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Reflections on researcher development

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    At the end of November my good friend and colleague Janet Wilkinson from Three Times Three helped me to deliver a session for the UWE Researchers’ Forum. The theme for the forum was “toward a research active lecturing post”, a topic that concerns lots of researchers and academics. On the one hand there are staff [...]

    Why?thedigitaldoctorateWhy?pyramid of purposeWhy?thedigitaldoctorateWhy?pyramid of purpose

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    This week we ran a workshop entitled “The effective researcher- the middle years”. This is a workshop aimed at those who are midway through their doctoral degrees and are looking for reassurance and guidance about how to keep things on track. It is well known among PhDers that there is a period of difficulty – [...]

    rollercoasterthedigitaldoctorateThe middle years of a PhD?rollercoasterthedigitaldoctorateThe middle years of a PhD?

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    This week myself and Janet Wilkinson are running a workshop specifically for part time students. There are two significant new elements to how we’re doing this; firstly the workshop will be be split over two consecutive evenings (in the past we have run this on a Saturday) and secondly we are going to have some [...]

    Old fashioned scalesthedigitaldoctorateOld fashioned scalesOld fashioned scalesthedigitaldoctorateOld fashioned scales

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  • 01/01/13--23:36: 2012 in review
  • The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: 600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get [...]


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    Recently I directed a course entitled “The Socially Innovative Researcher” in the Chancellors Conference Centre in Manchester. I was joined by a team of experienced colleagues from the University of Manchester (Dr Jim Boran, Dr Lynn Clark, Dr Emily McIntosh & Elizabeth Wilkinson) and the wider Vitae network (Dr Chris Russell, Dr Nathan Ryder & Janet Wilkinson) as [...]

    Social Innovation word cloudthedigitaldoctorateSocial Innovation word cloudSocial Innovation word cloudthedigitaldoctorateSocial Innovation word cloud

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    From: Neil Willey, Director of the UWE Graduate School It’s just over a year ago now that UWE set up its university-wide Graduate School and then celebrated the launch, so I thought it might be a good time to reflect on how things are going. Personally, I think we’ve now got a pretty sturdy one year old [...]

    Party CakethedigitaldoctorateParty CakeParty CakethedigitaldoctorateParty Cake

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    About two years ago I started my blogging journey, I wanted a way to reflect on the workshops I deliver to researchers – to jot down the context, share the resources used. I’m a reasonably confident and competent tech user but had no clue about blogging platforms. This is why I chose as my starting [...]

    posterous-logothedigitaldoctorateposterous-logoposterous backupposterous-logothedigitaldoctorateposterous-logoposterous backup

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  • 02/28/13--07:40: Welcome to EdD – part 2
  • This week UWE are running a short welcome session for doctoral candidates who are studying on one of the professional doctorate routes – the EdD. This programme has two major parts to it, the first being comprised of a structured taught element and the second is the supervised research phase. An overview of this professional [...]

    Welcome word.thedigitaldoctorateThe word welcome created from 3 dimensional letteringWelcome word.thedigitaldoctorateThe word welcome created from 3 dimensional lettering

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    This week I ran a workshop at UWE on the use of social media in the context of research. This follows on from a similar workshop that I ran in February 2012 for researchers and a workshop at the Vitae Conference in September 2012 for researcher skills developers from across the country. The background to this is [...]

    Social Media PosterthedigitaldoctorateSocial media on electronic displayHope_and_fearsSocial Media PosterthedigitaldoctorateSocial media on electronic displayHope_and_fears

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    The following is a guest post from Janet Wilkinson (Three Times Three) on the topic of putting together a business plan for the uninitiated. Inevitably there is no single answer to the question ‘what do I need to include in my business plan and how long should it be?’ and a Google search on the two words [...]

    business planthedigitaldoctorateBusiness plan word cloudbusiness planthedigitaldoctorateBusiness plan word cloud

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  • 03/07/13--08:04: Preparing a pecha kucha
  • I spend a lot of time delivering workshops to researchers on a diverse set of topics – most of the time I will be waxing lyrical about the need to communicate research well. By that I mean accessible. So inevitably I spend time trying to convince researchers of why they need to practice their presentation [...]

    stopwatchthedigitaldoctorateAnalogue stopwatchstopwatchthedigitaldoctorateAnalogue stopwatch

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    This is a guest post by Dr. Nathan Ryder (@drryder), creator of the Viva Survivors website and author of the book Fail Your Viva – Twelve Steps To Failing Your PhD (And Fifty-Eight Tips For Passing). Here are his hints and tips for boosting your creativity.   If ideas seem hard to find or if inspiration is [...]


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  • 04/16/13--13:04: The progression exam
  • This week I am running a workshop on for some research students who are studying for a professional doctorate entitled “The Progression exam”. This is a formal milestone in the research degree journey that pretty much every doctoral candidate at any university will have to overcome. Some call it a “transfer” exam, others a “progression [...]

    Under examinationthedigitaldoctorateUnder the spotlightUnder examinationthedigitaldoctorateUnder the spotlight

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    Last week UWE put on a workshop on the topic of data management, something that is becoming much more important in contemporary research environments. Indeed JISC have been funding a number of projects on producing best practice in this area. I was lucky enough to be able to invite the UWE research and knowledge exchange [...]

    padlock smallthedigitaldoctorateUnder lock and key: keeping your data safepadlock smallthedigitaldoctorateUnder lock and key: keeping your data safe

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    Today I delivered a workshop at UWE entitled “How to win funds & influence people“. This is an event aimed squarely at researchers who are wanting to know a bit more about the process of applying for research funding, an introduction if you like as opposed to a masterclass in bidding. I started the day [...]

    Key to successthedigitaldoctorateWinning funds & influencing peopleKey to successthedigitaldoctorateWinning funds & influencing people

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    This week I ran a workshop at UWE on the topic of putting together posters for the purpose of presenting research at conferences. I deliberately called this “Perfect Posters” because I had a sneaking suspicion that it might draw folks in and it did! So I began by telling the researchers that there probably isn’t […]

    perfect posterthedigitaldoctorateThe perfect poster guaranteed!perfect posterthedigitaldoctorateThe perfect poster guaranteed!

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    On Tuesday of this week I attended the Research and Enterprise Conference held at Southampton Solent University (#SSURE13). I had been invited to speak on social innovation, enterprise and researchers based on some of my previous work in this area. It was nice to be asked to contribute my thoughts on the topic, recognition I suppose […]

    social innovationthedigitaldoctoratesocial innovationsocial innovationthedigitaldoctoratesocial innovation

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    At the beginning of July, Plymouth University in collaboration with UWE, Bristol put on a four day residential course for doctoral researchers at the fabulous Buckland Hall in the Brecon Beacons. This course is designed to give researchers the time and space to reflect on their development to date and to spend time in the […]

    Buckland HallthedigitaldoctorateBuckland Hall, July 2013Facilitators MondayHow to build a giraffe!Day 1 summaryDay 2Day 2 summaryDay 3Day 3 SummaryReady for action?Ready to record?Camera, lights, action!Day 4Day 4 SummaryBooks!Buckland HallthedigitaldoctorateBuckland Hall, July 2013Facilitators MondayHow to build a giraffe!Day 1 summaryDay 2Day 2 summaryDay 3Day 3 SummaryReady for action?Ready to record?Camera, lights, action!Day 4Day 4 SummaryBooks!

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    Using ‘Research-Based Learning’ to Enhance Doctoral Skills Development At the recent Vitae Researcher Development International Conference myself and Neil Willey presented a workshop outlining our approach to a new module aimed at doctoral students. The Prezi we used can be found here: Research in Contemporary Context module prezi. In October 2012 in the Graduate School at UWE […]

    research definitionthedigitaldoctorateResearch in definitionThe Vitae Researcher Development Frameworkresearch definitionthedigitaldoctorateResearch in definitionThe Vitae Researcher Development Framework

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    This week I ran a workshop for newly registered research degree students entitled “The Beginner’s Guide to the Doctorate”. What I set out to do was to lay bare the road ahead when it comes to a research degree, to get the participants to consider aspects of the journey that, perhaps, they had not yet […]

    beginningthedigitaldoctorateSo this is the way forward!beginningthedigitaldoctorateSo this is the way forward!

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