Michaelmas Graduate Training 2020

The programme for the training term is below, and each session can be booked separately through the links provided.

Please book sessions on an individual basis, 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.

October 2020

Week 1 (12/10-16/10)

12 October 

15:00 – 16:30 Research Integrity & Ethics (Louise Bezuidenhout (OUDCE Staff))

Conducting research that meets the highest standards requires a great deal more than knowledge of one’s subject and good intentions. Questions of research ethics and threats to research integrity arise in all disciplines. This session will explore how your area of research relates to relevant policies, offer guidance on ethical approval, and help you prepare yourself for some challenges you may face..

13 October

09:00 – 12:30 Academic Writing - (Delia Lloyd (External)

This workshop combines best practice thinking with tips and exercises to provide a quick primer on academic writing. We explore the broad principles underlying academic writing – what makes academic writing distinctive, how to situate your argument within a broader literature, and how to structure a coherent introduction. We also look at strategies for overcoming writer's block..

15 October
09:00 – 11:00 Student Exchange- Alistair Beecher (OUDCE Staff) and Louise Bezuidenhout (OUDCE Staff)
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.
16 October

12:00 – 13:30 Doctoral Research Seminar - Alistair Beecher (OUDCE Staff) Presenters: Carolyn Campbell (DPhil Student Archaeology), Peter Collins (DPhil Student Continuing Education) and Kate Waters (DPhil Student Literature & Arts)

Week 2 (19/10-23/10)


19 October

09:00 – 12:30 Creative Thinking - Delia Lloyd (External)

This workshop introduces participants to a variety of different tools for innovative thinking. The class is based on the premise that academic writing hinges as much on clarity and coherence as it does on creativity. Participants will be introduced to a variety of tools for stimulating creative thinking, both individually and in groups.

20 October

14:00-15:00 'Open Access Oxford: what's happening?- Bodleian Library (University Staff)

DPhil students are required to deposit a copy of their thesis in the Oxford Research Archive (ORA). This session will focus on copyright and other issues that DPhil students need to take into account when preparing their thesis for upload to ORA.

22 October

13.00-14.30 Mindfulness ( please note 8 week course) Dr Maggie Murphy 

Mindfulness is a well-researched, non-religious and effective means of alleviating stress, anxiety and depression, and promoting well-being and flourishing.  This practical course is taught by teachers from the University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre. Skills for supporting top performance and good mental health will be taught in eight weekly classes (classes are 1.5 hours in length). Participants will be introduced to mindfulness practices each week, and will be asked to do home practice exercises, to consolidate learning. The evidence base shows mindfulness has protective effect on mental health at follow-up.

Week 3 (26/10-30/10)

28 October

15:00-17:00 Digital Photography- Steve Langton (DPhil Student Evidence Based Healthcare)

Good digital photography can make a valuable contribution to your doctoral research, both in terms of the quality of images which feature in your thesis, publications and presentations, and your ability to work effectively with documentary, physical and visual sources of various kinds. This introductory session will look at the practicalities of taking good digital photographs, the types of equipment to consider, how to edit, manage and store your photographs, legal issues surrounding copyright and reproduction, and practical tips for working in libraries, archives and outdoors


Week 4 (2/11-06/11)

3 November

13:00- 14:30 Effective Reading - How to approach a scholarly text strategically

Jo Havemann (External)

Treat reading as a goal-oriented, versatile activity and become a more effective reader. In this session we will exchange on best reading practices and discuss the importance of reading speed adjustments, asking questions to a text and following the structure of various scholarly reading materials. Additionally, we will look into selected digital tools to improve the discoverability of scholarly texts that may be relevant to your academic work. The overall objective is to gain an overview of strategic approaches to scholarly reading.

4 November

09:30-12:30 How to write your Methodology Chapter  Dr Patrick Brindle

Too often, the methodology chapter in a DPhil thesis is one of the weakest parts of a manuscript. Too many DPhil students are confused about when and how to discuss such intimidating issues as ontology, epistemology, standpoint and ethics. Yet, if we know how to write well about our research designs and our methodological choices, it should not only impress examiners, but it could also open up a rich seam of additional publications and broaden the impact of your work across the social sciences and humanities. This workshop – taught by Dr Patrick Brindle - is aimed at DPhil students of all levels, and acts as a practical guide to the basics of writing about methods. Drawing on good (and bad) examples throughout, and interspersed with hands-on exercises, the workshop serves as an introduction to an often thorny academic skill for anyone new or newish to research writing.

Week 5 (9/11-13/11)

9 November

13:00-14:30 Lunch and Chat: Working with your Supervisor - Alistair Beecher (OUDCE Staff), Louise Bezuidenhout (OUDCE Staff)) and Eleanor Pritchard (Social Sciences Division).

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.

Week 6 (16/11-20/11)

16 November

15:00-17:00 Transfer of Status - Alistair Beecher (OUDCE Staff) and Claire O’Mahony (OUDCE Staff)

This session will consider the practicalities of the transfer process, including the appropriate timing of the application, the required paperwork, the selection of examiners, the respective roles of students and supervisors, the feedback process and possible outcomes. The session will also reflect on the nature of the interview, the kind of challenges to expect and how to make the most out of the opportunity to get some independent input into the direction of the project.

18 November

09:30-12:30 How to write about your Research for Publication Dr Patrick Brindle

This workshop introduces the basics of writing for publication for DPhil students looking to publish for the first time. The tutor – Patrick Brindle – takes a publishing-insider’s perspective and examines how you can improve your research writing to improve the chances of being accepted for publication and then heighten the chance that your article, book chapter or research report will be read and cited by as wide and significant an audience as possible.


Week 8 (30/11-04/12)

2 December

09:30-12:30 Writing & Editing Books and Book Chapters Dr Patrick Brindle

This workshop provides DPhil students, early-career researchers and post-docs an introduction to the basics of writing and editing academic books and book chapters. The course takes a publisher’s perspective throughout, and introduces participants to the huge changes that are radically changing academic publishing worldwide. A focus will be on using DPhil and Postdoc research as a means of generating viable book publications.

4 December

09:00-11:00 Student Exchange- Alistair Beecher (OUDCE Staff) and Louise Bezuidenhout (OUDCE Staff)

This is an opportunity to meet informally with fellow students to discuss each other’s projects, update on status and share any difficulties encountered, progress made and next steps.


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. Details of events and how to book can be accessed through this link.