the signs of poor Mental Health

Tue, 12th March, 2019   5 – 7 PM

Taylor Room, Sidney Jones Library

Lorna Bryant presents Peers for PhDs – March Session – Recognising the signs of poor Mental Health

Peers for PhDs is a group for PhD students at the University of Liverpool. We host regular peer-led support sessions with a different theme each month – instead of facing common PhD challenges in isolation, we can learn from each other and find ways to get the most out of the PhD journey. This month the theme is ‘Recognising the signs of poor Mental Health’.

Open to all Postgraduate Researchers at the University of Liverpool!

If you cannot attend on Tuesday, but would like further information about this group, please contact Lorna Bryant.

PGR Researcher week: This event is one of many events on offer in PGR Researcher week – full timetable

Are you ready for the next stage in your career?

There are several workshops offered in the next month to help you prepare for your career at the end of the PhD. All those listed here below specifically for postgraduate researchers.

PGR ‘Career Ready’ Bootcamp  Thu, 14 March 2019, 09:15 – 16:00

Sally Beyer, PGR Careers Consultant

This one-day interactive workshop is aimed for Post Graduate Researchers in the final year before completion. Wherever you are at in your career thinking and planning, you will find this intensive, fun workshop beneficial.

This workshop will help you meet the following objectives:

• Be equipped with new skills for managing your career
• Assess your current situation – your strengths and areas to focus on related to work opportunities
• Identify what you really want to get from your professional life
• Build a clear picture of what you want to be doing post PhD
• Explore the importance of personal effectiveness and impact on others when working towards your goals, i.e. your confidence, self-belief and proactivity
• Recognise how networking can help you get to where you want to be
• Discuss job searching in an ever-changing work environment
• Get feedback on your current CV
• Set goals and actions for your future

PGR Researcher week: Further short sessions to help you progress in your career preparation are included in PGR Researcher week:

Tuesday 12 March  15.00 – 16.00 Skills for the Future – how to market your PGR experience to potential employers
Friday 15 March  
10.00 – 11.00
How do researchers find jobs?

The LDC Development programme provides additional career workshops, and a webinar in March and April. Follow the links for further information and registration:

21-Mar 09:15 – 12:30 The Career Wise Researcher
21-Mar 13:30 – 14:30 Webinar: Promoting yourself through networking
28-Mar 09:15 – 12:30 Networking for your Career
04-Apr 09:15 – 12:30 Shining at Interview
11-Apr 09:15 – 12:30 Get that Academic Job!

Mental Health and mindfulness – two PGR-led sessions

Two events, in February and March, offer Postgraduate Researchers different forms of support for maintaining wellbeing and managing stress. These events are developed for and by PGRs. Follow the title links for further details and  to book a place:

Peers for PhDs – February Session – Protecting your Mental Health

Tue, February 19, 2019   12:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Natasha Bradley presents Peers for PhDs – February Session – Protecting your Mental Health

Peers for PhDs is a group for PhD students at the University of Liverpool. We host regular peer-led support sessions with a different theme each month – instead of facing common PhD challenges in isolation, we can learn from each other and find ways to get the most out of the PhD journey. This month the theme is ‘Protecting Your Mental Health’. We know that undertaking a PhD is risky for your mental health, but do we know what positive steps we can take to maintain wellbeing and resilience? 

Lunch is included – we have the room from 12 and will start our group discussion at 12.30.

Becoming a mindful researcher

Fri, 15 March 2019  09:30 – 12:30 GMT

Presenter: Priyanka Sakhavalkar, Institute of Translational Medicine

“It’s not stress that kills us, but our reaction to it” – Hans Selye (Father of the field of stress research)

Whether it is about getting desired results of the difficult experiment, a power presentation at the conference, or preparing for the final viva, stress is an inevitable part of a researcher’s life. Work can become demanding and we tend to lose our work-life balance.

Stress management is the necessary skill to enjoy not only research but life in general. Mindfulness is about being aware of the present moment. It’s the kind and compassionate way of acceptance of own self and life experiences. This is one of the proven scientific techniques for stress reduction and mind management that helps to produce a right response to stress.

In this workshop, we will focus on mindfulness and some techniques to achieve your best performance. Join us in finding that balance for the stressful situations in life.

Becoming a successful conference presenter

Do you dream of emulating the keynote speaker at conferences?
– To be able to enter the stage confidently and with personality …
– To deliver an entertaining talk that both expounds new ideas and presents the research clearly and concisely …
– To deliver the talk that people talk about afterwards …
– To be recognised as a competent upcoming researcher and so to promote your career opportunities…
(Or are you just hoping to get through your next presentation?)

Practice is very important, but how do you find new approaches to strengthen your performance?

The Liverpool Doctoral College Development programme includes workshops and webinars to help advance your presentation techniques, with new ideas to enhance your delivery style and practice with delivery. Other sessions will help you make best use of conferences and to overcome imposter syndrome. For an overview, see the introduction provided for the Presentations section within our Communications theme.

Upcoming events focussing on presentation skills

The programme includes two workshops to help create your presentation; the first focusses one standard academic presentation formats, while the second offers an alternative approach using creative techniques that will be particularly useful to those communicating to a multi-disciplinary audience.

19-Feb 13:00 – 16:00 Planning and preparing an effective Research Presentation (waiting list only)
28-Mar 13:00 – 16:00 Communicating your Research through Storytelling  

A further  two webinars offer advice and guidance for those preparing their presentations, in a discussion based format:

18-Mar 12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Enhancing your Research Presentations 1 – defining your message
25-Mar 12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Enhancing your Research Presentations 2 – delivery

 The half day workshop, ‘Delivering Academic Presentations’ offers direct practice in delivery with feedback from a small and friendly group:

13-Feb 13:00 – 16:00 Delivering Academic Presentations (waiting list only)
27-Feb 13:00 – 16:00 Delivering Academic Presentations (waiting list only)
26-Mar 09:30 – 12:30 Delivering Academic Presentations

NB These are repeated sessions – please book on only one date!

Posters and Conference Attendance

The following workshop can help you prepare your conference poster:

14-Feb 13:00 – 16:00 Preparing Poster presentations (waiting list only)
14-Mar 13:00 – 16:00 Preparing Poster presentations

A further  half-day workshop will help you prepare for networking at conferences and create a ‘pitch’ to talk confidently  about your research.

6 Mar 13:00 – 16:00 Effective Networking at Conferences

Online support

The DLC Development online resources includes  specific guidance to covering presentation skills, including an external video to support those preparing their first presentation:

The resources also include The Good Networking Video which offers excellent advice to help your Networking at conferences.

If you are looking for further opportunities to present your work outside your own discipline, why not try a Research Cafe?

Research Cafés

The next Research Café will be held on Thursday 14 February, 2-4pm in the Gilmour Room of the Liverpool Guild of Students. Research Cafes are an informal, safe space for PhD students to share their research and meet fellow early career researchers from across the University.  Presenting at the University’s Research Cafes is a great opportunity to receive feedback about any aspect of your research and to practice talking about your research to an audience outside of your discipline – an invaluable skill for researchers who want their work to have impact.    

Two speaking slots are available – please contact Sarah Roughley if you would like to take part on sarah13@liverpool.ac.uk  

To book on to attend the Research Cafe, please click here.   

What new challenges do you have for 2019?

Happy new year to all researchers at Liverpool!

We hope you are returning from a well-earned break, refreshed and looking forward to the coming year. This time of year is a good opportunity to review your work, maybe to take a fresh approach to your research or work environment and find ways to move forward on your long term goals. Do you have new ideas that you want to explore or do you need to organise your working life more efficiently? Do you have upcoming challenges that need new solutions? Do you need to take actions for your future career?

This is also a time to review your own development and the LDC Development programme can help in several ways

  • Our first webinar, on the 28th January, will help you create a development plan.
  • The Spring programme has a strong focus on presentation skills, including repeated offerings of the small group workshop on Delivering Academic presentations.
  • We have further workshops to advance your writing and a return of the Thesis Thursday sessions, together with sessions on research productivity.
  • The programme also has a focus on impact, to help you achieve impact outside your academic area, which is an important aspect of research to have on your CV, whether your future career is inside or outside of Academia.
  • Finally we have a new Career-ready Boot-camp coming up in March.

The following list connects upcoming events to the programme themes on our website:

Research Productivity (Taking Ownership of your PhD and Resilience)

04-Feb 12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Managing and facilitating meetings
11-Feb 12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Time management
28-Feb 9:15 – 12:30 The Emotionally Intelligent Researcher

Presentations (Communication)

23-Jan 13:00 – 16:00 Delivering Academic Presentations
29-Jan 13:00 – 16:00 Delivering Academic Presentations
13-Feb 13:00 – 16:00 Delivering Academic Presentations
14-Feb 13:00 – 16:00 Preparing Poster presentations
19-Feb 13:00 – 16:00 Planning and preparing an effective Research Presentation
27-Feb 13:00 – 16:00 Delivering Academic Presentations

Writing (Communication)

07-Feb 09:00 – 12:00 Thesis Thursday: structure & format
18-Feb 12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Research Writing – maintaining motivation for your writing
20-Feb 13:30 – 16:30 Mini Writing Retreat
25-Feb 12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Research Writing – communicating your research effectively

Impact (Public Engagement )

11th Feb – 8th April 8 week online course Communicating research online: writing for a wider audience
21-Feb 10:00 – 15:00 Making Meaningful Impact during your PhD

WriteFest18 recap – what comes next?

November and WriteFest18 is already starting to seem like a very long time ago. With the holiday season now just around the corner, it is time to take a moment to reflect on what we achieved and to look ahead to the new year and to keeping up that writing momentum.

The month of November is internationally referred to as Academic Writing Month and WriteFest18 was planned as a way of celebrating and encouraging academic writing across campus. We had a wide range of workshops, webinars and writing retreats on offer, hosted by the LDC Development team and by the Researcher KnowHow team. All events proved very popular, and it was particularly exciting to see how many of you engaged with the writing retreats and shut-up-and-write sessions. There was a real writing buzz in the air!

A key message from Academic Writing Month is the importance of regular and frequent writing practice. Writing is a skill that takes time and dedication to develop, but often finding the time and motivation can be challenging. This is where writing retreats or shut-up-and-write sessions can be helpful. They provide dedicated time and space for writing, and peer motivation to keep your productivity up. But don’t just take my word for it, listen to what your colleagues said about it:

“It got me focused with no distractions and write something down within the short time. Outside the writing retreat, I spend much more time to complete the same task”

“It enabled me to work better on my writing tasks as I had peers around me doing the same in a quiet and conducive environment.”

“The pressure of other people writing and being quiet really helped me focus. I got some proposals done and journal entry I had put off and I felt so productive after.”

And now that WriteFest18 is officially over, how will you keep the momentum up? Keep an eye out for more writing retreats in the new year. Writing retreats and academic writing workshops coming up are listed on our programme. And consider other ways to practice your writing – why not join a writing course? We have an online course starting in February, focused on writing for a wider audience.

Communicating research online: writing for a wider audience

Online course: 11th Feb – 8th April 2019

Are you looking early experience of publishing through an article to the University News, to communicate to other postgraduate researchers and undergraduates, or publishing more widely in ‘The Conversation’?  Are you interested in an opportunity to gain real practice in a peer review process?

This online course  offers a supportive and encouraging forum to share your research and network with other researchers, whilst preparing an article for wider circulation. Through regular practice and supportive feedback you can  further develop your writing skills and new ways to communicate your research and gain a wider impact. This course will last 8 weeks, with a recommended contribution of just one to two hours per week to gain most benefit

‘ … the feedback is invaluable, it’s great to hear how other people perceive my work, and how I can improve. ’ participant 2017.

Further information and registration

News from outside – development opportunities around the Northwest

The University of Liverpool is part of a consortium of Universities in the Northwest and Yorkshire who have agreed to share selected training sessions and events between the Institutions. Below are some upcoming events which may be of interest.

Note: Please contact the host institution directly for any further information about these events as the LDC Development team are unable to answer further enquiries.

IEEE UK&I YP Postgraduate STEM Research Symposium 28-29 November

This PGR STEM Symposium is a great opportunity for researchers (early and established researchers) and young professionals to network, learn and share ideas. There are variety of interesting talks by well-experienced speakers. See more details here. Consider making a submission (to present your research) and/or register to attend the symposium. The registration deadline (12/11/18) may likely be extended by a few days depending on demand. Also, there is a limited optional registration to attend the Reception Dinner (@ Abode Chester – providing a relaxing environment for meet-and-greet, networking, talks, champagne or beer, and a 3-course meal)

Any questions regarding this event, get in touch with Simon Beer at the University of Chester (s.beer@chester.ac.uk)

Manchester Met Postgraduate Research Conference – Risks and Beyond – 6 March 2019

This conference is run by PGRs for PGRs, and it’s a great development opportunity, allowing you to present your ideas to a friendly local crowd. Call for abstracts is open until 14th December – welcoming multidisciplinary research, discussing research risks, uncertainties, how we overcome them and future implications to society.

For more information about this conference, get in touch with the conference organisers: pgr-conference@mmu.ac.uk

Further workshops and training opportunities

Through our network of partner universities, UoL PGRs have access to a wide range of workshops to support your development. These events take place on campuses across the North of England, in Salford, Manchester, Huddersfield and Bradford, as well as Liverpool John Moores.

NWY PGR Training Group – Shared Sessions

Please register with the host institution before attending; see the last column for contact details. You will need to provide your own transport.