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Showing posts from June, 2012

Coming soon! New websites for researchers

This week a number of postgraduates from Leicester were involved in focus groups for two new websites aimed at researchers. Both sites are the result of co-operative work between SCORE, The Open University, University of Leicester, University of Nottingham, Mimas and HEFCE. The focus groups were part of the second phase of evaluation for the websites.


Ready to Research draws together some of the best open educational resources on the internet to help you develop the research skills you need.

Digital Scholarship has been created to help develop the skills you need to successfully study in the digital environment. 

Both sites will be officially launched on July 11th, but you can take an early look by using the links above. If you visit the sites, please take a few moments to complete the survey on the homepage. This will help the SCORE team understand who is visiting the site and allow them to take on board any suggestions you might have.

Thanks to all focus group participants for th…

Thesis forum: The viva

Dr Christiana Tsaousi (School of Management) was our second speaker at the June thesis forum. She completed her PhD at Leicester in 2010 and recently returned to take up a position as Lecturer in Marketing and Consumption. She reflected on her experience of completing a PhD and preparing for the viva. She described the difficulty of working in a new area of study but emphasised how important it was to talk to her supervisors throughout the process. She found that meeting them and discussing data left her feeling confident and with a renewed energy and purpose. Frequent deadlines worked well in keeping the thesis on track and regular feedback helped to chart progress.

Unlike our other speaker, Christiana didn't use any manuals or guides during her PhD. She said that help books can be useful but it is still down to you to produce the dissertation. Her own dissertation only had real structure a few months before submission. Remember that every PhD is unique! It might be that yours t…

Thesis forum: Approaching your final year

Ashley Dodsworth (3rd year, Politics) was the first speaker at our June thesis forum.

Ashley gave an honest talk about the doctoral experience so far and her plans for her final year. She had plenty of useful advice for those just starting out. She advised finding out what conventions your department and the University expect you to adhere to (formatting, style) and stick to these from the start. Doing lots of preparation in the early stages will save time later on. Compile a list of common abbreviations and spellings to ensure you remain consistent throughout your thesis.

Ashley advised first year students to make the most of opportunities early on in their candidature and then aim to reduce their activity, whether teaching or attending conferences, in the final year. A key piece of advice for the writing process was giving yourself permission to write badly! Your work will be re-drafted and edited a number of times, so don't worry that you need to get it perfect first time. Brea…

Research project needs your help!

Representing Re-Formation is a major research project exploring the art, politics, religion and lives of the Howard Dukes of Norfolk. The University of Leicester’s Space Research Centre (SRC) is using 3D-scanning to scan the family tombs and produce virtual reconstructions. This is an interdisciplinary project involving research teams from Archaeology, Art History, History, Design, and Science. The team are keen to spread awareness of the project and would particularly welcome feedback on the website. If you would like to help out, please explore Representing Re-Formation and then take the online survey. You can also keep up to date with the project via Twitter.

Thesis forum: 12th June

Plans are in place for the second thesis forum. Dr Christiana Tsaousi (Lecturer, School of Management) will reflect on her PhD and postdoctoral life. Ashley Dodsworth (3rd year PhD student, Department of Politics & International Relations) will discuss her experience of writing the thesis so far and explain how she is approaching her final year. There will be plenty of time afterwards for questions and informal discussion.
There's no need to register to attend the forum, just come along on the day. If you are keen to contribute to this or future sessions, please send me an email or drop into the GSRR on weekday afternoons.