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NWSSDTP Newsletter 
                                         October 2020 
Welcome to all our new starters and welcome back to returning students. We appreciate that we are commencing this semester in very unusual circumstances, but nevertheless hope the first few weeks of this new year have gone as smoothly as possible. Please find below our first NWSSDTP Newsletter of the new academic year, within which we would particularly like to highlight the NWSSDTP Week, scheduled for the end of November. We would encourage all of our students to take part in the sessions we have on offer and hope you find the programme useful!
Best wishes,
 Photo of the Month
A foggy morning at Keele University 

Photograph: @KeeleUniversity 

Become a Student Representative 

The ESRC NWSSDTP is looking to appoint 6-8 enthusiastic and motivated NWSSDTP funded students from across the DTP to join our Student Representatives Team. Student feedback and engagement with the governance of the NWSSDTP is important for the ESRC and the partnership. Whilst the role is valuable and makes for a good esteem marker on a researcher's CV, the commitment is not too onerous. We would expect that each representative would spend between 10-12 hours per year on the role. Tasks and activities will be shared across the Student Representative Team to keep involvement at moderate levels. For full details see here 

Training Opportunities

Textiles in a Circular Economy

Date and time: 29th October 2020, 14.00 - 16.00

This online event is brought to you by the Liverpool City Region and Chamber Low Carbon Circular Economy Clubs and the Liverpool Fashion Summit. Our aim is to raise awareness of the principles of the circular economy by taking an in-depth look at the textiles and fashion industries highlighting practical action.

For more information 
To register 

Aboriginal Identity: Artefacts and Yarning Conventions (Decolonising thought through practice in higher education)

Speaker: Simon Munro, Indigenous Academic, Newcastle University, New South Wales, Australia 

Date and Time: 28th October 2020, 10.00 – 11.30 

In this talk we address three questions – initially can, and (if so) how can people from non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures learn to appreciate and adopt the wisdom encoded in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander world views (ways of knowing and learning) and for the enhancement of living practices and social outcomes? And then – how does such appreciation, and mindful adoption of wise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practices benefit society collectively, in this case, higher education?

The event will take place via Zoom. The link and joining instructions will be provided upon registration nearer the time.
To register



Getting started with Researcher-led projects

Date and time: Online session 4 November 2020:14:00-16:30.

After the success of the first session in May this year, we are glad to invite you to our second NWCDTP workshop Getting Started with Researcher-led Projects, led by the award-winning cultural social enterprise Future Everything, which will bring their decades of experience in community participatory design to help you transform your PhD ideas into collaborative opportunities with non-University partners.  
The workshop will be online and will guide you through a structured process to map your research impact potential and identify possible partners for collaborative projects. You can then use this know-how to prepare a placement proposal or an application to the Researcher-led Collaboration Labs programme, opening soon afterward. 
More details and the online application form can be found here
The deadline to apply is 20th October 2020.


The National Centre for Research Methods runs online short courses and offers a wide range of online resources which could help with your research methodology.

List of our current training courses can be found here.

We also have a database of training courses run by other providers.

Our online resources include methodological publicationsaudio podcastsvideo podcastsonline modules, and ReStore repository.  

If you would like to receive a monthly newsletter which covers courses, news and events related to social science research methods please subscribe to our mailing list.

Ethnography Tuesdays and Research Thursdays

Ethnography Tuesdays and Research Thursdays are one-day training events orgnised by links@keele and held at Keele University. The main objectives of these days are to provide you with an understanding of contemporary approaches to conducting ethnographic fieldwork and writing ethnographies. The training will help you develop knowledge of and hands-on practice with fieldwork techniques and methods, including around dealing with ethical dilemmas, challenging fieldwork situations, innovative data collection methods, writing field notes, using visual methods and analysis with specialist software.

For further details 

Summary of ESRC’s  ‘Exploring Population Data for Inclusive Research’ Scoping Project

The ESRC’s ‘UK Population Lab’ programme funded under the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund commissioned scoping projects including scoping studies, evidence summaries and think pieces. The ESRC is pleased to share here outputs from these projects which will be updated as further reports become available.

British Library: Catalogues and Collections 

The British Library’s collection includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound. Many of our digital collections provide material for free online. Please come to our Reading Rooms to access material that isn’t available online.

Read our subject guides to find out more about our core research areas

Black History Month - Lunchtime Talks

As part of Scotland's Black History Month programme in October 2020, the Scottish Graduate Schools of Social Science (SGSSS) and Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) are joining forces to offer a series of ‘Lunchtime talks’ to our Doctoral communities celebrating the history, achievements and contributions of black and minority ethnic people from across and beyond Scotland.
For further information and registration 

Housing and Power in the Modern World Programme

A one-day virtual conference exploring housing as a locus of social and political power

Date: 11th November 2020

With keynote presentations from Emma Dwyer (Museum of London Archaeology) and Valerie Wright (University of Stirling), this interdisciplinary conference addresses issues of social power in affordable housing policy in a range of contexts and perspectives, using approaches from across the social sciences and the arts and humanities. Papers will cover topics including grassroots activism and planning practices, the place of housing in imperialist thought, and access to housing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A schedule for the day, including abstracts, is attached. To register to attend, please use this form. If you have any questions, please email us at You can also find more information on our website.

UK Data Service: "Training in how to look after research data"

UK Data Service provides guidance and training on all aspects of data management and sharing ­­‑ through web-based, workshops and printed advice.
See here for further details.

For upcoming events see here

Comparative Economics Webinar 


The Comparative Economics Webinar (CEW) series features recent research from outstanding scholars in the field of comparative economics. CEW is a weekly series of academic presentations including:

3G Internet and Confidence in Government
Structural Reforms and Elections: Evidence from a World-Wide
Africa’s Latent Assets: or, how to be optimistic about African development
Will the EU survive?

Videos on YouTube can be found here.

Students in Focus
James Jackson, Social Statistics, Lancaster University (2019 Cohort)

Are certain characters – stereotypes – in Agatha Christie’s novels more or less likely to be murderers than others?

I wondered whether certain characters – stereotypes - in Agatha Christie’s novels were more or less likely to be murderers than others. As a statistics PhD student, I thought a statistical analysis of her novels could reveal whether there are, indeed, any factors that raise the likelihood of being the murderer. Characters’ genders and occupations were considered. The article can be read in the October issue of Significance magazine. The conclusion, unlike one of Agatha Christie’s solutions, is not really that surprising! Read Jack's blog here.

Veronica Vienne,Economics, University of Manchester (2018 Cohort)

Attending a conference in COVID-19 times

A big part of our PhDs involves presenting our research in workshops, seminars and conferences. Unfortunately, they involve social interactions, so most of them were either cancelled or moved online. Although online conferences are a good alternative to show your work to wide audiences, they don’t do very well when it comes to networking. And, let’s face it, it can be a challenge to pay attention to a full day or more of Zoom webinars. But there are new formats that adapt to the new normality and could be adopted permanently, because of the flexibility and benefits they offer. Read Veronica's blog 'Attending a conference in COVID-19 times' here.

Postdoctoral Fellows 

Judit Fazekas, Psychology, University of Liverpool


My PhD has always been a bit unusual

As I’m (finally!) at the other side of my PhD, having defended my thesis this March, I thought I would tell you a bit about life after. My PhD has always been a bit unusual. Read Judit's blog post here.
Recent Events 

Liverpool Fashion Summit

Watch the Video Summary 

Liverpool Fashion Summit took place from the 9th to the 11th of September 2020. Postponed due to the pandemic, it was hosted online. As a student-led event, it provided a platform for businesses, consumers and academics to debate and discuss industry trends and best practice, raise awareness of the key barriers to change, and look to ourselves to explore the part we can all play. Read here to see what you missed. 



PhD Power Tunes 

‘What we have said makes it clear that music possesses the power of producing an effect on the character of the soul’ (Aristotle, The Politics) 

The University of Southampton asked PhD candidates for the songs that they associate with their PhD. These songs could be the ones used for motivation, to aid mood or are a reminder of a particular time in the PhD journey! See here for their public Spotify link 
Additional Funding Competitions 

The next deadline for all NWSSDTP Additional Funding Competitions is 6th November 2020.

Methods North West

Please note that new sessions have now been added 

Methods North West will be running a series of short online Methods Sessions between July – December 2020, delivered by experts in their fields. Details and booking links can be found here: The next five sessions are:
Thursday 22nd October, 2-3 pm; Working with ‘Found Data’, Insights from Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis – Phil Brooker, Alex Holder, Michael Mair (University of Liverpool), Chris Elsey (De Montfort University) & Patrick G. Watson (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Thursday 29th October, 2-3 pm; Crowd-Sourced Digital Heritage – Ben Anderson, Keele University
Thursday 12th November, 2-3 pm; Machine learning in the Social Sciences – Francisco Rowe, University of Liverpool
Thursday 19th November, 2-3 pm; Using Freedom of Information Requests in Research – David Whyte, University of Liverpool
Thursday 17th December, 2-3 pm; Doing discourse: from hermeneutics to narrative identities – Naveed Sheikh, Keele University

Methods North West website 
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