Category Archives: News

Report on Workshop 4 at Staffordshire University

Midlands Philosophy Research Training Network

Birmingham, Birmingham City, Keele, Staffordshire, Warwick

 

Event 4: Employability for Early Stage PhD Researchers

Staffordshire University, 11 March 2009

 

REPORT ON FEEDBACK

Attendance: 4 PhD students (Staffs : 3, Warwick : 1)

Quantitative questionnaire scores (averages, marked out of 5):

Sessions:

Comparative National systems of doctoral training   5.0

Reading and understanding job advertisements         4.5

What to expect in application & interview:                4.5

How to start preparing your CV now.                                    4.5

Overall:

Content of the workshop:                                           4.8

Presentation of the workshop:                                                4.8

Overall satisfaction:                                                    4.8

 

Everyone said they were ‘very likely’ to change some aspect of how they approach their PhD/professional development activities as a result of the workshop.

 

Some comments from participants:

  • “Very pleased with the discussions and concrete advice”
  • “[This] helps me reflect on the wider professional context of my work”

 

Suggestions for improvement/additions from participants:

  • “I’d like it better if the workshop started in the morning and finished earlier in the afternoon”
  • “It would have been nice to have longer discussion periods at the end of each session”

 

Comments from workshop presenter:

Professor Douglas Burnham: The aim of this session was to work backwards from what a well-qualified candidate looks like to the steps that a PhD researcher can take now in order to reach that point. I think this went down well, and there was some revealing, detailed and practical discussion. I picked up on the idea of looking at real job advertisements from the feedback to event 1. The international dimension to the presentations was welcomed.

I believe I made a mistake in timetabling, in not quite leaving sufficient time in each session for discussion – once the ideas and examples start flowing, in fact, each session could have been double the length – and in running rather too long into the afternoon. The latter decision was to try to encourage more part-time PhD students to come along,

Happy New Year

A Happy New Year to all The Midlands’ Philosophers, I hope you spent the Christmas break working hard…

We have several workshops lined up for the first part of 2009 and I look forward to bringing you more details as soon as they are finalised.

In the meantime please keep us updated on your research and, if you are in need of any particular advice, please post the information on this site under ‘Comments’ and hopefully we will be able to match you with someone who can help.

Kirsty

Report on Workshop 2 (Dec 3rd 2008)

Midlands Philosophy Research Training Network

Birmingham, Birmingham City, Keele, Staffordshire, Warwick

 

Event 2: Teaching and Curriculum Design Workshop

Birmingham City University, 3 December 2008

 

REPORT ON FEEDBACK

Attendance: 5 PhD students (BCU : 3, Warwick : 2)

(3 students did not attend despite registering with apologies received from 1.)

Quantitative questionnaire scores (averages, marked out of 5):

Sessions:

Running seminars and lecturing to a large class:        5.0

Curriculum development:                                            4.8

Designing a whole module:                                         4.8

 

Overall:

Content of the workshop:                                           4.8

Presentation of the workshop:                                    5.0

Overall satisfaction:                                                    5.0

 

Everyone said they were ‘very likely’ to change some aspect of how they approach their PhD/professional development activities as a result of the workshop.

 

Some comments from participants:

  • “The whole workshop was of the highest quality.”
  • “I’m looking forward to the fully developed website of the RTN.”

 

Suggestions for improvement/additions from participants:

  • “It would be good to work through a module in detail to see how all the ideas are actually applied.”
  • “More attendees please!”
  • “More (if there’s time!) practical activities.”

 

Comments from workshop presenter:

Dr David Mossley (Manager of the Subject Centre for Philosophical and Religious Studies- www.prs.heacademy.ac.uk) delivered the first session which was very well received.

I am pleased that everyone found it both useful and enjoyable but as with the first workshop it is a shame that attendance was not higher. Everyone who has participated in the workshops is keen to see the development of the research training network and thinks that they will gain much from it in terms of professional development, networking and information.

The comments about practical activities and working through a module in detail are useful. Time constraints impose selectivity on what material can be covered but it should be possible to incorporate both these suggestions in future deliveries of the workshop

Welcome to our Website

A warm welcome to all members of Midlands Philosophy Research Training Network. This Network has been designedto facilitate the development of all Midland PhD Philosophy Students. If you would like more information please contact Kirsty who will be pleased to help.

In the meantime we look forward to seeing you at one of our Workshops in 2009.

Event 3: Research 1 – February 11 2009

The next workshop is set for the 11th February 2009 and is entitled Research 1.

Midlands Philosophy Research Training Network

Birmingham, Birmingham City, Keele, Staffordshire, Warwick

Research 1: Conference Presentations, Networking, Publications Advice

University of Warwick, Wednesday 11 February 2009

Venue: Wolfson Research Exchange, Annexe, 3rd floor Library.

 

10.30 – 10.50

 

Arrival
10.50 – 11.00

 

Welcome and Introduction to the Research Exchange
11.00 – 12.30

 

Session 1: Presenting at Conferences (Dr. Caron King, Kingswood Plus)
12.30 – 1.15

 

Lunch
1.15 – 2.45

 

Session 2: Publication Advice (Rebecca Mahay, Social Studies, University of Warwick)
2.45 – 3.00

 

Coffee
3.00 – 4.30

 

Session 3: Networking (Dr. Caron King, Kingswood Plus)

 

Several members of the Warwick philosophy department will be contributing to the sessions and will be available to offer advice.

 

Preparation

If you have a paper under way, you may want to bring at least the abstract, which may be used for an exercise during session 2.

 

Travel Expenses

We have a limited budget to reimburse your travel expenses, if you are not from Warwick, please keep all receipts; we will give you a claim form on the day. Please note that we can ONLY pay for public transport or private cars and NOT taxis, up to a maximum of £10 per person. (If you want to drive, give others a lift and each one can claim, then they can reimburse you!).

 

Getting to the University

The Library is situated on the Central Campus.

Directions for reaching the University by car can be found here: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/about/visiting/directions/  and details on car parking here: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/about/visiting/directions/parking/. The most convenient car park for the library is Car park 8, which is pay and display.

The nearest railway station in Coventry, then a bus is required: Visitors should follow the signs from the station to Warwick Road (a 2 minute walk) and from there catch the Travel Coventry services 12/12A or U1 which travel onto the main campus. The Stagecoach service U1 travels along Warwick Road and onto the Central Campus.

Report on Workshop 1 – 12th November 2008

Midlands Philosophy Research Training Network

Birmingham, Birmingham City, Keele, Staffordshire, Warwick

 

Event 1: Employability workshop for advanced PhD students

University of Birmingham, Wednesday 12 November 2008

 

REPORT ON FEEDBACK

Attendance: 6 PhD students (Staffs: 3, Warwick: 2, BCU: 1)

Quantitative questionnaire scores (averages, marked out of 5):

Sessions:

Writing your CV:                               4.8

Preparing for job interviews:          4.7

Presenting your job talk:                  4.5

 

Overall:

Content of the workshop:                4.7

Presentation of the workshop:        4.8

Overall satisfaction:                          4.8

Everyone said they were ‘very likely’ to change some aspect of how they approach their PhD/professional development activities as a result of the workshop.

 

Some comments from participants:

  • “Practical and useful advice. The presenter was very honest and engaging.”
  • “The information about how to sell myself in my CV was particularly informative.”
  • “I have learned to appreciate the varying aspects of preparing for employment in philosophy.”

 

Suggestions for improvement/additions from participants:

  • “Maybe CV analysis on the day (though the presenter offered to check our CVs if we emailed them to her).”
  • “More examples of good CVs.”
  • “Perhaps some examples of jobs that have been on offer and analysis of what they are looking for.”

Comments from workshop presenter:

I’m really glad everyone got something out of this. It’s a shame attendance wasn’t higher, in that there must be a lot of other PhD students who also would have learned something from it. That also meant we had to cancel the ‘mock job talk’ session, as we only had one volunteer. On the other hand having a small (and enthusiastic!) group probably made the day go better.

The suggestions are all good. (There wouldn’t really be time to actually look properly at people’s CVs on the day, but it was a bit of an afterthought to tell people they could email me their CVs, and I’ll remember to do this again in future.) I had to be selective about material due to time constraints, so perhaps the moral is that we should have more workshops on the employability theme than we were envisaging, so that we can cover more territory. (E.g. we could start with more general information about the job market, looking at adverts, etc., before moving on to the specific advice about CVs and so on.)

I could probably find someone with an entry-level job to let me distribute their CV so that people have a concrete example of a successful one.