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.

Are you looking to use your research experience outside academia after the PhD?

logo for Making an impact week

How my PhD led me to become a Subject Matter Expert’, 23 May 2- 3pm
Dr Roy Grafton, PhD Liverpool

As a PhD researcher, you will develop a considerable knowledge in your area and learn how to use and apply this knowledge. These skills can be valuable  in the business world, particularly in areas of science, IT and healthcare and can help you move towards career in these areas of consultancy. To become a successful ‘subject matter’ expert, you will need to enhance the skills gained from your research with a variety of additional, business skills.

To learn more, come to hear the experience of Dr Roy Grafton, who will present  an outline of his own career, starting out from his PhD in Liverpool  to today working as a consultant for a leading IT management consultancy.  In this session,  he will   also offer an interactive look at different types of career opportunities, career aspirations and most importantly job satisfaction.

Register at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-my-phd-led-me-to-become-a-subject-matter-expert-registration-58988874311

Part of ‘Making an Impact Week

PGR ‘Career Ready’ Bootcamp and 1:1 Coaching/Career Clinics

Following this talk, you may want to follow the session up with further preparation for your career. The LDC Development programme has two upcoming opportunities:

PGR ‘Career Ready’ Bootcamp  Thurs, 13 June 2019, 09:15 – 16:00  

1:1 Coaching/Career Clinics – For more details of this provision, see our earlier blog at https://pgrnews.liverpool.ac.uk/?p=3554

Full programme: LDC development programme

PGR ‘Career Ready’ Bootcamp 13 June and 1:1 Coaching/Career Clinics

Seeking extra support with your career planning?

To advance your career planning, as part of the Liverpool Doctoral College Development programme, we are offering  two opportunities for you to gain dedicated support as you consider your options after the PhD, a one day PGR ‘Career Ready’ Bootcamp and 1:1 Coaching/Career Clinics. All sessions will be delivered by Sally Beyer who has specialised career coaching experience. Sally will be familiar to many of you from our careers half day workshops and careers webinars.

PGR ‘Career Ready’ Bootcamp  Thurs, 13 June 2019, 09:15 – 16:00

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

Be inspired to make your own luck, create exciting opportunities for yourself and set sail!

‘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!’
Participants March 2019

1:1 Coaching/Career Clinics

The one hour face-to-face coaching sessions are designed to help you with your career preparation  and they are open to all PGRs at any stage in their degree. The session is completely confidential and may be followed with a further follow-up session by Skype, if required.

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

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

Registration for the 1:1 Coaching/Career ClinicsPlease complete the short form on the above link to provide some initial information for registration and send this, using your University of Liverpool email address to Sally Beyer, sallywn@liverpool.ac.uk.
NB Your University of Liverpool email address will be used for identification.

The sessions are offered on a first-come-first-served basis  and are limited to the first 10 applicants.

Pre-session  coaching form-On receiving the form, Sally will  contact you and send a further pre-session coaching form provide her with information to help her best prepare for your coaching session. Your booking  will only be confirmed on completion of this pre-session form.

About your Coach:  Sally is a Careers and Learning & Development professional with over 23 years’ experience of training and coaching people from all walks of life. Along with working for two local Universities, Sally has worked with many private and public organisations delivering career management support to help staff at all levels to achieve their full potential.

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

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

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!