Peers for PhDs: Orientation and Planning session 29th January

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The Peers for PhDs group will have their first meeting of 2020 on January 29th.

Date & Time Wednesday 29th January 5:30 -7:30 pm 
Venue: Taylor Room (Sydney Jones Library)
Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/peers-for-phd-orientation-and-planning-tickets-89740743981

‘January is a time for new beginnings, setting goals and reorienting ourselves to what we want to achieve, but it also brings anxiety about what’s ahead over the next year. Many PhD students can feel overwhelmed and lost throughout their projects, but it can be useful to reflect on the progress you’ve made and talk with your peers to find the motivation to focus on your goals and aims for this year.’

‘For this session we will get together and discuss as a group:
–       How to get through tough times when we feel lost.
–       Our goals and aims for the following year.
–       Tips on planning through the different stages of the PhD.
–       How to feel confident with your progress and how to refocus/reorientation’

”In this session, we will have some refreshments and also discuss these issues, as well as asking your opinion for further topics that Peers for PhDs could cover to make sure your voices are heard and your worries and questions are discussed in an informal and friendly space.’

Further sessions for 2020

The Peers for PhDs team have planned the following further meets for 2020:

27th Feb  Thursday  Imposter Syndrome 
26th March Thursday  Supervisory & Other Working Relationships in the PhD
30th April  Thursday  Wellbeing, mental health and sleep hygiene
28th May  Thursday  Networking, communication and negotiation 
25th June  Thursday  Stress relief with mindfulness

All take place in the Taylor Room in the Sydney Jones Library.
Watch out for the News announcements for details and registration.

Peers for PhDs is a student-led project aiming to improve PGR wellbeing at the university. We’re a welcoming and supportive group that hosts monthly meetings and regular social events with the support from Liverpool

What development are you planning for 2020?

Welcome to 2020!  The LDC Development Programme is now open for Jan – March 2020

What might you achieve in the coming year? Have you made any New year resolutions? Or have you awakened to new ambitions?

The New Year is a time to revisit your personal ambitions and set new goals.  What might be possible in the coming year? And then, what can you do to  achieve these goals? Managing your project and eventually writing up on time will be important, but, what else do you need to start doing now?  Are there new activities you can join to enhance long-term prospects, and your personal life, or are there new skills you need to develop to gain these wider opportunities?

Our programme includes an early webinar, ‘Creating your own plan of professional development’ to help you start this planning process, The programme also includes range of workshops and webinars to help your development in other research related areas as follows:

Webinar and workshops to support your planning and time management:

20 Jan 12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Creating your own plan of professional
development
27 Jan  12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Time-management for PhD researchers
3 Feb   12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Project Management for PhD Researchers
– an Introduction
5 Feb  12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Effectively Using the PGR Toolbox
Date to be
confirmed
09:30 – 12:30 Introduction to Project Management Tools and
Techniques
25 Feb 09:15 – 16:30 Getting Organised for Research (and Life)
by Company of Mind

Sessions to support your conference preparation, including conference posters:

10 Feb  12:30 – 13:30    Webinar: Preparing a Conference Poster
17 Feb  12:30 – 13:30   Webinar: Preparing an ‘Elevator pitch’
19 Feb 12:30 – 13:30    Webinar: Making the Most of Academic Conferences
3 Mar  13:00 – 16:00  Effective Networking at Conferences

Sessions to improve your presentation techniques. See our December blog for further information.

21 Jan 09:30 – 12:30 Delivering Academic Presentations
4 Feb     09:30 – 12:30 Delivering Academic Presentations
11 Feb  09:30 – 12:30   Planning and Preparing an Effective Research
Presentation
18 Feb   09:30 – 12:30   Delivering Academic Presentations
24 Feb   09:30 – 12:30 Webinar: Enhancing your Research Presentations
1 – defining your message
2 Mar  09:30 – 12:30 Webinar: Enhancing your Research Presentations
2 – delivery

Sessions to support your  writing, including the Mini-writing retreats to maintain that writing:

22 Jan 14:00 – 15:00 LJMU: How to write well: some tips for PGRs
29 Jan 10:00 – 12:00 Mini Writing Retreat
26 Feb 10:00 – 12:00 Mini Writing Retreat
9 Mar  12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Research Writing: Finding Motivation
and making a Start
12 Mar 09:30 – 12:30 Get going on your thesis

In addition, we will also be repeating our regular careers   sessions in March. For full list of all upcoming events view  our programme Timetable, and watch out for further blogs that highlight specific events.

Wishing you a stress-free break – with support in Liverpool for those who need it

We hope all post-graduate researchers can take a well-earned break at this time of year!

While many of you may be able to celebrate with friends or family, we realise that some may be mainly alone in Liverpool through circumstance or by choice. This can be a particularly lonely time of year. However, support is still available within the University and external services over this holiday period.

The link below lists recommended support if you have any health or wellbeing difficulties, or are concerned for a friend, together with a list of closure dates of  all university services :
https://student.liverpool.ac.uk/christmas-opening-hours

28 Dec 11- 2pm

On Saturday 28th December, 11am-2pm, Student services are hosting an event with cake and coffee, open to all students staying in Liverpool over the holidays.

Enhancing your presentation skills

How do you develop the skills to give research talks with ease and impress your audience?

Presentations are an important part of research communication,  but can be challenging for new researchers, particularly those lacking experience and confidence. Practice is often cited as a crucial method to improve your skills, but this is only one part of the development process.  You will also need to try out new ideas, in content and delivery and to regularly reflect and review your own performance.

From January onwards, we are offering a number of small group coaching sessions to help attendees review their presentation skills, recognise their assets and identify ways for future improvement. In each session, participants deliver a five-minute presentation, which is videoed, giving each a chance to view their own performance before gaining constructive feedback.

‘It was great to get positive, constructive feedback from different disciplines. Though I dislike being on camera, I admit that looking back at my own performance was very useful.’

Past participant 2019

Our sessions dates start in January. The following sessions are open for registration:

15 Jan  09:30 – 12:30 Delivering Academic Presentations
21 Jan  09:30 – 12:30 Delivering Academic Presentations

with further sessions on the 4th Feb, 18th Feb and 17th March.
full list of events for January.

NB Numbers are strictly limited for each session. Please only book if you are sure that you can attend.

Note for each workshop, you will need to prepare a 5-minute presentation to present at the workshop. Further guidance is sent by email a week before the workshop. You will gain the most benefit from this workshop if you have completed several months research and are preparing to present your work to colleagues. You will not need to present research findings or results in your presentation.

Tips for preparing presentations The LDC Development programme includes further workshops to help you prepare your presentations. Registration will open in early 2020, with links from the programme timetable.

11 Feb 09:30 – 12:30 Planning and Preparing an Effective
Research Presentation
24 Feb 12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Enhancing your research presentations 1
– defining your message
02 Mar 12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Enhancing your research presentations 2
– delivery
03 Mar 09:30 – 12:30 Effective Networking at Conferences

Our Presentations Theme page provides further online advice and other resources.

Peers for PhDs – December: Communication during the PhD

Tue, 10th December , 2019 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM GMT

Please register to help the group plan the session: Eventbrite registration

The theme of the sessionin December is ‘Communication’. Communication is vital for effective working relationships, but it is common for PhD students to experience challenges relating to verbal, written, or non-verbal communication in the workplace.

What is important to you when you communicate with peers, colleagues, and supervisors? How might verbal, written, or non-verbal communication issues impact your progress? Are you satisfied with the communication between you and your supervisor?

Come join us to informally discuss these issues and identify potential solutions.

Peers for PhDs aims to improve the wellbeing of PhD students by hosting regular group meetings and social events, so that postgraduate research students can support each other through the challenges of the PhD journey. It is a friendly and welcoming group, open to all current PhD students at the University of Liverpool.

LDC Development part-time Communications Officer

The LDC Development team is aiming to recruit a PGR research student at the University of Liverpool to work with the team to communicate and promote the LDC Development Programme and related events within the postgraduate research community. The role is part-time, up to one day per week equivalent. We are hoping that the post can start as soon as possible, from late January if possible.

The Liverpool Doctoral College provides a flexible Development Programme for all PhD researchers to support them in their on-going professional and personal development for their research work and their future career. The programme serves the diverse needs of our multi-faculty community and, in order to communicate with our community of stakeholders, we use a variety of communication methods including, an externally facing website, blog, Twitter and newsletters, both central and at Faculty/School level.

We are looking for an enthusiastic PGR student with good interpersonal skills who has a strong interest in their own professional development and is keen to serve the needs of the wider PGR community. In this role, you will also have the opportunity to further enhance your administrative skills and support the evaluation of our overall communications approach.

The post requires a commitment of 3.5 hours per week to be spent working in the LDC Development team office (126 Mount Pleasant) on a mutually agreed day each week, with a flexible additional 1 -3.5 hours working as required, which may be spent out of the team office.

Key responsibilities:

  • Take an active role in promoting the LDC Development Programme to the PGR community
  • Support the communication of the LDC Development Programme through preparing content for University and Faculty-level newsletters.
  • Promote the programme through preparing and scheduling blogs and other social media posts
  • Explore and implement new ways to connect and communicate with the PGR community
  • Provide communication on wider activities across the LDC
  • Ensure timely delivery of programme communications
  • Other duties commensurate with post

Essential Skills:

  • Current PGR student at the University of Liverpool
  • Experience of the Higher Education Research Environment
  • Knowledge of the Researcher Development Framework
  • Good knowledge of the training and development offered by the University of Liverpool
  • Knowledge of wider opportunities for training and development in the University
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent organisational skills; reliability and punctuality; timely communicator
  • Excellent team-working skills
  • Ability to work on own initiative
  • Commitment to equality and a desire to meet the needs of a diverse body of students

Desirable Skills:

  • Knowledge of the experiences of PGRs based in other Faculties
  • Previous experience in promotional work
  • Writing articles for public communication
  • Experience of writing for the web or writing a blog
  • Experience with social media, including twitter
  • Administrative experience

Salary: Casual worker contract, Grade5 on the University pay scale for an 8 week period in the first instance.

Applications

We would like to start this appointment as soon as possible and interested candidates are advised to apply promptly. We will close the recruitment when we find a suitable applicant. To apply for the post, please send your CV and a Cover Letter by email to Shirley Cooper, Programme Lead, Liverpool Doctoral College Development Programme. email: Shirley.cooper@liverpool.ac.uk

Peers for PhDs – November session: First Year Woes

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Tue, November 26, 2019 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM GMT

Please register to help the group plan the session

Eventbrite registration



Peers for PhDs is a student-led project offering peer support opportunities for PhD students.

Peers for PhDs aims to improve the wellbeing of PhD students by hosting regular group meetings and social events, so that postgraduate research students can support each other through the challenges of the PhD journey. It is a friendly and welcoming group, open to all current PhD students at the University of Liverpool.

The theme of this upcoming session is ‘First Year Woes’. We will focus on group discussion and collaborative problem-solving to address some common challenges in the early phases of the PhD. Students in their second year and beyond are still encouraged to come – we are sure that you will have valuable experiences and advice about the PhD to share with first year colleagues.

In preparation, all first years are asked to think about what their three biggest PhD concerns are right now, and non-first years asked to think back to their three biggest challenges in the first twelve months and how they were overcome.

Refreshments will be provided. Please register on Eventbrite.

Career preparation – for all stages of the PhD

Are you wondering what career preparation you can do early in the PhD while keeping your career options open?

Or are you in the later stages of the PhD, and looking for advice to prepare for upcoming applications?

At the start of a three or more year research degree it is easy to feel that you have plenty of time to consider your choice of future career. In fact, you can take many actions early on whilst still keeping your careers options open. You have time to research information on potential choices and assess your personal preferences. You can also focus on your professional development, and develop skills within your research that will also promote your ongoing career prospects. This form of career planning is often referred to as ‘Planned Happenstance’, a career model that fits quite well with many academic careers. The aim is to focus on activities that motivate you and so to build a CV that will support you in a career that matches your preferences. To find out more see our online Career management resources.

The LDC Development programme provides workshops and webinars to help you at all stages of your career preparation, from more general career planning, to preparing for actual applications. We also offer further sessions to help you prepare emotionally for moving into your career after the PhD. In 2020, we will also offer a session to help you manage ‘Imposter Syndrome’. Our upcoming sessions are as follows:

Career planning and long-term preparation

Careers – The Career Wise Researcher07 Nov09:15 – 12:30
Careers – Effective Career Networking14 Nov09:15 – 12:30
Webinar: Using LinkedIn to manage your career21 Nov13:30 – 14:30
Webinar: Promoting yourself through networking5 Dec13:30 – 14:30

Preparing for applications

Careers – Shining at Interview 21 Nov09:15 – 12:30
Careers – Get that Academic job!28 Nov09:15 – 12:30

Managing yourself

The Emotionally Intelligent Researcher05 Dec09:15 – 12:30

You can find additional information in our career management online resources.

November is Academic Writing Month!

Join us for WriteFest19

WriteFest is an annual event established as a way to support academic writing via the #AcWriMo hashtag on Twitter.  As part of our contribution to this global event, the LDC Development Team will be running writing events throughout the month of November, with the aim of bringing people together to raise awareness and celebrate academic writing.

The programme of events will consist of a series of workshops and webinars to help you write and four writing retreats to provide you with the time and space to write. We encourage all academics, research staff, and research students to join in the write-a-thon.

WriteFest19 is a collaboration with the Universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Exeter, Bristol, Kings College London, Keele, Sheffield Hallam, Newcastle, Derby and Adelaide.  The festival aims to provide protected time and space for writing to help you work on:

How to Get Involved

  1. Start by searching for #AcWriMo on Twitter for inspiration and tips from fellow contributors.
  2. Use the #AcWriFest19 hashtag to share your progress with other researchers at Liverpool and across other UK Universities.
  3. Book onto one of our workshops or webinars to learn new skills and gain advice.
  4. Join us during our WriteFest Writing Retreats to put your learning into practice and keep yourself motivated through peer support.

Writing Retreats

To attend a writing retreat, choose the ones(s) that best suit your schedule and book your place through Eventbrite. Then, simply bring your laptop, or a pen and some paper, and get writing! This one-minute video outlines what the retreat sessions will, and won’t involve.

This year, we are hosting four weekly two-hour writing retreats for up to 24 people.  The retreats provides protected writing time for you to accomplish your academic writing goals. We sit together in a room and use peer accountability to help us avoid the distractions of email, social media, the internet, impending meetings, tea making, paperclip sorting, desk cleaning, lab work, or any other procrastination techniques you’ve been employing in your everyday working practice.

Please arrive in plenty of time, and stay for the full session.

Don’t forget to bring cables, chargers, adaptors and any other accessories to help keep you writing without disruptions.

**BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL**

WriteFest19 programme of events

Date & Time Event
04 November
12:30-13:30
Webinar: Research Writing: Finding Motivation and making a Start
05 November
10:00-12:00
WriteFest Retreat
11 November
12:30-13:30
Webinar: Research Writing: Producing an Academic Document
12 November
14:00-16:00
WriteFest Retreat
18 November
12:30-13:30
Webinar: Research Writing: Managing the Editing Process
20 November
10:00-12:00
WriteFest Retreat
26 November
9:30-12:30
Writing a Scientific Article
26 November
13:30-16:30
Get going on your thesis
29 November
10:00-12:00
WriteFest Retreat

Resources

Our website has a wide range of guides and resources to explore.  You may wish to start with our Communication: Writing theme webpage: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/pgr-development/themes/writing/

Writing retreat facilitator’s guide: You may also be interested in running your own writing retreats, and to help with this the Think Ahead team at Sheffield University have put together a guide to give you an idea of how to structure and facilitate the event. If you run a retreat during November, please let us know!

Articles about Academic Writing: WriteFest founder Dr. Kay Guccione has also collected articles and blogs about writing on Scoop It!

Finding your direction at the start of your PhD

Or how to take ownership of your PhD

Signpost at dawn

Starting a research degree can be an exciting time, as you are effectively beginning a journey into the unknown, making new discoveries and ultimately becoming a subject specialist in your specific field. However, this can also be a daunting time, where you may be working in a new, and sometimes isolated environment. In addition to developing subject knowledge and learn specific research techniques, you may need to develop new skills to manage your own time and project, or to enhance your wider skills in presentations, writing, creativity and critical thinking in order to communicate your research effectively, as well as to build your resilience as a researcher.

The LDC Development team offers a range of support for your development at the start of the research degree, including specific advice on those essential research skills. Our sessions will provide a greater understanding of the expectations of you, as a research student, and will help you take more control of this process yourself, to start the journey to becoming an independent and confident researcher and ultimately, to take ownership of your own PhD.

Video Introduction to the LDC Development Programme
Video introduction to the theme: Taking Ownership of your PhD

The programme includes both workshops and webinars. Our highly interactive workshops take place on the Liverpool campus and include opportunities to network with researchers across the University. The hour-long webinars are accessible online to all, on or off campus, including those who are attending research experiments.

Our Programme timetable lists all events offered this Autumn. The links on the dates below offer further information and registration for the events most relevant to new researchers:

Upcoming Workshops

  • Taking Ownership of your PhD – A full day workshop, 09:15 – 16:30
    10th Oct, 23rd Oct, 5th Nov
  • Build your PhD 17th Oct 13:00 – 16:00
  • Improving your Social Wellbeing during your PhD 19th Nov 10:00 – 15:00
  • Setting Goals for 2020 3rd Dec 13:00 – 16:00

Upcoming Webinars – all run 12:30 – 13:30

  • What to expect and what to do early in the PhD14th Oct
  • Effectively using the PGR Toolbox 1st Oct, 15th Oct, 7th Nov
  • Surviving the PhD 21th Oct
  • Time management for PhD researchers 28th Oct
  • Developing a healthy supervisory relationship 30th Oct
  • Adapting to an international research environment within the UK 6th Nov

Online Support

The LDC Development team offers a range of online resources that can be viewed by all postgraduate researchers at Liverpool and which offer advice and suggestions on wider research skills including writing, presentations, time management. This resource collection also includes packages covering research integrity and more subject-specific guidance on research methods.