New highlighted CHASE training opportunities for Arts and Humanities students at Birkbeck

Scholarly Editing Unpacked

17 November 2017, 10.30-18.30, followed by drinks reception

Keynes room (114) Birkbeck, University of London

While most of us acknowledge that scholarly editing underpins a wide range of our literary research many of us know very little about its processes. Editing can seem arcane, and something that happens only in specialist domains. The environments in which editing takes place, however, are quickly changing. Digital innovation is transforming text and object, making questions of textual manipulation and presentation newly urgent.

This day-long workshop brings together leading scholars to explore why editing matters and to exchange and develop practical advice and experience. It will challenge preconceptions of the relative unimportance or invisibility of scholarly editorial skills, and will equip its delegates with nomenclature and a roadmap for navigating the field.

Whether you are embarking on an editorial project, harbouring thoughts of doing so in the future, or are simply keen to know more – and to know more accurately – about the literary objects you study this workshop will be of value and use.

Bursaries are available for students at CHASE institutions.

Read the full programme here

On the Social in Architecture

24 November, 9 March & 21 June

ICA, London

These three CHASE training days, co-organised by the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the ASSC (Architecture, Space and Society Centre, Birkbeck) will collaboratively consider a question fundamental to PhD students in architecture and other disciplines, particularly in relation to public institutions, social housing, and resettlement: ‘What is the social in architecture?’

Each training day will be comprised of a participatory training/skills session and a more public presentation of exemplary work in this area. Students will be expected to take on active roles in chairing discussions, acting as discussants, recording events, conducting and transcribing interviews, writing posts for the ICA/CHASE blogs, and thinking about the ethical, political and social structures in which their own research is situated.

Besides architecture and urban planning, the sessions will touch upon themes of ethics and equality, cultural geography, environmental psychology and performativity, community practice and documentary film or photography.

The aim is for these sessions to be generative events, shaping new ways of working together and involving different perspectives and stakeholders in the nature of the public institution/space.

Read full programme here

No Trespassing: The Risks and Rewards of Interdisciplinary Research

On Saturday 4 November there is an opportunity to take part in this workshop exploring the risks and rewards of interdisciplinary research.

The workshop will bring together postgraduate research students: to get practical advice on the importance of interdisciplinarity for some categories of research funding; to discuss their research in relation to different disciplines; and to have an opportunity to build new intellectual networks with postgraduate researchers from across the College.

This half-day workshop will primarily be taught by colleagues from across the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy (SSHP), thus bringing together a range of disciplinary expertise and perspectives. Sessions will focus on:

  • how scholars working in different intellectual traditions formulate research questions
  • the importance of interdisciplinarity for research funding
  • and the challenges of collaborating across disciplines.

The workshop is primarily targeted at postgraduate researchers in SSHP and other Schools within the College.

Register to attend

You can register to attend here.

Welcome from the BGRS Director

As Director of the Birkbeck Graduate Research School (BGRS), I would like to welcome all new and returning doctoral students at the start of this academic year.

Birkbeck is a leading research intensive university and there are currently more than 800 registered research students, spanning disciplines from the biological sciences to the performing arts.

Led by the BGRS Manager, Tim Hoe, and his team, the BGRS is a key resource providing support and information on training needs, funding, the upgrade and examination process, careers and much else besides.

We are also keen for the BGRS to become the focal point for the postgraduate research community at Birkbeck with social and academic events and we have recently asked the departmental PGR representatives to act as a steering group in order to develop the BGRS further. If you have ideas or questions do not hesitate to contact us.

A reminder that new MPhil/PhD students are invited to attend our BGRS induction session on Thursday 19 October.

I hope that 2017-18 will be a productive and enjoyable year for your research.

Professor Julian Swann, F.R.Hist.Soc.
Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques
Pro-Vice Master Research
Director Birkbeck Graduate Research School
Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
Birkbeck College

BGRS induction for new MPhil/ PhD students

19.00, Thursday 19 October

The Birkbeck Graduate Research School (BGRS) is holding an induction and welcome session for all new MPhil/PhD researchers on Thursday 19 October at 19.00 in the Clore Lecture Theatre (B01), Clore Management Centre. The session will begin with a welcome from Professor Julian Swann (Director of the BGRS and Pro-Vice Master Research) followed by a series of brief presentations and a drinks reception.

19:00 Welcome and introduction 
Julian Swann (Director of the BGRS and Pro-Vice Master Research)

19:05 An overview of the BGRS
Tim Hoe (BGRS Manager)

19:10 Birkbeck Institute for Social Research (BISR), one of Birkbeck’s Research Centres
Esther Leslie (BIH Co-Director) and Felicity Callard (BISR Director)

19:15 Student Services and Research Students
Alex Jones (Careers & Employability Consultant, representing Student Services)

19:20 Careers and Employability resources for Research Students
Alex Jones (Careers & Employability Consultant)

19:25 BBK Talent and Research Students
Emmeline Shadrach (Recruitment Manager)

19:30 Library Research Support 
Emma Illingworth (Subject Librarian)

19:35 Research integrity/ ethics
Sarah Lee (Head of Research Strategy Support)

Afterwards there will be a drinks reception and the chance for attendees to meet with other new research students, with the BGRS team and with PGR Student Reps.

Attendees are asked to register on this BGRS Eventbrite page.

Shut up and Write

About these writing events

Beginning in July 2017 the BGRS has organised a series of ‘Shut Up and Write’ events for PhD students at Birkbeck. The structure of each session is based on the Pomodoro Technique with focused 25 minute periods of writing followed by 5 minute breaks where tea and coffee was available. During the writing sessions students worked in silence while in the company of other attendees and were invited to switch off their phones and avoid any temptation to do anything except for writing.

At each session one attendee agreed to keep track of the time and announce the start and end of each part of the schedule – many thanks to students who volunteered to do this.

Feedback and responses

As of January 2018 over 270 research students have registered to attend Shut Up and Write sessions since they began in August 2017.  Sessions have taken place in mornings, afternoons and evenings. For some attendees this was the first time they had worked in this way and feedback has been very positive.

‘At the start of the session I was concerned that 25 minute segments would be unsettling but I wrote 1,600 words by the end!’

‘I have found the evening sessions extremely useful as a part-time student. It is often difficult to get into the right mindset to study after a day at work but having an academic working space and some structure makes it possible for me to be productive.’

‘This was a fantastic session. It was really useful to be in a room with other students who were in the same place/frame of mind as myself.’

‘The session was a really simple but a most effective idea.’

‘Really useful and very productive in terms of the amount I was able to write compared to working alone.’

Attending these events also provides the opportunity to meet with other research students from across Birkbeck and each session began with a 15 minute period for students to set up and introduce themselves to other attendees, with tea/ coffee.

Future sessions

All those who provided feedback said that they would like to attend future sessions and the BGRS will arrange dates for further Shut Up and Write sessions throughout the forthcoming 2017/18 academic year.

  • Please check the BGRS webpages for information about future events.

2016/17 ‘Three Minute Thesis’ competition

Videos and a summary of the presentations

Videos from Birkbeck’s first 3 Minute Thesis competition, which took place on 28 June, are available along with a summary of this successful event.

The speakers for 2016/17

Participants

  • Morwenna Blewett (Department of History, Classics and Archaeology)
    Cultural Conservation under the Nazi regime
  • Alex Cook (Department of Biological Sciences)
    Molecular Machines and Malaria
  • Richard Evans (Department of Management)
    Finance, behaviour and sports
  • Dorota Gaskins (Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication)
    Learning two languages from birth
  • Pablo Olvera Mateos (Department of Philosophy)
    The aesthetic state of mind
  • Mark Panton (Department of Management)
    Stadium-led regeneration
  • John Siblon (Department of History, Classics and Archaeology)
    The Colour of Memory; Commemoration of African and Caribbean Servicemen from WWI
  • Cynthia Umezulike (School of Law)
    ‘Meaning-Centred’ Anorexic Body Rights

The winning presentations

John Siblon won a first prize of £500. Dorota Gaskins was the runner up and the audience chose Cynthia Umezulike as the people’s choice winner.