Posts By / nstewart

Famous faces star in your researcher development…

PGRs have a huge range of videos and e-learning courses from Video Arts, designed to help you develop a wide range of professional skills.

They feature famous actors (like Blake Harrison, Helen Baxendale, Robert Webb and Sally Phillips) and are entertaining and humorous; making it easier to remember and practise what you’ve learned.

All videos and e-learning is accessible via the Researcher Development Programme on Brightspace.

Postgraduate Researcher Development Steering Group – Call for Members (Academic, PGRs and ECR)

Last month, approval was provided by the University’s Research Degree Committee for a brand new Postgraduate Researcher Development Steering Group to provide direction to postgraduate researcher development at BU, and I am recruiting members.

There will be 2 meetings per academic year and ad-hoc if required. Some of the main responsibilities include:

  • Develop and enhance the strategic direction, nature, quality, development and delivery of the University’s provision of researcher development for postgraduate research students (PGRs) which reflect the needs of all PGRs.
  • Guide centrally and faculty provided researcher development provisions promoting complimentary support of both increasing the personalisation of support for PGRs.
  • Evaluate University-wide PGR researcher development provisions, to ensure all programme content is maintained at a high standard and aligns with the university strategic priorities under BU2025.
  • Promote the benefits of facilitation of researcher development to staff and the benefits of engaging with researcher development to PGRs.
  • Enhance the overall PGR student experience at BU.

See the full Terms of Reference for details on the Steering Group if you are interested in becoming a member.

Please submit your Expression of Interest, including a half-page as to why you are interested, the knowledge, skills and experience you can bring to the group, via email to Natalie at pgrskillsdevelopment@bournemouth.ac.uk by midday, Friday 1 November.

Membership available:
PGR Student Champion: 1 per Faculty (open to all PGRs)
Academic Champion: 1 per Faculty (ideally an active PGR supervisor)
Early Career Researcher: 1 representative

Expressions of Interest will be assessed by the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Steering Group, we look forward to receiving them.

 

The 11th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference

Abstracts for The 11th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference are coming in, with some fantastic applications already received!
With the option to present at the live research exhibition, oral or poster presentation or BRAND NEW rapid research there are plenty of opportunities.
 
Send in your abstract to pgconference@bournemouth.ac.uk to showcase your research with your peers and wider BU community.
 
How to apply guidance and the application form can also be found on the conference webpage.
 
Closing date – Monday 4 November.

Re-Orientation Events for PGRs

These re-orientation events are your opportunity to receive Faculty and Doctoral College updates for the forthcoming academic year. You’ll also hear about the updates to the 2019-20 Researcher Development Programme and a reminder of support services available to you throughout BU. You’ll be asked to consider research ethics during and towards the end of your research degree and there will be a bite-size effective researcher session appropriate to each re-orientation stage.

Pre-Major Review Re-Orientation

Tuesday 8 October – 9.30 – 1pm – Lansdowne

This re-orientation will also include a preparation session for the Major Review.

Register here.

Post-Major Review (Transfer) Re-Orientation

Tuesday 15 October – 10.00 -1.30pm – Lansdowne

This re-orientation will also include a preparation session for the Viva Voce examination.

Register here.

I look forward to seeing you at one of these bespoke sessions.

Natalie
(Reasearch Skills & Development Officer)
pgrskillsdevelopment@bournemouth.ac.uk

The 11th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference

The Doctoral College 11th Annual Postgraduate Research conference is a great opportunity for postgraduate researchers to showcase and promote their research whether they have just started or are approaching the end of their journey.

Attending the conference is a great opportunity to engage with postgraduate researchers and find out more about the exciting and fascinating research happening across BU.

Abstracts are invited for postgraduate researchers to take part in the live research exhibition, present via oral or poster presentation, or for a speed challenge to submit to the rapid research session which will close this year’s conference.

Re-Orientation Events For Current PGRs

These re-orientation events are your opportunity to receive Faculty and Doctoral College updates for the forthcoming academic year. You’ll also hear about the updates to the 2019-20 Researcher Development Programme and a reminder of support services available to you throughout BU. You’ll be asked to consider research ethics during and towards the end of your research degree and there will be a bite-size effective researcher session appropriate to each re-orientation stage.

Pre-Major Review Re-Orientation

Tuesday 8 October – 9.30 – 1pm – Lansdowne

This re-orientation will also include a preparation session for the Major Review.

Register here.

Post-Major Review (Transfer) Re-Orientation

Tuesday 15 October – 10.00 -1.30pm – Lansdowne

This re-orientation will also include a preparation session for the Viva Voce examination.

Register here.

I look forward to seeing you at one of these bespoke sessions.

Natalie
(Reasearch Skills & Development Officer)
pgrskillsdevelopment@bournemouth.ac.uk

Enhancing Postgraduate Research Cultures – UKCGE Annual Conference

The Doctoral College plays a central role in the development of the postgraduate research community, culture and environment here at BU. On 1st & 2nd July 2019, the Doctoral College Research Skills and Development Officer (Natalie Stewart) attended the UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE) Annual Conference with this year’s theme ‘enhancing postgraduate research cultures’ hosted at the University of Salford, MediaCity, Manchester.

The conference had a strong focus on how institutions can support positive PGR cultures and communities in which students can realise their potential. We explored the value of PGR education, listened to experiences of PGR students and discussed what a thriving PGR culture looks like. We also heard from Dr Mark Bennett from FindAUniversity who surveyed prospective PGRs on their expectations of a research degree, findings of which could help inform future provisions.

Day 2 was filled with thought-provoking oral presentation and workshops facilitated by colleagues from Heriot-Watt University, Birmingham City University, Imperial College London and University of Bath. They had us discussing and reflecting on our institutional support for PGRs in particular the activities and events we offer and whether these are actually what students want, how we measure event success, how we support PGRs ‘writing up’ and those PGRs approaching their Viva Voce examination. (If you would like to know how the Doctoral College currently supports these areas please get in touch). For further conference highlights you can view the #UKCGE19 twitter feed.

I look forward to working closely with PGRs and colleagues to further enhance the PGR research culture here at BU.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any thoughts or ideas you would like to discuss regarding PGR support. PGRs can freely submit feedback and suggestions via the anonymous RDP Feedback Survey which remains open year round.

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Changes to the Researcher Development Programme on Brightspace

Information for Postgraduate Research Students & Supervisors

The Researcher Development Programme (RDP) Brightspace unit has been refreshed. This should make accessing resources and workshops quicker and easier. So what’s changed?

  • Content is no longer divided by Vitae RDF domains, instead all workshops are merged into one area and all online content has been merged into a separate area.
  • Some workshops have been combined in one content area, for example milestone preparation, research philosophy, research designs and research methods.
  • ‘Additional resources’ information will continue to be added to workshop contents to supplement workshop learning – so check these out.
  • These changes have been reflected in the quick links on the homepage.

The feedback form remains live. It is always valuable to hear your thoughts and views on all aspects of the RDP to ensure its meeting your needs.

The new RDP brochure is currently in design and will be available (in print and PDF) from early September; the new design will reflect these Brightspace updates. Workshop dates and times will also be released in early September and ready to book.

Although RDP workshops have finished for this academic year, you still have access to all online content including the 18 research skills masters programme online modules, the new Video Arts e-learning and videos and much more online content.

If you have any questions regarding your researcher development or the resources available to you, please contact me on pgrskillsdevelopment@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Best wishes, Natalie.

Research Skills Master Programme from Epigeum

Postgradaute Researchers – did you know you have access to 18 online modules covering topics such as research methods and skills, ethics and career planning?

Epigeum’s Research Skills Master Programme provides postgraduate researchers with a broad range of essential skills.

Access all modules on the Doctoral College: Researcher Development Programme on Brightspace via the online modules tab.

To find out more, watch this short video.

If you have any questions about what is avaiable to you as part of the Researcher Development Programme please contact your Research Skills and Development Officer.

Doctoral Loans

Last month the Doctoral College were in attendance for a UKGCE event. Jamie Chadd – PGR admissions administrator – reports back.

On 28th January I attend a UKGCE workshop at the University of Birmingham focused around the introduction of the new Postgraduate Doctoral Loans offered by the government. The event was well attended considering the forecast of heavy snow in the afternoon, and there was strong representation from a variety of different HEIs.

In attendance were Jon Legg and Charmaine Valente from Student Finance England, which meant the day was a mix of gaining further understanding of the new loans from SFE, alongside providing feedback to them regarding institutional experience of the first academic year the loans had been in place.

I spent the day with staff members from the Universities of East London, Northampton and Kent, and it was interesting to hear their perspective on the loans as well as get a bit of understanding of how they run their PGR services. As you can imagine, the size of the PGR cohorts were all quite different, which meant we had all had varying levels of experience with the loans so far.

The morning covered course and student eligibility for the Doctoral Loans. It was made very clear to us that we should remember that these loans were considered a contribution to costs for PhD students, recognising that £25,000 does not cover the full cost of a doctoral programme. The estimation of take-up for the 2018/19 academic year was 10,300 rising to 12,300 in five years’ time.

We were told in detail the strict eligibility requirements regarding previous levels of study, domicile, and concurrent funding. An important point of clarification was made regarding students who are, or may be, in receipt of Research Council funding – students should only apply for the loan if they have no intention of applying for such funding. If a student should apply for such funding later in their course (after taking out a loan), their eligibility for the loan will cease and they will receive no further payments.

In the afternoon we covered some qualitative research on the impact and perception of the Postgraduate Doctoral loans. Dr Billy Bryan presented some results from his study on how the  loans could change the value of the UK doctorate. This led to some interesting discussions about whether the loans represent an even higher risk for an increasingly risky degree pathway. In groups we also reflected on the aspects of mental health and self-worth for PhD students who were funding themselves via the loan, and if there were potentially undue negative implications post-doctorate for those that loan-funded awards versus those funded via Research Council funding.

Mark Bennet, who is Head of Content at FindAUniversity, presented results from a survey undertaken on the perception of loans, which was run in the summer of 2018 – before the first set of loan-funded students enrolled across the UK. There was a generally positive perception about the loans, with 51% of the 369 respondents predicting the loans would make doctoral study more accessible.

The most distinct trends from the research showed that the most positive perceptions about the loans came from potential part-time students, and from students wanting to study in the Arts & Humanities. This was highly indicative of two things: firstly, the loan was seen to be useful by people who wanted to undertake flexible part-time study, presumably as it also gave them time to work to further assist in funding their doctorate. Secondly – and perhaps unsurprisingly – was the positive response from Humanities students, an area that traditionally offers less in the way of research funding opportunities.

We managed to finish a little early, giving us all time to try and make an earlier train, as the snow was coming thick and fast by now. Reflecting back on the day on the journey home, I’d highlight that it would be difficult to get any real understanding of the impact of the loans until the 2018/19 cohort were in the stage of completing their PhD’s. However, there may be opportunities to ensure we are more transparent and responsible with how we market the loans during the admissions and applications process. There is also a case for tracking how students are funded in greater detail, so that when we produce data on our completion rates or student numbers, we are able to see the impact of the loans more clearly.

If you’ve got any questions about applying for a postgraduate research degree at BU, please email PGRadmissions@bournemouth.ac.uk

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Another free workshop for postgraduate researchers (presentation skills)

Presentation Skills Workshop

Facilitated by Dr Margaret Collins (Training for Universities)

Date: Tuesday 29 January              Date: Friday 29 March

Time: 09:30 – 16:30                        Time: 09:30 – 16:30

Register Here                                    Register Here

Surveys regularly reveal that public speaking is the most feared business activity and is dreaded even more than death!

Almost every research degree requires you to present your work to colleagues, at meetings, in seminars or at specialist conferences. At conferences, it can also be important to understand how these skills apply to the “business networking” opportunities that present themselves or to have and to use skills to chair a session effectively.

This workshop will begin by exploring the basic components of communication including listening skills, the power of body language, how to make an impact and strategies to hold the attention of your audience.

Participants are invited to deliver a short presentation and to receive coaching and feedback within the supportive workshop environment.

As a result of this workshop participants will:

  •     Understand the contributions of words, voice and body language
  •     Know four essential questions to answer when planning for a meeting
  •     Have structures to plan the content of a presentation
  •     Be clear about strategies to hold the attention of your audience
  •     Be prepared for dealing with questions
  •     Have effective strategies to deal with “presentation stress”

This workshop will be delivered to meet your specific needs.

To see comments from previous participants please visit: https://trainingforuniversities.com/workshops/presentation-skills.

This workshop is part of the wider Doctoral College: Researcher Development Programme.

Free workshop for postgraduate researchers (creative thinking and problem solving)

Creative Thinking and Problem Solving

Facilitated by Dr Margaret Collins (Training for Universities)

Date: Monday 28 January              Date: Thursday 28 March

Time: 13:30 – 16:30                        Time: 13:30 – 16:30

Register Here                                    Register Here

Significant keys to success in research include being able to ask the right question, to interpret the data, to see new patterns, to make links between the not-so-obvious associations. These are skills that are developed to provide new and creative answers to your research challenges.

During this workshop we will develop your ability to ask questions, to think outside the box, to see things differently and generate a wider range of possibilities.

We will use a range of techniques including group discussion, group activities and targeted exercises to develop your creative thinking and problem solving skills.

Do come ready to work on your own research ideas, problems or challenges and be prepared to develop some surprising possibilities.

As a result of this workshop participants will

  • Know the first step to solving a problem is to ask the right question
  • Be able to use a range of techniques for stimulating creative processes
  • Understand how learning styles and behaviour influence creative activity
  • Have techniques to generate ideas and select solutions
  • Access resources for creative thinking, problem solving and decision making

This workshop is part of the wider Doctoral College: Researcher Development Programme.

2019 BU PhD Studentship Competition – Application Deadline Monday 28 January 2019

Call for submission of up to 46 matched funded Postgraduate Research Projects now OPEN

The Doctoral College is delighted to announce the launch of the 2019 BU PhD Studentship Competition, with up to 46 matched funded projects available.

At this stage, Academic Staff are invited to submit proposals for matched funded studentship projects which, if successful, will be advertised to recruit PhD candidates for a September 2019 start.

Full details can be found on the Doctoral College Staff Intranet where the following information can be found:

  • BU PhD Studentship 2019 Allocative Process
  • Studentship Proposal Form
  • Studentship Due Diligence Form
  • Template Matched Funding Guarantee Letter
  • Information leaflet for matched funders

Submission Deadline:

Applications should be submitted to the Doctoral College via email to phdstudentshipcompetition@bournemouth.ac.uk no later than 9am on Monday 28 January 2019.

The Doctoral College will manage the recruitment process along the following timetable:

Doctoral College: Researcher Development Programme

Happy New Year!

The Doctoral College: Researcher Development Programme would like to present its first monthly update of 2019. The RDP is still here for all PGRs and we have over 80 expertly facilitated workshops coming up between now and August to support your research journey and future career endeavours.

As part of this I am still offering RDP Brightspace training to support navigation around the unit to allow you to optimise its offerings.

As part of the RDP PGRs also have access to the UEA webinar series and the brand new Video Arts videos and e-learning courses.

 

If you are a PGR or PGR Supervisor and do not have access to the Researcher Development Programme please contact me and I will add you.

 

To stay up-to-date with regular announcements:

  • Download the free ‘Brightspace Pulse’ app.
  • Subscribe to notifications on the RDP Brightspace.
  • Like the Doctoral College Facebook page for regular news and information.
  • Look out for the Monthly Update for Researcher Development in your inboxes at the beginning of each month.

TODAY: PGR Live Exhibition – All Welcome

Wednesday 5 December | 13:00 – 16:00 | K103 Kimmeridge House | Talbot Campus

Drop-in to discover this unique display of research being undertaken by our postgraduate researchers. Interact with live displays, listen to recordings and explore a wealth of research posters and photographs.

What’s on display?

The Doctoral College look forward to seeing you there.

#PGRLE18

 

2019 BU PhD Studentship Competition

Call for submission of up to 46 matched funded Postgraduate Research Projects now OPEN

The Doctoral College is delighted to announce the launch of the 2019 BU PhD Studentship Competition, with up to 46 matched funded projects available.

At this stage, Academic Staff are invited to submit proposals for matched funded studentship projects which, if successful, will be advertised to recruit PhD candidates for a September 2019 start.

Full details can be found on the Doctoral College Staff Intranet where the following information can be found:

  • BU PhD Studentship 2019 Allocative Process
  • Studentship Proposal Form
  • Studentship Due Diligence Form
  • Template Matched Funding Guarantee Letter
  • Information leaflet for matched funders

Submission Deadline:

Applications should be submitted to the Doctoral College via email to phdstudentshipcompetition@bournemouth.ac.uk no later than 9am on Monday 28 January 2019.

The Doctoral College will manage the recruitment process along the following timetable: