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NWSSDTP Newsletter 
We hope all our students all keeping safe and well. As things become a little clearer in terms of UKRI COVID-19 policies (please see for further details), we are keen to recommence sending the monthly NWSSDTP Newsletter, to keep sharing the exciting work our students are doing and to highlight online training opportunities that may be of interest. Please do contact our Coordinator Julie at if you have something for inclusion. We’d particularly like to highlight the upcoming group coaching sessions we’ve arranged with life coach Will Medd, for those of you who would benefit from some additional support as we are adjusting to new ways of working.
Best wishes from all the NWSSDTP Team

                                                        Photograph: Abi O'Connor   

            NWSSDTP Student Photo of the Month


Looking after your mental health during COVID-19


Patsy Irizar, Psychology University of Liverpool (2017 Cohort)

Peter Kinderman is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool, and former President of the British Psychological Society.

“COVID 19 will affect us all. Our lives are changing quickly, we are isolating ourselves and social distancing – which cannot be good for our mental health. The inevitable uncertainty will also put pressure on our emotions and resilience. It is normal to feel afraid and worried in the face of uncertainty and adversity – but there are also things we can do to look after our mental health and wellbeing during these times". To read the article published on the University of Liverpool website see here 


Training Opportunities
Will Medd: Online "Group coaching with your PhD"
In view of the unprecedented situation we all currently find ourselves in, we would like to support you to face these challenges successfully. This includes finding new techniques whilst working at home, overcoming difficulties in being able to carry out your research and concerns about your health and the future. At times it can be hard to know where to start and we can find our usual coping strategies are no longer available or are not working as effectively.
We have arranged to run three 1-hour group coaching sessions to support you in exploring your experience along with other PhD researchers. The sessions will be facilitated by life coach Will Medd. Each session will allow you to review where you are now, how to prioritise what is important and various approaches in these challenging times. There is no right or wrong way to act, the session will enable you to explore the best solution for your circumstances.
Please see the dates and times of the sessions below. Each has a maximum capacity of 6 participants, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

The session will be held on Zoom - further access details will be sent once your place has been confirmed.

Monday, 1st June 2020;10.00 - 11.15
Thursday, 4th June 2020; 10.00 - 11.15
Friday, 5th June 2020: 9.45 -11.00 & 11.15 - 12.30

Please email the indicating which session(s) you are able to attend.

FUNDED OPPORTUNITIES : Knowledge Exchange Training and Projects (online): Open Call
Humanities at the University of Manchester and ESRC are launching a new series of initiatives for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers interested in Knowledge Exchange, all delivered remotely - please see Open Call below. Eligibility criteria are specified case by case, with a variety of options for all PGRs at Manchester, NWCDTP/NWSSDTP funded PGRs and ECRs as well as for PGRs and ECRs in Social Science based research across North West HEIs.   
A series of initiatives have been designed for those of you interested in professional development and paid opportunities to engage with external partners. We hope that these initiatives can bring some positive impact on you and our business partners during these critical times. Workshops, events and project work will all be held online, via Zoom and other digital technology.
  1. Knowledge Exchange Training series – June and July 2020
Five online training sessions, led by Inkling Training coaches, to give you essential skills on how to develop and manage collaborative projects with non-academic partners, from how to interview partners through a consultancy frame and how to develop a project plan starting from an idea, to effective strategies to work collaboratively in a team and deal with conflict in a positive way. Apply for individual sessions or for the whole series (deadline 10 June).
  1. Getting Started with Researcher-led Projects online workshop - 27-28 May 2020
A structured process, led by FutureEverything, to map your research impact potential and identify possible project partners for collaborative projects. You can take this session as a standalone, in preparation for a placement proposal or for engaging with non-academic partners as part of the other Researcher-led initiatives listed here. Apply by 17 May 2020.
  1. Researcher-led Collaboration lab – May-July (project development) and August-October (project delivery)
An eight-week research consultancy skills development programme, in collaboration with FutureEverything, to give you practical skills, coaching support and funding to set-up your own research consultancy project with a business partner matched to your profile. Start your journey with the ‘Getting Started’ session above and the Innovation Lab, an online collaborative workshop to scope collaborative projects with partners selected on the basis of your research expertise (deadline 7 June).
  1. Business Challenges lab – June-July (project development) and August-October (project delivery)
An eight-week research consultancy skills development programme, in collaboration with Code-Switch Consultants, to give you professional skills, coaching support and funding to respond to a business challenge as part of an interdisciplinary research consultancy team. Apply by 31 May 2020.
For full details on programmes, eligibility and how to apply please visit our webpages at the link provided above (including detailed Guidelines documents and online application forms).
For more specific information contact:

Second Round of UK-Canada Globalink Doctoral Exchange Scheme Opens (Applications should be submitted by the 9 June 2020 deadline).
UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) is inviting proposals for UK doctoral students to participate in a UK-Canada research exchange scheme. The initiative is supported by Mitacs, a not-for-profit organisation that has designed and delivered research and training programmes in Canada since 1999.
Through the UK-Canada Globalink Doctoral Exchange Scheme, UK doctoral candidates will have the opportunity to undertake research placements in Canadian universities. A similar number of Canadian students will visit UK universities. This is the second of four funding calls that will fund up to 200 UK doctoral candidates. The scheme covers all areas of the UKRI remit and aims to:
  • Foster and enhance long-term international research networks.
  • Establish international research collaborations.
  • Attract world-class talent to the UK.
  • Upskill UK-based researchers, making them global citizens with international competencies.

For more information see here 

Call for Papers: Habit in the Long Eighteenth Century

The Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL are seeking papers for a two-day conference on Habit in the Long Eighteenth Century, to be held at UCL from the 16th to the 17th October 2020. 

For further details - click here 

Please send proposals of up to 250 words, with a short biographical note, to and/or by 31st May 2020. 
For more information, please visit:

PhD WriteClub 

Online Coaching Programme May - September 2020 (starts 18th May 2020).
• Set writing goals that are meaningful, balanced, possible and satisfying
• Build confidence, motivation and awareness of what gets in the way and how to overcome it
• Establish strategies for productive writing practices in balance with the rest of life
• Ongoing peer-support and learning from the collective wisdom of the group
• Ongoing accountability and insight with regular group coaching and 1-1 support
• Create a sustainable writing practice beyond the programme

PhD WriteClub will be led by Will Medd and Laura Premack. Both are former lecturers with international reputations who became coaches after successful academic careers. They bring an intimate understanding of the experience of academic life, and they share a commitment to coaching with
professionalism, emotional sensitivity, and humour.

For further details - click here 

UK Data Service

The UK Data service are holding a series of 'Training workshops, conferences, seminars and related events' online. 

Webinar: Introduction to the UK Data Service
07 May 2020
Online, 15.00 - 16.00 BST

Webinar: Being a Computational Social Scientist
12 May 2020
Online, 13.00 - 14.00

Webinar: Finding and accessing data in the UK Data Service
14 May 2020
Online, 15.00 - 16.00 BST

Webinar: Power Pivot and Dynamic Arrays in Excel
19 May 2020
Online, 15.00 - 16.00 BST

For further information and online courses see here

The National Centre for Research methods supports researchers in developing their research skills. For more information and details of see here  

We at NCRM are busy tracking Twitter and other online communities for great ideas on how people are managing to switch to teaching and learning other than face-to-face. We think there is a real energy out there – born of necessity – for thinking creatively about how we teach and learn. But what does this mean for research methods in particular? Please retweet useful material with a shout out to @NCRMUK and @m_nind or email and we will collate what we can for another of our NCRM Quick Start Guides.

Meanwhile, we had to postpone some of our upcoming face-to-face training courses and we are working on moving more of our training online. Please keep an eye on our training calendar which lists both NCRM and non-NCRM courses.

Students in Focus
Marty Parker, Health and Wellbeing, Keele University (2017 Cohort)

My PhD research estimating Healthy Working Life Expectancy in England

Over the last few years I’ve been using advanced quantitative methods to research health and paid work participation in older age groups. Countries all over the world are experiencing population ageing and increasing life expectancy. There are more and more older adults compared to those of working-age, and people are being expected to work until they are older....I wanted to know whether populations are ready for extended working lives, so I carried out a systematic review to identify existing estimates of the number of years that people are healthy and in work from age 50. Read more about Marty's methodology here
Ronnie Hughes, Sociology, University of Liverpool (2018 Cohort)

Music to Write By: The Sounds That Heaven Makes

For nearly all of my days I’ve loved music, virtually all music. Vast amounts of it have defined whole periods of my life. After the obvious Beatles days of growing up there was Joni Mitchell’s ‘Blue to Héjira’ period, succeeded by David Bowie’s ‘Berlin Trilogy’ then a noisy amalgam ‘Heaven up here’ period of Blondie, Chic and, yes, Echo and the Bunnymen, while I was constantly out with my housing and community work friends in the early 1980s.

But none of these periods were ever classical music, until now. When several hours of it most days has started to help me think, write and generally colour in my life with what I’ve decided to call ‘the sounds that heaven makes,’ as an attempted poetic subtitle for this piece of reflection. Read Ronnie's blog here.


Ruby Rutter, Economic and Social History, University of Manchester, (2017 Cohort)

HOUSE AND HOME: Nostell Priory’s Doll’s House

If you’re beginning to feel a little cooped up after spending weeks at home, spare a thought for the dolls in the baby house at Nostell Priory near Wakefield, who have been ‘staying at home’ for nearly three hundred years. That is until earlier this year when staff at the National Trust property were given the green light to begin painstakingly restoring the house and its contents in preparation for a new exhibition, Miniature Worlds. As part of a three-month placement with the National Trust, I have been working with Nostell’s curator Simon McCormack, to better establish what role doll’s houses like this one played in the daily life of the eighteenth-century country house. Read more about Ruby's research here.


Student Activity

Nordic Geographers Meeting in Trondheim, Norway 

Those presenting alongside us on the panel were people whose work I have cited throughout my academic studies, work which has been instrumental in shaping my PhD project. With this in mind it’s safe to say I was grateful to be presenting with someone I knew (and who knew me well) when I read those names in the programme! I arrived a few days before the conference, which if possible, is beneficial as it allows time to get to know the place in which you’re staying - diminishing the fear of getting lost on route to the main event! Preparing for the presentation and attending panels challenged me intellectually and enhanced my understanding of the field in both broad and nuanced ways, opening up new avenues within my research. Read Abi O'Connor's blog about her experience here.
Additional Funding Opportunities

The next deadline for all NWSSDTP Additional Funding Competitions is 5th June 2020.
Submit an item ... To submit an item to appear in the Newsletter (conference presentations and publications, announcements you want to make public, etc.) please email 
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