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

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.

In this issue:
  • What’s New? Artificial Intelligence and First Mondays
  • Book Now! Courses Available
  • Did you know? Open Access Week
What’s new?

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Artificial Intelligence and Automation – Implications for researchers in the social sciences

11th October at King’s College London, Strand Campus (free to attend and open to all)

There is little doubt that artificial intelligence and automation pose major economic, political and societal implications. Join us for an interdisciplinary workshop featuring six presentations by researchers from a diverse range of backgrounds who will share their thoughts and findings on what these disruptive forces mean for democracy, political preferences, ethics, healthcare, public attitudes and social justice.

For more information click here

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First Mondays: Networking for Entrepreneurs

5 November 2018
UCL BaseKX, 103c Camley Street, London, N1C 4PF

Everyone is welcome at our monthly networking evenings. Be inspired by successful entrepreneurs and form lasting connections with peers that could help you start or grow your business.

Visit UCL Innovation & Enterprise for more information

Book now! Courses with places still available

9 Oct 2018: PhD Academic Career Planning – UCL Careers Workshops
By attending this workshop you will gain an overview of the process of academic career progression and develop an awareness of the personal qualities, experience and achievements needed to be successful.

9 Oct 2018: Facilitation: how to get the most out of your PPI activities
In this module, attendees will become familiar with skills and techniques that will help them involve patients and the public in their research in a meaningful way. These skills can be applied to any field of research.

9 Oct 2018: How to complete the PPI section of a grant form
This modules aims to give you the tools and knowledge to complete the PPI section of application forms to increase the likelihood of a successful applications. These skills can be applied to any field of research.

10 Oct 2018: Assessing student understanding with PollEverywhere
To provide digital options for tutors to assess the formative understanding of students following the transfer of information.

10 Oct 2018: A Beginner’s Guide to Negotiating – Careers researcher skills (employer-led)
The session will include and / highlight introductions to some important concepts in negotiation as well as conflict styles and why they matter.

11 Oct 2018: Data Protection and Research Data
This modules aims to give you the tools and knowledge to complete the PPI section of application forms to increase the likelihood of a successful applications. These skills can be applied to any field of research.

11 Oct 2018: Insight into Quant Finance, Banking forum with Barclays, Citi and more
Have you ever wondered about the Quantitative (Quant), Finance and Banking industry? If the answer is yes, then come along to this panel session where we will be quizzing a number of PhD holders who work in this industry.

12 Oct 2018: How to find patient partners, and keep them involved
This module is focused on finding patients/members of the public to involve in your research, and how to keep them engaged.

18 Oct 2018: IMLR Graduate Forum
This forum is run by and for graduate students from the Colleges and Institutes in and around London, working on any cultural aspect of those parts of the world where Germanic or Romance languages are spoken.

18 Oct 2018: Assessing student understanding with Moodle quiz or Microsoft Forms
This course will cover finding the Moodle Quiz creator inside Moodle creating simple surface level learning formative quizzes with instant feedback and developing Question banks.

20 Oct 2018: Research Projects in Modern Languages
An introduction to MOOCs, training guides, and resources online that can be useful for researchers. This session also looks at offerings from SAS and IMLR on the PORT website.

25 Oct 2018: Introduction to Public Engagement
his session will provide an overview of some of the pathways through which you can start to take part in public engagement activity, and the benefits that can be derived from doing so.

30 Oct 2018: Photography Workshop
This workshop will look at all aspects of a reportage-style photo shoot: making the most of shooting real people in real life scenarios.

1 Nov 2018: Using Social Media
We will discuss the benefits as well as the challenges of using social media when developing a professional online profile and communicating research as a PhD student.

5 Nov 2018: Writing Applications for Funding
Improve your knowledge and understanding of how to write a grant application, and maximise chances of obtaining research project funding.

This Bulletin provides course updates for all members of the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network.

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.

City Maps

Various dates and venues October 2018 – July 2019, please check the website for details

City Maps is a series of workshops encouraging doctoral students to explore, discuss and experiment with different ways of conceptualising and studying cities in the arts and humanities. The main learning outcome is to equip participants with knowledge, tools and approaches for expanding their horizons and engaging the urban as an object of study in their own research.

In ordinary conversation, we often take cities for granted as distinct and identifiable places. But when the city becomes an object of study, it quickly becomes elusive, layered, interconnected and potentially boundless. A city can be a built environment of myriad structures and infrastructures, its people and their differences, a series of representations or aesthetic impressions, an object of politics or public address, a node for global flows, and many other things besides. Often going hand-in-hand with these disparate aspects of the city are specific disciplinary preferences and domains.

Doctoral students taking workshops within this series will be inspired to rise above narrowly disciplinary or highly attenuated orientations to the city. Each session will approach the urban as an inherently trans-, inter- and pluri-disciplinary object, bringing together CHASE expertise and an invited workshop leader, who will collaborate and develop a format appropriate to the workshop’s focus. This might include site-specific presentations, cases studies, reading discussions, screenings, and hands-on workshops.

The series will comprise five workshops moving from specific urban research cases to how students might situate themselves and seek publication in what has been termed urban cultural studies.

Screen Studies Group: Screen and Film Research Methods Today

Saturday 17 November | Safra Lecture Theatre, Ground Floor, Strand Campus, King’s College London

Screen and Film Research Methods Today relaunches the Screen Studies Group annual postgraduate training day. The day has two major goals. The first is to bring together all new film and screen studies doctoral students in London and the environs. It will enable network building around shared specialisms beyond your home department. Second, it will provide foundational training in methods that are relatively new to this field and which home institutions often cannot provide.

This is a one-day session presenting research methods for all new and returning doctoral students. We will address a variety of topics that now concern Screen and Film Studies such as online research, dating mining, social media; live television; installation work; music videos, gaming, AvPhDs, production cultures, media industries, creative practice, and live cinema. The day will include a panel on archives now available for under researched or previously excluded cinemas and communities.

Structure in Creative Writing

Various dates cross London and UEA venues, please check the website for schedule

A series of eight seminars by leading academics, poets, prose writers, script writers and script doctors on structure, narrative and plot in creative work. These seminars will be craft-focused and designed to help writers to plot their work and refine its structure. Prescribed texts are available to download below. The seminar leader will guide us through those texts at the seminar. You will be expected to have read the texts in advance and the seminar will be considerably more helpful if you have.
These will be hosted in London and Norwich and are scheduled at 5–7pm on the Wednesdays specified below.

Objects in Space, Subjects in Time: The Material Cultures of Postcolonial History

Various dates and venues across London please check the website for details

Please note the sessions cannot be attended individually and are part of a complete series.

A series of six workshops across the year which explore global, transnational and postcolonial pasts by engaging with material collections and texts or objects in museums and exhibition spaces across London. The journeys of objects or the changing shape and use of spaces can offer a powerful means of unpicking, understanding and then conveying meaningfully and compellingly to a range of audiences the processes and legacies of empires. Encountering the objects and spaces proposed in these workshops emphasizes not only the intellectual perspectives of post-colonial theory upon the past, but also brings to light in the most concrete terms those shadows of empire in the present that post-colonial theory was developed to expose and challenge.

These workshops will include one international conference, four object-based sessions making use of London’s unparalleled collections, and two sessions dedicated to the processes of translating research into different arenas. You will have the chance to examine a range of material and objects in dedicated study sessions with curators and experts, and over the course of the series, you will produce a video, blogpost or other public-facing reflection, drawing on your own research and the materials in these workshops. You will receive training from the Derek Jarman Lab, Birkbeck’s media department, on how to produce an effective media project and have the opportunity to contribute to a podcast with a top broadcaster, as well as present your ideas on the sessions to a non-academic audience.

Health and Safety Training Available for Research Projects

These courses require a password to sign up. See end of post for details.

Risk Assessment using Sevron

Thursday August 30th. 10.00 – 13.00 A half-day course on general health and safety risk assessment with an introduction to the Sevron online risk assessment system. Book here

COSHH Risk Assessment using Sevron

This course is for people needing to assess the risks of the use of hazardous substances under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH). The course introduces the Sevron online risk assessment system and its use for COSHH assessments. There are several opportunities to undertake this training.

Wednesday September 12 morning session 10.00 – 13.00.

Wednesday September 12 afternoon session 14.00 – 17.00.

Thursday September 20 morning session 10.00 – 13.00.

Thursday September afternoon session 27 14.00 – 17.00.

Level 2 Award in Fire Safety

A one-day course for persons with special responsibilities for fire safety such as fire wardens. Wednesday September 19. 9.30 – 17.00. Book here.

Level 2 Award in Health and Safety at Work

A one-day course for persons with special responsibilities for general health and safety such as Departmental Safety Coordinators. September 25. 9.30 – 17.00. Book here.

Level 2 Award in Manual Handling

A one-day course for staff undertaking manual handling tasks as a regular part of their work. Monday 10 September 09.30 – 17.00. Book here.

 

These courses require a password to sign up. Follow the links and enter “BBK” at the Eventbrite page.

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

Careers and professional development training

The following CHASE Career and Professional development training opportunities are available to all Arts and Humanities PhD students at Birkbeck (regardless of whether you are funded by the AHRC/ CHASE).

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

 

From Field to Page: Core Skills in the Medical Humanities

Thursday 5 July & Thursday 8 November

Birkbeck, University of London


From Field to Page is two training days, which map the core skills required of medical humanities doctoral research and support doctoral researchers as they undertake their projects.

 

Medical humanities continues to emerge as a live and transforming field of enquiry.  The core work of this field seeks to explore and critique biomedical science and its histories through the various critical frameworks of the humanities disciplines.  Medical humanities research presents scholars with the particular challenges of transdisciplinary research undertaken across the radically different domains of medicine and the humanities’ academic disciplines.  Across the CHASE institutions there is a diverse cohort of medical humanities doctoral researchers that incorporates students from both clinical and non-clinical, humanities backgrounds. As such the cohort represents a broad range of skills-sets, work, academic and training experiences, and previous exposure to the critical methods central to the humanities disciplines. Clinicians come into the field of research with substantial situated knowledge of the real-life settings and practices of medicine and surgery but often with the need to acquire, through training the requisite skills of critical thinking and writing.

Conversely, non-clinicians and humanities’ scholars are much better versed in critical practice and inquiry, but lack the grounded, lived experience of clinical practice. The range of research projects undertaken in the field is markedly diverse, ranging from practice-led (examining the nature of clinical practice), to practice-based (using clinical practice as research), to purely analytic (discursive analysis) modes of inquiry but all undertake to situate medicine, disease, patient experience, clinical practice and medical education within socio-cultural and/or historical contexts in such a way that critical analysis and discursive understandings may be produced. The aims of medical humanities theses may, or may not, have the avowed intention of contributing to the practical fields of clinical practice, delivery of healthcare or medical education. All medical humanities theses must adhere to the core methodologies and practices of the humanities disciplines and this means that critical thinking and writing skills are key requirements of the medical humanities doctorate.

Find out more and register here

 

Getting Ready for Submission: Editing, Strengthening & Polishing Your Thesis

3-5 August | Cumberland Lodge, Windsor
Accommodation and dinner is provided on Friday evening, but the workshop starts at 10am on Saturday. Attendees are welcome to arrive from 6pm on Friday.

 

Are you close to a full draft of your thesis? Does it resemble a baggy monster that needs taming? If so, this two-day residential workshop is for you. Through activities and tutorials, you’ll learn techniques for getting your thesis into shape. By the end of the weekend, you’ll have a perfectly polished chapter and a clear strategy for tackling the rest of your thesis.

 

Find out more and register

The Viva and Beyond: Planning, Preparation & Performance


5-7 October | Cumberland Lodge, Windsor
Accommodation and dinner is provided on Friday evening, but the workshop starts at 10am on Saturday. Attendees are welcome to arrive from 6pm on Friday.

Have you submitted your thesis, or are you close to completion? This two-day workshop is designed to guide you through the process of preparing for your viva and to help you plan what happens post-PhD.

Through activities, discussion, and short training sessions on Day One, you’ll learn lots of techniques for successfully defending your thesis. We’ll also stage some mock vivas to get you used to the format in a supportive environment.

Day Two is all about what happens next. We’ll explore the jobs market and use some strategies for working out what career you’d like to pursue. The final session is dedicated to turning your thesis into a publication. We’ll look at the options, what’s involved, and also draft a book proposal.

 

Find out more and register

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]

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.