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NWSSDTP Newsletter 
                                               October 2021  

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

                   Matt Hanley, Development and Humanitarianism in an Unequal World,
                   Lancaster University (2019 Cohort)

           If you have a photograph you would like featured please send it to 

Student Representatives
Hi to both old and new NWSSDTP students! As your student representatives, we hope to build a strong community for students within the DTP and to help make your learning experience better. We’re going to be running coffee mornings and research cafes, as well as other events that will give you the opportunity to socialise, network and learn more about the research that is being carried out by students across the DTP. If you have any questions or ideas about events that you would like us to run, then please get in touch with any one of the representatives. We’ll be in touch soon about future events and look forward to meeting you all!  

For details of who your reps are and current activity, please visit the NWSSDTP Student Representatives page!

               Students and NWSSDTP representatives at Lancaster University 13th November 2021

Training and Opportunities

Dr. Simon Watts, Training workshops in November and December
Following positive feedback on Dr Simon Watts two workshops earlier this year the NWSSDTP are funding a further six. Please note these workshops fill up quickly so please register as soon as possible if you are hoping to attend.
  • What should a Literature Review do? : Tues 2nd November 2021: Register here
  • Writing Effectively: Thurs 4th November 2021: Register here
  • Academic Publishing: Tues 9th November 2021: Register here 
  • Writing & Structuring an Effective Thesis: Thurs 11th November 2021: Register here
  • On the job: Securing a First Academic Post: Tues 7th December 2021: Register here 
  • Preparing Impactful Research Proposals and Grant Applications: Tues 14th December 2021: Register here
All workshops will take place between 10.00 - 12.00. Joining details will be sent a couple of days before the workshop to all who have registered.

Save the date: NWSSDTP Week 22nd - 26th November 2021

Each year, during the final week of November, the NWSSDTP organises a week long programme of events for its students. Details will be available shortly.

Methods North West

Following on from the successful series of online methods sessions in 2020-21, Methods North West is offering another series of methodological sessions during 2021/22, once again delivered by experts in their fields. New sessions are still being added, so do keep checking back! Next three sessions: 

Using Graphic Elicitation Data Gathering Methods with Ex-Offenders
Date and time: 21st October 2021; 14.00-15.00
In this talk Lee Wainwright will draw upon his own research into how entrepreneuring in prison helps to change the lived experience under conditions of extreme restriction, to discuss what graphic elicitation methods are, how to use them and how to analyse the qualitative data. Register here

Flexible Re-design of Cognitive Psychology Research in Response to COVID-19 Challenges
Date and time: 11th November; 14.00-15-00; Register here
Using the Freedom of Information Act to Gather Data – Lessons from Socio-legal research
Date and time: 2nd December; 14.00-15-00; Register here

NCRM : Decolonial Research Methods: Resisting Coloniality in Academic Knowledge Production 

In this webinar series, eminent decolonial experts will reflect on some of the key issues relating to the coloniality/decoloniality of academic research methods and methodologies. This webinar series will prompt academic researchers to explore the ways in which academic research may either reinforce or dislodge colonial discourses. for full details and registration see here.

Pen to Paper Thursday


The idea with the Pen to Paper Thursday sessions is to carve out a designated space for us all (at all levels) to get "stuff" (of all sorts) done in the digital community. There is no obligation for participants to stay for the whole session/ join each session. People are free to use the sessions in a way that works best for them. These sessions are designed for people to develop an accountable writing practice and to "reclaim" time for us to work on the things we'd like to focus on together. 

Each Pen to Paper Thursday looks like this: 

  • 09:30am - 12.30pm BST (incl breaks).
  • 5 X 25-minute writing sessions.
  • Google Meet (cameras and mics off until break time).
  • A short goal-setting exercise (for personal accountability, non-pressured/ no testing.


Future participants should email: to be added to the weekly Google Invitation. 

Social Research Association


Careers in social research

So you want to work in social research?  General advice: get some form of research methods training or qualification; decide which sector you are interested in; and scan the SRA Job Board, the online job pages of The Guardian, the Times Higher, and UKRI; and it is also worth checking the more general job sites  You can also find useful guidance to becoming a researcher on the AGCAS website. See further details here.

Zinc Innovation Internships 2021-22

Zinc is looking for talented, passionate, ambitious PhD students to join us for fixed-term Innovation Internships of 3 months, full-time. We’re looking for students with diverse academic backgrounds but a strong common interest in one or more of Zinc’s missions, which are:

· To improve mental and emotional health
· To unlock new life chances for people affected by automation and globalisation
· To improve the quality of later life
· To help people to reduce their environmental harms.
For full details see here.

Black History Month


As part of Scotland's Black History Month programme in October 2021, the Scottish Graduate Schools of Social Science (SGSSS) and Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) are joining forces with a number of AHRC and ESRC DTPs to offer a series of ‘Lunchtime talks’ celebrating the history, achievements and contributions of black and minority ethnic people from across and beyond Scotland. Register for your place here


ESRC Research Ethics Framework


The ESRC framework for research ethics helps you to consider ethics issues during the complete lifecycle of a project and includes information and guidelines on good research conduct and governance.
Useful resources

UK Data Service Introductory Training Series: Autumn 2021


UK Data Service provide access to a wide range of social science data for reuse. To help you get the most from our service, they run free introductory level training events every spring and autumn to introduce different aspects of the UK Data Service. Full details here.

Decertification: What can Removing Sex from Legal Personhood do?  


Date: 10th November; 13.30-15.30
Davina Cooper and Flora Renz will speak on the methodology, conclusions, and challenges of their ESRC funded Project, The Future of Legal Gender

In this discussion, we will explore some of the challenges and findings to emerge from our ESRC project on the decertification of sex and gender in Britain. Decertification involves the withdrawal of state and law from confirming, assigning, or registering sex and gender. Through interviews, a survey and focus groups, our research has explored the benefits and risks of decertification; this has helped us craft an imaginary legislative guide to explore what decertification as a legal reform might entail. Decertification also offers a research window into the hopes, fears, and understandings associated with gender and law. In this presentation, we will discuss different aspects of the project, including the challenge of researching gender politics in the present climate; contemporary conflicts over gender-specific provision in the domestic violence arena, and the methodological value of prefigurative law, which acts as if a future imaginary legal proposal was already on the law reform table.

Flora Renz is at the University of Kent; Davina Cooper is based at King’s College London. They have written extensively on gender, prefiguration, and legal politics, including their co-authored article, Cooper, D. and Renz, F., 2016. If the state decertified gender, what might happen to its meaning and value?. Journal of Law and Society, 43(4), pp.483-505.  You can access the session via this link                   

Students in Focus
Samantha Booth, Psychology, University of Manchester (2018 Cohort)

So your abstract has just been accepted to an academic conference. What should I expect and how can I make the most out of the experience?... Read here for Samantha's 5 quick pointers to get you started.

Sarah Garlick, Social Statistics, University of Liverpool (2016 Cohort)
24 August 2020: I’m sat with a small group of friends outside a café in Liverpool, drinking tea and eating cookies (made by one of the group, who is an excellent baker). It’s my last full day living in Liverpool. Waiting for me where I live are a large number of cardboard boxes, some packed (but many not – it’s going to be a long day). Having lived in the city since 2017, including during the first silent, confusing and lonely months of the pandemic when I felt as though I saw more seagulls than people, I am moving away from the University, away from Merseyside, with my thesis in the writing-up stage. I didn’t expect to leave Liverpool before submitting my thesis. I don’t know it yet, but this is the last time I’ll meet up with my University friends face-to-face. (Hopefully one day this will change). Read Sarah's full blog here.

Emma Randall, Health and Wellbeing, Keele University (2020 Cohort)

My love of birds of prey is unusually complex; I share a close bond with them. Resilience is the binding force we both share that connects me to them. It feels natural, then, that I am exploring animal, health and landscape geographies for my PhD: people’s encounters with birds of prey and the potential for eco-therapy. I was fortunate enough to experience falconry for the first time two months ago. NWSSDTP were very supportive preparing me for this visit, funding a piece of equipment and a specialist course, thus, I wanted to express my gratitude by writing a blog for their newsletter. Read Emma's full blog here.


The Constant Gardener: Episode 2


It's mid afternoon here at the allotment and I’m nearly ready to finish for the day. It’s a Sunday, which is always my day for coming to the allotment now, and just going into October, so officially autumn and die back time. The time of the year when a lot of the summer flowers have reached their height and started to go. Read Ronnie's latest blog here.         

Recent Events 
Peter Panayi, Psychology, University of Manchester (2020 Cohort)

In September 2021, I attended my first conference: the European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (EABCT) 2021 in Belfast, NI. I had completed the first study of my PhD at this point and presented the findings thereof as part of a wider symposium on trauma in people with psychosis. Read Peter's blog here.

“Is your research being conducted within the correct ethical boundaries?

We’re very grateful to Catherine and Gary for running a workshop on “Is your research being conducted within the correct ethical boundaries? at Lancaster University on 30th September.  It was wonderful to at last be able to hold an intensive half day workshop, with lunch provided, to enable face to face work on such a significant issue to Postgraduate Researchers.  Several students attended, from Lancaster, Manchester and Liverpool Universities.  Feedback was uniformly positive, with such comments as “super helpful”, “perfect” and “I’d recommend this event to other students 100%”.  Catherine and Gary also kindly shared materials with a few students who were extremely regretful at unavoidably not being able to attend in person; they and the workshop participants asked me to pass on their thanks.  Perhaps the last word can go to this student:
 “I really appreciate Catherine’s and Gary’s patience, friendly attitude, and professional knowledge and rich experience of ethics consideration and application. At first, I worried a lot for my ethics due to the sensitivity of my topic, but now, I know what I should present in the ethics form. Thanks, Catherine and Gary, as well as this workshop!”


TOP 5 TIPS: Fast track your research impact


Parliament for PhD students: how to engage with the UK Parliament - UK Parliament

This is a recording of an online training session called 'Parliament for PhD students: how to engage with the UK Parliament', delivered on 9th December 2020 by UK Parliament's Knowledge Exchange Unit. It covers the difference between Parliament and Government, how Parliament uses research and ways to work with Parliament as a PhD student, including details on select committees, House of Commons and House of Lords Libraries, POST and APPGs.

Designing your research for impact: Emerging methods for mobilization

Today’s emerging scholars face a new and rapidly changing academic landscape that presents distinct challenges in both their professional development and knowledge-production practices. This free micro-course walks emerging scholars through novel and productive ways of approaching work through multi-modal knowledge mobilization. Discover new knowledge-production strategies via the course’s interactive content, engaging animations, and audio-segments. Learn from the first-hand experiences of established experts and emerging scholars. For full details see here.


Additional Funding Competitions 

The next deadline for all NWSSDTP Additional Funding Competitions is Friday 4th November 2021 (suggested deadline for trips taking place January - April 2022)

An Overseas Institutional Visit at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria 


Andrea Aparicio Castro, Social Statistics, University of Manchester (2018 Cohort)
This summer, I went to Austria to do an Overseas Institutional Visit at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), which is a research institute focused on policy-oriented research.......I rank my OIV at IIASA as one of the best opportunities that the NWSSDTP has provided to me. It helped me not only to advance in my PhD but also to broaden my academic research. So, I would recommend the OIV Scheme to other students. Read Andrea's blog here.

Mines Advisory Group (MAG) Internship

Alex Holder,  Socio-legal Studies, University of Liverpool (2017 Cohort)

Despite the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, between June and January of this year I was fortunate enough to undertake a six-month internship with the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a Manchester-based NGO which has been working in the mine action sector since 1989. For more than 30 years, MAG’s work has primarily involved the ‘clearance’ of landmines, cluster munitions and unexploded bombs from areas affected by conflict all over the world. In addition to its clearance activities, MAG also engages extensively in weapons and ammunition management, risk education, as well as advocacy and campaigning relating to a number of humanitarian issues. Read Alex's full blog here.
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