The theme of the sessionin December is ‘Communication’. Communication is
vital for effective working relationships, but it is common for PhD
students to experience challenges relating to verbal, written, or
non-verbal communication in the workplace.
What is important to you when you communicate with peers, colleagues,
and supervisors? How might verbal, written, or non-verbal communication
issues impact your progress? Are you satisfied with the communication
between you and your supervisor?
Come join us to informally discuss these issues and identify potential solutions.
Peers for PhDs aims to improve the wellbeing of PhD students by hosting regular group meetings and social events, so that postgraduate research students can support each other through the challenges of the PhD journey. It is a friendly and welcoming group, open to all current PhD students at the University of Liverpool.
WriteFest is an annual event established as a way to support academic writing via the #AcWriMo hashtag on Twitter. As part of our contribution to this global event, the LDC Development Team will be running writing events throughout the month of November, with the aim of bringing people together to raise awareness and celebrate academic writing.
The programme of events will consist of a series of workshops and webinars to help you write and four writing retreats to provide you with the time and space to write. We encourage all academics, research staff, and research students to join in the write-a-thon.
WriteFest19 is a collaboration with the Universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Exeter, Bristol, Kings College London, Keele, Sheffield Hallam, Newcastle, Derby and Adelaide. The festival aims to provide protected time and space for writing to help you work on:
How to Get Involved
Start by searching for #AcWriMo on Twitter for inspiration and tips from fellow contributors.
Use the #AcWriFest19 hashtag to share your progress with other researchers at Liverpool and across other UK Universities.
Book onto one of our workshops or webinars to learn new skills and gain advice.
Join us during our WriteFest Writing Retreats to put your learning into practice and keep yourself motivated through peer support.
To attend a writing retreat, choose the ones(s) that best suit your schedule and book your place through Eventbrite. Then, simply bring your laptop, or a pen and some paper, and get writing! Thisone-minute video outlines what the retreat sessions will, and won’t involve.
This year, we are hosting four weekly two-hour writing retreats for up to 24 people. The retreats provides protected writing time for you to accomplish your academic writing goals. We sit together in a room and use peer accountability to help us avoid the distractions of email, social media, the internet, impending meetings, tea making, paperclip sorting, desk cleaning, lab work, or any other procrastination techniques you’ve been employing in your everyday working practice.
Please arrive in plenty of time, and stay for the full session.
Don’t forget to bring cables, chargers, adaptors and any other accessories to help keep you writing without disruptions.
Writing retreat facilitator’s guide: You may also be interested in running your own writing retreats, and to help with this the Think Ahead team at Sheffield University have put together a guide to give you an idea of how to structure and facilitate the event. If you run a retreat during November, please let us know!
Starting a research degree can be an exciting time, as you are effectively beginning a journey into the unknown, making newdiscoveries and ultimately becoming a subject specialist in your specific field. However, this can also be a daunting time, where you may be working in a new, and sometimes isolated environment. In addition to developing subject knowledge and learn specific research techniques, you may need to develop new skills to manage your own time and project, or to enhance your wider skills in presentations, writing, creativity and critical thinking in order to communicate your research effectively, as well as to build your resilience as a researcher.
The LDC Development team offers a range of support for your development at the start of the research degree, including specific advice on those essential research skills. Our sessions will provide a greater understanding of the expectations of you, as a research student, and will help you take more control of this process yourself, to start the journey to becoming an independent and confident researcher and ultimately, to take ownership of your own PhD.
The programme includes both workshops and webinars. Our highly interactive workshops take place on the Liverpool campus and include opportunities to network with researchers across the University. The hour-long webinars are accessible online to all, on or off campus, including those who are attending research experiments.
Our Programme timetable lists all events offered this Autumn. The links on the dates below offer further information and registration for the events most relevant to new researchers:
Developing a healthy supervisory relationship30th Oct
Adapting to an international research environment within the UK6th Nov
The LDC Development team offers a range of online resources that can be viewed by all postgraduate researchers at Liverpool and which offer advice and suggestions on wider research skills including writing, presentations, time management. This resource collection also includes packages covering research integrity and more subject-specific guidance on research methods.
As the old adage says, the best way to learn something is to teach it so someone else. Teaching can be a very rewarding experience, and many PGRs have opportunities to do so during their PhD. Yet, how confident do you feel in your teaching skills? How do you know if you are doing the right thing? Many PGRs find stepping into the classroom for the first time a very daunting experience.
This is where the Academic Development team can help. We offer introductory workshops for those new to teaching, as well as teaching recognition programmes tailored to your teaching role. Of particular relevance to PGRs who teach are the introductory workshop and the Foundations of Learning and Teaching in HE (FLTHE) programmes.
Introduction to teaching:
For anyone new to teaching at Liverpool, we offer a 1-day workshop called Introduction to Supporting Student Learning. This is an interactive workshop which will give you an introduction to the theory of learning and teaching in Higher Education and chance to discuss techniques for supporting student learning in a range of different contexts.
For those who primarily demonstrate in practical classes, we offer two half day workshops: Introduction to Demonstrating and Advanced Demonstrator. The first of these will give you an introduction to the theory of learning and teaching in Higher Education and a chance to practice techniques for engaging students in practical classes. The second session builds on your initial experience to consider how to handle particularly challenging situations as well as how to assess student work.
Further developing your teaching skills and gaining formal recognition – Foundations of Learning and Teaching in HE programme
The FLTHE programme is a developmental programme aimed at those relatively new to teaching in Higher Education. The programme aims to support you in the development of your teaching skills and ideas in the context of your current role, and to increase your understanding and appreciation of alternative approaches and wider viewpoints of teaching and learning issues. Much of the benefit of the course derives from the opportunity to work with peers in similar situations from across the university in a cross-curricular ‘community of practice’, sharing ideas and experiences of teaching. The programme takes approximately 4 months to complete,and successful completion gives you a formal teaching accreditation in the form of Associate Fellow of the HEA.
new themes and a new teaching placement scheme
We, in the Liverpool Doctoral College Development team, have now launched our programme for the coming academic year, 2019-20. The workshops and webinars offered in Autumn are now open for registration and a full list of dates for our core programme for the year, organised by our programme themes, can be downloaded below.
Programme themes: A fuller introduction to all our programme themes can be found on our website together with a short video introduction to each theme. This year we have made a slight change to our themes, to separate out the topics of Writing, Presentation and Productivity, which we believe are important topics for the development of all postgraduate researchers.
We have several new workshops and webinars in our programme for
the coming year, which include:
Regional workshops – Liverpool are part of a regional group of researcher development partners, which have agreed to openly share selected programme sessions. There are two upcoming workshops offered by LJMU (registration not yet open) which University of Liverpool PGRs may attend.
to be Shy or introverted in academia’ – Thu 5 December, 2-3pm
to write well: some tips for PGRs’ – Wed 22 January, 2-3pm
Brilliant Club: For 2019- 2020, the LDC have an agreement with the Brilliant Club to provide five paid placements for PhD researchers. Under this scheme you would deliver lessons relating to their own research area in local schools, supporting pupils to develop the academic skills, knowledge and confidence needed to progress to highly-selective universities.
Vitae is inviting researchers at all career stages (from PhD candidate upwards) to participate in a workshop looking at research integrity and researcher behaviour. The workshop takes place on Friday 9 August (pm) at the University of Manchester.
Many PhD students will be looking to publish their first journal paper as part of their PhD, but how to get that first paper published can be a bit of a mystery. That’s why we have invited Jen Allanson to come and deliver two workshops for us on Writing a Scientific Article and Getting your Work Published. In preparation for these workshops, we asked Jen to tell us a little bit about herself and her motivation for developing these workshops:
When I was doing my PhD, it was clear that publishing was an important part of the process. I often heard the academic mantra “Publish or Perish.” But it never resonated with me. What did inspire me to write was seeing my colleagues jet off all over the world to attend conferences. It seemed that I could travel the world, at the department’s expense, if I wrote publishable-quality papers. That motivated me!
I still remember the thrill of seeing my name in print for the first time. It was in the proceedings of Collaborative Virtual Environments 98, a small conference held in Manchester (not the jet-set life I’d envisioned, but a start). I was the 4th named author on the paper. I hadn’t written a word of it. But I had built the software that the work was based upon. Lots of influential researchers from my field were at that conference. And at coffee breaks and lunches I asked people about their work (always a good strategy) and, in turn, talked my own. I hadn’t realised how important it was to air my ideas beyond the comfort of the supervisory context. I started to gain a clearer understanding of how my ideas fit within the larger research context.
In the following 12 months I was published three more times. With each publication I grew in confidence. In my final year I got my first journal publication. The Head of Department called me into his office to congratulate me. I felt like something had changed. I didn’t feel like a student any more. And being published gave me great confidence when it came time for my viva.
Learning how to write well, and to navigate review and publication systems, has been hugely beneficial. When I applied for my first academic job, the interviewers were very interested in my publications and collaborations. And since leaving academia I’ve met amazing people and been presented with many opportunities because of these skills.
This is why I love to run the Writing for Publication events. Mastery of these core communication skills will open unimaginable doors in your future. And it gives me great pleasure to help you gain practical knowledge and insight into these important processes.
communicating your research is an essential skill for all researchers. You will
have many occasions to inform others of your research, whether in writing, presentations
or in networking with other researchers, particularly at conferences. You may
also want to inform others outside your discipline. Exploring different ways to
convey the information can also affect how you view your own research.
Here are some upcoming
opportunities in the LDC Development Programme to explore new ways to
communicate your research:
Storytelling is a powerful and effective method for engaging with your audience. This fun and interactive session will provide practice in discussing details about your research and research aims and help you to articulate the core essence of your research to a wider multi-disciplinary audience.
A good ‘elevator’ pitch will help you communicate your
research in a concise manner, to help
you network at conferences or when meeting potential future employers. In this webinar we will discuss approaches to
help you prepare a convincing pitch.
Presentations – new dates
This half day small group session offers practise in presentation delivery to a friendly interdisciplinary audience in a supportive and friendly environment. You will have an opportunity to view your own performance and gain constructive feedback through a facilitated discussion.
We are now offering further dates in April, for those preparing for conferences or University presentations in late April or May, since there was a great demand for the dates offered in January – March.
Lorna Bryant presents Peers for PhDs – March Session – Recognising the signs of poor Mental Health
Peers for PhDs is a group for PhD students at the University of Liverpool. We host regular peer-led support sessions with a different theme each month – instead of facing common PhD challenges in isolation, we can learn from each other and find ways to get the most out of the PhD journey. This month the theme is ‘Recognising the signs of poor Mental Health’.
Open to all Postgraduate Researchers at the University of Liverpool!
If you cannot attend on Tuesday, but would like further information about this group, please contact Lorna Bryant.
PGR Researcher week: This event is one of many events on offer in PGR Researcher week – full timetable
Postgraduate Researcher Week offers an ideal opportunity to
meet up and network with other research students from across campus and includes
a variety of training and development workshops for postgraduate researchers.