New student-led PhD network established

Connect with other Birkbeck PhD students

PhD research is often seen as a solitary activity, with long hours spent at the library and only occasional opportunities to get together with colleagues. However, making connections with fellow researchers and building a professional network is essential for identifying opportunities for collaborations, for future career prospects and even just for brainstorming and bouncing ideas off each other.

To facilitate this process, we would like to invite you to join our new PhD network. We are planning to organise regular social events and discussion groups to provide an opportunity for PhD students to meet, get to know each other better and to talk about our research in an informal setting. We know how important it is to have a relaxed and safe environment for discussion as opposed to high-pressure events such as conferences and competitions.

We are also exploring opportunities for organising small peer review groups by subject area where students can volunteer to critique each other’s work, as well as more a more informal and relaxed version of the Three Minute Thesis. As our network grows, we could also set up our own qualitative and quantitative research support groups and invite early career researchers to give talks.

Contact us and join

We would love to hear about your ideas and what you would like to see and take part in. Drop us an email at su-PhD-network@bbk.ac.uk and don’t forget to sign up!

With warm regards,

Your fellow PhD students (Meg Kiseleva, Alex Leggett and Dalila Villella)

Highlighted CHASE Training Opportunities

The following events and opportunities are available via the AHRC funded CHASE Doctoral Training Programme. All of the opportunities below are open to all Arts and Humanities PhD students at Birkbeck, regardless of whether they are funded or self-funded.

Diverse Methodological Approaches to PhDs in Law

Thursday 2 May – Saturday 4 May 2019 | 0900-1730

Room TC 1.9, University of Essex

Legal research entails the evaluation of legal phenomena in their political, social, cultural, doctrinal or other contexts. Contemporary modes of inquiry into legal phenomena increasingly use more than one discipline in the production of interdisciplinary research and writing. Even subjects that were traditionally taught by way of the doctrinal method have opened up to socio-legal approaches. There is a much greater emphasis on the sociology of law, and the social and political forces that shape legal doctrine and institutions. Law as a social phenomenon can be understood empirically through a range of different methods. Thus, contemporary postgraduate researchers need to expand beyond the black letter law training of practitioners and be aware of major trends in the social sciences of relevance to their own research and future careers. The key idea behind the multidisciplinary workshop for law postgraduate research students is to introduce candidates to a broad range of theoretical and practical approaches to legal research.

This three day workshop will consist of workshops, and informal networking.

Find out more and register

Film Screening + Q&A: ‘Berlin Childhood around 1900’ – A Project in Progress

May 10, 2019 | Professor Stuart Hall Building, Goldsmiths

Following the success of her photography series inspired by the Berlin Childhood texts (Berlin Childhood, published by Steidl in 2001), artist and photographer Aura Rosenberg embarked on a collaborative project with filmmaker Frances Scholz, featuring Walter Benjamin’s granddaughter, Chantal Benjamin, and her daughter, Lais Benjamin Campos. The project, which is still in progress today, consists of disparate film segments based on the original textual vignettes. The short films revisit the sites of Walter Benjamin’s childhood in contemporary Berlin, resulting in an uncanny continuity of experience as they depict his great-granddaughter in the different phases of her own urban childhood.

Find out more and register

Gender (In)Equality in the Historical Professions

0930 – 1630 | Wednesday 15 May 2019

This Training and Research Workshop at the University of Essex aims to bring together historians from different stages of their careers: Masters Level students, PhD researchers, post doctoral researchers, Lecturers, Readers and Professors, together with historians who work outside of academia, to share and reflect upon experiences, develop collaborative strategies and build networks which will act to support historians facing gender bias and inequality in their chosen profession.  The workshop will be non-hierarchical, with panels being made up of historians from different stages in their career, and will focus upon small group discussion.  Participants will produce a ‘zine at the end of the workshop, and plenty of time for informal networking will be built into the day’s timetable.

Find out more and register

Gender History in a Non-Binary World: A Workshop for Doctoral Students

Friday 17 May 2019 | 1000-1700

Room GOR 124, Birkbeck, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD

This workshop offers training for students in ways of researching, teaching and engaging the public in histories of gender nonconformity, non-binary and transgender experiences. The workshop will be relevant to historians of all periods and students working on gender and/or sexuality in literature and art history.

Working with leading historians, archivists and museum professionals, participants will address issues such as:

  • Working with documentary and oral sources to research gender nonconformity in the past
  • Developing techniques to recognise diverse and marginalised histories and work with sources sensitively
  • The importance of developing diverse historical narratives around gender and communicating them to the public
  • Advantages and challenges of co-production with marginalised communities
  • Complexity of teaching non-binary and transgender histories to students who identify as cis, trans and non-binary
  • Navigating historical research into trans and non-binary lives in the context of a divisive and fraught contemporary political terrain

Find out more and register

Writing for Pleasure, Writing for Publishing Workshop

Wednesday 29 May 2019 | 1000 – 1500

Wivenhoe House, Colchester Campus, University of Essex

In this two-part workshop, Professor Helen Sword and Dr Will Pooley make an evidence-based case for recuperating pleasure as a legitimate (and indeed crucial) academic emotion. Via practical exercises, they show how you can enjoy writing, and in this way become a more engaging communicator, skilful wordsmith and productive researcher.

Find out more and register

Birkbeck PhD Awards: February 2019

Birkbeck PhDs awarded in February 2019

Birkbeck awards over 100 PhDs each year. In February 2019, 18 Birkbeck Doctoral Researchers were awarded a PhD or MPhilStud for their work in the following areas:

School of Arts

DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY OF ART

DEPARTMENT OF eNGLISH AND HUMANITIES

School of Business, Economics and Informatics

DEPARTMENT OF oRGANIZATIONAL pSYCHOLOGY

School of Law

School of Science

DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCES

DEPARTMENT of earth and planetary sCIENCES 

School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy

DEPARTMENT OF Applied linguistics and communication

DEPARTMENT OF Philosophy

DEPARTMENT OF POLITICS

  • 1 PhD in Political Sociology

DEPARTMENT OF Psychosocial studies

Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network (BPSN) Bulletin

bpsn logo

The following bulletin is provided by the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network (BPSN) of which Birkbeck is a member. Our membership of the BPSN provides Birkbeck PhD students with an expanded range of training and development opportunities.

GrantCraft Research Engagement Grant

GrantCraft are excited to announce the launch of their annual Research Engagement Grant. This is open to PhD students and is designed to support activities that will develop and enhance the grant recipient’s research engagement profile.
The award is for up to £1,000 to cover full or partial costs. The grant can be used for activities such as: Public engagement; for example, the production of an exhibition that engages the public in the research process or research findings or visiting another research group; for example, to deliver a seminar and interact with other researchers. Communicating and engaging with other researchers; for example, through presenting a paper/poster at a conference. Apply here

Cumberland Lodge Scholarships

Cumberland Lodge has been providing transformative experiences for students for over 70 years. From our base in the heart of Windsor Great Park, we challenge silo thinking and inspire people to think creatively about pressing issues that threaten to divide society. 
Our two-year scholarships are designed to fit around, and enhance, your doctoral studies. They provide a unique opportunity to develop the communications, public engagement and interdisciplinary skills that will really set you apart.

Applications deadline: Friday 29 March 2019.

March training opportunities

16 Mar 2019: History, Ethnography and Memory SAS
This course is designed for students in modern languages and related disciplines only. It covers historical methods and archives; introduction to oral history, fieldwork and collections; theories of cultural memory.

18 Mar 2019: Neoliberalism and science – Key Concepts in Science and Technology Studies UCL
In this workshop we see that neoliberalism is far more than a set of policy prescriptions but is a coherent worldview that has at its root a novel epistemological outlook.

21 Mar 2019: Creating and editing screencasts: Getting started with ScreenCastoMatic and Panopto LSHTM
This course will cover using different internet browsers, needs analysis, accessing ScreenCastoMatic (onsite licence) and uploading a ScreenCastoMatic video to a Moodle course.

21 Mar 2019: Media, Economics, Education – IMLR Graduate Forum SAS
Forum members meet once a month during term-time to share and discuss their work in an informal setting, and invites students to present their research and host film screenings, reading groups and workshops.

23 Mar 2019: Meeting the Challenge of the Part-Time Doctorate UCL
An introductory presentation highlighting the aims and objectives of the session will be followed by group work and plenary discussions on specific challenges and solutions.

23 Mar 2019: Essentials of Viva Preparations and Generating Grant Funding – Saturday symposia for part-time researchers UCL
This course will cover understanding the viva process, what examiners are really looking for, tips for how to pass and avoid common mistakes, experience a mock mini-viva (optional).

25 Mar 2019: Research ethics workshop UCL
This course uses case studies and group discussion to help you explore ethics related to research. It will help you articulate your own ethical framework and understand and appreciate alternate views.

28 Mar 2019: Postgraduate Funding: Considering the Alternatives UCL
This workshop explores alternative methods of funding postgraduate study- raising money for fees, maintenance, or research and conference costs.

28 Mar 2019: Giving a Seminar or Conference Paper in the Humanities or Social Sciences SAS
This session, for humanities and social science research students only, will cover the preparation and delivery of a paper for a seminar, or specialist conference audience.

29 Mar 2019: Symbolic Maths: doing maths without knowing mathematics – Bitesize Programming UCL
The course will benefit from examples of real scenarios and projects that are easy to relate for students with wide range of interests.

April training opportunities

5 Apr 2019: Symbolic Maths: doing maths without knowing mathematics – Bitesize Programming UCL
The course will benefit from examples of real scenarios and projects that are easy to relate for students with wide range of interests.

8 Apr 2019: Potential Energy – Effective Presentations UCL
By exploring and exposing what we do intellectually, emotionally and physically when we communicate effectively in more familiar and less threatening situations, the course brings to life five fundamental principles of live communication.

11 Apr 2019: Philosophy and Literary Theory – IMLR Graduate Forum SAS
Forum members meet once a month during term-time to share and discuss their work in an informal setting, and invites students to present their research and host film screenings, reading groups and workshops.

29 Apr 2019: Science and entertainment media – Key Concepts in Science and Technology Studies UCL
Forum members meet once a month during term-time to share and discuss their work in an informal setting, and invites students to present their research and host film screenings, reading groups and workshops.

Highlighted CHASE opportunities

The following events and opportunities are available via the AHRC funded CHASE Doctoral Training Programme. All of the opportunities below are open to all Arts and Humanities PhD students at Birkbeck, regardless of whether they are funded or self-funded.

+ 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century – Placement available

Applications for this placement are open to all arts and humanities PhD student at Birkbeck, regardless of whether they are funded by CHASE. The successful applicant will receive a stipend, fee reimbursement and the opportunity to claim expenses. The deadline for applications is 29 March.

Art at the Frontier of Film Theory: Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen

22 March – 25 May 2019

From 22 March to 24 May, Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and the Essay Film Festival is hosting a unique programme of research events about the work of filmmakers and film theorists Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen. The programme comprises an exhibition at Birkbeck’s Peltz Gallery, a film season, a series of ‘In Conversation’ events and Gallery Workshops, a Curators’ Talk, and a student-led Symposium.

 CHASE training opportunities

Media Skills Training – 5 spaces available

19 March | 0900-1700 | Camden, London

This interactive workshop leads from identifying the elements of a good media story in academic research, through the challenges of dealing with the media and the competing pressures of academic and journalistic methods to final on-camera interviews and playback analysis. Run by Media Players International, this one-day workshops will help you understand what makes for good communication through the general media. It also directly address the issues of impact and media strategy required by the Research Excellence Framework.

Performing Theory: Speaking in Tongues

Friday 29 March | 1400-1700 | Birkbeck Cinema

This series of Master Classes aims to present a wide variety of approaches to the artistic production of ideas in audio-visual form.  We are inviting performance artists and moving image makers whose work (written, performed, filmed) manifests theoretical innovation.  The latter part of the 20th century produced body of Anglo-American writing and work that are recognised today as canonical as with Hollis Frampton, Maya Deren, Peter Gidal for example.  With this series we want to produce a sample of this kind of interplay between ideas and creating that are underway today.  In so doing, we hope to open the field of play between theory and works to create new conversations.

The inaugural session in the series is Speaking in Tongues: a lecture-performance by Christopher Harris. Throughout his career artist and filmmaker Christopher Harris has used film and video installations to re-stage and explore African American accounts of history. Using experimental film techniques, Harris brings disparate mediums into dialogue with one another, in order to present multiple perspectives highlighting experiences of the African diaspora.

BAME Creative Writing Masterclass Series – further session added: Sabrina Mahfouz

Wednesday 27 March | 1400-1600 | The Enterprise Centre, UEA, TEC 0.02

Sabrina Mahfouz has recently been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and is the recipient of the 2018 King’s Alumni Arts & Culture Award. She has been shortlisted for The Stage Award for Best Solo Performance, a Women in the Creative Industries Award, an Arts Foundation Award for Performance Poetry and has won a Sky Arts Academy Award for Poetry, a Westminster Prize for New Playwrights and a Fringe First Award. She also writes for children and her play Zeraffa Giraffa won a 2018 Off West End Award.

Sabrina is the editor of The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write, a 2017 Guardian Book of the Year and currently nominated for The People’s Book Prize. She is an essay contributor to the multi-award-winning The Good Immigrant and is currently writing a biopic of the legendary ‘Godfather of Grime’, rapper and producer Wiley, for Pulse Films.

2019 Birkbeck 3 Minute Thesis Competition

The BGRS is pleased to announce the 2019 Birkbeck 3 Minute Thesis Competition, which will take place on Thursday 2 May from 6pm. You are invited to mark this date in your diaries!

Birkbeck 3MT: Thursday 2 May 2019

Join a selection of Birkbeck PhD students as they compete to communicate their compelling thesis topics in just three minutes. This event is a fantastic opportunity to share and celebrate the interests and successes of PhD researchers from across the College and we invite all current Birkbeck PhD students to take part. The winner of the Birkbeck competition will be chosen by an expert panel of judges who will award:

  • £500 to the overall winner
  • £250 to the runner up
  • The audience will also have their say by picking a people’s choice winner who’ll win a special prize.

Register to attend

If you would like to join the audience please register here to attend. Following the competition there will be a drinks reception for all attendees.

How to compete

You can read more about what it was like to take part in the 2018 3MT competition in these BGRS blog posts from Cathy Rogers and from winner Keith Jarrett.

All potential competitors for the Birkbeck Three Minute Thesis Competition must attend one of the following training sessions – if you think you would like to compete this year, please do sign up. This training is provided by Birkbeck’s Public Engagement Team and will enhance your presentation skills as well as preparing you for the competition.

This is an international event and the Birkbeck winner will have the opportunity to continue on to the UK semi-finals later in the year.

Birkbeck PhD Awards: January 2019

Birkbeck PhDs awarded in January 2019

Birkbeck awards over 100 PhDs each year. In January 2019, 10 Birkbeck Doctoral Researchers were awarded a PhD for their work in the following areas.

School of Arts

Department of History of Art

School of Science

Department of Biological Sciences

Department of Psychological Sciences

School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy

Department of History Classics and Archaeology

Department of Politics

Call for papers: Early Modern Matters – Materiality and the Archive

Early Modern Matters: Materiality and the Archive

University of East Anglia, 11-12 May 2019

Keynote Speakers:
  • David Rundle (University of Kent)
  • Rachel Stenner (University of Sussex)

In an age when researchers can access materials from around the globe from the comfort of their own homes and offices, why should we still travel to archives? How can we shed light both on the ‘text’ itself – written, drawn, or otherwise – and on the culture in which it was embedded by studying archival, material texts not only as vessels for words, but as objects created and put to use in everyday life? The ‘Early Modern Matters’ conference will bring together scholars of all disciplines whose research engages with the material textual culture of the early modern period (c. 1500-1700).

Call for papers

Proposals are invited from doctoral students whose universities are affiliated with CHASE (Consortium for the Humanities and Arts South-East England) for 20-minute papers, which have firm foundations in the study of material texts or, whether literary, artistic, historical, scientific, etc.

Deadline

If you are interested in contributing to the conference, please submit an abstract of up to 300 words together with a short biography to: a.wyatt@uea.ac.uk by February 25 2019.

More information about this event and about how to register is available here.