Job searching in (or after) a pandemic?


For those near completion and now in the process of job searching, the challenges of the pandemic can make this process more challenging than before.  This means that planning ahead and making essential preparation is particularly important,, as highlighted in a recent article from jobs.ac.uk, ‘Getting your post-PhD job during COVID-19‘.

Our upcoming programme includes a number of online workshops, delivered by our Careers Consultant, Sally Beyer,  to support your career preparation, including two workshops to help your mental preparation and mind-set:

22 April09:30 – 12:00The Emotionally Intelligent Researcher
20 May09:30 – 12:00Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

For those close to PhD completion, and for whom career preparation is urgent, we still have places on the next Career boot-camp

06 May09:30 – 12:00PGR ‘Career Ready’ Bootcamp

The programme includes further career-focussed workshops for those at all stages of their PhD:

15 April09:30 – 12:00Shining at Interview
13 May09:30 – 12:00Effective Career Networking
10 June09:30 – 12:00Creating Effective Job Applications

Past feedback: From the Career-Wise Researcher  Workshop:

“A great opportunity to really think about your personal and career goals and consider the steps you can take to improve your chances of success”

“Good for identifying your inspiration, reflection on what you want from your career and a reminder of why you signed up for a PhD in the first place”

Further ways to prepare for the future

If you are still far from completion you will have more time for career preparation, and time to review your interests and assess the activities that you should be engaging in now to further those interests. We have a new workshop series, based in an engaging game format,  to  consider how the ingenuity, perseverance and opportunity can help you reach your desired ambitions:

25th May – 8th June Star Researcher”:Team Missions to Help You Make Progress Now

If you are looking at other activities to supplement the experience in your PhD, you might also consider the opportunities to teach your research area in local schools through the Brilliant Club:

20-Apr13:00 – 15:00Webinar: The Brilliant Club & PhD Tutor Opportunities in the Scholars Programme

LDC Development Programme: April – June 2021

We have opened booking for most of the remaining events for this academic year on March 5th. These cover a range of subjects and include some exciting events new to the programme. The workshops are arranged under the following headings:

NB you will need to register for each workshop in the lists below separately.
Places are still very limited – please only book if you can attend!

Also, if anyone is interested in the opportunities to teach your research area in local schools and hear about the work of the Brilliant Club, they are offering an upcoming webinar:

20-Apr13:00 – 15:00Webinar: The Brilliant Club & PhD Tutor Opportunities in the Scholars Programme

Workshops to develop your writing

The upcoming programme includes a range of workshops to help you improve your writing techniques including two new series of workshops provided by Dr Matt Lane, who delivered our ‘From Surviving to Thriving’ series.
Places on all workshops are limited so we ask that you only book on one of the following three workshop series, to allow others the opportunities (Thank you!)

1. Dr Matt Lane’s first workshop is aimed at those in their first year and are writing their Literature review or their First year report:

28-Apr09:30 – 12:30Writing the First Year: The Literature Review and First Year Report

2. Dr Matt Lane will also deliver a further series for those in their second year or beyond and are looking to advance their writing skills for research publications or their thesis:

04-May09:30 – 12:30The Foundations of Academic Writing, Part 1 – Laying the Foundation
11-May09:30 – 12:30The Foundations of Academic Writing, Part 2 – Effective Drafting
18-May09:30 – 12:30The Foundations of Academic Writing, Part 3 – Effective Editing

3. In addition, we are also offering three shorter webinars, delivered by Dr Shirley Cooper and based on the research writing webinars provided in previous years.:

14-Apr13:00 – 15:00Webinar: Developing Writing Techniques – Finding Motivation
21-Apr13:00 – 15:00 Webinar: Developing Writing Techniques – The Academic Document 
28-Apr13:00 – 15:00 Webinar: Developing Writing Techniques – The Editing Process

Research challenges and productivity

These remain challenging times and the following workshops aim to support you overcome general challenges as a researcher:

22-Apr09:30 – 12:00The Emotionally Intelligent Researcher
19-May13:00 – 15:15Surviving the PhD – The Middle Years
09-Jun09:30 – 11:30Webinar: Get Unstuck – Procrastination Busting Techniques
23 Jun09:30 – 11:30 Taking Charge of Your Time: Avoid Drifting

The following series from the Company of Mind will also help you gain control:

13-Apr10:00 – 12:30Getting Organised for Research (and Life) 1, Tasks that Plague our Minds
20-Apr10:00 – 12:30Getting Organised for Research (and Life) 2, Research Literature and Information
27-Apr10:00 – 12:30Getting Organised for Research (and Life) 3, Get Control of Life’s Projects

Finally it is a pleasure to welcome Dr Fraser Robertson of Fistral Training & Consultancy for a repeats of the Project management workshops:

7 May09:30 – 11:30 Introduction to Project Planning, Part 1: Establishing Foundations
14 May09:30 – 11:30Introduction to Project Planning, Part 2: Scoping the Project
21 May09:30 – 11:30Introduction to Project Planning, Part 3: Creating the Plan

Careers Preparation

The following workshops, delivered by our Careers consultant Sally Beyer, will help those preparing for a career at all stages of the PhD:

15-Apr09:30 – 12:00Shining at Interview
06-May09:30 – 12:00PGR ‘Career Ready’ Bootcamp
13-May09:30 – 12:00Effective Career Networking
20-May09:30 – 12:00Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
10-Jun09:30 – 12:00Creating Effective Job Applications

Details still to come:

We expect to continue our online writing retreats over the summer period. New dates will be share with all who have already signed up to the existing list for these retreats on the link:

Online Writing Retreats

New Series – We have now released details of a further series of team-based workshops by the Company of Mind (Dr Adrian West)., which are spread over the three dates: 25th May, 1st June and 8th June.

“Star Researcher”:Team Missions to Help You Make Progress Now

A full up-to-date list of all events is available on our programme timetable.

LDC Development Programme: Jan – March 2021

The Liverpool Doctoral College Development team programme for Jan to March is listed below and events are open for registration. Follow the links on each title for more information and to book a place. The list below is loosely organised to our programme themes, with some overlap between themes. All events will take place online, mostly in Zoom.*
NB Places are limited – please only book if you can attend!

Taking Ownership of your PhD

Workshops for those who have recently begun their PhD

03 Feb13:00 – 15:15Starting the PhD
17 Feb13:00 – 15:15Project Management of the PhD
24 Feb13:00 – 15:15Time-management in the PhD

We also offer a webinar to support those new to the PGR Toolbox:

10 Feb13:30 – 14:30Webinar: Effectively Using the PGR Toolbox

 Improving your resilience … and your productivity

Managing your own motivation is important to maintain research progress. We offer an early workshop to help you set goals for the coming year, and then two workshop series, the first to help you manage yourself and your motivations and the second to build better working relations with others.
NB you will need to register for each workshop in these series separately.

21 Jan13:00 – 15:15Setting PhD Goals: Looking Ahead to a Great PhD Year
  9 Feb14:00 – 16:00From Surviving to Thriving, 1:
Developing Your Resilience 
16 Feb14:00 – 16:00From Surviving to Thriving, 2:
Managing Your Procrastination
23 Feb14:00 – 16:00From Surviving to Thriving, 3:
Cultivating Your Productivity
02 Mar14:00 – 16:00From Surviving to Thriving, 4:
Nurturing Your Happiness 
 09 Feb09:30 – 12:30Working with Difficult People 1: People – Similarities
16 Feb09:30 – 12:30Working with Difficult People 2: People – Differences
23 Feb09:30 – 12:30Working with Difficult People 3: People & Change

Finally, we are able to repeat the two day workshop, ‘Becoming a Mindful Researcher’ in March:

15&16 March09:30 – 12:00Becoming a Mindful Researcher

Preparing for presentations and conferences

We have two workshops, repeated in March, to help those preparing for presentations and a webinar for those new to academic conferences:

20 Jan13:00 – 15:15Planning an Effective Research Presentation 
27 Jan13:00 – 15:15Delivering a Convincing Research Presentation 
03 March13:00 – 14:30Webinar: Making the Most of Online
Academic Conference
16 March13:00 – 15:15Planning an Effective Research Presentation
23 March13:00 – 15:15Delivering a Convincing Research Presentation

Writing and analysing research papers

 We are repeating the three workshops offered in Autumn 2020 to help you prepare and start your academic writing:

03 March09:30 – 13:00Getting Going on Your Thesis Writing
10 March09:30 – 13:00Critical Analysis of Research Papers
24 March09:30 – 13:00Getting your Work Published

Our online writing retweets will continue, which provide community writing support, particularly for those managing the final write-up in isolation. For details see:

Online Writing Retreats

 This year we will include some longer retreats. For Jan and Feb the dates are as follows:

  • 12th January 09.45 – 12.00
  • 19th January 09.45 – 15.00
  • 2nd February 09.45 – 12.00
  • 23rd February 09.45 – 15.00

A further peer group of researchers organise their own meetings within a Microsoft teams groups. Details are shared within the above meetings.

Careers preparation

We are continuing our series of workshops to support those preparing for a career despite these difficult times.

11 Feb09:30 – 12:00The Career Wise Researcher
11 March09:30 – 12:00Effective Career Networking
18 March09:30 – 12:00Using LinkedIn to Develop your Career

A full list of all events is available on our programme timetable.

*If you have problems in connecting, or have other access issues, please get in touch with us directly at ldcdevelopment@liverpool.ac.uk as it may be possible to make alternative arrangements.

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.

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

The Scholars Programme – PhD tutor opportunities for 2020-21

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Preparing for opportunities after the lock-down?

The University of Liverpool works in partnership with The Brilliant Club to offer you the opportunity to join the Scholars Programme in 2020-21.

You are invited to a webinar on the 29th April or 20th May to learn more about these opportunities.

The Scholars Programme is run by The Brilliant Club, an award-winning university access charity. They recruit and train doctoral and post-doctoral researchers to deliver programmes of university-style teaching to pupils in schools that serve under-represented communities.

Why Become a Scholars Programme PhD Tutor?

  • Support local pupils from under-represented backgrounds to access university
  • Get expert training and real experience to develop your teaching and other transferable skills
  • Earn £500 per placement plus an additional £100 for designing a new course, and travel expenses
  • Disseminate your research to small groups of school pupils
  • Join a nationwide community of like-minded researchers making a huge impact on university access

Information for Researchers – 2020

The Brilliant Club will be running an online webinar on 29 April 2020 at 11am and 20 Mary 2020 at 11am, where you can find out more about the opportunity of becoming a Scholars Programme PhD tutor. Come along to find out more about the opportunity. To access the webinar, please follow the following links (Google chrome is recommended):

Wednesday 29 April 2020, 11am– https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/995686677

Wednesday 20 May 2020, 11am – https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/810030517

Successful applicants are able to select which terms they would like to work as a tutor in and whether they would like to deliver multiple-placements.

Tutors are supported by a training programme consisting of two full-days including sessions on tutorial pedagogy, assessment and designing a course handbook. Each Scholars Programme placement then begins with tutors accompanying their pupils on a university trip, followed by six further tutorials in their school. At the end of the programme pupils submit an assignment which is marked by their tutor.

You can find out more about The Brilliant Club and the tutoring opportunity online. To apply please visit the application form.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to email The Brilliant Club at apply@thebrilliantclub.org.

Alternatively, are you looking for a full-time position?

If you’re keen on working with young people and feel passionate about our charity’s aims, you can apply to our sister programme, Researchers in Schools. RIS is a full-time route into teaching for PhDs that incorporates elements from The Scholars Programme, along with a host of other features designed to get the most from your research skill set. For more information on RIS, including funding and benefits, contact us on apply@researchersinschools.org or visit www.researchersinschools.org

LDC Development Support for PhD researchers during Covid19

How solid are your plans for coping with the coming period of isolation due to COVID19? Are you confident of continuing with PhD work? What support would you like to receive from LDC Development over the coming period?

The University has recently announced the cancellation of all face to face workshops as part of the University’s response to COVID-19. In consequence, all face-to-face workshops in the LDC development programme are cancelled for the remainder of the Academic year.

Working at home for long periods can be a challenge, especially for those students who are used working on campus. The University encourages students to use Microsoft Teams to maintain formal meetings. Social contacts with peers and colleagues should be maintained online, too, to help us all retain the motivation and general well-being. Have you already arranged your support system? We would love to hear from you about different approaches, and to discuss them with other researchers, enabling everybody to stay engaged.

We are currently looking at how we can enhance our online programme. We would be very interested to hear your thoughts too! What kind of online programme would you like to see? Are there any topics we could add to our programme that would ensure further skills development? Please do get in touch and let us know what we can do to support you in this period.

Meanwhile, we are making significant changes to our programme as an immediate response to COVID-19 situation, which will include a greater range of online sessions as outlined below:

  1. Discussion-based webinars.

Webinar: Managing your PhD work during Covid-19’ 31 March 2020 12:30-13:30

This is a first in a series of webinars on maintaining research activities and social engagement throughout this unusual period. The focus will be on sharing problems and finding solutions. The idea is to move beyond just a presentation format and to encourage wider participation. There will be ample opportunities to ask questions and to share and discuss each other’s needs and experiences.

The webinars in this series will always take place around lunchtime, to give you enough time in the morning to focus on work but also to encourage you to take a well-deserved break!

2. Online careers events

Webinar: Developing effective CVs and applications 2 April 13:30 – 14:30

We are replacing the Workshop on Career Networking on the 26th March with a longer version of the webinar ‘Promoting yourself through networking’ and this will include additional exercises. The presenter, Sally Beyer is exploring options to provide additional online advice on career. More details will be announced soon.

3. Further online workshops

Many of our external presenters are offering to produce online versions to replace the longer workshops in our timetable for this summer that will no longer take place. We hope to announce further details soon.

4. Online writing retreats

Online Mini Writing Retreat 1 April 2020 09:45 – 12:00

During the period of Covid-19, we are moving our meeting online. We still hope that, by setting out specific and protected time for writing, the session can provide structure to your working day and a degree of community support. Please register for further details.

5. Online presentations

Many of you will be missing out on essential opportunities to give early presentations. Perhaps you were hoping to give a first talk at the ‘Your Voice’ PGR conference? The online environment is different, but we may be able to help you to deliver your talk, with accompanying slides and possibly an audience! Don’t forget that some people have to deliver their conference presentations online and that some job interviews are also done online.

We are looking to offer two forms of events:

  1. Practice session – similarly to ‘Academic Presentation’ workshops, the aim would be to give each participant 5 minutes to present their research. After the presentation, the participant would receive friendly comments on the communication, slides, voice etc. 2.
  2. Lunchtime short conferences with each talk lasts 10-15 minutes followed by questions from audience (other participants).

We understand that many conferences have been cancelled, therefore, if you have already prepared your presentation or paper maybe this is a good opportunity to share it. We are also exploring the possibility of organising mini-online conferences for different Faculties, or different field should there be wider interest. If you were wondering about your friends’ research maybe this is the right time to encourage them to apply and share their findings with you and others.

For these sessions you need to be able to access your microphone and send us your slides in advance. The session could be recorded, but with the recordings shared privately.

If you are interested in either of the above options, please email me, Shirley Cooper, shirley.cooper@liverpool.ac.uk with your proposed talk and any questions (NB Please use your University email as I need to know who you are!)

More details about all the proposed activities will be available soon. But should you have more questions please get in touch.

Similarly, should you have any other ideas or needs, please let us know! We can provide further support and discuss your ideas! Follow us on twitter, read our blog and keep an eye on our webpage (to be updated soon). All changes and new activities will be announced through these channels.

Shirley Cooper, shirley.cooper@liverpool.ac.uk