When Excursions chose ‘chaos’ as our theme for 2020, we had no idea how prophetic this choice would turn out to be.
A year ago, we published our Call for Papers inviting researchers to embrace chaos – and then, just a couple of months later, the world had to face a whole new level of chaos. Embracing chaos was no longer a choice, it was a necessity.
In this issue, Excursions had the pleasure of assembling a collection of papers that examine chaos in a variety of ways and inspires thoughts and dialogues: chaos opposes order and is fuel to a new order; chaos is violence and inspiration; chaos is part of being human and part of research.
Alongside eight articles, we also published eight essays by doctoral researchers examining the challenges of doing Research in Times of Chaos – our response to the global pandemic that has undoubtedly shaped this issue.
In the midst of this chaotic world and your own personal chaos, we hope you enjoy this issue. If 2020 taught us anything, it was to adapt and embrace chaos. So we invite you, yet again, to embrace chaos with us.
– Louise Elali, Excursions Managing Editor and Sussex PhD researcher (MAH)
The new webpage includes the latest guidance on travel and fieldwork, remote supervision, online training and events, submission and the viva, options for intermission and studying outside of the UK, plus what to do if you become unwell.
The new webpages may also be useful for researchers working as doctoral tutors or based in Sussex, particularly the information on teaching (remotely and in the classroom), research grants, and the reopening of campus.
The University Executive Group has agreed two new funding schemes in support of doctoral researchers impacted by Covid-19: the Sussex Scholarship Extension Scheme and the PGR Hardship Fund, both launching today.
The PGR Hardship Fund is open to PhD researchers without access to external funding extensions (e.g. UKRI scholarships). Any queries regarding the Hardship Fund should be sent to colleagues in the Student Life Centre – firstname.lastname@example.org.
any PhD researcher experiencing financial difficulties – regardless of their funding source – can apply to the general Student Hardship Fund.
PhD researchers experiencing Covid-19 related financial difficulties – bar those with access to externally-funded scholarship extensions (e.g. UKRI) and the Sussex Scholarship Extension Scheme – can apply to the new PGR Hardship Fund. Priority will be given to students in the later stages of study.
PhD researchers who are applying to the Sussex Scholarship Extension Scheme can subsequently apply to the general Student Hardship Fund, once they’ve received an outcome from the Extension Scheme.
SeNSS have launched an online survey of doctoral and early career researchers in the Social Sciences, with the hope of identifying opportunities to support researchers working with business, and increase business engagement.
The data they collect will not only inform decisions regarding the provision of the Business Boost programme – including here at Sussex – but also any future SeNSS training provision for PGRs. The survey closes on 11 July.
Sussex’s own ESRC IAA / SeNSS funded Business Boost 2020 programme is designed to help doctoral and early career researchers to develop and enhance their skills in engagement with businesses. Funding is available to people who are seeking to develop new relationships with industry, or continue established links.
The scheme supports two funding streams – six-month residencies at The Fusebox in Brighton, and a Business Engagement Fund offering up to £1,000 to support engagement activities.
Since the Library building closed in March the team have been working hard to provide Sussex students and staff with the online resources and support they need.
Now – after consultation with Health & Safety, SEF and campus unions – they’ve launched a Click and Collect Service to enable access to some printed materials in the collection.
It isn’t possible to request items that are on loan at the moment, but if the item you want is available on Library Search, request it as normal and you will receive an email once it’s ready, with further instructions on when and how to collect.
Cast your vote for the People’s Choice award by 17.00 tomorrow, Tuesday 16th June
The Research Image and Poster Competition 2020 entries are in! The entries are showcased on the Research Image and Research Poster webpages, and below (for the best viewing experience, open the Sway presentation in full screen and click to enlarge the entries).
Have your say in the People’s Choice award by voting for your favourite image/poster using the Research Image Voting and Research Poster Voting forms (one vote per person, duplicates will be voided). Voting is open to all Sussex students and staff, and closes on Tuesday 16th at 17.00.
The shortlisted images and posters will be exhibited on the webpages throughout the Festival of Doctoral Research this week. The competitions will be judged by a panel drawn from the University’s research community, and the winners will be announced at the prizegiving ceremony on Wednesday 17th June along with the 3MT and Adam Weiler Impact Award, so book your place to attend and find out who has won!
In a week’s time we will revelling in the 2020 Three Minute Thesis final. Taking place at 14.00 on Wednesday 17th June, Sussex doctoral researchers will take to the (remote) stage to present their research in just three minutes!
This year’s participants are from varied fields, and will be vying to win the first-place £500 towards research and a place in the Vitae UK semi-finals. Sign up to the event to tune in remotely, to learn about the amazing richness and breadth of doctoral research at Sussex, and to vote for your favourite for the People’s Choice Award!
The Festival of Doctoral Research is back! Just because we are not able to meet in person isn’t going to stop us from our annual celebration of doctoral research at Sussex.
Taking place over five days (Monday 15th – Friday 19th June), the doctoral community will come together for a range of events, workshops, and competitions, with plenty of opportunities to get involved. We will be providing updates and adding more events over the next few weeks, so stay tuned to the Festival Homepage and on Twitter #SussexDocFest.
Here’s a round up of what’s on offer throughout the festival so far.
The Three Minute Thesis event takes centre stage on Wednesday 17th June when doctoral researchers will take to the (remote) stage to present their research in just three minutes! This year’s participants are from varied fields, and will be vying to win the first-place £500 towards research and a place in the Vitae UK semi-finals. Sign up to the event to tune in remotely, to learn about the amazing richness and breadth of doctoral research at Sussex, and to vote for your favourite for the People’s Choice Award!
We are excited to take a deeper look into Sussex research through the Research Image and Research Poster competitions. Doctoral researchers from all years and disciplines are invited to submit an image or poster to offer a visual perspective on their research.
Entering is quick and easy, so get your Image or Poster applications in by Friday 5th June to take part! You can look through the 2018 and 2019 shortlisted entries for any needed inspiration. All 2020 shortlisted entries will be showcased throughout the festival for people to view and to vote for their favourite, and the winners will be announced on Wednesday afternoon as part of the prize-giving ceremony alongside 3MT.
On Tuesday 16th, we will be holding our first ever panel discussions on Finishing the Doctorate, one each for Arts and Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences. Raise your queries and engage in discussion with Directors of Doctoral Studies and late-stage/finished researchers from your field, who will provide insights into what to expect and how they dealt with issues such as conducting field research, undertaking data analysis, and the Viva process.
There will be a variety of webinars and workshops for you to engage with and learn from. The sessions cover topics on mental health and wellbeing, networking, preparing research proposals, and much more:
There will be plenty of fun taking place on Twitter under the hashtag #SussexDocFest, including the Research Hive’s #QuaranTimeCapsule which invites you to share the photos which have represented your lockdown PhD experiences.
On Thursday 18th June, put your general knowledge to the test and be in with a chance of winning vouchers at the Hive Scholars’ Quiz Evening.
And for even more light-hearted amusement, book your place for Games Night on Tuesday 16th. There will be fun, laughter, and, of course, Cards against Humanity.
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.