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.

Introducing ‘Taking Ownership of your PhD’

A new series of online workshops for researchers in the first few months of their PhD.

For new researchers we offer a series of half day workshops presented online in Zoom. Each workshop may be taken on its own, but together they will support you to take ownership of your own PhD. Collectively the series includes:

  • Advice to settle into the PhD in the first few months to an activity to help you envisage the whole PhD
  • Guidance to manage your own working time and support to build a good working relationship with your supervisor
  • Ways to build your resilience for the challenges in research and take a professional approach to your own development
  • Starting your networking and gaining practice in introducing your research to your peers

All workshops in the ‘Taking Ownership’ series are discussion based and include opportunities to network with other researchers from across the University. The use of a microphone and webcam are recommended for use in the small group discussions

These workshops will be delivered by Dr Shirley Cooper, from the LDC Development team, working with PGR tutors, who will share their own experiences of doing a PhD at the University.

We also offer a further webinar on how to effectively the software in the PGR Toolbox.

The full timetable for these workshops is listed below. The workshops in October are open for registration (follow the link on the title)

Places will be limited. If you book and find that you can no longer attend, please cancel your place so that it can become available to another researcher.

The ‘New-normal’ – what might this offer for your development plans?

What do you most need, for your work and well-being, post lock-down?

What new opportunities can you create post lock-down?

The lock-down is easing, although it may take months or years to return to the working life we consider ‘normal’. The University is currently making plans for a safe return to campus, but where the priorities for researchers will be to return to laboratories. Most conferences will be online in the coming months; you will be able to share research progress and potentially present online yourself, but there will be fewer opportunities for more conventional networking. Most teaching will be at best in blended format. The challenge in the short-term is to find new solutions to meet your needs or that provide a new experience to build upon.

The LDC Development programme will be totally online for the Autumn. We hope to repeat many of the popular online workshops in this period. We are also creating a new fully online set of induction workshops for those at the start of their PhD and are keen to retain the options for networking across disciplines, aspects that we consider central to our face to face workshops. Further details will be announced in coming months. Currently we are looking for tutors to support this delivery. We have an online workshop coming up as preparation, ‘ Facilitation in Practice ’. All are welcome to join this interactive session, to help us all explore the opportunities for teaching online.

24 June 10:00 – 12:00  Facilitation in Practice (Online Workshop)

You can also challenge yourself! As the researchers of the future you might consider how you might help shape the future of academic/research life. Consider what aspects of working life are missing in current working arrangements and what provision, new types of events or new use of social media, might support alternative arrangements in this online or ‘blended’ world? What does the online world offer that did not seem possible in the ‘old-normal’? You might share and discuss ideas with your peers to identify new ways to support your community. In this uncertain world, small steps can lead to big opportunities.

If you have bigger ideas for events to help other PhD researchers, we would be happy to talk through these with you and may even be able to help you put these into practice.

Believe in yourself! Your ideas might be unique … All big movements start with small steps.

New to PhD Research at Liverpool?

  • Are you feeling confused and disorientated at the start of your PhD?
  • Are you seeking opportunities to connect with other researchers in similar positions?
  • Are you aware of what the LDC Development programme has to offer?

Starting the PhD can often be a bewildering process as you try to find a structure and make sense of what you need to do, not just to start your research, but to manage all those various administrative processes. Unfortunately, there is no generic roadmap for the PhD.

I liken the start of the PhD to setting out on a sea voyage in an unfamiliar boat, to an unknown destination and with limited charts. You might have some guidance from your supervisor, some supervisor can be very helpful but others may have limited time. Your first trip out usually involves considerable trial and error; you will need to learn many general skills and gain new knowledge, how to handle your ‘boat/research’ , how to communicate with the ‘shore/work with collaborators’ as well learning the navigation/research skills. The first destination may not be where you expected, as research is about exploring the unknown, but, the first voyage will give you a much better idea of how to approach the next trip.

Remember; Many other PhD researchers do feel  ‘in the same boat’ !

The Liverpool Doctoral College provides a range of induction material for new starters, including the LDC Handbook, and your School or Institute should also provide an induction.  The PGR Toolbox includes the Record of Supervisory Meetings, a tool that all PhD researchers must use. There is a range of online help for this tool.

For more information see Essential University Links and a video Introduction to the LDC Development Programme

LDC Development programme

The LDC Development programme also offers sessions with opportunities to network with  researchers from across the  University and share experiences. In particular, we offer two events of specific interest to those just starting the PhD at Liverpool:

  • Webinar: Effectively Using the PGR Toolbox  5 Feb  12:30 – 13:30 – learn more about this essential tool and an opportunity for questions.
  • Taking Ownership of your PhD 11 Mar         09:15 – 16:30  – a day of activities and discussions to help you understand the processes and milestones in the PhD, working with your supervisor, planning your own professional development and starting networking.

The programme includes a range of further workshops and  webinars to help new researchers develop the wider skills, particularly in communication and productivity to succeed as a researcher. See our programme timetable for details.

Peer Support – PostGrad Society and the Peers for PhDs group

Finding support from your peers can be valuable early on in the PhD, so that you build on their experiences. You will probably find it useful to both seek both communities within your department/school or subject area and with mixed communities from other areas.

There are a couple of University PhD student groups that offer frequent meetings on campus and are open to all PhD researchers; look out for events run by the PostGrad Society and also the Peers for PhDs group, who offer facilitated discussions to share  experiences and plan to move forward.

Peers for PhDs: Orientation and Planning session 29th January

session logo

The Peers for PhDs group will have their first meeting of 2020 on January 29th.

Date & Time Wednesday 29th January 5:30 -7:30 pm 
Venue: Taylor Room (Sydney Jones Library)
Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/peers-for-phd-orientation-and-planning-tickets-89740743981

‘January is a time for new beginnings, setting goals and reorienting ourselves to what we want to achieve, but it also brings anxiety about what’s ahead over the next year. Many PhD students can feel overwhelmed and lost throughout their projects, but it can be useful to reflect on the progress you’ve made and talk with your peers to find the motivation to focus on your goals and aims for this year.’

‘For this session we will get together and discuss as a group:
–       How to get through tough times when we feel lost.
–       Our goals and aims for the following year.
–       Tips on planning through the different stages of the PhD.
–       How to feel confident with your progress and how to refocus/reorientation’

”In this session, we will have some refreshments and also discuss these issues, as well as asking your opinion for further topics that Peers for PhDs could cover to make sure your voices are heard and your worries and questions are discussed in an informal and friendly space.’

Further sessions for 2020

The Peers for PhDs team have planned the following further meets for 2020:

27th Feb  Thursday  Imposter Syndrome 
26th March Thursday  Supervisory & Other Working Relationships in the PhD
30th April  Thursday  Wellbeing, mental health and sleep hygiene
28th May  Thursday  Networking, communication and negotiation 
25th June  Thursday  Stress relief with mindfulness

All take place in the Taylor Room in the Sydney Jones Library.
Watch out for the News announcements for details and registration.

Peers for PhDs is a student-led project aiming to improve PGR wellbeing at the university. We’re a welcoming and supportive group that hosts monthly meetings and regular social events with the support from Liverpool

What development are you planning for 2020?

Welcome to 2020!  The LDC Development Programme is now open for Jan – March 2020

What might you achieve in the coming year? Have you made any New year resolutions? Or have you awakened to new ambitions?

The New Year is a time to revisit your personal ambitions and set new goals.  What might be possible in the coming year? And then, what can you do to  achieve these goals? Managing your project and eventually writing up on time will be important, but, what else do you need to start doing now?  Are there new activities you can join to enhance long-term prospects, and your personal life, or are there new skills you need to develop to gain these wider opportunities?

Our programme includes an early webinar, ‘Creating your own plan of professional development’ to help you start this planning process, The programme also includes range of workshops and webinars to help your development in other research related areas as follows:

Webinar and workshops to support your planning and time management:

20 Jan 12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Creating your own plan of professional
development
27 Jan  12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Time-management for PhD researchers
3 Feb   12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Project Management for PhD Researchers
– an Introduction
5 Feb  12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Effectively Using the PGR Toolbox
Date to be
confirmed
09:30 – 12:30 Introduction to Project Management Tools and
Techniques
25 Feb 09:15 – 16:30 Getting Organised for Research (and Life)
by Company of Mind

Sessions to support your conference preparation, including conference posters:

10 Feb  12:30 – 13:30    Webinar: Preparing a Conference Poster
17 Feb  12:30 – 13:30   Webinar: Preparing an ‘Elevator pitch’
19 Feb 12:30 – 13:30    Webinar: Making the Most of Academic Conferences
3 Mar  13:00 – 16:00  Effective Networking at Conferences

Sessions to improve your presentation techniques. See our December blog for further information.

21 Jan 09:30 – 12:30 Delivering Academic Presentations
4 Feb     09:30 – 12:30 Delivering Academic Presentations
11 Feb  09:30 – 12:30   Planning and Preparing an Effective Research
Presentation
18 Feb   09:30 – 12:30   Delivering Academic Presentations
24 Feb   09:30 – 12:30 Webinar: Enhancing your Research Presentations
1 – defining your message
2 Mar  09:30 – 12:30 Webinar: Enhancing your Research Presentations
2 – delivery

Sessions to support your  writing, including the Mini-writing retreats to maintain that writing:

22 Jan 14:00 – 15:00 LJMU: How to write well: some tips for PGRs
29 Jan 10:00 – 12:00 Mini Writing Retreat
26 Feb 10:00 – 12:00 Mini Writing Retreat
9 Mar  12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Research Writing: Finding Motivation
and making a Start
12 Mar 09:30 – 12:30 Get going on your thesis

In addition, we will also be repeating our regular careers   sessions in March. For full list of all upcoming events view  our programme Timetable, and watch out for further blogs that highlight specific events.

Peers for PhDs – November session: First Year Woes

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Tue, November 26, 2019 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM GMT

Please register to help the group plan the session

Eventbrite registration



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.

Finding your direction at the start of your PhD

Or how to take ownership of your PhD

Signpost at dawn

Starting a research degree can be an exciting time, as you are effectively beginning a journey into the unknown, making new discoveries 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.

Video Introduction to the LDC Development Programme
Video introduction to the theme: Taking Ownership of your 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:

Upcoming Workshops

  • Taking Ownership of your PhD – A full day workshop, 09:15 – 16:30
    10th Oct, 23rd Oct, 5th Nov
  • Build your PhD 17th Oct 13:00 – 16:00
  • Improving your Social Wellbeing during your PhD 19th Nov 10:00 – 15:00
  • Setting Goals for 2020 3rd Dec 13:00 – 16:00

Upcoming Webinars – all run 12:30 – 13:30

  • What to expect and what to do early in the PhD14th Oct
  • Effectively using the PGR Toolbox 1st Oct, 15th Oct, 7th Nov
  • Surviving the PhD 21th Oct
  • Time management for PhD researchers 28th Oct
  • Developing a healthy supervisory relationship 30th Oct
  • Adapting to an international research environment within the UK 6th Nov

Online Support

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.

Our Development Programme for 2019-20

New events, 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.

Themes display

Programme timetable for Autumn 2019, including links for registration [web link]
LDC Development Programme 2019-2020 [PDF]

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.

New sessions: 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.

  • ‘How to be Shy or introverted in academia’ – Thu 5 December, 2-3pm
  • ‘How 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.

To find out more, see the website information on our Careers Theme page or join Webinar: The Brilliant Club: meaningful, paid teaching experience for PhDs at 12:30 on the 13 Nov.

And now,

So what’s your development plan for 2019-20?

September Events for New Researchers

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.

Webinar: What to expect and what to do early in the PhD                                        23 September, 12:30-13:30

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.

 Workshop: Taking Ownership of your PhD                                                                26 September, 9:15-6:30

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.

And in October…

You might also like to join us for:                                                                           Webinar: Effectively Using the PGR Toolbox                                                               1 October 2019, 12:30-13:30

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

   Unable to attend?  

Don’t worry, we will be running more of these sessions throughout October and November.  However, places fill up fast, so don’t miss out on booking your place.  Visit our website for further details: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/pgr-development/offering/catalogue/

We look forward to meeting you and learning more about your research at one of our upcoming events!