‘The New Academic’: great blog for PGRs and ECRs

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Nadine Muller has launched an excellent new blog for postgraduate researchers (PGRs) and early career researchers (ECRs). In her own words…

The New AcadmicIn November 2012 I launched The New Academic, a continuing series of blog posts on all things academic, aimed at postgraduate and early-career researchers. Rather than lengthy personal accounts, The New Academic aims to provide short tips and guidance – however subjective – on key academic activities.

I now write to you with two requests (besides hoping you will visit the blog and comment, or even recommend it to others):

  1. If you are a researcher and would like to propose a guest post on a topic of your choice, please get in touch with me. Posts may be personal accounts of your experiences in academia generally, or may address specific issues you’ve encountered.
  2. Considering recent announcements of funding cuts, the next season of The New Academic (starting May 2013) will be dedicated exclusively to the experiences of part-time and/or self-funded postgraduate students, who can, unfortunately, often find themselves overlooked within departments (though of course this isn’t always the case) and within the academic landscape. If you were or are a part-time and/or self-funded postgraduate and would like to contribute a post about your experiences, please do get in touch. I already have a list of 30+ people on my potential author list for this series of posts, and the more voices are heard, the better.

Please feel to get in touch with me via or, and feel free to pass this message on to anyone you think may be interested. Any comments and suggestions are gratefully received, as are suggestions for guest posts.

I hope you’ll find the blog a valuable resource – as you will see, it lays no claim to being a universal database of knowledge, but to simply provide useful “beginners'” information and overviews which I hope will be of help to other postgraduate researchers and early-career academics.

All the best and thanks for reading,


Dr Nadine Muller

Lecturer in English Literature & Cultural History Liverpool John Moores University Dean Walters Building

Twitter: @Nadine_Muller


New Wiki and blog hosting for education and social work researchers: eswphd

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An update from Denise Turner (Doctoral Researcher, Social Work) on a new Wiki for researchers. Focussed mainly (but not only!) on the fields of social work and education, the site provides access to archived twitter chats from the #eswphd hashtag, and hosts blogs from doctoral researchers and faculty. is shaping up to be a friendly and productive researcher community – do join in.

eswphd wiki logoYou may already be are aware of our weekly ‘Twitter chats’ using the hashtag #eswphd, and we now have a dedicated Webpage/Wiki which carries an archive of these weekly chats (in a nice orderly list – with headings! ) and includes the recent Sussex Library collaboration.

It also has space to host individual student/faculty & group blogs…. Michelle Lefevre from Social Work has already signed up & we also have a blog page for our monthly ESW Writing Group.

This facility was made possible by a collaboration of people who ‘met’ on Twitter & who have given their skill & time in building this for no financial reward – it is hosted by Jon Bolton’s company ‘Focus on Learning‘ and maintained by Sussex doctoral researcher Liz Thackray.  Its a stunning example of group work and the efficacy of community building in social media.

Please do visit the site and see what it has to offer & encourage people to use it – you dont have to be in education or social work.

ESRC media training days

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The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) are pleased to advise that the next round of media training days have been announced. You can see all the dates and venues on the ESRC media training page at The dates and venues are as follows…



24 April 2013 Cavendish Campus, Univ. of Westminster, London 25 April 2013 Sherlock Holmes Park Plaza Hotel, London
19 June 2013 The Rougemont by Thistle Hotel, Exeter 20 June 2013 The Rougemont by Thistle Hotel, Exeter
25 September 2013 The Portland by Thistle Hotel, Manchester 26 September 2013 The Portland by Thistle Hotel, Manchester
20 November 2013 ABode Glasgow Hotel 21 November 2013 ABode Glasgow Hotel

The ESRC offers two levels of training…

Early career – Covers PhD and Postdoctoral students

Mid career – Covers researchers who are beyond their first five years as a researcher

Who can attend these courses?

ESRC training courses are available for social science researchers with preference given to ESRC-funded PhD students and researchers. Non-ESRC funded students and researchers can attend if spaces are available or will be placed on a reserve list – we may only give two weeks’ notice of available spaces.

How many people can attend each course?

Early career – maximum of 40 participants

Mid career – maximum of 10 participants

How much does each course cost?

The courses are offered free of charge, however the cost of getting to and from the venue is at your own expense.

How long does the course last?

Each course lasts one day – roughly 0900-17.00. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

What does the course involve?

We will send an agenda and directions to the venue with your course confirmation letter. For the senior and professorial fellows’ media training courses, the format of the day will vary depending on the group’s previous experience as stated in the registration forms.

How do I book?

You can find further details and the link to an online booking form at

If you have any questions regarding attending one of these events, then please don’t hesitate in contacting us.

Kind Regards

Charles Clerck

Communications Administrator

ESRC Partnerships and Communications Directorate

Economic and Social Research Council

Polaris House

North Star Avenue

Swindon, SN2 1UJ

Tel: 01793 413116

Email –

Researcher Development Programme: training and workshops for Spring 2013

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Researcher Development Programme: What’s in it for me?

You’ll gain and refine skills that will help you with your research: making it easier and faster for you to conduct your research successfully. The programme consists of a range of options, and you can choose the activities that are right for you, at each stage of your research journey. Activities cater for all levels of skill and experience, from those new to doctoral research, to those with more experience.

For further details about workshops  and to book your place, see our events listing page

Or for further guidance, recommendations, or suggestions contact us at

Spring 2013 programme of workshops and development opportunities

Workshops coming up in March and April are listed below. Some workshops are fully booked, but if you’re interested it’s worth adding your name to the waiting lists as places may become available:

      • 18th March- Preparing to complete your doctorate
      • 19th March- Building your academic web presence
      • 20th March -Introduction to mendeley  – only 1 place remaining
      • 20th March- Making the most of conferences
      • 21st March- Managing your research data
      • 22nd March- Presentation delivery – *fully booked/ waiting list operating
      • 22nd March- Copyright issues in your doctoral thesis
      • 25th March- Impact and research communication- *fully booked/ waiting list
      • 26th March- Introduction to Zotero– *fully booked/ waiting list
      • 27th March Developing your Sussex online profile- *fully booked/ waiting list
      • 27th March- Editorial skills for researchers: conducting peer reviews and copy editing – *fully booked/ waiting list
      • 5th April- Advanced presentation skills (social sciences)
      • 9th April- Presenting and performing your paper
      • 10th April- Practical tips for academic writing- *fully booked/ waiting list
      • 17th April- Improving supervision and professional relationships
      • 17th April- (NEW) Covering your research costs
      • 22nd & 23rd April- Creativity in academic writing
      • 23rd April- Developing your Sussex online profile– *fully booked/ waiting list
      • 29th April- Becoming an effective researcher


Easier, faster interlibrary requests for articles and e-books

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Image of the ILR webpage, indicating links to Article and Loan request forms

Do you know that feeling of urgent doom when you come across just the exact article you need, but realise you have to submit an interlibrary request to get it…? And you just can’t get to campus right now to sign a copyright declaration? Yeah, that.

Well the Library have been listening. Access to place a request for an interlibrary loan or article online has been available for some time, but in the past we’ve had to make a trip to the Library in person to sign the copyright declaration before the request could be placed. No longer! The copyright declaration has now been integrated into the online request form, so you can do it all from the comfort of your home, a cafe in town, your fieldwork or archive location… anywhere with internet access. And you can have your article delivered right to your inbox.

Helen Webb (Research Support, Library) says:

quotesopenIt’s now even easier to request an Interlibrary Loan for an item you need if the Library doesn’t have it.

95% of journal articles can now be delivered direct to your desktop and we’ve saved you a trip to the Library by making the Copyright agreement a part of the online request form – no need to print and bring a separate form before you get your article.


We’re also experimenting with offering immediate access to ebooks (where possible) when you request to borrow a book that we don’t have – making our already quick service even speedier. For more information see the Interlibrary Loans page (

To order your e-article or interlibrary item:

  1. screenshot of ILR request page showing copyright declaration and delivery methodgo to
  2. select the relevant link from the right hand side of the page
  3. login with your ITS username and password
  4. complete the details of the article/item you are requesting
  5. select the delivery method – “send to my email account” is the quickest
  6. read the copyright declaration. If you agree, tick the box
  7. Click the ‘Submit’ button.
  8. Done!

University of Southampton PopFest

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Southampton Logo

21st PopFest Conference

We have ten conference bursaried for £75 each!

Applications for bursaries should be sent to in a word or PDF document. Please include your name, institution and supervisor, programme and year of study and how your research is funded(name of sponsor/self-funded). State if you wish to be consisered for a poster or oral presentation.

Deadline 1st March.

for more information go to

Treasure Hunt answers (from the Festive Fayre)

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Last Wednesday at the Doctoral School’s 2012 Festive Fayre, we ran a treasure hunt. Researchers toured the stalls with their glasses of mulled wine and mince pies, collecting answer to questions about services and support for Sussex researchers. Correct entries went into a prize draw, and winners were drawn randomly by the crowd. Ten lucky winners left with prizes such a kindle, £50 and £30 vouchers for research activities, Amazon vouchers, and books donated to us by Palgrave Macmillan.

Many of you commented that the stalls and the information you gleaned were useful, so we’re publishing the full treasure hunt questions and correct answers here…

Doctoral School

Question: What’s the closing date for the next Researcher Led Initiative funding cycle?

Answer: 31st December 2012. The final cycle closing date for 2012-13 is 30th April 2013, and if you answered with either of these dates, we marked it as correct. Because it’s Christmas 🙂

Question: How many Doctoral Training Pathways are there at Sussex? Name three of them.

Answer: There are six Doctoral Training Pathways:

    • Understanding Behaviour
    • Innovation and Sustainability: Management and Policy
    • Global Social Transformations
    • Knowledge and Society: Well-being, Health and Communities
    • Citizenship, Justice and Security
    • Global Economic Performance

Teaching and Learning Development Unit (TLDU): Researcher Development

Question: Where can I find out about Researcher Development Events?

Answer: On the Researcher Development pages of the Doctoral School website

Question: Which resources from the Researcher Development Programme are available online?

Answer:  We are developing a series of online modules covering the following topics: technical programs and software (inc. Zotero, NVivo, LaTeX); writing skills and support (inc. writing your thesis and publishing your research); research skills (inc. writing literature review and preparing for your viva); communication and presentation skills; personal development (inc. time and project management).

Teaching and Learning Development Unit (TLDU): Teaching and Learning

Question: What’s the name of the pre-teaching course for Doctoral researchers?

Answer: Introduction to Teaching in Higher Education

Question: Which department runs the AHEA Pathway – a route to gaining Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy?

Answer: TLDU – Teaching, Learning, Development Unit.

Careers and Employability Centre

Question: How do you book an hour long one-to-one consultation with a Careers advisor?

Answer: You can email Jane Riley ( or Catherine Reynolds ( directly.

Question: How do you find information specifically for PhDs on the Careers website?

Answer: Follow the link

Sussex Centre for Language Studies (SCLS): Academic Development

Question: If you are an international student and you are feeling concerned about your use of the definite article in a paper you are writing, would it be more appropriate to seek help through a tutorial or a workshop?

Answer: tutorial, as they are one-to-one

Question: If you are an international student, how would you book a tutorial with a tutor who is a specialist in working with students for whom English is a second or other language?

Answer: via the Study Direct site:

Excursions journal

Question: How can I get involved in Excursions?

Answer: By signing up on the website to become an Associate Editor for peer-reviewing and copyediting submissions

Question: Does Excursions have any events planned for 2013?

Answer: Yes, Excursions will have a launch party for its next issue in February, and is planning an interdisciplinary event on the theme of purity in June.

Library: Research Support

Question: How many Sussex doctoral theses are on Sussex Research Online (SRO)?

Answer: It changes, but at the time the treasure hunt was active, there were 541. We accepted any answers that were in the ballpark of this number 🙂

Question: What is the name of the new purpose-built home for Special Collections?

Answer: The Keep

Research Hive Scholars

Question: What series of writing events are the Hive scholars running this year and when is the date of the next event?

Answer: Shut Up and Write! Tuesday 15th January, 3.00pm

Question: What Hive event is taking place on the 30th January?

Answer: SAGE publishing talk.

IT Services: Research Support Team

Question: How does someone contact ITS for Research Support?

Answer: Email

Question: IT Services run a ‘Introduction to Managing your Citations’ course for staff and researches. Which software package is used for that course?

Answer: EndNote. Check out ITS training pages to book yourself a place on this and other courses.

Student Life Centre

Question: What are the Student Life Centre top tips for successful research students?

Answer: Seek out a support network – use it, and allow it to develop. Aim for good work life balance. Work in the knowledge that progress is incremental but with the big picture in mind.

Question: What should students do they feel things are getting on top of them and going in the wrong direction?

Answer: Talk about it.

Sussex Research Staff Association

Question: How much is the prize for the RSA draw?

Answer: £25

Question: Which members of the Research Committee are here today?

Answer:Anna Good & Fran Meeten


Question: What does RDF stand for?

Answer:Researcher Development Framework

Question: According to the report ‘What Do Researchers Do?’ what percentage of doctoral graduates were working in Higher Education three years after their graduation?


RLI Winners stand

Khalid’s Question: What is the “Bussy monologues” based on?

Answer: “The vagina monologues”. This information wasn’t readily available at the start of the afternoon, so we didn’t include it in the marking of the answers 🙂