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

Project Management and Academic Success!

Have you ever wondered if you could plan your PhD process better? Would it be easier if you knew how much time is needed to develop lab skills, or to prepare for data collection, or to get into the writing mode?

Would the PhD process be less stressful if you had a good plan? Proper planning is one part of Project Management practice, which represents a useful skill for research. Ultimately, the PhD may be the first project in a longer professional career, regardless of the career choice, within or outside academia.

There are many ways how you can improve your project management skills. Examples include:

  • Breaking your research goals into small tasks and setting clear goals to finish each task. For example, collecting data can entail several tasks that need to be well planned: getting your ethics approved, preparing questions for surveys, preparing for travel, or visiting the library, and so on.
  • Start using tools that help you schedule the activities. Once you break down your research project into small tasks, you will need to set priorities and time management is vital. Time is essential for any successful project.
  • Small tasks can reduce the level of stress for several reasons. First, you can always go back to your plan and revisit your priorities – the best way to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the whole process. Secondly, a good plan can provide a good confidence boost. By reminding yourself of the boxes that you have already ticked, you will gain a great source of, sometimes much needed, motivation!

Project management is something you probably do in your mind automatically. But to improve your skills, the LDC Development team has prepared a resource offering tips about apps that can improve research productivity.

There is also an opportunity to learn more about project management and how to use project management skills through the interactive workshop:

Introduction to Project Management, Tools and Techniques. 10 March 9:30-12:30.

Do join us to gain ideas on how to manage a project well, make life easier for yourself and to boost your career prospects!

Of further interest, with booking to open 02 March:

Introduction to Project Management (by Fistral training) 8th June 09:15-16:00

To find about other ways to boost your career prospects, join us for other webinars and workshop focused on a different aspect of career planning:

PGR ‘Career Ready’ bootcamp 05 March 09:15-16:00

Webinar: Developing your interview skills 19 March 13:30-14:30

Also of interest this week is:

Webinar: Managing and Facilitating Meetings 26 February 12:30-13:30

Check the full list of available workshops and webinars see here.

Mate Subašić, LDC Development Communications Officer

Chasing down the opportunities – thinking about career possibilities!

Do you ever think about a future career? How do you imagine it? What can you do now to help move towards your dream career? 

Straight after submitting your thesis and surviving the Viva, career prospect becomes the next big issue. What can you do to mitigate the stress of the transition period? There are ways that you can prepare throughout your PhD (and without neglecting the PhD itself).

The preparation in the early phase of your career planning may focus more on exploring the opportunities. This phase will help you obtain the information to inform your early career decisions in a more relaxed, less stressful, timescale.

So, what can you do? Here are some suggestions:

  • Engage in a range of activities to build your CV and acquire relevant skills. Check the Research Development Framework to get an idea of what you might demonstrate in your CV. Review that skills that you have developed and your current strengths.
  • Talk with your peers and see how they envisage their career options. You might seek out external contacts through your research or at external conferences. Consider also talking to junior members of staff within your department to ask them about their transition period to becoming a Lecturer or research staff 
  • Make a casual exploration of the job market to see what is currently available. When you find jobs of interest, check the requirements to see what you need to do to gain a similar position. 
  • Get additional advice on good practice in the preparation and application process. You can get that, and other useful insights in LDC Development career workshops. Don’t hesitate, join us! Get yourself ready for the job you want!

The What Next?’ Video offers one way to start your career exploration and preparation. This video includes expert interviews and case studies that illustrate your options after the PhD, covering routes both inside and outside academia.

LDC Development Careers  programme

If you are approaching the end of the degree and need practical guidance to start the applications process, join us for the: PGR’ Career Ready’ Bootcamp  5 Mar  09:15 – 16:00   

This full day Bootcamp will help you make well informed and considered choices about the next steps. Last year’s participants found the workshop very useful:

‘Great session for thinking about career goals and for putting in place a plan of action for career planning/preparation.’

‘An engaging workshop to get you thinking about your career options. Very thorough and really helpful!’

 Further related workshops and webinars will be of interest to researches at any stage of the PhD. The dates coming up include

19 Mar  09:15 – 12:30 The career wise researcher
19 Mar  13:30 – 14:30 Webinar: Developing your interview skills
26 Mar  09:15 – 12:30 Effective career networking
2 Apr  09:15 – 12:30 Shining at interview
2 Apr  13:30 – 14:30 Webinar: Developing effective CVs and applications

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.

Looking to the future – or do you need to overcome your Imposter Syndrome first?

Do you need help making academic applications?
Do you urgently need support with your career thinking and planning ?
Are you constantly struggling with self-doubt?

We have three events coming up that can help you prepare for your future career, in research or otherwise, including one last event offering proven techniques to help those suffering from Imposter syndrome.

PGR ‘Career Ready’ Boot Camp  13-Jun      09:15 – 16:00

Delivered by Sally Beyer, this one-day interactive workshop is for those in the final year before completion to help you make  considered choices about your next steps, provide a structured process to identify personal career goals and to maximise your chances of career success.

“Great session for thinking about career goals and for putting in place a plan of action for career planning/preparation.”
“An engaging workshop to get you thinking about your career options. Very thorough and really helpful!”
‘A ‘Must Attend’.’          
Participants March 2019

Get that Academic Job!                                27-Jun      09:15 – 12:30

Delivered by Sharon Nicholson, this workshop will help you enhance your chances of success in your academic applications. The workshop will help you recognise what is required in academic applications and  provides practical tools to help you promote yourself and present your research, face to face and on paper.

This was eye opening – necessary for preparation and making a good application/interview”.
“Very useful & stimulating. A nice environment to work and learn in and share ideas”.  
Past participants.

Pushing Beyond Imposter Syndrome              04-Jul       09:15 – 12:30

Delivered by Sally Beyer, this workshop will help those suffering from ‘Imposter Syndrome’ through providing proven techniques to help you understand your issues and identifying ways to change your approach.

In a safe and supportive environment, we will consider what imposter syndrome actually is, where it comes from and which groups of people are more likely to suffer from it. Along with identifying how it emerges, you will be introduced to life enhancing techniques that help you to respond to, and progress beyond, your imposter experiences.