Graduate School training programme

Training for our Graduate School students

Get the most out of your doctoral studies

The Graduate School offers training in a range of topics that will help you to conduct your research and develop your skills as an independent researcher. Additional training is also available to you through other departments and divisions, and services such as IT Services and the Bodleian Library. You also have access to training through Lynda.com

The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) also organises a programme of research, networking and training events each term aimed at those working in the Humanities. 

Michaelmas term 2022

Online workshops and events

The training programme for Michaelmas term is listed below and is also available as a pdf download.

Download the Michaelmas term card (pdf)

These events are open to all doctoral students of the University of Oxford. Please note that some sessions will be held at Rewley House, some will be conducted online and all sessions will be recorded to enable wider access. The University has provided useful information on the technology recommended for participating in online teaching.

Registration for DPhil students in Continuing Education - please use the sign up tool on the DPhil Handbook, Graduate School Training pages. 

Registration for our PGT students and for DPhil students from other divisions, please email gradschool@conted.ox.ac.uk with details of the session(s) you’re interested in and whether you will attend online or in-person.

Feedback will be requested from participants, but if you have any initial comments please contact the Graduate School.

Programme schedule (10 Oct – 2 Dec)

 

Research ethics and integrity

Monday 10 October, 9.00-10.30 (GMT)

Hybrid: Pickstock room, Rewley House and online via Teams

Tutor: Sarah Frodsham

Ethics is not just a box ticking exercise, it relates to your overall conduct and respect for others. Thomas (2017) aptly states why we, as researcher, must be take these considerations seriously:

'A university is a place where ideas are challenged. It is a community of inquiry where it is expected that there will not just [be] critical reflection, but controversy, gloves off critique and argument - the 'collision of mind with mind'. As a member of a university [no matter if you are a member of staff or a student] you are part of this community of critical inquiry, and by being part of it you have conferred upon you some important privileges. Those privileges, though, are balanced with responsibilities, and it is in the balancing of the one with the other that ethics come in' (ibid:37).

Thus, in this session we not only look at the surface level pragmatics of the ethical application but we will also focus more deeply on understanding why thinking ethically and with integrity is a necessity, no matter the paradigm in which you situate yourself.

Essential Reading

The University of Oxford: Research integrity and ethics policy: https://researchsupport.admin.ox.ac.uk/governance/integrity/policy

Research ethics leaflet: https://researchsupport.admin.ox.ac.uk/files/researchethicswebpdf

Research ethics guidance from professional associations: https://researchsupport.admin.ox.ac.uk/governance/ethics/resources/ guidance#collapse394976

 

Student exchange

Thursday 13 October, 10.30-12.00 (GMT)

Hybrid: room 113, Rewley House and online via Teams

Tutors: Alistair Beecher and Sarah Frodsham

This is an informal networking session for doctoral students.

Remaining part of a connected scholarly community can be difficult when you are researching remotely and independently. This is an opportunity to meet informally with your fellow students to update each other on your respective projects, to share progress and success, and discuss the challenges and barriers you are encountering.

 

Doctoral research seminar

Friday 14 October, 14:00-15:00 (GMT)

Hybrid: Pickstock room, Rewley House and online via Teams

These informal seminars are designed to give doctoral students an opportunity to share their research in a supportive environment.

Speakers

  • Richard Colling (Evidence-Based Health Care).  Presentation title: Can we improve how pathologists report prostate cancer in biopsies?
  • Andreas Papallas (Sustainable Urban Development). Presentation title: Planning & Prejudice: seeking asylum in Nicosia

Update: Due to unforeseen circumstances Rob Shotliff will be unable to present at this Doctoral Research Seminar. We look forward to hearing about Rob's research at a later date.

For further information, abstracts and biographies, please visit the Doctoral research seminar webpage.

 

Using focus groups in research

Thursday 20 October, 14:00-15:00 (GMT)

Hybrid: Stopforth Metcalfe room, Rewley House and online via Teams

Tutors: Alistair Beecher and Sarah Frodsham

In this session we will begin by defining what a focus group is, then we will then briefly consider the advantages of running focus groups, alongside other research methods; the pragmatics (e.g. gatekeepers, participant sampling, group and composition); the use of stimulus materials and any challenges that may arise before, during and after the discussion.

Finally, we will invite you to consider how you, the researcher, during an actual focus group discussion, can empower the participants, with their varying experiences or perspectives about the topic in question, to articulate their considered opinions to facilitate further discussion.

Essential Reading

Barbour, R. (2007). Doing focus groups (Sage qualitative research kit). London: SAGE

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2018) Research Methods in Education. (8th Ed.). London: Routledge. (pages 532-533)

Kitzinger, J., & Barbour, R. (1999). Introduction: the challenge and promise of focus groups. In R. S. Barbour, & J. Kitzinger (Eds.), Developing focus group research (pp. 1-20). London: SAGE.

 

Postgraduate writing group: think, articulate, edit…write!

Friday 21 October, 9.00-13.00 (GMT)

Hybrid: Sadler room, Rewley House and online via Teams

Tutor: Sarah Frodsham

Student facilitated writing group

The purpose: to provide postgraduates with a collective dedicated space in which to write and provide constructive feedback.

What we do: peer-peer review of writing will take place between 09.00-10.30 (online and in person). Please send any writing you want feedback on to Sarah Frodsham seven days in advance. She will then distribute to attendees for friendly constructive criticism. There will be a dedicated space to write from 11.00-12.30

What is the benefit: we hope that this writing group will help you to achieve a specific writing goal, be it a paper, chapter, section of the thesis, or other piece of work that needs doing.

Where and when will we meet: for those wishing to join us in this reciprocal space we will meet in the Sadler room at Rewley House and online (via Teams). Twice during the morning (between 10.30-11.00 and 12.30-13.00) we will share writing progress and seek others' opinions, if you wish, or just to talk about writing.

This is a dedicated space for postgraduates to come together, write and be critical friends.

 

Academic writing: writing as conversation

Tuesday 25 October, 11.00-14.30 (GMT)

Hybrid: Sadler rm, Rewley House and online via Teams (NB: please note the change to the room)

Tutor: Dr Delia Lloyd

This workshop introduces students to an approach to academic writing known as “writing as conversation,” which is then used to inform how to write both introductions and literature reviews.

We combine best practice thinking with tips and exercises to provide a quick primer on academic writing. We explore the broad principles underlying academic writing – what makes academic writing distinctive, how to situate your argument within a broader literature, and how to write a compelling introduction.

Essential Reading

Clayton, V. (2015) The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing, The Atlantic, October 26th. Retrieved from: https://www.theatlantic.com/ education/archive/2015/10/complex-academic-writing/412255/

Goyanes, M. (2020) As Academic Writing Becomes Increasingly Standardised, What Counts as an Interesting paper, LSE Impact Blog, Retrieved from: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2020/02/24/as-academic-writing-becomes-increasingly-standardised-what-counts-as- an-interesting-paper/ .

 

Interviewing: purpose, conduct and approach

Tuesday 1 November, 10:00-12:00 (GMT)

Hybrid: Stopforth Metcalfe room, Rewley House and online via Teams

Tutors: Alistair Beecher and Sarah Frodsham

Research interviews, be they structured, semi-structured or unstructured, can go beyond the spontaneous conversations that take place every day. More specifically, they are adopted in research to find out about those things we cannot directly observe (e.g. we do not have access to

feelings, thoughts and intentions). It is these kinds of interactions, through both the interviewees and interviewer that this introductory session will focus on.

This session will introduce you to the interview as a method to collect data. We will explore and examine how each interview can and will involve very different participants and contexts (e.g. social and environmental circumstances). With this in mind this session will also introduce some of the ethical dimensions that different researchers will need to consider when using this data collection technique.

Following this introduction, we will invite you to consider the structure of a one-to-one interview schedule, with the ultimate aim to collectively explore the importance of interview questioning through prompts, probes, silences and body language.

Essential Reading

Wilson, V. (2016). Research Methods: Interviews. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 11(1(S)), 47-49.

Dodgson, M. K, & Trotman, A. J. (2022). Lessons Learned: Challenges When Conducting Interview-Based Research in Auditing and Methods of Coping. Auditing : A Journal of Practice and Theory, 41(1), 101-113.

Further Reading

Gubrium, J. F, & Holstein, J. (2001). Handbook of Interview Research. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

Brinkmann, S., & Kvale, S. (2018). Doing Interviews (2nd ed.). London: SAGE Publications.

 

Postgraduate writing group: think, articulate, edit…write!

Friday 4 November, 13.00-17.00 (GMT)

Hybrid: Stopforth Metcalfe room, Rewley House and online via Teams

Tutor: Sarah Frodsham

Student facilitated writing group

The purpose: to provide postgraduates with a collective dedicated space in which to write and provide constructive feedback.

What we do: peer-peer review of writing will take place between 13.00-14.30 (online and in person). Please send any writing you want feedback on to Sarah Frodsham seven days in advance. She will then distribute to attendees for friendly constructive criticism. There will be a dedicated space to write from 15.00-16.30

What is the benefit: we hope that this writing group will help you to achieve a specific writing goal, be it a paper, chapter, section of the thesis, or other piece of work that needs doing.

Where and when will we meet: for those wishing to join us in this reciprocal space we will meet in the Stopforth Metcalfe room at Rewley House and online (via Teams). Twice during the afternoon (between 14.30-15.00 and 16.30-17.00) we will share writing progress and seek others' opinions, if you wish, or just to talk about writing.

This is a dedicated space for postgraduates to come together, write and be critical friends.

 

Preparing for transfer of status

Monday 7 November, 14:00-16:00 (GMT)

Hybrid: Stopforth Metcalfe room, Rewley House and online via Teams

Tutors: Claire O’Mahony and Alistair Beecher

This session will consider the practicalities of the transfer process, including the appropriate timing of the application, the required paperwork, the selection of examiners, the respective roles of students and supervisors, the feedback process and possible outcomes. The session will also reflect on the nature of the interview, the kind of challenges to expect and how to make the most out of the opportunity to get some independent input into the direction of the project.

Essential Reading

No pre-reading required but a review of the Key milestones for DPhil students would be helpful

 

Postgraduate writing group: think, articulate, edit…write!

Friday 18 November, 13.00-17.00 (GMT)

Hybrid: Stopforth Metcalfe room, Rewley House and online via Teams

Tutor: Sarah Frodsham

Student facilitated writing group

The purpose: to provide postgraduates with a collective dedicated space in which to write and provide constructive feedback.

What we do: peer-peer review of writing will take place between 13.00-14.30 (online and in person). Please send any writing you want feedback on to Sarah Frodsham seven days in advance. She will then distribute to attendees for friendly constructive criticism. There will be a dedicated space to write from 15.00-16.30

What is the benefit: we hope that this writing group will help you to achieve a specific writing goal, be it a paper, chapter, section of the thesis, or other piece of work that needs doing.

Where and when will we meet: for those wishing to join us in this reciprocal space we will meet in the Stopforth Metcalfe room at Rewley House and online (via Teams). Twice during the afternoon (between 14.30-15.00 and 16.30-17.00) we will share writing progress and seek others' opinions, if you wish, or just to talk about writing.

This is a dedicated space for postgraduates to come together, write and be critical friends.

 

Applying for research grants

Tuesday 22 November,13:00-14:30 (GMT)

Hybrid: Lecture Theatre, Rewley House and online via Teams

Tutors: Sarah Frodsham, David Graham, Yasmin Khan, Nihan Akyelken, Vlad Mykhnenko

If you are thinking about applying for a research grant this session will help you understand the process from different academics’ early career experiences.

Applying for a research grant can be understandably daunting, especially for an early career researcher. To help you to understand more about this process (both from a pragmatic and personal perspective) this facilitated panel discussion will consider several, different disciplinary, personalised narratives about this process. That is, the grant application process will be represented via expert panel members who will reflect on their early days as academics seeking funding.

This session is also designed to be interactive and there will be an opportunity to put questions to the panel members either in advance or during the session.   

 

Essential Reading

Ardehali, H. (2014) ‘How to Write a Successful Grant Application and Research Paper’. Circulation Research, 114(8), 1231-1234.

Browning, B. (2014) Grant Writing for Dummies, 5th Edition (5th ed.). New York: Wiley & Sons.

Lock, H. (2015). How to apply for research funding: 10 tips for academics. Accessed 24.07.22

 

Writing an abstract

Thursday 24 November, 13:00-15:00 (GMT)

Hybrid: Stopforth Metcalfe room, Rewley House and online via Teams

Tutors: Alistair Beecher and Sarah Frodsham

The ability to write a clear and effective research abstract is important in numerous academic contexts including proposing conference papers, applying for research grants, summarising articles and book chapters and preparing your DPhil thesis. This session will consider what makes a good abstract and how to go about writing one. Practical examples will be considered and there will be opportunities to write and share your own abstracts.

 

Essential Reading

You will be invited to watch three short YouTube clips before the session and do some additional preparatory work.

Coad, J & Devitt, P. (2006) Research dissemination: The art of writing an abstract for Conferences, Nurse Education in Practice 6(2), pp. 112-16.

Heseltine, E. (2012) Writing an abstract: window to the world on your work’ Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 36(3), pp. 204-5.

Kumar, A. (2022) Writing an abstract: revealing the essence with eloquence, Indian Society of Periodontology, 26(1), pp. 1-2.

 

Student Exchange

Wednesday 30 November, 16:00-17:30 (GMT)

Hybrid: Stopforth Metcalfe room, Rewley House and online via Teams

Tutors: Alistair Beecher and Sarah Frodsham

This is an informal networking session for doctoral students.

Remaining part of a connected scholarly community can be difficult when you are researching remotely and independently. This is an opportunity to meet informally with your fellow students to update each other on your respective projects, to share progress and success, and discuss the challenges and barriers you are encountering.

 

Postgraduate writing group: think, articulate, edit…write!

Friday 2 December, 9.00-13.00 (GMT)

Hybrid: Sadler room, Rewley House and online via Teams

Tutor: Sarah Frodsham

Student facilitated writing group

The purpose: to provide postgraduates with a collective dedicated space in which to write and provide constructive feedback.

What we do: peer-peer review of writing will take place between 09.00-10.30 (online and in person). Please send any writing you want feedback on to Sarah Frodsham seven days in advance. She will then distribute to attendees for friendly constructive criticism. There will be a dedicated space to write from 11.00-12.30

What is the benefit: we hope that this writing group will help you to achieve a specific writing goal, be it a paper, chapter, section of the thesis, or other piece of work that needs doing.

Where and when will we meet: for those wishing to join us in this reciprocal space we will meet in the Sadler room at Rewley House and online (via Teams). Twice during the morning (between 10.30-11.00 and 12.30-13.00) we will share writing progress and seek others' opinions, if you wish, or just to talk about writing.

This is a dedicated space for postgraduates to come together, write and be critical friends.

 

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