Write that Thesis!

Are you writing your thesis?
Should you be writing your thesis?
Make some real progress with our Thesis Writing Afternoons.

coffee machines

Thesis Writing Afternoons at Zieferblat – with unlimited coffee/tea to fuel your writing

Writing your thesis can be a lonely and frustrating process, easily distracted and derailed by other responsibilities or tasks. The purpose of these writing afternoons is to let you focus fully on thesis writing, away from the usual distractions and to make real progress on your thesis.

We are meeting away from campus, away from interfering distractions, for a solid afternoon of writing. Join other PGRs for mutual support and a chance to pick up, or pass on tips and tricks for successful thesis writing. But most importantly, come and do some serious writing. We provide the lunch, teas/coffees and space – you do the writing.

These sessions are particularly targeted at final year PhD students, though any PGR ready to make real progress on writing their thesis is welcome to join us. In preparation for the session, gather the information you need and plan which section of your thesis you will be working on so that you are ready to sit down and write on the day.

We have two afternoons available, come to one or both. Just follow the links below for booking:

Tuesday 25th July 13:00 – 17:00

Wednesday 26th July 13:00 – 17:00

New PhD ‘Survival’ and ‘What Next?’ Video

The LDC Development team has recently purchased two new videos, each about 30 minutes long which will be of interest to all postgraduate researchers in the University and covers two relevant topics related to PhD survival and preparing for your future career.

‘The PhD Survival Video discusses how the stress and pressure of a PhD can be made manageable and features drama scenes and interviews with doctoral candidates, supervisors and counsellors, to illustrate the potential problems and solutions.

The new video offers practical advice for dealing with common problems and surviving, including self-help strategies for doctoral students, what they should and should not expect from supervisors when they are struggling, the support they should find in their institutions to help them get through their degree.

>> View ‘The PhD Survival Video’

This video supplements further resources in our online section, with information relevant to the University of Liverpool:

Managing the Supervisory Relationship

We still have places on the following workshops that may also be of interest:

4th July   Dealing with Change and Uncertainty  09.15 – 16.30 Delivered by David Wilkinson

5th July The Fear  Course 09.15 – 16.30 Delivered by David Wilkinson

The ‘What Next?’ Video offers practical advice to help postgraduate researchers improve their employability. The video features  drama scenes, expert interviews and documentary case studies to illustrate the options for a successful PhD candidate, which  include a young academic, someone employed outside academia, and someone who has started his own business.

Specific topics  include: expanding your skill set and developing your CV; identifying your transferable skills; thinking outside the academic box and finding good careers advice

>> View the The ‘What Next?’ Video’

This video supplements our wider Careers resources, Career Management Skills

We have the following 4 session group coaching sessions that may also be of interest to those planning their future:

11, 13, 18 & 20 July – The next Step: Using your personality to work out the way forward 

13:15 – 14.45 (1.5 hrs each session) Delivered by Dr Daniel Holden, D2U Coaching the Department of Chemistry,


The above videos supplement the videos previously purchased,  The Good Viva video and  The Good Presentation video

LDC Development Team

Postgraduate Researcher Week 26-30 June 2017


Postgraduate Researcher Week will be taking place 26-30 June 2017. This is a University wide event and other activities may be offered in your School/Institute.

A variety of sessions will be running throughout the week including advice and guidance from the Liverpool Doctoral College Development team, training sessions as well as networking events and social activities.

logo for Researcher weekPostgraduate Researcher Week is the ideal opportunity for you to meet up with other research students from across campus and share your experiences, whilst learning more about the training and development opportunities available to you as a postgraduate researcher at the University of Liverpool.

To view the schedule of activity please visit:   https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/intranet/doctoral-college/researcher-week/

Facing and managing your future & managing your anxiety

New workshops for July in the LDC Development Team programme

Are you unsure about your longer term future for your work or career? Or are you just struggling to manage change and uncertainties in your research work or looking for ways to manage your anxiety in giving presentations?

To end this academic year, we are offering places at specialist workshops to help researchers manage these type of issues. Click the title for further details and to book a place.

4th July   Dealing with Change and Uncertainty  09.15 – 16.30

David Wilkinson is delivering a one-day workshop on Dealing with Uncertainty and Change. In this workshop, he will take you through the structures underpinning all change and uncertainty, help you to develop a positive ‘can do’ attitude and learn to be resilient, ‘in control’ and able to find the opportunities in situations of uncertainty.

5th July The Fear  Course 09.15 – 16.30

We also have the return of the highly recommended one-day FEAR course, also given by David Wilkinson that will to help you overcome anxiety before delivering presentations, deal positively with and regulate your own feelings and emotions with ease.

11, 13, 18 & 20 July – The next Step: Using your personality to work out the way forward

13:15 – 14.45 (1.5 hrs each session)
This is a new four-session coaching course to help you move forward in your work and your longer term career.

This course is delivered by Dr Daniel Holden, D2U Coaching the Department of Chemistry, and is  based on DISC, a behavioural assessment tool that centres on four different behavioural traits: dominance, inducement, submission, and compliance. You will complete a DISC profile as part of the course and will use this analysis to assess your own personality, how it affects your work and communication with others, and build  understanding to move forward with your personal aspirations

Further workshops

Finally, we still have some places on the workshops around writing and publication, academic careers and social media given by Dr Jen Allanson, for registration and further details follow the links below:

15 Jun 09.30 – 12.30 Building a Successful Academic Career
15 Jun 13.30 – 16.30 The Online Researcher – An introduction to social media
27 Jun 09.30 – 12.30 Writing a Scientific Article

LDC Development Team

Developing your research profile – new workshops for June

The LDC Development team has arranged a series of half day workshops in June, which are now open for booking. These workshops focus on different aspects of academic life, from writing and publishing through to developing an online profile and building an academic career and will be delivered by a popular external presenter, Dr Jen Allanson.

The four workshops are as follows,

15 Jun 09.30 – 12.30 Building a Successful Academic Career
15 Jun 13.30 – 16.30 The Online Researcher – An introduction to social media
27 Jun 09.30 – 12.30 Writing a Scientific Article
27 Jun 13.30 – 16.30 Getting your Work Published

For further details follow the links or see the summaries below. For further workshops on careers and research writing see the LDC Development programme tmetable.

Building a Successful Academic Career    15 Jun 09.30 – 12.30

The number of PhDs graduating worldwide is increasing every year. With more competition for academic positions, it’s more important than ever to stand out. The aim of the workshop is to develop your future-focus and to encourage you to plan and position yourself for a successful career in academia (and beyond). By the end of the workshop you will understand what you need to do now in order to position yourself for success.

The Online Researcher – An introduction to social media   15 Jun 13.30 – 16.30

In our super-connected world you are only ever a Google search away from any other connected party. But when people search for you what will they find? Is your current online presence in service of your objectives and a true representation of who you are? Or do you need to do some online presence management?

In this short course you’ll be invited to consider all aspects of your online self. We’ll look at popular social networking tools and professional networking sites and discuss how these contribute to your online researcher presence. We’ll also look at issues of privacy and access as well as good data management practices.

Writing a Scientific Article   27 Jun 09.30 – 12.30

A time comes on your research journey when your work is ready for publication. It’s important to recognize when you have publishable findings. It’s also important to understand how to structure and present those findings in an appropriate format, ready for peer review.

In this workshop you will look at a range of issues around Scientific writing from analysing the purpose of writing scientific articles, understand when your work ready for publication, through to writing the abstract, structuring your argument and considering how to incorporate the work of others in your article.

Getting your Work Published 27 Jun 13.30 – 16.30

Dissemination of research output is a crucial component of your research career. So how can you improve your chances of successfully navigating the peer-review process and getting published?

Through a mixture of practical exercises, theory and discussion this workshop aims to prepare participants for publication. We’ll consider planning, pitching and practical writing issues. We’ll explore formatting, appropriate use of language, correct mechanisms for citing, quoting and paraphrasing in order to avoid unintentional plagiarism.  We’ll consider different routes to publication and how to know when and where to pitch an idea.

Development and careers events offered in May 2017

The LDC Development team are pleased to announce the opening of booking for our workshops in May.

All workshops are listed in our online  catalogue, with links for further details and booking. The offering includes new dates for many popular workshops offered earlier this year, including

  • The five half day careers workshops to help those preparing for their future, together with two related webinars. These are delivered by external careers consultants.
  • Full day workshops on ‘Design Thinking’ and ‘Preparing Proposals’, which will help you refresh your view on your research projects and present these to others.
  • The full series of ‘Byte-size’ Thesis writing workshops to make progress with your writing
  • The short workshop on ‘Preparing Poster Presentations’ for those preparing their first poster.
  • Further webinars on research writing, to exchange ideas with others in an online environment.
  • Two further opportunities to develop your presentation skills in our videoed sessions of ‘Delivering Academic Presentations’

Please see our full catalogue for dates and all further details.

The Brilliant Club – Information event – Weds 18th January

The Brilliant Club Placements: A meaningful, paid opportunity for PhD students and postdoctoral researchers to teach their own research!

 Next Information event:   Wednesday 18th January, Careers & Employability Service

The Brilliant Club is an award-winning charity that recruits, trains and pays doctoral and post-doctoral researchers to deliver programmes of university-style teaching to small tutorial groups of high-performing pupils in schools that serve communities with a low participation rate in Higher Education.

Over the course of the academic year 2015-2016 we placed almost 400 researchers to work in schools across London, the South East, the Midlands, the North East and North West of England, where they worked with over 8000 high performing pupils.

Tutors are placed in a school to work with two groups of four or six high-performing pupils, delivering a series of tutorials that takes them beyond the curriculum and help to develop the knowledge, skills and ambition necessary to secure places at top universities. Tutors will be supported by a training programme consisting of two full-day sessions and will accompany their pupils on a university trip, which will include their introductory tutorial.

In addition to earning £450 per placement, successful candidates will gain valuable teaching experience, enhance their knowledge of the UK education system and develop a programme of tutorials drawing on elements of their own research with a chance to disseminate it to a non-expert audience. As well as this, they will also join a cohort of like-minded researchers who are interested in widening access to highly-selective universities.

The Brilliant Club will be running an information event where doctoral and post-doctoral researchers can find out more:

  • Wednesday 18th January, Careers & Employability Service, first floor of the Student Services Centre, 150 Mount Pleasant, L69 3GD, 16:00-17:00

If you are unable to attend but would like to find out more, please visit our website where you can a video including past PhD Tutors:  http://www.thebrilliantclub.org/the-brilliant-club-for-researchers/get-involved/

Applications have now opened for the summer term placements and early applications are encouraged.

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

Part-time Teaching Opportunity to support our online course in Communicating Research in the Sciences

Would you like to learn and engage in online teaching and development in a paid part-time position?

Assistant Tutor for Communicating Research in the Sciences Online (0.1 FTE)

PGR Development have an opportunity for part-time support for our online course, primarily aimed at new researchers in the Sciences or Engineering. Full Course description

For this role you should be a PhD researcher in at least your second year, or have recently completed a PhD at Liverpool and are currently based in the University in either the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences or the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

The course is delivered over a ten-week period and we require a contribution of half a day per week to start the week of the 30th January. This role can be undertaken on a flexible basis at times to fit in with your research and other work. Within this role, you will work with the course organiser to develop and engage participants in online discussions, help the delivery of supplementary webinars and support participants to develop their communication skills through their ‘research blog’ or video produced in the course.

—  Further Tutor Details available on enquiry

Experience of participation in an online environment and teaching experience will be useful, together with knowledge of the difficulties faced by part-time or off-site students. Technical skills are not necessary for this post.

Guidance and informal training will be provided and the roles offer opportunities to explore teaching ideas within an interactive online environment.

If you would like further information about the course, please contact me, Dr Shirley Cooper directly at Shirley.Cooper@liverpool.ac.uk.


To apply for this position, please send a CV and covering letter to Dr Shirley Cooper Shirley.Cooper@liverpool.ac.uk by the end of 11th January 2017.

PGR Development workshops for 2017 – communicating your research inside and outside the University

PGR Development have now opened booking for workshops in January and February 2017. Full details, including dates and links to booking forms are provided on our Timetable

This programme includes new workshops and courses to help your communicate your research within and outside your field, in addition to further dates for the career related workshops and the webinars offered this Autumn.

Communicating your research

Presenting for Public Engagement14 Feb This full day workshop offers experiential learning in advanced presentation skills techniques and aims to prepare PGRs for presenting their research to wider public.

Preparing poster presentations19 Jan16 Feb What makes a good poster, and how do you maximise this opportunity to generate discussion around your research topic? This half-day workshop  offers experiential learning in poster design and presentation skills.

Communicating Research in Humanities and Social Sciences Online 30 Jan – 10 April 2017

Communicating Research in Sciences Online 30 Jan – 10 April 2017

These are two Ten week online courses that offer participants opportunities to develop and share their own research and PhD related issues in a supportive and structured online environment. A direct outcome of the course is a ready-made blog for those researchers interested in sharing their research with the wider public.

See also  the repeated offering of our half day sessions on ‘Delivering Academic Presentations’ and  the webinars on research writing and delivering effective presentations. See our Timetable for information.
The following introductory workshops also offer practice in communicating your research:

Public Engagement in the Research Environment 18 Jan

Introduction to the Research Environment 1st Feb

Careers support

We offer new dates for the five half day careers workshops, from ‘Career Management’, 19 Jan to Developing Your Networking Skills, 26 Jan,  to ‘Preparing Academic applications’in March,  together with two new webinars:

Networking Skills, 26 Jan 13.30-14.30  – A practical webinar designed to help you identify ways to develop your networking ability and expand your support community. A practical session to gain confidence in your ability to network effectively.

Effective Interview Skills 2 Feb 13.30 – 14.30 -This session is designed to boost your confidence and understanding of how to shine throughout the selection process.

November is Academic Writing Month. Kick your academic writing into gear!

Do you have a thesis to write, but are daunted by the task?
Or do you find yourself procrastinating, doing everything but write?

Developing a regular writing practice is the key to writing success. But you don’t have to do this alone. Join other PGRs as we develop a writing strategy, and a regular writing habit. Come along for mutual support, and a chance to pick up or pass on tips and tricks for successful writing, whether that is for writing your thesis, a paper, a grant application or any other writing you want to get done. And who couldn’t do with a little peer support at times? Join our #AcWriMo writing group, every Monday throughout November. Or join the #suwtues crowd at 92DegreesCoffee on the first and third Tuesday every month.

First #AcWriMo meeting Monday 31st October
3:30pm in CPD room 4, CTH

Next “shut-up-and-write” Tuesday 15th November
10-11am @92DegreesCoffee

Writing that PhD

Writing is an integral part of your PhD. The end product of your hard work and research is the thesis, an extensive piece of writing. The thesis is a larger piece of writing than you will have ever done before and can be a daunting task for anyone. The key to success is to break it down into smaller, more manageable sections, and to work on it regularly throughout your PhD.

Do not wait until you have all of your data collected,
all of your references read, and your time nearly used up!

Writing regularly will not only add words to your thesis, but more importantly will let you develop your ideas and help you find your voice as an academic author. But how do you get motivation to keep writing week in and week out? This is where shut-up-and-write comes in….

Shut-Up-And-Write (#suwtues)

This idea originated in San Fransico, with a group of writers getting together to write regularly in a social setting. The idea is simple, writing does not have to be done in isolation. The writers meet and do as the title says – they shut up and write – for an hour, followed by a chat over coffee. This idea has been enthusiastically embraced by academics all over the world as a way to make regular progress on thesis writing, paper writing, book writing and more. The Thesis Whisperer gives a great explanation of how and why it works. There is now a large on-line Shut-Up-And-Write community on Twitter (#suwtues), which meets virtually on the first and third Tuesday every month to cheer each other on for an hour of writing. And many groups around the world meet in person, including here in Liverpool where we meet at 92DegreesCoffee, to join other #suwtues writers from 10-11. It is amazing how much writing you can get done in just an hour of dedicated writing time!

Next #suwtues meeting 15th November. We start writing at 10.
Please arrive at least 10 minutes before to get settled in.

Academic Writing Month (#AcWriMo)

If you don’t know where or how to get started with your academic writing, you need some clear goals, or want some help drafting a writing strategy, why not join in with Academic Writing Month this year? Since 2011, the people behind PhD2Published have been promoting November as Academic Writing Month (#AcWriMo). The idea is to commit to a specific writing goal, whether that is a chapter of your thesis completed or a certain amount of time spent writing or something else, and to declare that goal publicly. Make it a goal that stretches you a bit, and that helps you develop a regular writing practice. In support of #AcWriMo this year, we are setting up a weekly writing group meeting here at Liverpool. The first meeting will be Monday 31st October at 3:30-4:30pm where we will set goals and draft a writing strategy for the month. We will continue to meet every Monday at 3:30pm throughout November to keep each other on track. Why not join us and see how much you could get done in a month of regular writing, you might surprise yourself!

Dates and locations for #AcWriMo writing group meetings:
31/10  CPD room 4, CTH
07/11  room 116, 126 Mount Pleasant
14/11  room 303, 126 Mount Pleasant
21/11  CPD room 4, CTH
28/11  room 202, 126 Mount Pleasant
We always start at 3:30pm, please arrive 10 minutes early to get settled in.
And don’t forget to bring some writing to do!

So what is your excuse for not writing?
Get started today, and make it a regular habit.