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.

BGRS Winter Party

BGRS Winter Party

Tuesday 11 December, 18.30 – 20.30

We invite all Birkbeck postgraduate researchers to attend the BGRS Winter Party. Come and celebrate achievements of the Autumn term and meet with other research students from around the college.

Drinks (non-alcoholic as well as alcoholic) and nibbles will be provided but please sign up so that we can order the right amount of catering.

New CHASE Training opportunities

The following CHASE training opportunities are available to all Arts and Humanities PhD students at Birkbeck, regardless of whether you are funded by CHASE or not.

CHASE conference presentations workshop – limited places available

Monday 5 – Tuesday 6 November, Birkbeck, University of London | 1000-1700

A two-part workshop on writing and giving conference papers which combines an introduction to academic conferences, writing abstracts and preparing presentations, with a practical session on the second day (run as a mock-conference) in which the participants have the opportunity to rehearse the delivery of sample presentations, handle questions and receive feedback. Josie has given this workshop in over 30 universities in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Introduction to the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)

Wednesday 7 November 2018 | Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH

Since its founding in 1946, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) has presented ground-breaking projects across the arts, situating contemporary culture within the socio-political conditions of the times. As a professional partner of CHASE, the ICA is delighted to offer training and placements to CHASE-funded and affiliated students. This event provides a valuable introduction to the ICA, with a particular focus upon the Institute’s film programme and documentary film festival, Frames of Representation (FoR.) This will be led by Nico Marzano, film programmer and curator at the ICA, who will also be available to answer questions about upcoming placement opportunities working on FoR 2019.

Students will have the opportunity to visit Version History, the first solo exhibition in a major UK institution by artists, filmmakers and designers Metahaven, featuring an expansive new moving-image commission as part of an overview of their hybrid investigations into overlapping geopolitical, technological and emotional conditions. More details about the exhibition can be found here.

CA is generously offering 20 tickets to attend a film screening in the evening. The tickets will be allocated to the first 20 who register for the introduction.

Making Films for your Research:
Innovative Audio-Visual Practices – A CHASE Doctoral Training Day.

Birkbeck Cinema, 10.00-17.30 on Saturday, November 17, 2018, followed by a wine reception

Filmmaking research is a form of practice research that enquires into production practices, techniques, modes and genres used in cinema, television and online. The outputs are films that may include fiction, documentary and hybrid forms. Filmmaking research pushes at the boundaries of traditional filmmaking and traditional research methods by adopting distinct approaches to professional and critical practices. Filmmaking research is a developing area and films produced within the academy are growing in number. There is an increasing engagement with filmmaking as research method and films as outputs, by researchers from a range of disciplines. Film can provide a powerful means to explore issues, disseminate research and create impact.

In this event, we will screen examples of innovative audio-visual filmmaking research practice, have presentations by filmmaker-researchers about their work, and hold round tables.

Screen Studies Day

King’s  College London (Strand Campus) on 17th November 2018

This is a full-day event (9:30-20:30) aimed at PhD students doing research in film and screen media. The training offered will be most beneficial to students in the earlier stages of their studies.

The event is open to students from all CHASE institutions and is free to attend.

November Film Festival

22-25 November | Close-Up Film Centre in London

November Film Festival is an international festival for experimental film and artists’ moving image run by CHASE students.
There will be 8 programs of films in total, two on each day. A full program will soon be made available on: https://www.novemberfilmfestival.org/
The screenings will be free to attend and registration for them will be on first come first serve basis through the festival website.
On Saturday the 24th at 9pm, there will be a networking dinner event for CHASE students and the visiting filmmakers, for which you can register below.

Open Access Week 2018: (22 – 28 October)

open access week

Throughout 22-28 October Birkbeck PhD students are invited to attend events organised by the Birkbeck Library as part of International Open Access Week.

These events will let you learn about developments which are of increasing importance to your current and future research. The programme includes the following events:

Using Open Access resources

Malet Street G20, Birkbeck, 1–2pm, Tuesday
23 October 2018

We often think about Open Access in relation to publishing and disseminating research, but this session considers how you can use open access resources in your search for information whether that’s to write an essay, complete an assignment or as part of your literature review. This session aims to give an introduction to open access resources as a source of information rather than as a publishing option.

Open Access board game

Malet Street G20, Birkbeck, 2.30–5pm, Tuesday 23 October

open access board game

Come and play the Open Access board game to get a better understanding of what Open Access is and how it works. You are welcome as a team of up to 4 people or as an individual to join others.

Open knowledge: process, ethics, possibilities – Panel discussion

Keynes Library, Gordon Square, 7-9pm, Tuesday 23 October

Open Knowledge: process, ethics, possibilities; an International Open Access Week panel of speakers from Birkbeck, SOAS and LSE, brought together by Birkbeck Library.

The speakers are drawn from academic, publishing, library and scholarly communications communities, and will investigate the practicalities and ethics of opening up access to knowledge, as well as the potential to widen engagement with research and to experiment with publishing.

Understanding Green and Gold Open Access

Malet Street B04, Birkbeck, 3–4pm, Wednesday 24 October 2018

What is Gold Open Access? How does it differ from Green? And where on earth do Diamond and Platinum fit in? We will try to clear up confusion about the range of Open Access options available to you as both a researcher and author.

Get a DOI for data, or a ORCID id for your publications

G20 Malet Street Birkbeck, 3-4pm, Thursday 25 October 2018

If you are creating data and publishing articles, you may have considered creating a researcher identifier, such as an ORCID iD.
ORCID iDs allow you to connect all your published material, back to you.
We can also help you create digital object identifiers (DOIs) for your research data.

You are welcome to this drop-in session to get a DOI for your data or to create an ORCID iD. Read more about research data management, ORCID and other researcher identifiers.

Your views: “What would the world look like if access to knowledge was free?”

open access word cloud

As part of Open Access Week, the Birkbeck Library are looking for your views on the theme above.

  • Would your research or studies be easier?
  • How would this impact the developing world?
  • Do we need to be more radical to achieve this?

To take part, you can fill out a postcard available in the library, or via Twitter using @BirkbeckLibrary #OAWeek

Are you beginning your 2nd year? The BGRS would like to hear from you!

WRITING

Are you just beginning your 2nd year as a Birkbeck PhD student?

As the new 2018/19 academic year begins we hope you are looking forward to diving back in to your research. In order to give our new intake of PhD students a better picture of what their first year might entail, we would like to hear from those of you who are just beginning your second year as a doctoral researchers at Birkbeck.

We would aim to include your answers in a profile piece on the BGRS blog during the Autumn term.

For those who are willing to take part we would ask you to reply to some of the following questions  about your first year as a research student; and you would be welcome to add any other experiences that you think are relevant:

  • Were there any aspects of beginning your PhD that you found especially challenging and how were you able to overcome this?
  • What are the key achievements or milestones from your first year and how do these fit with your aims for the second year?
  • What role has your supervisor played during your first year?
  • What advice would you give other students who are just beginning as doctoral researchers at Birkbeck or to staff who have responsibilities for supporting or supervising PhD students?
  • What were the highlights of your first year?
  • What are you looking forward to most as you begin your second year?
  • Was there any training or resource that you would particularly recommend to first year PhD students?
  • How well have you been able to balance the work required to begin your PhD with other family, work or other commitments?

Tea and coffee invitation

Those who agree to take part will be invited to share some free tea and coffee in G20 with others who contributed to the piece, later in the term.

Contact us

Please do contact us if you would be willing to share your experiences for this blog piece, or if you have any questions.