Available Workshops

Kick Start Your PhD: A Practical Approach to Starting Your Research Journey

Workshop Presenter: Dr Alice Toniolo, University of St Andrews

Workshop Chair: Pireh Pirzada

Workshop Description: This workshop is specifically designed for first year PhD students or anyone who is interested in researching. This workshop will introduce you to skills necessary to start your research as a first year PhD student. Following are some pointers which will be covered during this workshop.

  1. Defining your research focus and questions
  2. Plan your writing
  3. Estimating time and scheduling tasks
  4. Gantt chart for thesis
  5. Keep on track as you implement your plan
  6. Identify risks and deal with setbacks
  7. Handling failure

At the end of this workshop you will know how to plan your PhD.

Workshop RDF Domains: A – Knowledge and Intellectual Abilities

There is a First Time for Journals, Conferences and Reviews.

Workshop Presenter: Professor Gordon Morison, Glasgow Caledonian University

Workshop Chair: Maria Insa-Iglesias

Workshop Description: Second year of any PhD is usually a critical phase for any student. Once the project finally arranges the correct direction and the student becomes an expert on the project topic, it is time to submit a conference paper, deal with the reviews from experts to get it published and present the paper in a conference to experts and professionals.

This workshop proposes guidelines to help you to deal with these phases:

  • Journal to target your research and the impact of the publication
  • Strategies to get your conference paper published
  • Dealing with your paper reviews
  • Presenting and defending your paper/poster in a conference

Workshop RDF Domains: A1- Knowledge Base; C2 – Research Management; D2 – Communication and Dissemination

How to Master Getting the Job You Want After Your Finishing PhD

Workshop Presenter: Robin Huggins, MBN Solutions

Workshop Chair: Jacob König

Workshop Description: Your PhD is nearly done. Now what?

Continuing in academia or looking for a job in the industry requires an up-to-date CV as well as skills on how to succeed in interviews and applications.  In this workshop we will look at 3 different aspects of further employability:

  • Resume Construction
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Networking skills, highlighting their significance to aspirant applicants.

This workshop is led by Robin Huggins, Director of MBN Academy. Rob draws upon 20 years’ experience as an expert Data Talent practitioner, including delivering The Data Lab’s MSc. Placement Programme for the last 3 years, therefore having the right skillset to explain these aspects from a recruitment side.

Workshop RDF Domains: B – Personal Effectiveness

Find Your Spark: Productivity, Creativity and Writing

Workshop Presenter: Dr Kate Pangbourne

Workshop Chair: Ana Ciocarlan

Workshop Description: Academic writing is an essential part of your PhD journey. As a researcher, you have to create a variety of documents, including your thesis, grant proposals and papers for publication. Sometimes writing can feel overwhelming or lonely and you might find it difficult to begin. In this interactive workshop, we will explore how to start writing, effective ways to keep focused and allaying writing anxiety. We will cover how to plan your writing and set precise goals, how to make writing part of your life and use feedback to improve. Finally, we will discuss the academic publishing process, with a focus on research papers and the thesis. The workshop will include practical writing exercises to help you work on your own project. Participants should come prepared with a writing project that they are working on, an idea about how far they want to get with it and have any essential notes with them.

Workshop RDF Domains: A1 – Knowledge Base; B2 – Self Management; C2 – Research Management

Poster Communication and Design

Workshop Presenter: Scott Bee, University of Stirling

Workshop Chair: Waqas Javed

Workshop Description: The best Academic Posters are those which can effectively summarise the important aspects of a given research topic, are easy to read and understand and are visually appealing. You want your poster to stand out and to leave the reader with more than a cursory knowledge of your research topic, the research methods you employed and your research findings. Creating an effective Academic Poster can be tricky business.

By the end of this workshop participants should be able to:

  • Be aware that the created poster must be aimed at the intended audience or the assessment criteria.
  • Consider what is required for the design and creation of an attractive and effective poster.
  • To understand the Poster Presentation Life Cycle.
  • Collaboratively mock up a poster design.
  • Be aware of what current technology is available to enhance your poster.
  • To be aware of where to go next and the support models available.

Slides: Poster-Academic-Presentation

Poster Cheatsheet: Poster-CheatSheet

Caring for Your Mental Health and Wellbeing

Workshop Presenter: Margherita Saccá-Briody, University of Stirling &  Professor Carron Shankland, University of Stirling

Workshop Chair: Sofiat Olaosebikan

Workshop Description: Many PhD students, if not all, undergo some form of pressure during their research, which could lead to various mental health issues, e.g., the feeling of anxiety, depression, imposter syndrome, etc. Under the guidance of a trained coach, this interactive workshop will create a space where participants could discuss their relationship with both their research and their mental health; and also create a mutual forum for sharing coping tactics and self-care routines. Some of the activities that will run at the workshop include:

Check-in time: What brought you to the session, and what may you particularly be dealing with at the moment?
Confessions of a PhD: Are there any awkward moments you’ve experienced during your PhD, which you now find very funny? We want to hear all of them!
Create a Mural: What techniques do you use to bolster your mental health? Be ready to post-it on our mural!
Check-out time: What struck you during the workshop, and what are you taking away?

It’s okay if you don’t want to share anything, we just want to create a supportive community where you can feel comfortable, and hopefully, take some useful self-care techniques back home with you!

Workshop RDF Domains: B – Personal Effectiveness

Communicating Your Research and Public Engagement

Workshop Presenter: Dr Karen Meyer, University of Abertay

Workshop Chair: Craig Docherty

Workshop Description: This interactive workshop will explore the who, why, how, and what of communicating your research. You’ll discuss the different types of audience you may be communicating with, and why. Participants will also get the chance to introduce their research to a non-computer science facilitator and work on nailing an easy to understand message for a general audience. The session will finish up with a discussion on the opportunities available to scientists to speak to non-academic audiences about their work & the benefits (or pitfalls!) of social media.

Workshop RDF Domains: D2&D3 – Engagement, Influence, and Impact

Solving Problems and Making Friends Using Design Sprints

Workshop Presenter: Rob Ryder-Richardson

Workshop Chair: Ladan Safiee

Workshop Description: A design sprint is a framework for understanding and solving a problem by testing new ideas – fast!

In this fast-but-fun workshop, you will:

  • think about users with customer journey mapping
  • think about content using content modeling and priority guides
  • get creative with ‘Crazy 8’ sketching
  • have your say using sticky dot voting and solution discussions
  • learn about effective prototyping and user testing

Workshop RDF Domains: A2- Cognitive Abilities; A3- Creativity; D1- Working With Others

Slides: Design Sprints

Breakdown of tasks: Timings

Life After the PhD

Workshop Presenter: Paul McMcMenemy, Saemundur Haraldsson and David Cairns, University of Stirling

Workshop Chair:Dr Sandy Brownlee

Workshop Description: It might seem a long way away, or terrifyingly close, but what’s it like once you’re out of the other side? In this workshop we will have an open discussion about careers following your PhD. How do you juggle your time? What path is right for you and how will you get there? Is there anything you can be doing now to get ready?

Workshop RDF Domains: