SPRU PhD Forum (Thursday 14th & Friday 15th May 2020)

The 26th annual SPRU PhD Forum is going online this year, with presentations live streamed on YouTube over two days. You can access the full schedule below:

Thursday May 14th – live on YouTube: SPRU PhD Forum Day 1
Friday May 15th – live on YouTube: SPRU PhD Forum Day 2

Two further sessions will take place on Zoom – on Thursday afternoon, a workshop on researcher wellness during Covid-19, provided by Sussex Doctoral School; and on Friday afternoon, a panel on academic career development from the ST Global Consortium. If you would like to join, email D.Wemyss@sussex.ac.uk for Zoom links.

Join the LinkedIn group and follow on Twitter for regular updates, and contact sprudoc@gmail.com for further details.

Distant Viva Voce examinations and thesis submission during the Covid-19 outbreak

A new set of Sussex guidelines regarding online thesis submission and Distant (online) Vivas during the Covid-19 outbreak has been released. The new guidance is available here, and features on the Advice for Supervisors and Doctoral Researchers (during Covid-19) webpage.

The UK Council for Graduate Education has also developed A Guide for Institutions and Candidates, which includes support for PGRs approaching an online viva.

The Doctoral School Researcher Development Programme is running online versions of the PGR viva-preparation workshop, which will take the new guidance into account:

NEW Spring/Summer Online Training Series for researchers working remotely

The first installment of our Researcher Development Online Series which we’ll be running between now and the end of the academic year is up on the RDP event listings page.

It’s a combination of our regular workshops and sessions tailored to help you cope with living and working remotely, including new webinars from coach Catherine Pope on becoming a healthy researcher and a productive researcher during a time of crisis.

If you sign up you’ll receive an email with the link to join on the day of the session. Facilitators are using a variety of online platforms and we’re all learning as we go along, so any feedback will be really useful.

We will be adding new titles over the next few weeks so keep an eye out for further details, and email researcher-development@sussex.ac.uk if you have any issues or queries.

Call for Papers – Excursions Journal (deadline extended – 4th March)

The Excursions journal, run by University of Sussex researchers, has a Call for Papers on the concept of chaos.

The journal the invites researchers to embrace chaos and investigate the complexities of society, nature, science and being human. Is chaos a natural, universal phenomenon of “disorder” or a perspective-bound construct? What meanings and functions can we attribute to chaos in theory and practice? How can chaos aid contemporary scholarship in its quest to understand the complexity of our lived experience? 

In this issue, Excursions seeks to assemble a collection of articles that reflect on the concept of chaos, whether as a natural phenomenon in an objective reality or as a socially-constructed subjective phenomenon. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Chaos as a metaphysical concept or theory
  • Chaos as a process in the biological, physical and social world
  • Chaos as a theme in popular culture and political discourse
  • Chaos as fuel to incite change
  • Chaos as a source of creativity
  • Chaos as constructed by ideology and epistemology
  • Chaos as part of a research method

Please submit your paper by 4th March 2020 via the Excursions website. If you have trouble with the submission system, please email enquiries@excursions-journal.org.uk.

Visit the Excursions website for further details on the Call for Papers.

New drop-in service for Doctoral Researcher Ethics Applications (every Wednesday, 14.00 – 16.00)

  • Does your research involve participants and/or the collection of data?
  • Do you need help with your ethics application?
  • Would you like advice on the ethical issues in your research?

EDIT: Due to coronavirus, there will be online Ethics Applications drop-in service provided by the Research Ethics, Integrity and Governance department.

The drop-in sessions will take place every Wednesday between 14.00-16.00.

For further information and to book, please contact Lauren Shukru (crecscitec@sussex.ac.uk) or Tim Parkinson (c-recss@sussex.ac.uk).

Job Opportunity: REF Impact Case Studies Development

The School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences is looking for PhD researchers to support the development and refinement of their REF Impact Case Studies through the collection of additional evidence (including from German language sources) and re-drafting of existing text.

View the full job and person specifications here.

To apply, please send a statement of no more than 500 words about how you address each of the person specifications to Ian Sillett (I.M.Sillett@sussex.ac.uk) as soon as possible but no later than 14th February 2020.

Opportunity: Speak Up for Food Security competition (for UKRI Council-funded doctoral researchers)

The Global Food Security programme (GFS) is calling on all UKRI Council-funded early-career researchers (ECRs) to take part in their annual research storytelling competition ‘Speak Up for Food Security’.

Twelve successful applicants will attend an immersive, two-day research storytelling masterclass in central London (26th-27th February 2020), where they will receive communication training tailored to creating food system change.

For more information, eligibility criteria, and for application instructions, please visit the GFS web page.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 26th January 2020. 

Thesis Boot Camp: spring term applications open

Are you a late-stage doctoral researcher?
Struggling to finish your thesis?
Do you keep putting off your writing? Finding it tough to get motivated?
If so, Thesis Boot Camp is for YOU!

The next Thesis Boot Camp has been confirmed and will be taking place on Saturday 14th March and Sunday 15th March.  

Thesis Boot Camp is an intensive and supportive writing environment for late-stage doctoral researchers. The core idea is to give you the necessary time, space, and encouragement to make significant progress on your first draft. It’s not designed to provide specific advice on editing, restructuring, or polishing a thesis – the focus is on overcoming writer’s block to produce a large number of words.

Support is provided through short tutorials, group discussion, and 1-to-1 consultations with the facilitator. Attendees are required to complete preparatory tasks to get the most out of the weekend.

The weekend is fully catered, but no overnight accommodation is available.

To apply for a place, please visit the Thesis Boot Camp website for full details and eligibility criteria, and fill out this application form by Monday 17th February.

Brexit: latest information for EEA & Swiss Doctoral Researchers

With the UK now finalising plans to leave the EU on 31st January 2020, please note events on campus over the coming weeks to ensure that you have all the information, advice and support you may need.

International Student Support will be running briefing sessions this term to explain the benefits of applying for the EU Settlement Scheme and to guide you through the application process: 

  • Thursday 30th January 2020, 11am – 12pm, Arts C133 Lecture Theatre. Book here.
  • Tuesday 4th February 2020, 12-1pm, Jubilee 144. Book here.
  • Wednesday 19th February 2020, 2-3pm, Fulton B Lecture Theatre. Book here.
  • Wednesday 4th March 2020, 2-3pm, Fulton B Lecture Theatre. Book here.
  • Wednesday 18th March 2020, 2-3pm, Fulton B Lecture Theatre. Book here.

In addition, the University is running a special, all student Brexit event on Wednesday 29th January, 2-3pm (Jubilee 144) to ensure that you are informed about the latest Brexit developments, and the support available at Sussex. This event is open to all Doctoral Researchers and all students, whether from the EU, UK or international.

If you are currently studying or on fieldwork outside the UK, or if you are currently taking a period of intermission, it is still possible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme whilst you are outside the UK, based on your previous residence in the UK.

For all Brexit-related questions and further information, please refer to the Brexit Hub.

Coming up: Careers & Employability workshops for researchers

Over the Spring term there will be several careers workshops specifically for PhD researchers:

Careers Exploration for PhD Researchers

Explore the range of options available to you both inside and outside academia after your PhD. This workshop will reflect on your career to date, on the skills gained from a PhD, and how you can take the next step.

CVs for PhD Researchers

Find out how to produce an excellent CV for roles inside and outside academia after your PhD. This session will look at different styles and approaches to help you market your skills effectively.

Interviews for PhD Researchers

What can you expect in an interview? Whether you have had ten or zero, interviews can still be a daunting prospect if you’re not prepared. That is why we are here to help you. This session will provide top tips for both academic and non-academic interviews.

We will also be running several careers webinars this term, see the Researcher Development Programme listings for details.

Take a look at the Careers & Employability Centre website for further careers resources for PhD Researchers