BGRS Conference – Postponed

As a result of the current situation we have had to postpone the BGRS Conference which will no longer take place on 22-23 April. However, we do intend to find an alternative date for the event later in the year and will confirm this once available.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all who had helped to shape the conference through contributions by email, discussion off line, by attending any of the BGRS conference meetings, or by volunteering to take part in the student sessions on methods/ disciplines or the poster competition. Many thanks too to speakers who had agreed to take part.

Thanks in particular to those of you who have been active in the conference steering group and who had until recently been choosing and inviting speakers and helping to set things in place. I’m hopeful that we will be able to build on the work done so far and deliver an exciting event later in the year.

BGRS Conference Poster Competition announced

Poster competition – entries now open

All current Birkbeck PhD students are invited to enter the BGRS Conference Poster Competition which will provide a fantastic opportunity to share your research interests and successes with doctoral students from across the College.

How to take part

If you are a current Birkbeck PhD student and would like to take part in this Poster Competition please complete this brief form by 31 March. All those who enter will be able to claim back up to £30 for poster printing costs from the BGRS.

Prizes

Judging of the posters will take place on day 2 of the conference (23 April) and you will be asked to attend your poster in order to answer questions while judging takes place. The following prizes will be awarded:

  • £300 for the winner
  • 3 x runners up prizes of £100 each

BGRS Conference: A call for student methodology talks

We hope you will have seen that as part of the BGRS Conference (22-23 April) there will be a session where PhD students are invited to give brief presentations (around 10 minutes each) about a methodological aspect of their research project. The aim of this session is to provide opportunities for attendees and contributors to find out about methodology they are not currently familiar with, or to hear from doctoral researchers who have an interest in a similar or related methodology.

We would like to encourage all current Birkbeck PhD students to contribute to this session in order to make it a success. We think this session will be both useful and interesting for the following reasons:

  • You will have the opportunity to present your work to your fellow students and to respond to questions in a supportive environment.
  • If you haven’t yet given a presentation on your research this would be a great opportunity to do so.
  • If you have previously given a presentation on your methodology in another setting you are welcome to use that as the basis of your talk or repeat it.
  • The session will provide the chance to engage with doctoral researchers from across Birkbeck and to receive useful feedback.
  • You would be contributing to the success of the conference and helping to build connections between research students across departments at Birkbeck.

Please do use this brief form by 24 March if you would like to take part in this session.

PhD student members of the BGRS Steering Committee

CHASE Training opportunities for all Arts and Humanities PhD Students at Birkbeck

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.

Future Pathways in Medieval and Early Modern Studies: Academia and Beyond

Friday, 6 March and Friday 27 March

The aim of these two workshops is to explore the possible pathways that medieval and early modern studies can open up for future careers. Both workshops will host a group of speakers with PhDs in various aspects of medieval and early modern studies that have since pursued a wide array of careers. Their personal knowledge and experiences will provide the springboard for informal roundtable discussions and exercises. These events will encourage current postgraduate students to reflect critically on the ways in which one can communicate and curate research and teaching expertise, while they will also offer opportunities for new connections to be made with a variety of individuals, institutions and sectors.


Frames and Transitions

20 & 21 March | Birkbeck, University of London

FRAMES – Friday 20 March
The annual TRANSITIONS symposium has been extended with FRAMES, a day of workshops for CHASE researchers. The workshops are Graphic Medicine with Ian Williams and Comics as Research Practice with Nick Sousanis.

The workshops are focussed on comics and arts as part of the research process, but are open to all research students affiliated with CHASE institutions.

The day is divided into two workshop sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The morning session is Graphic Medicine with Ian Williams. The afternoon session is Comics as Research Practice with Nick Sousanis.

TRANSITIONS – Saturday 22 March

Transitions: New Directions in Comics Studies is an annual one-day symposium promoting new research and multi-disciplinary academic study  of comics / comix / bande dessinée / manga / and other forms of sequential art. The Transitions symposia have been a fixture on the UK comics scholarship landscape, with a focus on new voices and novel approaches in comics research. The programme emphasises a range of approaches in research, and especially invites participation from research students and early career researchers.



Critical Race Studies and the Premodern: Archive and Seminar

8 & 9 June | University of Sussex

Decolonising the Curriculum (Practical Funded by the CHASE Consortium, the Universities of East Anglia and Sussex are hosting two postgraduate training workshops on critical race studies and the pre-modern. This, the second of two events, will be held at The University of Sussex, 8-9 June 2020, and will focus on research. The event is designed to develop students’ professional skills. We invite expressions of interest from all postgraduates working in the Humanities (giving papers, designing and chairing sessions, attending).

Call for papers: Talking about feelings in gender and sexuality research

Friday 5 June 2020 Birkbeck, University of London


This cross-disciplinary conference provides a forum for researchers in gender and sexuality studies to discuss how we deal with feelings and emotions, including our own.

After a keynote panel discussion and a series of paper presentations, we will gather into smaller groups for discussions. Current research students at Birkbeck are invited to propose a 15-minute paper presentation or a topic for discussion, which might focus on one or more of the following:

  • Theoretical models for perceiving and interpreting emotions;
  • The methods we use to access information about emotions in texts, archives, interviews, and in the field; and how our research methods may have succeeded, failed, and produced unexpected results;
  • The interplay between research ethics and our emotions;
  • The sometimes-radical and emotionally-charged roots of our research areas (including, for example, the women’s movement and the gay liberation movement);
  • Emotionally challenging or affirming/pleasurable encounters and experiences in our research;
  • How it feels to research gender and sexuality in various institutional contexts (including, for example, universities, archives, and libraries), and at different career stages;
  • How the conditions for researching gender and sexuality may have changed over time and may vary between places (for example, national, regional or institutional contexts);
  • The more and less tangible barriers we might face and perceive as researchers in this field.

If you are a current research student at Birkbeck, please send your proposal to Ralph Day (r.day@bbk.ac.uk) by Sunday 15 March 2020.

If proposing a 15-minute paper, please send an abstract of 150-200 words together with a short biographical statement.

If proposing a topic for discussion, please send a brief explanation of the topic together with a short biographical statement. You are invited to lead the discussion session with a short reflection on the topic and to facilitate the discussion.

This conference is funded by the Birkbeck Graduate Research School. There will be no registration fee for this conference, and we expect to be able to cover domestic travel costs for participants delivering paper presentations or leading discussion sessions.

Registration now open: A celebration of 100 years of the Birkbeck PhD: Past, Present and Future

We are excited to announce that registration for the Birkbeck Graduate Research School Conference, ‘A celebration of 100 years of the Birkbeck PhD: Past, Present and Future‘ on 22-23 April, is now open. This exciting event will bring together doctoral researchers and PhD alumni from across the research student community at Birkbeck. Further details will be announced over the coming weeks including a poster competition with prizes.

As part of the conference we are opening a call for current PhD students to contribute – we are looking for volunteers to describe their research focus and methodological approach, with an aim of exposing the range of approaches available, and facilitating discussion on the ways that methodology could be viewed from an interdisciplinary perspective. If you are willing to give a talk please complete this brief form by 24 March. We will endeavour to provide as many opportunities to present as we can but please note we may need to select speakers in order to represent the range of methods.

Register here

BGRS Conference 2020

A celebration of 100 years of the Birkbeck PhD: Past, Present and Future

DAY 1 – Wednesday 22 April (18.00 – 21.00)

OPENING NIGHT: The Birkbeck PhD – Past, Present and Future

  • A history of the Birkbeck PhD

Joanna Bourke is Professor of History in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, where she has taught since 1992. She is a Fellow of the British Academy. Joanna will speak about the history of the first doctoral research at Birkbeck.

  • Highlighted current doctoral research at Birkbeck

Some of our current PhD students will present their winning Birkbeck 3 Minute Thesis talks.

  • The future of PhDs in the UK

Dr Stephen Hill, Director of Research at Research England, will speak about the future of PhDs in the UK.

Paulette Williams, Founder & Managing Director of Leading Routes, will talk about the ‘Broken Pipeline’ report into representation and diversity at PhD level study, and the implications for doctoral research and beyond.

  • Drinks Reception

Talks will be followed by a drinks reception to celebrate the opening night of the conference.

DAY 2 – Thursday 23 April (09.30 – 19.00)

On the second day you will be able to attend a range of panels and other sessions organised by the conference steering group, which is made up of current PhD students. Sessions will involve Birkbeck staff, alumni and current research students.

SESSION THEMES

  • Methods and Disciplines

This theme will provide the chance to find out more about research methods and disciplines and will include PhD students giving brief presentations on their research methodology or an aspect of it. PhD students willing to give a talk should complete this brief form by 24 March.

  • Research impact

Discover about research impact in the context of doctoral studies and continuing research after a PhD.

  • The PhD and Beyond

This session will provide the chance to hear from former Birkbeck PhD students and staff who will speak about their careers and work beyond their PhD. 

New PhD Studentships to boost diversity

5 Studentships for 2020/21 entry

Five new awards have been announced for Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) PhD students who start their studies at Birkbeck during 2020. The studentships will help address the under-representation of BAME students at PhD level in all disciplines.

Julian Swann, Pro-Vice Master of Research said:

“I am delighted that we have been able to fund these new research awards for BAME students. Birkbeck has a long history of widening access to higher education and compared with other institutions, we have a relatively high proportion of BAME students but representation at doctoral level is significantly lower than across our student population as a whole. I hope that these awards will help to address this and support more BAME students to lead research at the highest levels.”

Further information

Further information for candidates is available here.

The financial support will cover tuition fees and living expenses for UK-based BAME students for the duration of their course.

Successful candidates will need to have a strong academic background and/or exceptional research potential and to have been offered a place on a relevant doctoral programme.

Deadline for applications: Monday 11 May 2020

Training for PhD students – Love Data Week 2020

The following events are highlighted to all Birkbeck Research students as part of Birkbeck Love Data Week 2020.

Introduction to Research Data Management

Wednesday 12 February, 11.30-13.00

Register here

This interactive session will include discussion and opportunities for questions. It will cover all the basics of Research Data Management including:

  • why thinking about data management is a good idea
  • what the risks are
  • why planning for the long term helps
  • what you can do about any issues or requirements that you identify

This event will be useful for any students embarking on research, or established academics looking to improve their understanding of how to manage their data. 

Researching LGBTQ+ Communities: openness, ethics and consent

WEDNESDAY 12 FEBRUARY, 18.30 – 19.45

Register here

What ethical implications do researchers working with LGBTQ+ communities need to consider? How do we navigate tensions in the drive to make data open? How do we manage consent in this context? 

Birkbeck academics Dr Fiona Tasker (Reader in Psychology) and Ralph Day (doctoral researcher in contemporary history) will discuss their research, and how they work with their potentially sensitive data. 

Fiona has published extensively on topics including family relationships, identity development of adults and children, and children’s social and emotional development in both non-traditional and new family forms and LGBTQ parenting. 

Ralph’s current research focuses on queer sexualities and the telephone in Britain from the 1970s to the 1990s through a study of the telephone information and support service London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard. 

This event is being organised as part of Love Data Week and as part of the Library’s LGBT+ History Month programme. 

Data Management Plans for Postgraduate Research Students

Friday 14 FEBRUARY, 11.30 – 13.00

Register here

This session is aimed at postgraduate research students and Master’s research students, who are creating or reusing data, or who may require ethical approval, and would like to create a Data Management Plans (DMPs) to help guide them through their project.
 
DMPs are also important documents for funded research, with many funders requiring them as part of a bid. Being familiar with the process of creating DMPs is therefore a useful research skill.
We will use example plans and online tools to create DMPs, and look at how to improve them.

Research Network Social

Thursday 6th February 2020 | 12:00 – 14:00 | G04, 43 Gordon Square

The Birkbeck Institute for Social Research (BISR) and the Birkbeck Social Science Methodology (BSSM) Network would like you to join us for research networking social on Thursday 6th February 2020.

This social is an opportunity for Birkbeck staff and researchers to meet up and share ideas informally over lunch. The event aims to promote discussion and collaboration, and will allow colleagues to share their own research, join or establish research groups, and learn more about the possible funding schemes available to support them.

We will have a few short talks followed by an opportunity to chat and network with colleagues.

Prof Felicity Callard will introduce the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research (BISR) and our exciting new Experimental Collective initiative, which is designed to support new interdisciplinary collaborations across the College which in some way address ‘the social.’ The deadline to apply for funding for this initiative is Friday 28th February, so please do ask on the day if you have any queries for us.

Dr Andi Fugard will introduce the Birkbeck Social Science Methodology (BSSM), which aims to encourage creative developments in methodology by bringing people together from across the social sciences, arts, and humanities. Dr Lina Džuverović will introduce the Curatorial Research Lab, a two-term initiative based in the Peltz Gallery, established to foreground curatorial research activity across Birkbeck’s School of Arts and associated research communities. Finally, we will hear about public engagement with research from Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon, winner of the 2018 Birkbeck Public Engagement Award for Transforming Culture, which recognises exemplary research engagement activities which have aimed to stimulate change within our culture or society.

If you have an initiative or research project you would like to introduce to the group, please do let us know, and we’d be happy to add your name to our list of speakers.

Places are limited, so please RSVP to  bisr@bbk.ac.uk to reserve a seat. Lunch will be provided – do let us know when booking if you have any allergies, dietary or access requirements.

Highlighted Birkbeck Research Centre: Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS)

Overview

CILAVS, the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies, is based in the School of Arts and brings together Birkbeck researchers from the departments of Cultures and Languages, History of Art, Film Media and Cultural Studies, Geography, Law, Politics and Psychosocial Studies. Created in 2007, it is now an established hub for research networks in the UK and overseas, promoting the best research on the history and theory of visual culture in the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds and supporting research in the cultures of Iberia, Latin America and the Afro-Hispanic and Afro-Lusophone continent.

The Centre has attracted very substantial research grants from AHRC, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust and other bodies, including private donors, and enabled collaborative doctoral partnerships with organisations outside of higher education, including the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Royal Society and Victoria and Albert Museum.  CILAVS has also brought to London some of the most important artists, filmmakers and scholars in the Iberian and Latin American fields: Carlos Monsiváis, Pedro Costa, Luis Camintzer, Roger Bartra, Jean Franco, Cecilia Vicuña, John Beverley, Karim Aïnouz and Trifonia Melibea Obono Ntutumu, to name just a few.

Opportunities for PhD students

CILAVS offers a rich and varied programme of activities including talks, workshops, film screenings and festivals. It has also organized conferences, book launches, exhibitions at Birkbeck’s Peltz Gallery and many other public events in collaboration with other Research Centres in the School of Arts, Birkbeck Institutes and beyond.

The Centre is very keen to involve interested Research students from across the College in its activities and will offer support in the organisation of student-led activities including, for example, reading groups, workshops, talks and conferences. Javier Vicente Arenas, currently CILAVS’ student representative and member of its steering committee, says:

Doctoral research can be a very solitary undertaking. However, for those working or interested in the fields of Iberian and Latin American Studies, CILAVS offers a unique opportunity to meet other students, share our ideas and interests, and showcase our research and academic achievements. This can lead to unexpected synergies among students while having a positive impact on our research and CV. Moreover, CILAVS is keen to support students’ initiatives, so do get involved! 

We will love to hear from any Research students at Birkbeck working on any aspect of the cultures of Iberia, Latin America and the Afro-Hispanic and Afro-Lusophone continent. If interested, our contact details are below.

Contact