Hilary Term 2021

Image courtesy of James Vinciguerra.

Hilary Term 2021

The programme for the training term is below, and each session can be booked separately through the booking tool, Please book sessions on an individual basis using your University email only. Further course details will be forwarded once registration has closed.

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

All sessions will be delivered using Microsoft Teams and access details will be provided in advance. Some of the sessions will be recorded to enable wider access and, where this is the case, additional information will be provided. The University has provided useful information on the technology recommended for participating in online teaching.

Graduate School training (18 January- 12 March )

Wednesday 20th January:

  •  New DPhils catch up. 14:00-15:00 pm   

This session, aimed primarily at those who started their DPhil in MT20, is an opportunity to network informally with your peers and share your initial experiences. The discussion will consider what is going well, difficulties encountered, the challenges of starting doctoral research during a pandemic, what additional support is needed etc. The session will be hosted by Vlad Mykhnenko, Director of Graduate Studies for Postgraduate Research.

Thursday 21 January

  • Systematic reviews (Bodleian, free) 10:00-11:30am

A systematic review is a high-level overview of primary research on a particular research question that tries to identify, select, synthesise and appraise all high quality research evidence relevant to that question in order to answer it. This approach, which is used in health, education and social policy, is more than a literature review; it follows a strict methodology designed to ensure that it is transparent, rigorous and replicable. The session is run by the Bodleian library and should be booked direct by following the link in the term card here (please note other date and times available)

Thursday 28 January

  • Academic Writing: How to edit your own writing, 9:00-12:30pm

How many times have you produced an original insight, only to be told that your writing interfered with conveying your ideas? All good writing requires conceptual clarity. But it also demands strong sentences and paragraphs. This workshop will run students through the basics of good writing, with a focus on concision and coherence. Topics include writing shorter sentences, eliminating “clutter,” employing active verbs and transition terms.

Friday 29 January

  • Discussion of search engines videos, 16:00-17:00

This is an opportunity to discuss the free suite of short videos provided by the Bodleian outlining the effective use of search engines, which is an important skill to develop for any research project. Issues considered in the videos include searching for articles, using Google Scholar, developing a search strategy, searching databases, using the thesaurus and finding grey literature.

Tuesday 2 February

  • Introduction to interviewing 12:00-14:00pm

This session will introduce students to interviewing as a methodology for research.

Friday 5 Febraury

  • An Introduction to Public Engagement 13:00-14:30pm

In this session you will learn some of the background to Public Engagement with Research (PER), including the definitions the University of Oxford uses, and what the hallmarks are for good PER. You’ll also think about how PER might help you in your research through informing the public, consulting them, or collaborating with them. You won’t be an expert by the time this session is over, but you will know what we mean when we talk about PER< and what your next steps could be.


Tusday 9 February

  • Publishing your first journal article 15:00-16:30pm

Publishing aspects of your research in journal articles as your DPhil progresses can be hugely beneficial for your project. Whilst the process can be time-consuming, the blind ‘peer review’ is invaluable in getting objective external feedback on how the research holds together and what other academics see as its innovative contribution. In this session Louise Bezuidenhout will share her thoughts and advice as a journal editor and various students will share their experience as contributors. Issues discussed will include the review process, responding to feedback, different journalistic and editorial styles, the discipline of writing to small word limits and tight editorial deadlines, and the value of putting your work forward for external scrutiny.

Wednesday 10 February

  • Discussion of Linked In Learning Video, 12:00-13:00pm

This session will focus on the use of Endnote as a reference management tool.

Thursday 11 February

  • Student Exchange, 09:00-11:00am

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.

Friday 12 February

  • Doctoral Research Seminar 13;00-14:30pm

Wednesday 17 February

  • Improving your presentations, 14:00-16:00pm

The ability to present your research effectively to a wide range of audiences is an essential part of a DPhil. Preparing and delivering a presentation and responding to questions both enhances your understanding and challenges your thinking. This practical and participative workshop will look at some key principles and techniques for presenting effectively in different contexts, as well as common concerns such as dealing with nerves, controlling timing and responding to questions. Students will be expected to prepare and deliver a brief presentation outlining an aspect of their research.

Friday 19 February

  • Preparing your elevator pitch, 12:00-13:00pm

Students often have to give short, confident, summaries of their work to pique the listener’s interest and encourage them to want to hear more. It is a valuable academic skill, as having a ready conversation starter can increase your confidence to talk to senior and specialist research colleagues, which helps build your network. In this session you will produce the first draft of your elevator pitch, which compresses your research topic, interests and, depending on where you are in your DPhil journey, even findings into a short speech you could deliver while at a seminar or a conference or in general conversation. The session will be jointly facilitated by the Graduate School and the Social Sciences Division.

Wednesday 24 February

  • Completion, submission and the Viva, 10:00-11:30am

This session will consider the final milestone of the DPhil degree: the finalisation and submission of the thesis, the examination and the Viva. Matters discussed will include the various regulations, processes and forms as well as the choice of examiners, preparing for the Viva and the various possible outcomes. Some recently completed students will share their experience of the process and undertaking the Viva either online and in person.

Friday 26 February

  • Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research, 12:00-14:00pm

This session will introduce students to interdisciplinary research. It will cover topics such as the benefits of interdisciplinary research, challenges associated with interdisciplinary collaborations and dissemination of interdisciplinary research. It will include a practical discussion about setting up interdisciplinary studies.

Thursday 4 March

  • Research data management 12:00-13:30pm

Good research data management is a vital component of academic practice. Part of this is the principle that the data used to develop the arguments and outcomes of your research should be effectively stored and managed during a project, preserved for the future and - where possible - shared with other academics. This session introduces the University’s research data policy and outlines the practical impact this will have on your work. The services available at Oxford to assist you will be outlined. This session is not only essential during your current studies but will be invaluable if you plan to continue in research as a career.

Tuesday 9 March

  • Social media for researchers 13:00-15:00pm

This workshop gives students practical tips for using an array of social media tools to advance their careers as researchers. We will look first at social media as a tool for learning:  a user-friendly technique for staying across relevant debates within one’s field of inquiry. We will also examine how social media – and, in particular, Twitter, Research Gate and Linked In – can be used as a research tool. Finally, we will look at how students can use blogging and social media to disseminate their work and to grow their visibility and networks.


Additional training sessions

Date tbc