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NWSSDTP Newsletter 
                                         November 2020 

Please scroll down for upcoming training events, funding opportunities and NWSSDTP student blogs!
 Photo of the Month

Photo: Julie McColl, DTP Coordinator 


Reminder - Next week is the first NWSSDTP Week, 23rd – 27th November!

We hope to see most of you next week within the different events on offer. A full list of the sessions can be found here. We’d particularly like to draw attention to the newly listed Careers & Employability session, featuring a panel of ex-NWSSDTP students discussing the sorts of careers that our postgraduate researchers pursue on completing their PhDs, while outlining the support that is available to you as a postgraduate researcher in preparing for life after the PhD.

Training Opportunities

Workshop:how to engage your entrepreneurship and communication skills

Date: 10th December 2020; 13.00-15.00

The ability to communicate across boundaries and coproduce knowledge for meaningful impact are key skills in the PhD toolkit. But knowing where to start and what to do first are the biggest hurdles to overcome. Julia Marcet Alonso and Olly Kennedy will discuss how to engage your entrepreneurship and communication skills to reach the wider audience outside academia for lasting change. Note this is an interactive and informal workshop, so please bring your ideas and research. By the end of the workshop, you might just have your roadmap for change.

Please register here  (Zoom joining details will be sent separately)

The British Library: PhD Webinars: Get Started with the British Library

In early 2021 we will be offering all first-year PhD students the opportunity to hear from our expert staff via a programme of free online webinars. In a series of modules we will explain the practicalities of using the Library and its services, with an increased focus on our digital collections and resources.

The webinars will take place every Wednesday afternoon between 14 January and 3 March 2021, starting with a first general introduction and followed by additional events exploring more specific collection areas.

We strongly recommend that all PhD students attend the first module Getting Started: Researching at the British Library on 14 January. Students are then welcome to join as many of the other modules as they are interested in. All modules are free to attend.

The complete programme, and links to register, can be found here.


NCRM Research Methods Bulletin 

National Centre for Research Methods delivers a comprehensive programme of research methods training across the UK. 

Online course: Statistical Modelling for Qualitative Researchers with Professor Vernon Gayle; 14th December 2020
Online course: Using Creative Research Methods with Dr. Helen Kara; 13/01/2021 - 17/02/2021 (a six-week course covering creative research methods and ethics in theory and in practice).

See link here to other NCRM courses:  
Read the latest tweets about the courses here


UK-Canada Globalink doctoral exchange scheme

This is a new and exciting opportunity for UKRI and Canadian doctoral students to participate in a UK-Canada research exchange scheme.
Closing date: 15th December 2020: 16:00

For further details see here


Royal Statistical Society 

Our online courses have been developed to provide an immersive and exercise-driven learning environment. Each course has a tutor to guide you and has the same learning outcomes as our classroom courses.

For current courses see here 
See Hannah Sawyer's blog based on her attendance at a recent RSS course 'Publishing Quality Charts in R using GGplot2'.



Weekly highlights from Closer

Three new modules added to the Closer Learning Hub:

  • Data harmonisation – an overview of the basics of data harmonisation, why it’s important, the different types, how it’s undertaken and its limitations.
  • Understanding metadata – provides a look at what metadata is and why it’s important, how it helps us to understand features of a dataset and how to search CLOSER Discovery to find the questions, variables and datasets you need.
  • Research communication – outlines the key methods and channels to effectively communicate research and its impact to different target audiences.

Student Representatives

"Join our NWSSDTP student platform on MS Teams! We're creating a space for all NWSSDTP students on MS Teams where we can easily connect and keep in touch. This platform will be used to help us informally get to know each other (including those in your relevant pathways), communicate and run different student events. We'll send round an email soon with details of how you can join our MS Teams group". To join please email (  

Your student Representatives are: 
See profiles and contact details here
Students in Focus

Laura Briody, Criminology, Social Policy and Social Work, Keele University (2018 Cohort) 

My CASE studentship project is a collaboration between Keele University and Staffordshire Police
Using a variety of qualitative methods, I am investigating how the police are informed about, identify and respond to individuals categorised as “vulnerable”. Read Laura's blog about her CASE studentship here.

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

My PhD research estimating Healthy Working Life Expectancy at age 50 in England

The first quantitative study from my PhD was published earlier this year in The Lancet Public Health on the topic of Healthy Working Life Expectancy (HWLE). HWLE tells us the average number of years people in a population are likely to be healthy and in paid work from age 50. HWLE can help us understand whether a population is able to work for longer, focusing on later working life when poor health or few good job opportunities can lead people to retire early. Read Marty's blog here
Recent Events
“Publishing Quality Charts in R using GGplot2” hosted by the Royal Statistical Society.

Hannah Sawyer, Psychology, University of Liverpool, 2018 Cohort
The most recent course I have attended was “Publishing Quality Charts in R using GGplot2” hosted by the Royal Statistical Society. Unsurprisingly, the course was held online but that did not detract from the quality of teaching or my learning experience at all. Perhaps, after 8 months, I am finally getting used to this online learning that has become the new normal. Read Hannah Sawyer's blog here 

Sustainable and Resilient Cities: Liverpool, a podcast series made by and with PhD Students

Abi O'Connor & Ronnie Hughes, Sociology, University of Liverpool, 2018 Cohort

This podcast series, Sustainable and Resilient Cities: Liverpool, explores work being carried out by PhD researchers during the COVID19 pandemic, highlighting how many are carrying out research that will help respond to inform and maybe even influence what the City Region is doing to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic. Read their blog here



"Take one day at a time and find ways to move forward”

On the morning of the 23
rd May 2017, a year and a half into my PhD studies at Lancaster University, I composed an email to my supervisors. It was quite matter of fact in tone, I simply informed them that my youngest son and I had been at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb. I told them that I was OK, and I just thought I should let them know.......

What I learned from this rather extraordinary PhD process, is to take one day at a time and find ways to move forward. Sometimes you get thrown off course and the route back may feel long and challenging, but you will get there in the end and you might meet some amazing people along the way.

Read alumni Cath Hill 's inspirational blog here

An online resource for postgraduate research students to support your wellbeing, learning and research.

Explore the website and find; research, top tips, videos and downloadable action plans. Whether at the beginning, middle or end of your research, there will be something here for you.
Link to website 

Covid-19 deaths: How are gender, age and underlying health condition related?

James Jackson, Social Statistics, Lancaster University, 2019 Cohort

Much has been said about the demographic trends of Covid-19. It has been widely reported that deaths are more common in males; more common in the elderly; and more common amongst those with an “underlying health condition”. But to what extent is this the case? And how are these variables associated with each other? Read James's article in Significance Magazine here.

Comparative analysis of student performance in collaborative problem solving: What does it tell us?

Sofia Eleftheriadou, Educational Research, University of Manchester, 2017 Cohort co-authored with researchers from the Australian Council for Educational Research

Collaboration is a complex skill, comprised of multiple subskills, that is of growing interest to policy makers, educators and researchers. Several definitions and frameworks have been described in the literature to support assessment of collaboration; however, the inherent structure of the construct still needs better definition. Read Sofia's journal article in The Australian Journal of Education here 
Additional Funding Competitions 

The next deadline for all NWSSDTP Additional Funding Competitions is Friday 5th February 2021 (suggested deadline for internships taking place May-August 2021) 
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