If you want to get top tips on how to navigate your PhD journey irrespective of the stage at which you are in the process, the PGR Writing Summer School is the ideal opportunity. I took part in the 2019 Summer School and it has been the most invaluable opportunity for me to reflect on my PhD journey after one year.
The first two days of the School were made up of well-structured packages covering specific modules including academic writing for your thesis, and writing for publication: the publication process, ethics and article structure. These highly interactive modules were taught by different academics and practitioners who were very knowledgeable in the areas. After attending these sessions, I felt I needed to have taken part in the School to make use of the very important tips early-on. However, it was still very timely as I had gathered and written a lot. It was time for me to reflect deeply on what I had written and on how I was planning to structure that as part of the thesis. In addition, I needed some improvements on how I reviewed the literature and reflecting on potential publications outlets of portions of my research as I progressed. Furthermore, I needed tips on how to better engage with my supervisors, examiners, other colleagues and potential publishers. The first two days of the School offered me all of these.
The third day was dedicated to a “Shut up and work” session. The full day session gave me the opportunity to pull together and apply the tips from the first two days by setting a personal target and working to achieve it. The very supportive environment and the way the day was planned, enabled me to work alongside other colleagues, take breaks and network on my progress. It was extremely rewarding as I was able to read material I had brought with me and write 1200 words for my literature review section. To me it was big achievement for one day. The “Shut up and work” was something I would love to share with other PhD colleagues in my school and hopefully we could get together and organise such sessions which I found highly productive.
A high point during the School was having interactive sessions with other colleagues who had successfully gone through the PhD journey. These colleagues had completed and defended their viva and had published impactful articles in the course of their PhD journeys. Listening to them eased some of the tensions I had. I was more motivated and built more enthusiasm to continue the process while celebrating each milestone achieved throughout the PhD journey.
I highly recommend the PGR Writing Summer School for anyone who has not taken part in one. This is irrespective of the stage at which you are in your PhD journey.
The next PGR Writing Summer School will be in July 2020 – watch this space for more information. In the meantime you can also access the materials (including many Panopto recordings) from this and previous Writing Summer Schools.