Workshop: What career? Doing practice research beyond the PhD

More info and booking here.

This workshop is for arts and humanities practice-based/led research PhD students and recent graduates who want to explore their career ambitions in academia and/or beyond. 

Contributors to the workshop include: Sound artist Dr Nina Perry; Senior Lecturer in Digital Media at University of Sussex, Dr Emile Devereaux; contemporary folk artist Dr Lucy Wright; writer Dr Olumide Popoola; Senior Lecturer in Performance and Design at Northumbria University Dr Rachel Hann; Senior Lecturer in Film Production at Staffordshire University, Dr Agata Lulkowska and writer, poet and educator Dr Golnoosh Nourpanah. Organised and facilitated by Dr Sophie Hope and Dr Jo Coleman

New weekly podcast: Corkscrew – Practice research beyond the PhD

Sophie Hope interviews different generations of practice-based research PhD graduates from different disciplines about why they did practice-based/led PhDs in the first place and what they went on to do next. The podcast is produced with assistance from Dr Jo Coleman.

You can subscribe to the podcast here and listen to the first episode with Prof Anne Douglaswho completed her PhD in 1992.

Gender Equality in Research – Learning from Portugal

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Register here

Together with European project MINDtheGEPs and a distinguished panel from Portugal, the EU institutions and the research community, we will deep dive into Portugal’s performance on equality, discuss what more the EU could do to deliver a gender balanced research system and consider how the gender equality implementation plans will be rolled out in Europe’s research and innovation framework.

The discussion on Wednesday 16th June will be divided in two sessions; the first, starting at 10:00 CEST, will examine the reasons behind Portugal’s success and how it could be replicated across Europe, with questions to representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Portuguese Government and the research community. The second session, starting at 11:35 CEST, will bring together established members of the research community to discuss how gender equality can be realised in practice through strategic interventions and implementation of gender equality plans. The event brings together the following speakers:

Session 1 on policy, moderated by Elizabeth Crossick, Head of EU Government Relations, RELX:
– Rosa Monteiro, Secretary of State for Citizenship & Equality, Portugal
– Ramona Strugariu, Member of European Parliament, Renew Europe
– Lesia Radelicki, Member of Cabinet of the Equality Commissioner, Helena Dalli
– Prof Analia Torres, Director CIEG, Centre of Gender Studies, Lisbon University
– Federica Rosetta, Vice President Academic & Research Relations EU, Elsevier

Session 2 on policy in practice, moderated by Claudio Colaiacomo, Vice President Academic Relations, Elsevier:
– Mina Stareva, Head of Sector Gender, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission
– Prof Maria Chiara Carrozza, President CNR (National Research Council, Italy)
– Prof Stefano Geuna, Rector Magnificus, Torino University, Italy
– Anna Wahl, Vice President Gender Equality & Values, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology)Time

BIRKBECK INSTITUTE FOR THE MOVING IMAGE: PROPOSALS FOR EVENTS 2021-22

Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI) is currently planning its programme of events for 2021-22. We welcome proposals from researchers and students working in any discipline or field across the College. We are very happy to work in collaboration with research centres and institutes at Birkbeck or at other institutions, both in terms of exchanging ideas and materials and in terms of sharing costs and logistics.

We encourage our Birkbeck colleagues to utilise the facilities of Birkbeck Cinema to foreground new or rarely screened films and other moving image works, and/or to contribute to contemporary debates around academic research and its relationship to social, political and cultural questions of the day.

In normal times, all of our events take place in Birkbeck Cinema, typically on Friday evenings 6-9pm and Saturdays 10-5pm. Birkbeck Cinema is an exceptional resource, now equipped to project the most up to date DCP and other digital formats, as well as traditional formats such as 35mm and 16mm.

In the current circumstances, however, we cannot say for sure when we will have full access to Birkbeck Cinema. For the autumn term, we are therefore especially interested in proposals for events that could be adapted, if necessary, to online presentation, with the possibility of streaming films via our Screening Room. From January 2022, while we hope to be able to operate from the Cinema in our usual fashion, we are aware that nothing is certain, and so we will remain open to the possibility of adapting BIMI events to online versions if this proves necessary.

If you would like to propose an idea for an event, please complete this form and send it tobimi@bbk.ac.ukwith the subject heading “BIMI proposals 2021-22”.The deadline for submission is Friday 25 June.

Michael Temple, Director, Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, and Essay Film Festival; Matthew Barrington, BIMI Manager

Title of proposed event:

 
Names of proposers and department or School:


Description of event (no more than 250 words, please):








 
Screening material (including technical specifications if known):



 
Indicative budget (film materials, speakers, travel, etc. – BIMI can typically cover up to £200 per event):

 
Potential collaborators (from Birkbeck or other institutions):



   

Socially distanced networks – 5 Reasons PhD students should engage with social media now

Ema Talam

Jon Fairburn

March 2nd, 2021

1 comment | 57 shares

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Peer support, finding a place within academia, staying up to date with the latest research, communicating research to wider audiences and navigating life after PhD. Ema Talam and Jon Fairburn outline five ways in which social media, and in particular Twitter, can make all the difference to PhD research at a time when regular academic life has been severely disrupted.


Doing a PhD is hard: lack of work-life balance, uncertainty about the future, diminishing satisfaction with the PhD programme over time, isolation, harassment and discrimination are all too common experiences. COVID-19 has only exacerbated these challenges.

Whilst by no means a panacea, at a time when undertaking a PhD is even more of a fragmented and disjointed experience, social media provides an important space for connection. We – a PhD student and an experienced researcher with over 25 years of experience in academia – put forward the five following reasons why PhD researchers at any stage of the process can benefit from engaging with academic social media and why it is more important now than before COVID-19 pandemic.

Peer Support

Let’s start with the peer support. With universities in lockdown and many PhD students working from home, the informal support that comes from working as part of a research community has diminished. Despite its sometimes hostile reputation, peer support is strongly present on Twitter. Readers new to academic Twitter might consider following general academic hashtags, such as #AcademicTwitter#AcademicChatter and #AcademicMentalHealth, or specifically PhD centred discussions on #phdchat and #virtualnotviral. Whilst a hashtag is not a peer support network, in difficult times they provide pathways to resources and opportunities to meet likeminded people that can make all the difference.

You may even find your peer group is larger than you anticipated. The sudden shift to remote teaching and learning early last year, placed experienced professors and PhD researches running their first classes from all fields in the same position of learning to teach remotely for the first time. The hashtags above as well as being links to a wider research community have also been an invaluable resource for teaching tips and tricks, learning resources and even free training. Do not be afraid to ask questions related to teaching or any aspect of academic life.

Whilst a hashtag is not a peer support network, in difficult times they provide pathways to resources and opportunities to meet likeminded people that can make all the difference.

Finally, Twitter can also be used as a tool for co-ordinating and engaging with existing PhD communities, for instance through organising synchronous and a-synchronous events, such as remote writing retreats.

Navigating your academic discipline(s)

In a similar way hashtags can also be used to find academic communities, for economists #econtwitter is a good place to start as is RePEc’s list of economists on twitter. Learned societies and their social media accounts, e.g. in our fields the Royal Economic Society or Regional Studies Association, also provide useful points for finding the latest news from a particular discipline and often provide tailored advice for how certain disciplines approach social media.

For better or worse, social media is a surveillance network. By following academics whose work you are interested in, you can not only directly engage with them, but by simply following you can develop a sense of the research, networks and events they are interested in. These can help you orient your research towards academic communities and projects that may not be represented within your own institution.

While approaching people at conferences can be intimidating, it is almost impossible on Zoom events due to lack of time dedicated for informal networking or even any breaks at all

Social media can also be a source of inspiration for looking beyond your immediate discipline. The shift to digital as a result of the lockdown, has considerably lowered barriers to attending conferences and seminars. These events are regularly advertised via social media and are a great opportunity for you to attend new areas of research and expose yourself to new ideas and methods that can benefit your PhD.

While approaching people at conferences can be intimidating, it is almost impossible on Zoom events due to lack of time dedicated for informal networking or even any breaks at all. Fortunately, the back channel provided by social media, such as Twitter, can provide a means of keeping the conversation going. Look out for event hashtags, which can be used to preview your work, or just to signal your presence and highlight what you found interesting. Finally, in digital environments where genuine engagement can often be minimal, a considered question or engagement is invaluable and can even lead to future collaboration.

Keeping up to date with the latest research

Not all academic dialogue resides in published academic papers. Many academics post and discuss newly published papers on Twitter. Social media such as twitter, are also central to sharing non-standard research outputs like blogposts, infographics, or even datasets. As COVID-19 has demonstrated much influential research has circulated via social media in the form of preprints, long before final publication. These can all be very useful for PhD students to track new developments in their fields of study.

Communicating your research to wider audiences

COVID-19 has also demonstrated the importance of social media as part of the public sphere and having a profile has become increasingly important for making your work visible to important stakeholders, the media and the general public. Established organisations, such as NGOs, or even your university, are likely to have significant audiences on social media and present opportunities to share your research with non-academic audiences.

This could involve simply tagging potential interested stakeholders in posts or taking part in more structured engagements. Simply being on social media does not guarantee public engagement, but it is a platform that allows you to connect to potential research users, which can be invaluable at a time when social contact of any type is minimal.

Life after PhD

Institutions and academics often share information about the job openings on Twitter. Following academics in your field of study can ensure that you have information about new job openings. Twitter makes it easy for information about job openings to be shared – your network can either tag you in posts about job openings or send a direct message. By building your social networks around your research interests, you are more likely to find relevant information about job openings in the field(s) of interest, whether in or outside of the academia. Many government agencies, firms and universities also have their professional profiles on LinkedIn, where they share information about new job opportunities. Additionally, on LinkedIn, you can easily indicate your openness to work or share your CV should you wish to. Both platforms can be used to seek for advice regarding job applications and help write stronger applications.

PhD students (and their supervisors) are sometimes sceptical about the use of social media and the time that will be spent on social media. Engaging with academic social media does not have to involve huge time investments – it can involve only several minutes per day and directly depends on what you want to get out of it. We would argue the benefits of using academic social media far outweigh the costs.


Note: This article gives the views of the authors, and not the position of the Impact of Social Science blog, nor of the London School of Economics. Please review our Comments Policy if you have any concerns on posting a comment below.

Image Credit: Adapted from Jon Tyson, via Unsplash. 


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About the author

Ema Talam

Ema Talam is a final year PhD in Economics student at Staffordshire University. She is interested in the topics of firm-level productivity, innovation and exporting, as well as innovation policies. Follow Ema on Twitter on @ematalam.

Jon Fairburn

Jon Fairburn is Professor of Sustainable Development at Staffordshire University. He teaches on the MSc Digital Marketing Management amongst other courses. Follow him on Twitter @ProfJonFairburn.

LGBT History Month and International Women’s Day

For LGBT+ History Month in February and International Women’s Day in March, the Access and Engagement Department is looking for two Birkbeck PhD candidates or early career researchers to deliver an accessible public lecture or workshop for an audience with little to no experience of Higher Education. If you are interested in doing this please get in contact by 12 February.

Our public lecture series, Get Started: Big Ideas, was previously delivered in Stratford Library, in collaboration with Newham Council. Through the pandemic we have been delivering the talks on Zoom and broadcasting using YouTube live.

The themes this year are ‘Body, Mind, Spirit’ (for LGBT History Month) and ‘Gender Equality in Eudcation’ (for International Women’s Day), so we will be looking for pitches that take these themes into account.

WHO? 
We’re looking for Birkbeck academics, particularly PhD students and early career researchers, whose research touches on topics relevant to LGBT+ History Month or International Women’s Day.

WHAT? 
Our audience consists of people with no experience of Higher Education, or those who have had a long break since their last HE experience. With that in mind, we will work closely with the academic to ensure the lecture is accessible to these audiences. More information on our department’s work.

We are open to pitches of lectures (roughly 20 minutes in length), workshops, virtual walks, or other formats that you feel would be engaging. This would usually be followed by a Q&A.

PAYMENT 
We are able to pay PhD candidates or academics who are not on full-time contracts. The pay is at spine point 31 (£21.15 per hour) and we would usually allow for 2 hours’ prep time and 1 hour delivery. In this case we will also be adding 1 hour to allow for familiarising yourself with any software needed. Please do get in touch if you have a proposal which would exceed the allotted time.

If you have any questions, please drop us a line at getstarted@bbk.ac.uk

PhD Researcher role with Access and Engagement

Please note: This opportunity is for current Birkbeck PhD students only

Birkbeck’s Access and Engagement team are looking for a PhD candidate to conduct some research into the experience of students who have been supported by the Access and Engagement team in their entry or transition into Higher Education. They are looking for candidates who have experience of qualitative research and facilitating focus groups.

This research will help the department to review its activities and ensure that the support on offer to prospective students from groups which are underrepresented in Higher Education is effective and useful.

Full details of the role

A full job description and details about the role are available below and include instructions for how to apply. If you have any questions about the role please email h.gartrell@bbk.ac.uk.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 9 February.

Assessors sought to assess CREST Award projects from 14 to 19-year-old students

The British Science Association’s mission is to transform the diversity and inclusivity of science; to reach under-served audiences and increase the number of people who are actively involved and engaged in science. 

They are looking to recruit CREST assessors within the fields of: STEM, Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Economics. The CREST Awards is one of their flagship programmes for young people. CREST inspires and engages young people aged 5 to 19-years old with project-based STEM activities.

CREST Assessors sought

  • CREST assessors help to develop students’ interest and attitudes towards science, along with their scientific and project skills. They do this by assessing Silver and Gold projects against the CREST assessment criteria, providing constructive feedback and encouragement, and sharing their STEM expertise with young people. Often, project assessment is the first time students’ work is seen by someone other than their parents or teachers. Students value the opportunity to share their work with someone with expertise and/or a career in the STEM sector. 
  • Assessing projects can be done on a voluntary or paid basis paid (£4 per Silver Award assessment and £6 per Gold Award assessment), with approximately 5 hours’ worth of assessments per month. All assessment and feedback are carried out via our online platform. 
  • Assessors are trained how to assess projects and give effective feedback. Also, assessing CREST projects count towards STEM Ambassador volunteer hours.  

Further details

Please see the complete details for the role here.

Those interested should register their interest in this form and will be contacted shortly afterwards. If you have any questions, would like to know more about CREST Awards or have any thoughts on who else might be interested in the CREST assessor role, please contact Claudia Linan, Education Officer: t. +44 (0)20 7019 4969

Academic Open House

The Access and Engagement Department sits at the heart of Birkbeck’s commitment to improving the access and success of non-traditional students in London. We work with groups who may otherwise feel excluded from taking a step into higher education, including trade union members without a formal qualification above level 4; FE and adult education college students; forced migrants and those who have been out of education for a number of years.

Birkbeck’s academic and research community can support our work in a range of ways, including:

  • delivering free community lectures and/or learning activities;
  • running workshops to support those facing organisational change at work;
  • helping people to develop the skills they need to successfully navigate structural inequality;
  • offering insights into community priorities through their research.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Find out more

To find out more and discuss possible collaborations, the Department is holding an Academic Open House event on Thursday 26th September from 3-5pm in Malet Street B02. The event is open to PhD candidates, Early Career Researchers and academics at Birkbeck. We will present further information about our work across London and our priorities for 2019/20, and there will be the opportunity for discussion with other academic colleagues and members of the Department.

Register to attend here

To register your interest, please complete the following short form: https://bbk.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/open-house-register-of-interest
For refreshments purposes it would be helpful to know how many are able to attend the Open House event, but even if you are unable to join us on the 26th, we’d still love to hear from you so please do complete the form so we can keep in touch about future opportunities.