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. 

Hilary term 2022

Online workshops and events

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

> link to download the Hilary term card (pdf)

To register, please use the sign-up tool on the DPhil Handbook, Graduate School Training pages. 

These events are open to all doctoral students of the University of Oxford. All sessions will be conducted online through Microsoft Teams and will be recorded to enable wider access. Please note the exception of the Student Exchange sessions, which will be held in-person with peers at Rewley House and transmitted online. The Student Exchange sessions will not be recorded.

The University has provided useful information on the technology recommended for participating in online teaching.

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

Programme schedule (17 Jan – 11 Mar 2022)

Student Exchange 1 of 2

Thursday 20 January, 9.30-11.00 (GMT)

Online and in Room 113, Rewley House. Please check back for updates as guidance changes

Tutor: Alistair Beecher

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.

 

Critical Reading

Wednesday 26 January, 13.00-15.00 (GMT)

Online only session

Tutor: Robert Ritter

This session will explore how students can get the most out of their critical reading. 

Samuel Johnson said, “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write: a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” But how to do it? Which library, and which half? How do you decide what is, and isn’t, relevant and worth pursuing? How can you place a primary or secondary work in a context relevant to your research? We will come to grips with these and other topics, to give students the tools necessary to undertake research effectively. 

Key learning outcomes: 

  • To choose, assimilate, and organize sources effectively 

  • To manage sources in a coherent, consistent, yet flexible way that accommodates your thesis’s inevitable change and growth 

  • To determine what to leave in (and out of) your thesis 

Essential readings:

  • Gordon Rugg and Marian Petre, The Unwritten Rules of PhD Research (London: Open University Press, 3rd edn. 2020) 

Tutor bio:

Robert Ritter has a DPhil in English Language & Literature; his specialism is in Bibliography & Textual Criticism. He has lectured at Oxford for many years, including teaching the ‘Reading for Writers’ module of the Creative Writing Diploma Course. His previous career was as an academic editor in England (OUP) and America (NYC). Robert is author of several editorial reference works, including the Oxford Style Manual and the Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editorsand is director of Oxford Style Ltd. 

 

Introduction to Quantitative Data in Research part 2

Thursday 3 February, 13.00-15:00 (GMT)

Online only session.

Tutor: Dr. Ria Ivandić 

This session will provide an introduction on the fundamentals and advantages of research design using empirical quantitative data, and discuss with its participants the different types of data that can be used for their research.  

Summary:

This session will follow on from the first session ‘Introduction to Quantitative Data in Research’ held in MT21, the recording of which is available on Canvas. This session will discuss how to search for sources of secondary data, and the various methods of creating your own data. Moreover, the session will introduce the fundamentals of descriptive analysis, with a focus on data visualisation. It will be accompanied by a short tutorial in R that will show how to visualise data.  

The session will comprise of an informal lecture, followed by a discussion among participants that will involve thinking about how you could use quantitative data in your research and the opportunities and limitations that you might encounter. Whilst this is the second of two sessions and we encourage students to watch the first session as preparation, it is not a pre-requisite for attending this one. In order to fully engage with the R tutorial, we strongly encourage you to take one of the introductory courses on R offered by the IT Learning Centre first, although again it is not absolutely essential. You’ll find course listings on the Digital Skills Courses webpages. 

Key learning outcomes:

  • What is data and the different types of data 

  • Examples of the use of quantitative data in research 

  • How to operationalize your research hypothesis  

  • How to search for secondary data or create your own data 

  • How to do descriptive quantitative analysis 

  • How to use R to create simple data visualisations 

Essential readings:

  • Halperin, S. and Heath, O. (2020) Political research: methods and practical skills. Oxford University Press, USA. 
  • Spiegelhalter, D. (2019) The art of statistics: Learning from data. Penguin UK. 

Tutor bio:

Dr. Ria Ivandić is a Departmental Lecturer in Political Economy at the Department for Continuing Education (University of Oxford) and Researcher at the Centre for Economic Performance (London School of Economics and Political Science). She is also a Fellow at Harris Manchester College (University of Oxford).  In her research, she uses quantitative methods to understand questions in political economy, labour economics and the economics of crime. 

 

Working with your Supervisor

Tuesday 8 February, 10:30-12:00 (GMT)

Online only session

Tutors: Alistair Beecher, OUDCE, and Eleanor Pritchard, SSD

The session will consider how to work effectively with your supervisor(s). 

Summary 

Building an effective working relationship with your supervisor(s) is an important aspect of a successful DPhil. Having reviewed the published protocols, this session will explore issues such as communicating effectively, managing expectations, providing and receiving feedback, understanding respective working styles and dealing with disagreements. We will also reflect specifically on multiple-supervisor relationships. 

Key learning outcomes:

  • Be aware of the official protocols governing the supervisor/student relationship 

  • Understand ways to build an effective working relationship 

  • Know how to deal with disagreements. 

Tutor bios:

Alistair Beecher is a Departmental Lecturer in the Graduate School and a history tutor in the Department for Continuing Education.  

Eleanor Pritchard is the Researcher Development Coordinator for the Social Sciences Division. 

 

Doctoral Research Seminar

Friday 11 February, 13:00-14:30 (GMT)

Online only session

Facilitated by: Alistair Beecher

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

Speakers:

  • Rachel O’Driscoll (DPhil English Local History). Presentation title: ‘A stimulus to the whole class to do better work’: London blind, deaf and crippled scholars, 1899-1920
  • Nicole Redvers (DPhil in Evidence-Based Health Care). Presentation title: Patient-Planetary Health Co-Benefit Prescribing
  • Rohan Kocharekar (DPhil in Sustainable Urban Development). Presentation title: Leveraging Land Value Recovery to Finance Climate-Resilient Infrastructure    

 

Completion, Submission and the Viva 

Wednesday 16 February, 15.00-16.30 (GMT)

Online only session

Tutors: Jamie Hartmann-Boyce and Alistair Beecher

The purpose of this session is to help students prepare for the completion of their DPhil and the Viva examination. 

Summary:

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.

Key learning outcomes:

At the end of the session students should: 

  • Understand the process around completion, submission and the Viva; 

  • Be familiar with the formal documentation; and 

  • Appreciate what is required to finalise the thesis and prepare for the Viva examination. 

Essential readings:

There is no pre-reading required for this session, but a review of the appropriate section of the DPhil Handbook on Canvas would be helpful.

Tutor bios:

Alistair Beecher is a Departmental Lecturer in the Graduate School and a history tutor in the Department for Continuing Education.  

Jamie Hartmann-Boyce is Associate Professor at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and Director of the Evidenced-Based Healthcare DPhil Programme. 

 

Academic Writing: How to Edit Your Own Writing

Wednesday 23 February, 13.30-17.00 (GMT)

Online only session

Tutor: Dr Delia Lloyd

The session considers how to produce concise, coherent and clear writing. 

Summary:

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,” crafting topic sentences and employing transition terms. 

Key learning outcomes:

  • To appreciate why topic sentences really do matter 
  • To understand how to coherently link sentences and paragraphs 
  • To gain familiarity with commonly used words and phrases that are unnecessary and can be eliminated 
  • To appreciate the value of active verbs, parallel construction and shorter sentences for clear writing 

Further readings (optional) 

  • Clayton, Victoria. (2015) The needless complexity of academic writing:  a new movement strives for simplicity. The Atlantic, 26 October. Available online

Tutor bio:

Delia Lloyd is a communications consultant based in London with a background in higher education and journalism. She offers one-to-one coaching and group workshops in writing, speaking and leadership communications for academic, commercial and non-profit clients. Clients include the BBC, London Business School, The London School of Economics, Oxford University and the WTO.  

 

Digital Editions

Thursday 3 March, 14:00-15:30 (GMT)

Online only session

Tutor: Emma Huber and Alistair Beecher 

Would you like to make a manuscript or other primary source freely available?  Do you make use of online primary sources? This session will show you what goes into a digital edition, and how to go about making your own! 

Summary:

This session covers all the main things you need to know when creating a digital edition, such as managing research data, licensing and copyright, preservation, appropriate image quality and formats, evaluating online sources, editing and encoding, audience analysis and using social media. Although you won’t create your own edition in this session, you will learn the principles of how to do so, and how to access support so that you could go on to create and publish your own edition if you are inspired to do so!  See Editions for examples of student digital editions and History of the Book for some blog posts about the edition-creating process! 

Key learning outcomes:

By the end of the session students will: 

  • Understand the range of skills needed to create a digital edition 

  • Know some of the areas where expert advice must be sought to avoid pitfalls 

  • Know who to approach for advice within Oxford University 

Tutor bios:

Emma Huber is Subject Librarian for German at the Taylor Institution Library. She has previously encoded texts for the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP), and led two work packages for the European FP7-funded IMPACT (Improving Access to Text) Project, disseminating best practice in digitization to national institutions. 

Alistair Beecher is a Departmental Lecturer in the Graduate School and a history tutor in the Department for Continuing Education. 

 

Student Exchange 2 of 2

Friday 11 March, 13:00-14:30 (GMT)

Online and in Rm 113, Rewley House. Please check back for updates as guidance changes

Tutor: Alistair Beecher

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.

 

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