The next deadline for Birkbeck Wellcome Trust ISSF applications is 31 October.
Opportunities for Birkbeck PhD students could include the following:
If you are a PhD researcher completing your thesis can apply for funding to enable you to complete publications or develop public engagement or dissemination activities. The funding covers salary costs up to six months beyond the end of your formal period of study (on the starting point of the Researcher 1 pay scale).
If you are a current PhD researcher you can apply for funding of up to £5,000 to carry out public engagement or interdisciplinary activities for a period of up to three months. Please note: this period will represent a formal break in your studies, if your PhD funder allows it.
For further information about the ISSF awards and for details of how to apply please view the ISSF website.
The London NERC DTP is a partnership of nine world-leading research organisations across London. The partnership, which includes Birkbeck, is focused on excellence in environmental science research training and delivery of a transformative inter-disciplinary experience for PhD students.
How would you describe your role within this London NERC DTP?
What are the advantages for Birkbeck PhD students taking part in the London NERC DTP?
Unlike most other DTP’s for the first six months students receive core interdisciplinary training as a cohort covering the full spectrum of environmental science. This engenders a strong sense of community and support. Training is given at each of the partner institutions including the Natural History Museum, Kew, UCL, Kings, Queen Mary and the Institute of Zoology. Part of the training requires the student cohort to organise and lead a field trip to California and an annual conference with the DTP’s at Imperial College and Reading University to showcase student work.
How is the programme structured?
In the Autumn term of year 1 students undertake core multi-disciplinary skills training, then in the Spring term they continue with core training and PhD project development. As part of their training students have taken part in a 10-day California Field Training Course. Within the Summer Term students relocate to the institution where they will be carrying out their PhD research.
Alongside PhD supervision bespoke training courses are provided to develop specific skills. During their second year students are considered for upgrade from MPhil to full PhD status.
Students continue research as well as preparing their thesis for submission and viva in year 4.
What kinds of resources and facilities are available to students who are offered a place on the programme?
Aside from training, each student is allocated a research grant of between £6,000 to £8,000 to cover any expenses associated with their project.
How are PhD students supported during their postgraduate research and in preparing for their careers after the PhD?
Students are able to access a range of training and networking workshops, events and internships: to develop business and entrepreneurial skills, engage with industrial, commercial and policy end-users; and to develop specific skills in collecting, interpreting and commodifying environmental data. These opportunities include “Innovation Week’ a 5-day integrated programme of lectures and workshops at the Siemen’s Crystal building at the Royal Victoria Docks in East London, covering topics at the interface between environmental science, business, and science policy.
What background and experience would successful students be able to demonstrate?/ What do students need to do to apply?
Applicants must meet UK residency criteria and language requirements. Applicants are expected to have a 2:1 or higher in a relevant degree, or equivalent work experience.
How can students find out about potential London NERC DTP projects and supervisors at Birkbeck?
Potential applicants should visit the London NERC DTP website for further information about the programme and about how to apply. Applications for London NERC DTP studentships beginning in Autumn 2018 are expected to open in November 2017 with a deadline for applications expected to be in early January 2018. Potential student projects at Birkbeck will be made available on the Earth and Planetary Sciences website in November 2017 once applications for studentships open.
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.
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
The Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication is offering PhD students the chance to participate in a Language Teaching in Higher Education Training Course. Funding was awarded following a successful BGRS Generic Skills training application.
The aim of this course is to provide PhD students with a foundation and training for foreign language teaching at university. The first part of the course will cover the foundations of language teaching and will combine mini lectures, discussions, reflection activities, microteaching practice and presentations. Students will be required to complete readings and other tasks. The second part of the course will provide an introduction to teaching English for Academic Purposes, and will include workshops, lesson observations and, for a limited number of students, an opportunity for teaching practice on courses under the guidance of a mentor.
Who is this course for?
The course is primarily aimed at PhD students in linguistics and language- and education-related subjects, but is open to all research students studying at Birkbeck. Research students in linguistics and language- and education-related subjects from other universities in the Bloomsbury area are also eligible to apply. No prior teaching experience is required. This course is open to all postgraduate researchers but recommended for those in their 2nd year or later.
The course will be led by Dr Tom Morton, an expert on foreign language teaching methodology and an experienced teacher trainer, and Melanie Ferreira, a specialist for English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and an experienced EAP teacher.
Format and requirements
The course will take place between 10.00 – 17.00 on the following dates. Students who are offered a place are expected to attend all sessions: 25 November, 16 December, 13 January and 27 January.
Lesson observations and teaching practice will be held in February and March (timetable to be confirmed).
Maximum number of participants: 20 students. If there are more applications, priority will be given to students who can take part in all training sessions.
Places on the teaching practice part of the programme will be limited, depending on availability of classes.
The following CHASE training opportunities are now open to all Arts and Humanities students at Birkbeck.
From 6 October | Goldsmiths, University of London
Running over the course of three years, this series of events will offer specific training in artistic and creative research in the areas of Fine Art, Art-Writing, Performance and Poetry. A requirement of research, generally speaking, is that it ‘form a distinct contribution to knowledge’. Within artistic and creative research, specifically, this is coupled with a further requirement to develop the very form whereby such a contribution can be made. In this respect, artistic and creative research complicates the basic criterion for academic research – by extension, raising philosophical questions around knowledge and judgement – through a specific emphasis on communicability.
Women of Colour Index (WOCI) Reading Group – Intercultural and Intersectional Skills Training for Practice Research in the Arts
Beginning Wednesday 1 November
Women’s Art Library, Goldsmiths, University of London
A series of five sessions that aims to create a forum for responding to the legacy of women artists of colour, to improve the visibility of these artists, and also to create a self-reflexive space for researchers to acknowledge their own relationships to race, class, gender and sexuality and through critical frameworks, which is key to our research strategy. Find out more and register
Object Literacy – Research through Epigraphy and Inscriptions in Chinese Art History
3 Workshops: 18 December and 2 further dates in March and mid May 2018
SOAS, University of London and Victoria & Albert Museum
The aim of this training is to build the capacity of participants to employ inscriptions on objects of art and material culture as historical evidence, through a rich introduction to epigraphy—specifically, to the historical framework for the addition, positioning and textual content of inscriptions as well as appraisal of the significance of stylistic references and graphic modes employed. Find out more and register
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.
The Birkbeck Graduate Research School (BGRS) aims to highlight the activities and successes of our research student community. We are pleased to announce a £300 book voucher prize which will be awarded to a Birkbeck PhD student able to demonstrate the most notable contribution to their field while undertaking their postgraduate research in 2016/17. Examples or successes or activities might include:
A publication with a highly ranked publisher (or which has resulted in a high level of citations if this is appropriate to your discipline)
An invitation to speak at a conference
A conference, workshop or event that you have played a key role in organising
Any other notable successes or awards.
The competition is open to all current part time and full time PhD students at Birkbeck.
Friday 24 November | October Gallery, Central London (map)
Research is very often an intercultural encounter. For students and scholars of Arts and Humanities subjects, researching interculturally requires a critical and creative understanding of the contested concept of culture, the ‘inter-’ aspects of cultural encounters and researchers’ own positions. This workshop will focus on the core conceptual and methodological issues of researching interculturally and is designed to create a space for thinking through and about interculturality both critically and creatively.
The workshop consists of four parts:
Thinking interculturally through art;
A conversation with a panel of speakers from a range of fields such as sociology, art education, applied linguistics, language and intercultural studies and literature and culture;
Discussion and summary.
The workshop is coordinated by
Professor Zhu Hua (Birkbeck, University of London)
Dr Bojana Petric (Birkbeck, University of London)
Dr Alessia Cogo (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Professor Maria Roth-Lauret (University of Sussex).
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.
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.