Invitation to events at Liverpool John Moores – New dates!

Postgraduate researchers have been invited to the following events offered by the Doctoral Academy Researcher Development Programme at Liverpool John Moores University.

Note these events are all moved to late April, not in March as originally advertised.

Monday 27th April, 14:00-16:00, Writing Reflexivity

Tuesday 28th April, 10:00-12:00, Getting to Grips with Method and Methodology

Tuesday 28th April, 13:30-15:30, Focus Group Skills for Researchers

All events are in this area of Liverpool – please see the Eventbrite registration form for venues. Please register using your University of Liverpool address.

* Organised by the Library at LJMU with speakers from across Liverpool including Fatiha Bouanani from the University of Liverpool.

Project Management and Academic Success!

Have you ever wondered if you could plan your PhD process better? Would it be easier if you knew how much time is needed to develop lab skills, or to prepare for data collection, or to get into the writing mode?

Would the PhD process be less stressful if you had a good plan? Proper planning is one part of Project Management practice, which represents a useful skill for research. Ultimately, the PhD may be the first project in a longer professional career, regardless of the career choice, within or outside academia.

There are many ways how you can improve your project management skills. Examples include:

  • Breaking your research goals into small tasks and setting clear goals to finish each task. For example, collecting data can entail several tasks that need to be well planned: getting your ethics approved, preparing questions for surveys, preparing for travel, or visiting the library, and so on.
  • Start using tools that help you schedule the activities. Once you break down your research project into small tasks, you will need to set priorities and time management is vital. Time is essential for any successful project.
  • Small tasks can reduce the level of stress for several reasons. First, you can always go back to your plan and revisit your priorities – the best way to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the whole process. Secondly, a good plan can provide a good confidence boost. By reminding yourself of the boxes that you have already ticked, you will gain a great source of, sometimes much needed, motivation!

Project management is something you probably do in your mind automatically. But to improve your skills, the LDC Development team has prepared a resource offering tips about apps that can improve research productivity.

There is also an opportunity to learn more about project management and how to use project management skills through the interactive workshop:

Introduction to Project Management, Tools and Techniques. 10 March 9:30-12:30.

Do join us to gain ideas on how to manage a project well, make life easier for yourself and to boost your career prospects!

Of further interest, with booking to open 02 March:

Introduction to Project Management (by Fistral training) 8th June 09:15-16:00

To find about other ways to boost your career prospects, join us for other webinars and workshop focused on a different aspect of career planning:

PGR ‘Career Ready’ bootcamp 05 March 09:15-16:00

Webinar: Developing your interview skills 19 March 13:30-14:30

Also of interest this week is:

Webinar: Managing and Facilitating Meetings 26 February 12:30-13:30

Check the full list of available workshops and webinars see here.

Mate Subašić, LDC Development Communications Officer

Peers for PhDs: Tips to gain confidence and overcome imposter syndrome

An informal discussion led by Priyanka Sakhavalkar and Mohamed Hammad.

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Thurs, 27 February 2020
17:30 – 19:30 GMT

Taylor Room, Sydney Jones Library

Please register here!

‘Imposter syndrome’ is a feeling of inadequacy that persists despite evident success. If not recognised, it can cause further anxiety and stress. ‘Imposter Syndrome’ is frequently reported by PhD students. Are there times when you think you don’t belong to the academic environment? Or that most of your colleagues are better than you are? Do you ever think that only luck has brought you where you are, rather than your work, commitment and personal success?

If you feel any of these, or other similar issues, you are in the majority of PGRs. This session, led by the Peers for PhDs team, aims to encourage PGRs to open up and speak about the ‘Imposter Syndrome’. The goal is to seek mechanisms that can help us recognise the ‘Imposter Syndrome’ and to build our confidence.

Peers for PhDs is open to all PhD students at Liverpool. Contact the Peers for PhDs team to the join mailing list or come along to a session to find out more.

**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 Doctoral College (LDC)**

The LDC Development programme offers two workshops with advice to help researchers overcome ‘Imposter Syndrome’ as they prepare for their ongoing career, within or outside research:

27 Feb  09:15 – 12:30  Pushing beyond imposter syndrome       (Fully
booked)
2 July 09:15 – 12:30  Pushing beyond imposter syndrome     Booking   
opens soon

Further Peers for PHDs events this year:

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

Chasing down the opportunities – thinking about career possibilities!

Do you ever think about a future career? How do you imagine it? What can you do now to help move towards your dream career? 

Straight after submitting your thesis and surviving the Viva, career prospect becomes the next big issue. What can you do to mitigate the stress of the transition period? There are ways that you can prepare throughout your PhD (and without neglecting the PhD itself).

The preparation in the early phase of your career planning may focus more on exploring the opportunities. This phase will help you obtain the information to inform your early career decisions in a more relaxed, less stressful, timescale.

So, what can you do? Here are some suggestions:

  • Engage in a range of activities to build your CV and acquire relevant skills. Check the Research Development Framework to get an idea of what you might demonstrate in your CV. Review that skills that you have developed and your current strengths.
  • Talk with your peers and see how they envisage their career options. You might seek out external contacts through your research or at external conferences. Consider also talking to junior members of staff within your department to ask them about their transition period to becoming a Lecturer or research staff 
  • Make a casual exploration of the job market to see what is currently available. When you find jobs of interest, check the requirements to see what you need to do to gain a similar position. 
  • Get additional advice on good practice in the preparation and application process. You can get that, and other useful insights in LDC Development career workshops. Don’t hesitate, join us! Get yourself ready for the job you want!

The What Next?’ Video offers one way to start your career exploration and preparation. This video includes expert interviews and case studies that illustrate your options after the PhD, covering routes both inside and outside academia.

LDC Development Careers  programme

If you are approaching the end of the degree and need practical guidance to start the applications process, join us for the: PGR’ Career Ready’ Bootcamp  5 Mar  09:15 – 16:00   

This full day Bootcamp will help you make well informed and considered choices about the next steps. Last year’s participants found the workshop very useful:

‘Great session for thinking about career goals and for putting in place a plan of action for career planning/preparation.’

‘An engaging workshop to get you thinking about your career options. Very thorough and really helpful!’

 Further related workshops and webinars will be of interest to researches at any stage of the PhD. The dates coming up include

19 Mar  09:15 – 12:30 The career wise researcher
19 Mar  13:30 – 14:30 Webinar: Developing your interview skills
26 Mar  09:15 – 12:30 Effective career networking
2 Apr  09:15 – 12:30 Shining at interview
2 Apr  13:30 – 14:30 Webinar: Developing effective CVs and applications

Making the most of Academic conferences

What do conferences offer to new researchers?

  • A chance to learn of the new exciting research in your area?
  • Opportunity to meet the big names’ in your research area?
  • Chance to network with peers undertaking similar research to your own?
  • A chance to make contacts to promote your future career interests?
  • Chance to present your work to a wider audience of subject specialists?

First-time participants might feel uncomfortable joining an academic conference, with rooms full of confident academics who all seem to know each other. However, it is crucial to keep two things in mind. Firstly, all academics were once first-time participants, and they know what it will feel like for a new postgraduate researcher. Secondly, proper preparation can help you gain confidence to benefit more from the experience.

Some ways that you can prepare for conference attendance:

  1. If you are presenting a poster or paper, these will need preparation. You might ask, what can you do to help your contribution stand out? Who are the likely audience and their research areas? What they will be interested in and what questions they might ask?
  2. As an attendee you can review the  research of key speakers, maybe undertaking background reading to help you gain most from their talks and possibly ask questions. Before or nearer the time you might view attendance lists to see if there are attendees who you wish to contact.
  3. You can prepare a ‘pitch’ to support your networking, to be ready to summarise your research in a brief but convincing manner, and with enthusiasm, when you meet researchers from other institutions.

LDC Development programme opportunities

The LDC Development Team offers support for those soon to attend their first  Conference. If you find it hard to structure a presentation well, or if you have difficulties engaging in conversation with established academics, you might begin with our online resources helpful. For example, ‘The ‘Good Networking Video, for example, deals with issues related to networking and includes thoughts and experiences from PGRs and established academics. (University of Liverpool password required). Further online resources support your preparation for poster and talks:

The LDC Development Team also offers a series of Webinars and workshops in these areas. Join us to learn ways to fully engage in the Conference experience and gain practical tips that can help you prepare well for your presentations or networking.

Webinar: Preparing a Conference Poster  10 Feb       12:30 – 13:30
– An interactive session  reviewing what makes a good conference poster?

Webinar: Preparing an ‘Elevator pitch’   17 Feb          12:30 – 13:30
– An outline of the essentials to create a good elevator pitch for your networking.

Webinar: Making the Most of Academic Conferences   19 Feb         12:30 – 13:30
 – A view of conference attendance from the PhD perspective and delivered by two current PGRs .

 Pushing beyond imposter syndrome     27 Feb          09:15 – 12:30
– A workshop to help you understand your fears and develop techniques to overcome them.

Effective Networking at Conferences   3 Mar             13:00 – 16:00
  – A practical session focussing on conference networking and now to approach this, including practice to help you develop the important networking pitch!

Sessions focussing on Presentations skills

Further sessions will help you improve your presentation skills, prepare and even practice in advance of  a key presentation:

11 Feb  09:30 – 12:30   Planning and Preparing an Effective Research
Presentation
18 Feb   09:30 – 12:30   Delivering Academic Presentations
– repeated on the 17 March, and  28 April.
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

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.

Call for Papers: IGEL Liverpool 2020

Posted on behalf of International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature (IGEL).

IGEL 2020 biennial conference University of Liverpool , 1-4 July 2020.
Call for papers, deadline 20 FEBRUARY 2020.

The International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature (IGEL) invites submissions to the 2020 biennial conference across all areas of the empirical study of literature and media, including but not limited to, cognitive processing of literature, literature/media and culture, neuroscience and literature, literary reception, reading and emotion, historical study of literature, and corpus analysis of literature.

conference room

It will therefore be of most benefit to postgraduate researchers from HSS and HLS faculties, although all are welcome!

Submissions may be accepted either as spoken presentations (individual papers or parts of pre-organized symposia) or as poster presentations. The format of spoken presentations (whether paper or symposia) is 20 minutes + 10 minutes for discussion.

For individual papers reporting research, the summary should contain a short introduction, a description of the methods used, the key results, and a brief conclusion. Although research reports have priority, individual papers that address theory development and generic methodological issues will also be considered, provided they have clear implications for empirical studies of literature. For either category of paper proposal, the summary should be 600-800 words. Note: The committee will not accept proposals based on data that have yet to be collected.

The Society also invites proposals for coordinated sets of 3-4 individual papers on a chosen topic. (See the ‘Symposia’ section on the website below for more details.) Additionally, it will consider proposals for posters that present preliminary and promising results.

Acceptance decisions will be communicated to the authors by March 20, 2020.

Submitters should also provide the following information for each submission.

  1. Author information
  2. Co-authors (if any)
  3. Three to five relevant keywords
  4. A 100-word abstract
  5. Indication of the format (poster, paper, symposium paper).

Submissions should be sent to IGEL2020@liverpool.ac.uk by January 10 2020.

EXTENDED DEADLINE: 20 FEBRUARY 2020.

Outstanding Student Paper Award.

IGEL will give an Outstanding Student Paper Award. In order to be considered for this award, the first author must be a graduate student, and the student’s supervisor must send a recommendation to IGEL2020@liverpool.ac.uk describing the student’s contribution to the research project. First authors should indicate the eligibility of their submission using the provided checkbox during the submission process. For further details, please visit our website at: http://www.liverpool.ac.uk/english/our-events/igel2020/. Links are also provided to the official IGEL homepage.

You can also follow us on Twitter: @2020Igel.

Peers for PhDs: Orientation and Planning session 29th January

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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.

Wishing you a stress-free break – with support in Liverpool for those who need it

We hope all post-graduate researchers can take a well-earned break at this time of year!

While many of you may be able to celebrate with friends or family, we realise that some may be mainly alone in Liverpool through circumstance or by choice. This can be a particularly lonely time of year. However, support is still available within the University and external services over this holiday period.

The link below lists recommended support if you have any health or wellbeing difficulties, or are concerned for a friend, together with a list of closure dates of  all university services :
https://student.liverpool.ac.uk/christmas-opening-hours

28 Dec 11- 2pm

On Saturday 28th December, 11am-2pm, Student services are hosting an event with cake and coffee, open to all students staying in Liverpool over the holidays.