Summer writing retreats

Dates have been set for this year’s summer writing retreats. We have two retreats planned, both are two full days of dedicated writing time.

Thursday 13th – Friday 14th June & Monday 8th -Tuesday 9th July

Apply now for your place in one of the writing retreats
How much of your thesis could you get done in two days?

row of students writing
PGRs getting the thesis done at the last Summer Writing Retreat

“It got me focused with no distractions and write something down within the short time. Outside the writing retreat, I spend much more time to complete the same task”

“The pressure of other people writing and being quiet really helped me focus.”

It enabled me to work better on my writing tasks as I had peers around me doing the same in a quiet and conducive environment.

Finding time for writing can be a challenge for most writers, so many other things can take priority in the moment. The popularity of our regular mini writing retreats are evidence that PGRs are no different. The writing retreats provide protected time for writing in a supportive atmosphere, and by signing up you make yourself accountable to someone else to make sure the writing actually happens.

Our regular writing retreats are there to help you build a regular writing practice. These short sessions show you how much you can really get done in a few hours or even just a 25 minute session. Yet sometimes we really need more sustained writing time to really make progress. The occasional 25 minutes or half day here and there is great for keeping a writing project progressing, but occasionally a longer period is needed to make a big leap forward.

That is why we are hosting two 2-day writing retreats this summer: 13-14 June and 8-9 July. These will be two full days of sustained writing, with no distractions. We supply the venue, food and drink to fuel your writing and motivation to keep you going. You need to come prepared to do the writing. Think how much of your thesis you could get done in two days of solid concentration!

To apply for a place on one of these retreats, please complete the on-line application form. Spaces are limited so priority will be given to those who have a clear plan for the writing they will accomplish during the retreat.

Closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 20th May
Please note that no late applications will be accepted!
Applicants will be notified of the outcome during week of 27 May.

What new challenges do you have for 2019?

Happy new year to all researchers at Liverpool!

We hope you are returning from a well-earned break, refreshed and looking forward to the coming year. This time of year is a good opportunity to review your work, maybe to take a fresh approach to your research or work environment and find ways to move forward on your long term goals. Do you have new ideas that you want to explore or do you need to organise your working life more efficiently? Do you have upcoming challenges that need new solutions? Do you need to take actions for your future career?

This is also a time to review your own development and the LDC Development programme can help in several ways

  • Our first webinar, on the 28th January, will help you create a development plan.
  • The Spring programme has a strong focus on presentation skills, including repeated offerings of the small group workshop on Delivering Academic presentations.
  • We have further workshops to advance your writing and a return of the Thesis Thursday sessions, together with sessions on research productivity.
  • The programme also has a focus on impact, to help you achieve impact outside your academic area, which is an important aspect of research to have on your CV, whether your future career is inside or outside of Academia.
  • Finally we have a new Career-ready Boot-camp coming up in March.

The following list connects upcoming events to the programme themes on our website:

Research Productivity (Taking Ownership of your PhD and Resilience)

04-Feb 12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Managing and facilitating meetings
11-Feb 12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Time management
28-Feb 9:15 – 12:30 The Emotionally Intelligent Researcher

Presentations (Communication)

23-Jan 13:00 – 16:00 Delivering Academic Presentations
29-Jan 13:00 – 16:00 Delivering Academic Presentations
13-Feb 13:00 – 16:00 Delivering Academic Presentations
14-Feb 13:00 – 16:00 Preparing Poster presentations
19-Feb 13:00 – 16:00 Planning and preparing an effective Research Presentation
27-Feb 13:00 – 16:00 Delivering Academic Presentations

Writing (Communication)

07-Feb 09:00 – 12:00 Thesis Thursday: structure & format
18-Feb 12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Research Writing – maintaining motivation for your writing
20-Feb 13:30 – 16:30 Mini Writing Retreat
25-Feb 12:30 – 13:30 Webinar: Research Writing – communicating your research effectively

Impact (Public Engagement )

11th Feb – 8th April 8 week online course Communicating research online: writing for a wider audience
21-Feb 10:00 – 15:00 Making Meaningful Impact during your PhD

WriteFest18 recap – what comes next?

November and WriteFest18 is already starting to seem like a very long time ago. With the holiday season now just around the corner, it is time to take a moment to reflect on what we achieved and to look ahead to the new year and to keeping up that writing momentum.

The month of November is internationally referred to as Academic Writing Month and WriteFest18 was planned as a way of celebrating and encouraging academic writing across campus. We had a wide range of workshops, webinars and writing retreats on offer, hosted by the LDC Development team and by the Researcher KnowHow team. All events proved very popular, and it was particularly exciting to see how many of you engaged with the writing retreats and shut-up-and-write sessions. There was a real writing buzz in the air!

A key message from Academic Writing Month is the importance of regular and frequent writing practice. Writing is a skill that takes time and dedication to develop, but often finding the time and motivation can be challenging. This is where writing retreats or shut-up-and-write sessions can be helpful. They provide dedicated time and space for writing, and peer motivation to keep your productivity up. But don’t just take my word for it, listen to what your colleagues said about it:

“It got me focused with no distractions and write something down within the short time. Outside the writing retreat, I spend much more time to complete the same task”

“It enabled me to work better on my writing tasks as I had peers around me doing the same in a quiet and conducive environment.”

“The pressure of other people writing and being quiet really helped me focus. I got some proposals done and journal entry I had put off and I felt so productive after.”

And now that WriteFest18 is officially over, how will you keep the momentum up? Keep an eye out for more writing retreats in the new year. Writing retreats and academic writing workshops coming up are listed on our programme. And consider other ways to practice your writing – why not join a writing course? We have an online course starting in February, focused on writing for a wider audience.

Communicating research online: writing for a wider audience

Online course: 11th Feb – 8th April 2019

Are you looking early experience of publishing through an article to the University News, to communicate to other postgraduate researchers and undergraduates, or publishing more widely in ‘The Conversation’?  Are you interested in an opportunity to gain real practice in a peer review process?

This online course  offers a supportive and encouraging forum to share your research and network with other researchers, whilst preparing an article for wider circulation. Through regular practice and supportive feedback you can  further develop your writing skills and new ways to communicate your research and gain a wider impact. This course will last 8 weeks, with a recommended contribution of just one to two hours per week to gain most benefit

‘ … the feedback is invaluable, it’s great to hear how other people perceive my work, and how I can improve. ’ participant 2017.

Further information and registration

News from outside – development opportunities around the Northwest

The University of Liverpool is part of a consortium of Universities in the Northwest and Yorkshire who have agreed to share selected training sessions and events between the Institutions. Below are some upcoming events which may be of interest.

Note: Please contact the host institution directly for any further information about these events as the LDC Development team are unable to answer further enquiries.

IEEE UK&I YP Postgraduate STEM Research Symposium 28-29 November

This PGR STEM Symposium is a great opportunity for researchers (early and established researchers) and young professionals to network, learn and share ideas. There are variety of interesting talks by well-experienced speakers. See more details here. Consider making a submission (to present your research) and/or register to attend the symposium. The registration deadline (12/11/18) may likely be extended by a few days depending on demand. Also, there is a limited optional registration to attend the Reception Dinner (@ Abode Chester – providing a relaxing environment for meet-and-greet, networking, talks, champagne or beer, and a 3-course meal)

Any questions regarding this event, get in touch with Simon Beer at the University of Chester (s.beer@chester.ac.uk)

Manchester Met Postgraduate Research Conference – Risks and Beyond – 6 March 2019

This conference is run by PGRs for PGRs, and it’s a great development opportunity, allowing you to present your ideas to a friendly local crowd. Call for abstracts is open until 14th December – welcoming multidisciplinary research, discussing research risks, uncertainties, how we overcome them and future implications to society.

For more information about this conference, get in touch with the conference organisers: pgr-conference@mmu.ac.uk

Further workshops and training opportunities

Through our network of partner universities, UoL PGRs have access to a wide range of workshops to support your development. These events take place on campuses across the North of England, in Salford, Manchester, Huddersfield and Bradford, as well as Liverpool John Moores.

NWY PGR Training Group – Shared Sessions

Please register with the host institution before attending; see the last column for contact details. You will need to provide your own transport.

WriteFest 2018 – a month of writing related events

WriteFest was established as a way to support academic writing via the #AcWriMo hashtag on Twitter. During November 2018, the LDC Development team will be running WriteFest in collaboration with the Researcher KnowHow team at the library. This is our local contribution to this global academic writing month, with the aim of bringing people together to raise awareness and celebrate academic writing.

At the start of the month, we have a very special one-off event lined up – Writing Without Discipline, a creative look at developing sustained writing habits. We will continue to build that writing habit throughout the month with regular writing retreats, workshops and webinars to keep your motivation up. For the full programme of events, check out the WriteFest18 website. Join the writing fun, in person and online at #WriteFest18

Writing Without Discipline – Tuesday 6 Nov 10:00 – 12:00
In this interactive workshop, we combine video and face-to-face facilitation to help you get to grips with creative writing methods and techniques to build writing into your daily routine. The workshop will provide a framework for understanding how writing is constructed, discuss tools you can use to approach your writing and help you to think creatively about your writing habits.

Whether you are at the early stages of your PhD or in the final phase of thesis writing, this workshop will help you develop techniques to sustain your writing practice through academic writing month and beyond.

The workshop is facilitated by Dr Matthew Cheeseman, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Derby (on video) and Dr Eli Saetnan, Academic Developer at University of Liverpool (in person).

row of students writing

 

How is your thesis writing going?

row of students writingIt is the start of the academic year, summer is over and the University is again buzzing with students. For us in the LDC Development team, this is an exciting time of year. We have a great new programme of workshops and webinars lined up and are looking forward to meeting lots of interesting PGRs, both familiar faces and new.

Many of us find it difficult to keep up the motivation for writing during a busy academic year. You may have teaching responsibilities to manage, or you may be busy with experiments or data collection. Or maybe just the long nights and gloomy days are getting you down. Joining a community of writers to share both successes and frustrations, and cheer each other on can help.

For our programme this academic year, we have added even more support for thesis writing. Based on the success of our summer writing retreats, we have added a series of monthly mini writing retreats. These are a great way of keeping your thesis writing (or other writing) progressing through the year. They provide time and space for writing, but crucially also moral support and motivation to keep writing. If you have never attended a writing retreat before, and are not sure what to expect, check out this brief video: https://spark.adobe.com/video/1V64D

The first mini writing retreat is scheduled for 24th October. Follow this link for details and booking: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mini-writing-retreat-registration-49939016944

And if you like the idea of writing retreats, check out the programme for WriteFest18. During November, also known as Academic Writing Month, we will have writing retreats scheduled every week along with a full programme of writing related workshops – a veritable Festival of Writing!

WriteFest 2018

Postgraduate Researcher Week –25-29 June 2018

Postgraduate Researcher Week is a University-wide event that offers a variety of sessions running throughout the five days, 25-29 June 2018

Full list of Events

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;
  • A tour of the Guild.

Find out more and register on the LDC Intranet site

Connect with us at #ldcpgrweek.

Making the Most of your PhD

Workshops to help you devise strategies to manage your research and professional development.

Upcoming workshops from the LDC Development Team will help you take action to manage your personal and professional development and to develop your research productivity.

 

 

Click on the titles below for further information and registration.

Developing Mindsets and Taking Action

Practical Thinking for Researchers            22 May, 9:15 – 16:30

Gaining Confidence as a Researcher         30 May, 10:00 – 16:30

Coaching for Researchers                                                           2 June, 9:30 – 16:30

Problem Solving and Decision Making for Researchers             5 June, 9:15 – 16:30

Improving your Social Wellbeing as a Researcher                     20 June, 10:00 – 16:30

Time Management & Motivation for Postgraduate Researchers

21 June 13:30 – 16:30                                    21 June, 9:30 – 12:30

 

Developing your Productivity

Planning and Preparing an Effective Research Presentation     23 May, 9:30 – 12:30

Writing a Scientific Article                                                                19 June, 9:30 – 12:30

Getting your Work Published                                                         19 June, 13:30 – 16:30

Introduction to Project Management                                              14 June, 9:15 – 16:30

Writing Targeted Grant Proposals                                                  28 June, 9:30 – 16:30

External presenters and new workshops coming in May and June

In May and June the LDC Development team  have invited a number of external presenter to deliver workshops in several specialised subjects. These include a repeat of many well-received workshops offered in previous years to further develop your techniques in research thinking and problem-solving, prepare your writing for publication, writing grant proposals and building an academic career.

 ——–        Full LDC Development Timetable            ——–

May: The workshops for May currently open for booking include:

Practical Thinking for Researchers Dr Adrian West 22nd May 09:15 – 16:30
Getting your Work Published Dr Jen Allanson 08th May 13:30 – 16:30
Building a Successful Academic Career Dr Jen Allanson 08th May 09:30 – 12:30

Save the date:  We have the following workshops planned for June; booking will open at the start of May. (Note: * indicates a half day workshop.)

Problem Solving and Decision Making for Researchers Dr Adrian West 5th June
Introduction to Project Management Dr Fraser Robertson 14th June
Writing a Scientific Article * (am) Dr Jen Allanson 19th June
Getting your work published * (pm) Dr Jen Allanson 19th June
Writing targeted grant proposals Dr Pete Moore 29th June

New LDC Development Workshops

During this period, the LDC Development team is  offering some new full day and half- day workshops as follows

Problem-solving with LEGO® Serious Play® 02nd May 12:30 – 16:30
Planning and Preparing an Effective Research Presentation 23th May 09:30 – 12:30
Gaining Confidence as a Researcher Using Design Thinking 30th May 10:00 – 16:30
Improving your Social Wellbeing as a Researcher using Design Thinking 20th June

We are also providing a further offering of sought-after sessions on Thesis Writing and workshops and webinars to help you prepare for your career. See LDC Development Timetable for details and booking information.