Peers for PhDs is a student-led project offering peer support opportunities for PhD students.
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.
The theme of this upcoming session is ‘First Year Woes’. We will focus on group discussion and collaborative problem-solving to address some common challenges in the early phases of the PhD. Students in their second year and beyond are still encouraged to come – we are sure that you will have valuable experiences and advice about the PhD to share with first year colleagues.
In preparation, all first years are asked to think about what their three biggest PhD concerns are right now, and non-first years asked to think back to their three biggest challenges in the first twelve months and how they were overcome.
Refreshments will be provided. Please register on Eventbrite.
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.
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.
The LDC Development Team are offering two events for new researchers during September. If you are a newly arrived postgraduate researcher and want to hit the ground running with your PhD, then join us for an opportunity to discuss ideas, meet other researchers from across the University and learn how to make the most of your time during your PhD.
Our first event is an hour-long webinar that focuses on helping you feel less daunted during the first few months of a PhD. This webinar aims to give support to those just starting their PhD, with information on the essentials and guidance on what to expect in the first few months. Specifically we will offer discuss the following topics:
Settling in to your Department/Institute
Finding essential support
The supervisory relationship
Managing your training and Development
Good practice in your research There will be time to ask questions about any aspect of the PhD process and share your experiences with other new researchers.
There will be time to ask questions about any aspect of the PhD process and share your experiences with other new researchers.
Our second event is a workshop, which has been a quintessential starting point for postgraduate researchers at the University of Liverpool for several years. This one-day workshop offers new researchers the opportunity to explore how to take ownership of the PhD. Through discussions and activities, you will identify the milestones and planning processes involved in pursuing a PhD and learn how to successfully work with your supervisor. You will also have an opportunity to introduce your research to fellow researchers and plan personal objectives in order to achieve your longer-term professional ambitions. In this workshop you will:
Gain a greater understanding of the processes and milestones in the PhD by creating a project plan for the PhD
Identify the opportunities for your own professional development to achieve longer terms goals and become a successful researcher
Gain a greater understanding of how you can improve and develop the supervisory relationship
Network with other PhD researchers to gain a wider understanding of the research environment
The highly experiential format for this workshop offers many opportunities to share your own experiences and gain advice from other PGRs.
This webinar helps newly registered PGRs make effective use of the PGR Toolbox in Liverpool Life. The webinar offers a:
brief introduction to the Institutional requirements
demonstration of how to use the Record of Supervisory Meetings, how to arrange meetings with your supervisors, set an agenda and targets, upload documents, and send Outlook appointments to your supervisors
demonstration of how to use the PGR Portfolio of Activity, how to record your training activities, email your portfolio to your supervisor, how to print your portfolio for compiling your CV
Opportunity to ask questions and raise any queries or problem you have had using the software
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.
All events take place on Liverpool Campus, with the exception of the two Writing Retreats (26th and 27th June).
The planned events cover a wide range of subjects and offers many opportunities for networking with other PGRs. We have two events led by postgraduate researchers:
Improvisation in the workplace – a tool for research – 9:30-12:30 26th June – a new event to help you explore improvisation techniques to help you make decisions on the spot and under time pressure. The event aims to be both enjoyable and provide confidence and team-building skills.
Support for PGRs – Have Your Say! – 2-3:30 pm 27th June – an informal group discussion on the challenges involved in doing a PhD, to explore options for creating peer support groups in the coming year. All PGRs are welcome to come to room 4 of the Faculty suite, Central Teaching hub – please register to receive an email reminder.
Further sessions in Researcher week include:
Introductory events for those new to the University;
Popular sessions from previous researcher weeks covering ‘How to work with your Supervisor‘, ‘Planning your Final Year’, ‘Viva Survivor’ and guidance to help you develop Evidence reviews;
A session on ‘Writing Targeted Grant Proposals’;
A visit from the library and talks on data access and Liverpool elements;
All our workshops are now open for registration up to the end of March. These include a range of webinars and short workshops covering writing and presentation skills, careers preparation as well as a begin of our new series on Design Thinking.
For new PGRs (or those who missed workshop last term)
All events take place on Liverpool Campus (various locations)
The planned events cover a wide range of subjects and offers many opportunities for networking with other PGRs. the sessions include:
Introductory events for those new to the University;
Development workshops for those in their first year, including, ‘Your Thesis: why you should start your writing now!’, ‘Getting started with academic writing’, ‘How to work with your Supervisor ‘ and guidance to help you develop Evidence reviews;
Guidance on ‘Stress and mental health for postgraduate students’;
The talk: ‘Achieving Nirvana on stage: How to deliver a great talk’;
LDC development events including a new ‘Design Thinking’ workshop;
Sessions for those in the later sages of their PhD, including ‘Planning your Final Year’, ‘Thesis writing morning’, ‘Viva Survivor’ and the Thesis submission through Liverpool Elements;
Opportunities to take time out with a range of musical events, and other sessions, including gardening.
Conducting original scholarship requires a wide range of skills and behavioural traits associated with creativity, including curiosity, motivation, risk-taking, problem-solving, collaboration, playfulness, tolerance for ambiguity and a willingness to overcome failure. While you might not claim that you are ‘creative’, creativity is an important part of what you do as a researcher. Developing your creative confidencecan help improve your research processes, impact, communication, working style, emotional state and the assumptions that result in us sometimes feeling ‘stuck’ when we face barriers.
As part of the LDC Development Programme, we offer a series of workshops devoted to fostering your creative confidence so you can take positive actions towards reaching your goals and build lasting social connections through the Design Thinking process.
What’s Design Thinking? Design Thinking is a process of thinking and working that can be used to design innovative solutions, including solutions to the varied challenges that will arise while pursuing a research degree. This approach can be used to reimagine better solutions to:
* Your PhD experience
* Exploring career options
* Research processes and productivity
* Public engagement
* Participatory research
* Interdisciplinary collaborations
* Co-creation with industry and other partners
* Developing curriculum and teaching
The Design Thinking Process
Join us for our first series of Design Thinking Studios!