Birkbeck 3MT Winner Gabriella McGrogan talks about the 2019 competition

Gabriella McGrogan (Department of Criminology) was overall winner of the 2019 Birkbeck 3MT competition for her entry, “Against our Community Standards’- “Outsider” Witnessing of Atrocity and Social Media Censorship”.

Birkbeck doctoral researcher Gabriella McGrogan tells us about taking part in the 2019 Birkbeck 3 Minute Thesis Competition

Trying to figure out how to condense something you’ve been passionately thinking about and shaping over many months, into around the same amount of time you spend brushing your teeth before bed, seems beyond tricky. My supervisor suggested that the Three Minute Thesis competition would be a great opportunity to refine the key points of my project and give me a handy synopsis to roll out at conferences, meetings and in the pub. This seemed worthwhile, if only to avoid the baffled looks my poor friends give me when I’m trying to explain what I do now.

Developing skills

Having worked as a TA in secondary schools in London and Paris, I thought I might have had an advantage in the public speaking stakes. What could be more terrifying than getting 35 teenagers to first, be quiet, and second, listen to you? As it transpires, academic conferences are. Put on by famous institutions and renowned journals, full of ‘grown-up’ academics who have earned themselves the blue tick on Twitter, my first attempt earlier this year was nerve-wracking. The competition was such a brilliant opportunity to develop skills and alleviate imposter syndrome!

Speakers and members of the audience at the 3MT reception
Communicating research

Almost exactly three years ago, I submitted an application to study for Birkbeck’s MSc in Global Criminology. Up until then, I had completed two degrees in Literary and Cultural Studies, but realised that I wanted a change. It’s an understatement to say that the existence of Birkbeck has changed my life for the better. I think the competition, and ensuring my research is accessible and comprehensible to as many people as possible, is a great way to embrace and celebrate the ethos of the college. My research will benefit hugely from the interaction and input of those outside of my discipline and academia in general. Most importantly, I got to engage with students from other departments and learned some fascinating things from their presentations!

I’d strongly encourage any students considering taking part in future to do so. The tips I gained from the training alone were well worth the time spent and I’ve definitely noticed I can explain my project with ease in the aftermath!

Speakers and members of the audience at the 3MT reception

You can read more about the 2019 Birkbeck 3MT Competition here.

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.

This Issue:

  • Opportunities – First Mondays: Networking for Entrepreneurs
  • Book now! May courses available
  • June courses

OPPORTUNITIES

First Mondays: Networking for Entrepreneurs
3 June 2019

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: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/enterprise/events/2019/jun/first-mondays-networking-entrepreneurs-june

Places Still Available in May!

8 May 2019: Public Engagement: Developing Your Own Activity KCL
This half-day workshop will allow you to share your public engagement ideas and work with other participants to critique and improve them. Focus will be on the practicalities of public engagement.

8 May 2019: Format your Thesis UCL
Bring your own laptop or Mac to this hands-on session and learn the essential skills to format and edit your content in Word.

9 May 2019: Organising Successful Academic Events SAS
This session runs through the key areas of organising a successful academic event. We will discuss the different event types, public engagement, impact, timing, venues, audiences, speakers and finance.

15 May 2019: Ethical issues: The use of deception in research LSE *NEW*
Deception is a common feature of some social science research approaches yet absent or even forbidden by professional norms in other closely related social sciences. What is deception?

16 May 2019: Translation and Interpreting – IMLR Graduate Forum SAS
Forum members meet once a month during term-time to share and discuss their work in an informal setting, and invites students to present their research and host film screenings, reading groups and workshops.

16 May 2019: Manage Your PhD Research Data (Data series: 2 of 3) LSE *NEW*
In this practical workshop the LSE Research Data Librarian will give you essential tips for collecting and organising your PhD data so you can locate what you need with ease.

18 May 2019: IMLR Saturday Research Training Workshop: Researching Multilingually. Possibilities and Complexities SAS
The workshop aims to support developing researcher awareness with regard to practices of researching multilingually and in this way, work towards a more clearly articulated ‘researching multilingually’ methodology.

20 May 2019: Cross Purposes: Networking with ease UCL
The workshop is designed to be an event that leads a group though ideas, models and conversations resulting in a greater sense of rapport within a group.

28 May 2019: Specific Heat Capacity – Voice training UCL
Specific Heat Capacity is a three-hour voice workshop based on theatrical as well as practical experience, and aimed towards anyone wishing to develop their vocal ability.

30 May 2019: The PhD Viva in the Humanities and Social Sciences SAS
This session will look at a range of practical matters including choosing examiners, and the roles and strategies of the student, the examiners and the supervisor.

June courses

3 Jun 2019: Scientific classification and scientific realism – Key Concepts in Science and Technology Studies UCL
In this session we will take a look at an important and ongoing debate in contemporary philosophy of science: are we justified in accepting the most secure findings of scientists “at face value”?

3 Jun 2019: Publishing and Archiving Research Data (Data series: 3 of 3) LSE
This workshop will give an introduction to the current and quickly developing data publishing and archiving landscape and why it matters to researchers (including funder requirements).

3 Jun 2019: IMLR Saturday Research Training Workshop: Before, during and after the PhD SAS
This session covers publishing in the modern languages; the PhD viva, before, during and after; organising a conference and giving a conference paper; applying for an academic job, writing CVs, interviews.

12 Jun 2019: Critical Thinking and the Researcher: An Exploration UCL
Critical thinking is one of the higher abilities looked for in the research degree candidate. The greater understanding and application of critical thinking, the better the researcher.

13 Jun 2019: Your PhDilemmas: One-to-One Sessions for Research Students UCL
You are the manager of your PhD. If you want to explore ways of re-gaining control, come along and chat to Dr Louise Baron on a private and confidential one-to-one basis.

New student-led PhD network established

Connect with other Birkbeck PhD students

PhD research is often seen as a solitary activity, with long hours spent at the library and only occasional opportunities to get together with colleagues. However, making connections with fellow researchers and building a professional network is essential for identifying opportunities for collaborations, for future career prospects and even just for brainstorming and bouncing ideas off each other.

To facilitate this process, we would like to invite you to join our new PhD network. We are planning to organise regular social events and discussion groups to provide an opportunity for PhD students to meet, get to know each other better and to talk about our research in an informal setting. We know how important it is to have a relaxed and safe environment for discussion as opposed to high-pressure events such as conferences and competitions.

We are also exploring opportunities for organising small peer review groups by subject area where students can volunteer to critique each other’s work, as well as more a more informal and relaxed version of the Three Minute Thesis. As our network grows, we could also set up our own qualitative and quantitative research support groups and invite early career researchers to give talks.

Contact us and join

We would love to hear about your ideas and what you would like to see and take part in. Drop us an email at su-PhD-network@bbk.ac.uk and don’t forget to sign up!

With warm regards,

Your fellow PhD students (Meg Kiseleva, Alex Leggett and Dalila Villella)