Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Doctoral Conference: Wednesday 19 June 2024

Work is continuing on preparation for this exciting conference scheduled for 19 June.

Conference objectives

  • To inspire future generations of BAME scholars by showcasing the achievements and contributions of current BAME PhD students
  • To provide a platform specifically for BAME PhD students to present their research, share their experiences, and engage with other scholars and professionals in their field.
  • To facilitate networking opportunities for BAME PhD students to connect with peers, mentors, and potential collaborators, fostering a supportive community and encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Aim to empower BAME PhD students by providing professional development workshops to navigate academia and pursue successful careers.
  • To raise awareness of pressing issues affecting BAME students within academia and in broader society, through keynote speeches, panel discussions, and interactive sessions.

Call for contributions

Call for PGR student talks:
Deadline Tuesday 14 May (now extended to 23 May)

We are pleased to call for contributions in the form of talks and research posters. If you have any queries please email graduateresearchschool@bbk.ac.uk.  This update includes information about:

Why present a talk?

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Doctoral researchers are invited to propose a talk to present at the conference. This is an opportunity for you to make your doctoral research visible and gain experience presenting your work. 

What sort of talks are invited?

We intend student talks to be up to 15 minutes in duration including questions but we may need to adjust the timings slightly depending on the number of speakers. 

Suggested talk structure 

If you are unsure about what to present you are invited to consider the following structure for a talk. Please aim to make your talk accessible to a non-specialist. 

1. Introduction (2 minutes)

  • Greeting and Opening: Start by introducing yourself and you could thank those present for the opportunity to speak.
  • Introduce yourself: You could introduce yourself and say which doctoral programme you are enrolled on. It would be interesting to hear why you chose to study a PhD and why you chose Birkbeck. State the focus of your doctoral research and what you aim to prove or discover. 

2. Research Context and Relevance (3 minutes)

  • You could briefly summarise your chosen field of research including why it is of importance to you and to your field of study.
  • Field Overview: Briefly describe how your research fits into the current state of the field related to your research.
  • Gap Identification: Highlight what’s missing in the current research landscape and how your work addresses this gap. Highlight which part of your work you will be speaking about today.

3. Methodology (3 minutes)

  • Research Design: Outline your research design, including the type of research (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, etc.) in relation to your talk. You could highlight whether ethical approval was required.
  • Data Collection: Describe how you collected or will collect your data.
  • Analysis Techniques: Briefly mention the analysis techniques used/ to be used, ensuring to clarify any complex methods in a way that non-specialists will be able to understand.

4. Key Findings (3 minutes)

  • Major Results: Present the main findings of the research you are sharing. Use visuals like charts, graphs or images if they help clarify complex data.
  • Interpretation: Provide a brief interpretation of what these findings may mean for your project and/ or for the field.
  • Limitations: Quickly note any limitations of your study to anticipate potential questions.
  • If you haven’t yet reached the stage of research findings you could speak about  some of the questions you hope to answer.

5. Conclusion and Future Research (2 minutes)

  • Bring your talk to a conclusion by summarising key points covered and what further work you plan to do during your doctoral studies.
  • Summary: Recap the main points of your research and your findings.
  • Future Directions: Suggest how your research could be expanded or what future studies could explore further based on your work.

6. Q&A Session (2 minutes)

  • Thank the audience for their attention. One of the event organisers will invite questions from the audience. 
  • You may find it useful to have prepared responses for likely anticipated questions, especially regarding your methodology and your conclusions.

How to submit your proposed talk

You are invited to submit your proposed talk using this brief form

Will all talks be selected?

We intend to involve all contributors but in order to include a balanced range of talks we may need to be selective for timetabling purposes. The choice of talks will be decided on by a steering group for the conference which will include doctoral student members. This group will meet soon after the deadline for proposals so that we can confirm arrangements for speakers as soon as possible.

Call for PGR Posters:
Deadline Friday 7th June

The opportunity to present your work through a research poster, practise your communication skills, network with other doctoral researchers and to celebrate your work is available to all BAME Doctoral Researchers at Birkbeck at the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Doctoral Conference.

Your research poster should explain your research to a mixed audience of non-subject specialists and should be formatted for printing as A0 in size and in portrait orientation.

Instructions for poster submissions

Please complete this brief form about your research poster.

All poster contributors will be asked to submit their poster as a .pdf file by 7 June so that the BGRS can arrange for them to be printed.

Call for Steering Group Member:
Deadline 14 May

We are looking for a self-funded BAME student to join the Steering Group for this conference. 

The group will meet on the week of the May 14th (date TBC) to help decide on which PGR Student talks will be selected for the Conference. This is a great opportunity to be a part of the planning of the first BAME Doctoral Conference as well as helping with arrangements on the day of the event which may include introducing speakers or helping with question and answer sessions.

The group will consist of:

  • Dr William Ackah (Senior Lecturer, School of Social Sciences)
  • Tim Hoe (Graduate Research School Manager)
  • Sabrina Bowen (CHASE EDI Ambassador)
  • Diversity 100 Doctoral Researcher
  • CHASE Doctoral Researcher
  • Self-Funded Doctoral Researcher

How to express interest:

Please send the following to graduateresearchschool@bbk.ac.uk:

  • A copy of your CV
  • A brief statement outlining why you would like to join the steering group (no more than 150 words)

BGRS Poster Competition 2024

Thursday 16 May 2024

Birkbeck Graduate Research School (BGRS) invites you to enter a Postgraduate Research Student Poster Competition, which will be held on campus alongside the 3 Minute Thesis Competition on Thursday 16 May from 6pm.

This Poster Competition is open to all doctoral researchers at Birkbeck and provides an excellent opportunity for you to present your research, practice your communication skills, to network with other doctoral researchers and to celebrate your work.

Prizes

  • The winner of the first prize will receive £150 and a certificate
  • Two runners up will be awarded certificates and £75 each

Poster requirements

  • You should create a research poster that explains complex research to a mixed audience of non-subject specialists.
  • Your poster should be formatted for printing as A0 in size and in portrait orientation.

What is involved?

  • Your poster will be displayed on a poster board, with an in-person judging session during a reception after the 3 Minute Thesis Competition.
  • You will be invited to attend your poster during the judging session and so that attendees can speak with you about your research.

How to enter

Training available

For all those taking part in the competition we have organised a workshop to help you produce your poster.

Thursday 18 April, 11am-12.30pm

Regardless of whether you are planning to enter the 3 Minute Thesis Competition or enter this BGRS Poster Competition please do mark 6pm Thursday 16 May in your diaries for these exciting events.

2024 Birkbeck 3-minute Thesis competition: Join the audience on Thursday 16 May

  • The BGRS is pleased to announce the 2024 Birkbeck 3 Minute Thesis Competition, which will take place on Thursday 16 May from 6pm. Please mark this date in your diaries!
  • £500 to the overall winner
  • £250 to the runner-up

Find out more about entering the competition

If you would like to participate in this year’s competition please see this post for more information.

This is the headline BGRS event of the year

This is an event for all doctoral researchers and also for anyone interested in studying for a PhD. The event will be followed by a drinks reception.

During the reception prizes will be awarded to the 3 Minute Thesis Competition winners.

Register to join the audience

You can be part of the audience for this year’s Three Minute Thesis Competition.

Registration is now open for this event

As part of the audience you will have a vote to decide who is the People’s Choice. You can also join the Birkbeck postgraduate community in celebrating the diversity of research interests undertaken here, and raise a glass to that with a drinks reception after the winners have been announced.

Is a PhD right for me? A free online course

Sabrina Bowen, CHASE EDI Ambassador

Deciding whether to pursue a PhD is a big deal that involves carefully considering your academic and personal goals, while also weighing the challenges and benefits that come with doctoral study. The ‘Is a PhD right for me?‘ course by the Bloomsbury Learning Exchange, available on the FutureLearn platform, is a three-week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) designed to provide prospective PhD students with the insights needed to make informed decisions about applying to a PhD program.

This course is a great resource for anyone thinking about doctoral study, especially because exploring a PhD can be an overwhelming and isolating experience, considering that many peers, family members, and friends may not have undergone this type of academic journey. ‘Is a PhD right for me?’ offers a supportive community where you can actively engage in discussions with fellow course members through comments. This platform allows you to share ideas, ask questions, and connect with like-minded individuals who are navigating the same decisions as you.

Among the course’s numerous benefits, a standout feature is its in-depth coverage of essential topics. The ‘Finance and Funding’ section, for instance, breaks down the costs associated with pursuing a PhD and explores potential funding options available to cover these expenses. The course addresses questions that you might hesitate to ask potential supervisors or the university you are applying to such as what a potential supervisor is looking for in a supervisee and what daily life looks like as a PhD student. In addition, you have the opportunity to hear from current PhD students studying a range of different subjects who share their thoughts, advice and lessons learned from their own application experience. Giving you first-hand knowledge that can be difficult to get elsewhere.

What sets this course apart is its multifaceted approach. It incorporates a variety of learning materials, including videos featuring current and prospective PhD students from a range of diverse backgrounds, articles, and reflection tasks. This diverse format caters to different learning styles, ensuring that the course remains engaging and informative throughout. ‘Is a PhD right for me?’ not only equips you with practical knowledge but also provides a platform to connect with a supportive community as you navigate the significant decision of whether a PhD is the right path for you.

Bloomsbury Learning Exchange’s ‘Is a PhD right for me?’ course is an excellent resource if you are considering pursuing a PhD in the UK. It provides you with a clearer understanding of the doctoral landscape and equips you with the foundational knowledge and confidence needed to embark on the path towards a successful and fulfilling doctoral experience in the UK.

Course Timeline

Week 1

  • Introduction to the course
  • The Basics: who does a PhD, what is a PhD and why does anyone do one?
  • Practical Matters: A focus on special preparation and goals relevant to individual circumstances
  • Finance and Funding

Week 2

  • Research: your research idea, ethics and proposals
  • Supervisors: how to find and contact a potential supervisor
  • Applications: how to prepare and submit various types of applications

Week 3

  • Managing work-life balance
  • Supervisors and support: a look at the various support in place for PhD students
  • Wellbeing and mental health
  • Life after PhD

BGRS Poster Competition 2023

Thursday 25 May 2023

Birkbeck Graduate Research School (BGRS) invites you to enter a Postgraduate Research Student Poster Competition, which will be held on campus alongside the 3 Minute Thesis Competition on Thursday 25 May from 6pm.

This Poster Competition is open to all doctoral researchers at Birkbeck and provides an excellent opportunity for you to present your research, practice your communication skills, to network with other doctoral researchers and to celebrate your work.

Prizes

  • The winner of the first prize will receive £150 and a certificate
  • Two runners up will be awarded certificates and £75 each

Poster requirements

  • You should create a research poster that explains complex research to a mixed audience of non-subject specialists.
  • Your poster should be formatted for printing as A0 in size and in portrait orientation.

What is involved?

  • Your poster will be displayed on a poster board, with an in-person judging session during a reception after the 3 Minute Thesis Competition.
  • You will be invited to attend your poster during the judging session and so that attendees can speak with you about your research.

How to enter

Training available

For all those taking part in the competition we are organising a workshop to help you produce your poster.

Regardless of whether you are planning to enter the 3 Minute Thesis Competition or enter this BGRS Poster Competition please do mark 6pm Thursday 25 May in your diaries for these exciting events.

Three Minute Thesis Training sessions

The BGRS is pleased to announce the 2023 Birkbeck 3 Minute Thesis Competition, which will take place on Thursday 25 May from 6pm. Please mark this date in your diaries!

Birkbeck 3MT: Thursday 25 May 2023

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.

Training Sessions

As part of our support for the competition, a free programme of training sessions has been arranged. All potential 3MT competitors should attend these sessions. However, any or all of them are open to any doctoral researcher at Birkbeck who would like to gain skills in these areas:

What is it like to take part in 3MT?

Some of last year’s contenders have kindly shared what they gained from partaking.

Marie Houghton said that it ‘helped me to clarify exactly what I think the main message of my PhD is’ and that she ‘would definitely recommend taking part in the 3MT to any other PhD students.’

Hannah Reeves also said that the competition allowed her to ‘think about what matters most about my research – what do I care about, what do the community I’m working with care about, and what will this audience care about.’ She also described herself as nervous about the experience of being on stage but ‘the training helped to develop a mutually supportive atmosphere.’

Doyin Olorunfemi described how ‘the exercise of delivering a concise speech gives you clarity of mind as a researcher and clarifies your contribution.’ She would ‘highly recommend the competition.’

2022 Birkbeck 3 Minute Thesis Competition: Join the Audience on 16 June

Registration now open for this event

You can be part of the audience for this year’s Three Minute Thesis Competition. On Thursday 16 June, an expert panel of judges will decide which Birkbeck student has presented the most compelling, convincing, and concise summary of their thesis. There’s a lot at stake: not only the prestige of winning and the confidence that goes with it, but also –

  • £500 to the overall winner
  • £250 to the runner-up

As part of the audience you will have a vote to decide who is the People’s Choice. You can also join the Birkbeck postgraduate community in celebrating the diversity of research interests undertaken here, and raise a glass to that with a drinks reception after the winners have been announced.

Register now to be part of the audience.

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.

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).

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.