Highlighted training opportunities via the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network (BPSN)

Current Birkbeck research students are able to access a wide range of training opportunities beyond Birkbeck through the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network (BPSN). The following opportunities are available via the BPSN in June and July.

27 Jun 2018: Finishing your PhD. What Next? Developing skills for your new step
The overall aim of this course is to help participants in the preparation for the inevitable recruitment interviews and to enable them to gain recognition as a productive and valued employee

28 Jun 2018: RLI – The art of conversation: tricks of the trade navigating the sciences
This afternoon workshop calls on post-graduate research students in the sciences and those collaborating with scientific fields looking to improve their networking and relationship building skills.

28 Jun 2018Fieldwork Safety & Security Training  
This training session will teach you to recognise potential safety threats, so that you can reduce your personal range of travel risks.

2 Jul 2018: Communicating & Presenting without Stress!
This is a dynamic interactive one-day workshop course, delivered by Professor Jo Tomalin, that will help participants learn how to communicate and present with joy – and without stress.

3 Jul 2018: Essentials of Academic Leadership  
This one-day course aims to provide postgraduate researchers with the foundations and summary of current leadership theory as well as focussing on their application within the University PhD research context.

3 Jul 2018: RLI – Women in Science
This event is designed to build on the recent finding by MIT economist Esther Duflo that the gender gap in education goals disappears in locales with long-serving female leaders in Government

4 Jul 2018: How to create your own luck
This course will introduce you to a wealth of recent academic research on the subject of luck and help you apply the resultant behaviours and principles to your research and career.

9 Jul 2018: Using Posters to Communicate your Research
The course aims to provide a practical introduction to academic posters. The course will cover context and audience, and will be framed around preparation, design and presentations

14 Jul 2018: Meeting the Challenge of the Part-Time Doctorate
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.

16 Jul 2018: Creativity, Spontaneity & Confidence in Presentations 
This is an interactive one-day workshop for all graduate research students who want to build confidence, and want to be more spontaneous when speaking, teaching or presenting.

18 Jul 2018: The Art of Teaching: Theatre Techniques for the Classroom
Theatre training is not only for actors, but it is also of great value to everyone – especially to those who require effective communication skills in order to give presentations, lectures, or speeches.

24 Jul 2018: Storytelling Skills for Teachers & Presenters
The workshop comprises a combination of short lecture, demonstration, and hands on activity.

30 Jul 2018Good Habits for Life
This full day workshop is aimed at any doctoral student who is so busy with no time to slow down and evaluate their work practice and life balance.

Masterclass: Collaborations, Partnerships and Impact: Funding routes for Knowledge Exchange

Masterclass: Collaborations, Partnerships and Impact: Funding routes for Knowledge Exchange

Thursday 28 June, 13:00 – 15:00 at Birkbeck University of London,
30 Russell Square, Room 101

Postgraduate Research Students with an interest in exploring Knowledge Exchange are invited to this Masterclass focusing on mechanisms for collaboration and funding opportunities.

Getting funding for research is a major challenge for researchers, especially now that many grant applications need to show the impact implications of a research project. Working with non-academic collaborators can be part of an effective strategy in developing successful grant applications.

In bringing together academic staff, users of research and wider groups and communities to exchange ideas, evidence and expertise, Knowledge Exchange activities can provide a strong potential pathway to impact. However for many, operationalising ideas and financial constraints are major barriers. This workshop aims to address these challenges and delve into the world of Knowledge Exchange in sessions including:

  • Knowledge Exchange – An introduction
    (Rose Devaney, Business Engagement & Impact Manager, School of Business, Economics & Informatics)
  • Where to begin – An overview of currently supported pathways and funding sources for Knowledge Exchange
    (Dr Sarah Lee, Head of Research Strategy Support)
  • The College approach – the Research Grant Office’s system for supporting non-academic funding applications
    (Juan Vidal, Deputy Head of Research Grants and Contracts)
  • Funding Knowledge Exchange through Trusts, Foundations, non-academic funding bodies
    (Fiona Kennedy, Head of Trusts & Foundations, Development & Alumni Team)
  • The role of partnership development in funding successes
    (Fiona Candlin, Professor of Museology, Department of History of Art and Dr Louise Hide, Birkbeck Wellcome Trust ISSF Fellow, Department of History, Classics and Archaeology)

Please register here

Additional CHASE Careers and professional development training

Careers and professional development training

The following CHASE Career and Professional development training opportunities are available to all Arts and Humanities research students at Birkbeck.

Further details about each of the sessions below, and information about how to register, is available here.

 

Designing and delivering effective presentations
  • 3rd and 4th May, Open University Camden campus, room 2BC (3rd May) and room 1 (4th May) [two full days]
Hands-on media training
  • 8th and 9th May, Goldsmiths, Richard Hoggart Building, room 307 [two full days]
Being an effective tutor
  • 10th May, Birkbeck, Malet Street, room 415 [one full day]
Mock academic interview session
  • 14th May, SOAS, Room G51 [afternoon] and 23rd May, SOAS, Room 4429 [morning]
Impact and research communication skills
  • 22nd June, Birkbeck, Malet Street, Room 253 [one full day]

Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference: ‘Age of Distraction’

Age of Distraction

Graduate Conference

8 + 9 June 2018

This conference explores distraction and all its meanings and implications. Distraction is commonly thought of as a growing concern or even a sickness of modern society and digital culture. From mindless scrolling to heavy consumerism, the pursuit for entertainment and satisfaction is insatiable, leaving us vulnerable to ruling corporations. Does our lack of control transform us into a conformed mass that is susceptible to tabloid media and the rise of populism? On the other hand, distraction is not necessarily steeped in negativity. In fact, it has had a long and fascinating history. Its German equivalent, ‘Zerstreuung’, comes from the idea of dispersion. At the start of the twentieth-century, Walter Benjamin defined the term as ‘floating attention’, where experience is caused by chance rather than concentration. Does lack of focus in fact allow a sense of freedom and inspiration?

Confirmed speakers include:

Food and refreshments will be available.

Call for papers (extended deadline 7 May)

Please send a 200 word abstract for papers of 15 minutes and a 50 word biography to bisr@bbk.ac.uk

Topics may include:

  • History of distraction
  • Distraction and its oppositions
  • Distraction and/in Education
  • Distraction and madness
  • Modes of Extremism: online or in reality?
  • Democracy, populism, and online social networking
  • Freedom of speech v. government and/or regulatory control
  • Misinformation and fake news
  • Dystopia/ an Orwellian society
  • Distraction and creativity
  • Escapism, dream and day-dream
  • Feigned ignorance or ‘Turning a blind eye’
  • Emotional responses
  • Procrastination, boredom and solitude
  • Wandering and ‘killing time’
  • Inspiration, chance and serendipity

Free tickets for Birkbeck Arts and Humanities PhD students: Frames of Representation 2018 @ The ICA, 20-28th April

F

CHASE is delighted to be academic partner with The ICA for Frames of Representation 2018, a global documentary cinema festival. As part of this partnership, we have arranged two exciting seminars featuring CHASE academics in conversation with film-makers whose work is showing at the festival.

We also have tickets for a one day symposium on April 28th featuring, amongst others, Oscar winning sound editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now).

CHASE has been given a number of free tickets for the week of events and screenings. These tickets are open to all arts and humanities PhD students at CHASE institutions and will allocated on a first come, first served basis. Have a look at the programme here and request your free tickets here.

Now in its third year, FoR is a global documentary cinema festival. The theme this year is landscape and the festival features a number of UK and European premieres, as well as masterclasses with film-makers. We have also arranged two CHASE seminars that will feature CHASE academics in conversation with film-makers whose work is screening at the festival.

Free tickets are available for ALL film screenings and masterclasses throughout the festival as well, of course, as the CHASE seminars and a half day symposium on the theme of landscape on the closing weekend of the festival. Regardless of your research interests, you are bound to find something, if not many things, of interest.

Any queries, please email enquiries@chase.ac.uk

Close Reading + Digital Humanities: A Dialogue (20 April)

Close Reading and Digital Humanities: a dialogue

20 April, 2-5pm

Erik Ketzan

Digital practices in literary studies have been at the forefront of recent debates about what it means to ‘read’ at scale. Meanwhile, conventional literary studies has followed the modernist paradigm of ‘close reading’, insisting on close textual attention.

On April 20, 2-5pm, Birkbeck School of Arts will host an afternoon event, Close Reading + Digital Humanities: A Dialogue. Space is limited — please register to attend.

This afternoon brings together scholars of close reading and digital humanities to investigate how one can inform the other, chart common goals and navigate potential tensions and anxieties. By discussing the tradition of close reading in literary studies alongside emerging digital approaches to text — such as corpus-based analysis (analysis based on electronic collections of text), detecting text re-use (automatic detection of text that appears in two texts, or multiple times within one text), semantic analysis (automatic classification of the meaning of words), automatic collation (comparison of texts, for instance variants of fiction)  — we hope to identify new research topics and find new ways to tackle old problems.

Each speaker will present for 25 minutes with Q+A, followed by a panel discussion.

Professor Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing
Birkbeck, University of London

Erik Ketzan

PhD Candidate: Digital Humanities
Birkbeck, University of London

Dr. Richard Robinson

Associate Professor, English Literature & Creative Writing
Swansea University

Dr. Gabriele Salciute Civiliene

Teaching Fellow in Digital Humanities Technologies,
Department of Digital Humanities
King’s College London

Erik Ketzan is a PhD Candidate in Digital Humanities, Birkbeck.

Thesis Boot Camp experience

Thesis Boot Camp experience

Mara Arts

Over the course of three days early April, a group of Birkbeck PhD students were able to participate in a ‘thesis boot camp’, organised by the CHASE consortium. Thesis boot camps originated in Australia and are designed to give PhD candidates a concentrated period of time to focus on their writing, and produce as many words as possible.

The boot camp was hosted by the University of Sussex on the Feltham campus, and the event was expertly facilitated by writing skills trainer Dr Catherine Pope. Around 30 doctoral students attended the whole weekend, hailing from seven different institutions.

We started at 4pm on a Friday afternoon, with introductions and a few words from Catherine to display some persistent writing myths. We were reminded that the aim of the weekend was to produce as many words as possible, and not to craft perfect prose or fully edited chapters. Catherine also taught us the ‘Pomodoro technique’ of doing 25 minutes of concentrated writing, followed by a short break. This was going to prove very useful over the course of the weekend!

Then it was time to get writing. We started with telling another student what we were hoping to achieve that session, which was followed by five minutes of ‘freewriting’ on the topic ‘What do I want to achieve this weekend?’ Freewriting is writing whatever comes into your head, non-stop, without any regard for spelling, grammar or punctuation. It helps to get the writing juices flowing. The rest of the evening, until 8pm, was spent writing.

We had two big classrooms at our disposal: one ‘writing room’ where each student had a desk, and where we were asked not to talk to create a good working environment. The room next door was the break room, which had a constant supply of drinks and snacks, and which we could use whenever we wanted to chat, relax, or play games. Lunches and dinners were also served in the breakroom. Having all meals catered for, and being away from the demands of your domestic environment, really helped to stay focused on the research. As most participants were staying in the same hotel (also generously funded by CHASE) it was easy to unwind together over a drink in the evenings.

On Saturday and Sunday the schedule was much the same. We started at 10am each day with telling our ‘accountability partner’ what that day’s goal was, and then did a bit of freewriting to get going. The rest of the days were split up in sizeable chunks of writing time. Participants could also request a one-to-one session with Catherine to discuss a particular issue they had with their research. On Saturday there was a guided walk in the fields adjacent to the campus, to get some much-needed fresh air. We also spent some time in group discussions each day, to share common PhD student problems such as tricky supervisors or managing work-related stress; and to swap writing tips.

When we finished at 4pm on Sunday, Catherine gave us some tips on how to keep our writing momentum going. Although everyone was pretty worn out after so much hard work, many participants were hoping to attend another boot camp session soon. They are a great way to get over tricky writing hurdles and start good writing habits.

Mara Arts is a PhD student in the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck.

AHRC-funded PhD studentship

AHRC-funded PhD studentship: Confronting a masculine military ideal: the experiences of LGBTQ service personnel 1914–now

This AHRC PhD Studentship is in Collaboration with Imperial War Museums (IWM) under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership programme. The partner institutions are Birkbeck and the IWM.

The studentship will be supervised by Professor Matt Cook at Birkbeck and Rebecca Newell of IWM. This full-time studentship, which is funded for three years at standard AHRC rates, will begin on 1 October 2018.

Using material from across the IWM’s collection, including the sound collection, and with a particular focus on the museum’s private papers and oral history archives, this project will examine narratives of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning) experience in the military for all or part of the period from 1914 to the present day.

Subject to AHRC eligibility criteria, the scholarships cover tuition fees and a grant (stipend) towards living expenses.

Deadline to apply: 8 July 2018

#vitaehangout: Making the most of PhD placements

#vitaehangout: Making the most of PhD placements

Tuesday 20 March at 12-1pm

Preparations are underway for a #vitaehangout ‘Making the most of PhD placements‘ which takes place on Tuesday 20 March at 12-1pm GMT.

The panel represents different perspectives ranging from those who have undertaken a placement to an institutional and funders view.

Panellists

  • Steve Colburn, Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE)
  • Ysabel Gerrard, University of Sheffield – placement at Microsoft
  • Rob Hardwick, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Rob Keegan, South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP)
  • Sarah Middle, Open University/CHASE – placement at the British Library

How to take part

The informative lunch hour will be a useful and effective investment of time. It’s very easy to take part, just register your interest and you will be emailed a live YouTube link nearer the time in readiness for the event. Questions can be posted before or during the event for the panel to answer.