Welcome to our weekly update highlighting news and upcoming events for the PGR community for the week ending 23 October 2020.

In our email this week:

  1. Planning your Development as a New Researcher – Where to Start?
  2. Doctoral Supervisor Development Course – expressions of interest invited for November cohort
  3. Independent Chair/Examiner Workshop for Doctoral Supervisors
  4. Events and opportunities from the SHU Students’ Union PGR Society
  5. ‘Haunts: haunted places and haunting practices’ – SHU Space and Place Group


 1.  Planning your Development as a New Researcher – Where to Start?

       Thursday 29 October  |  1400-1500 GMT

As a researcher you will be developing a unique set of knowledge, skills and behaviours that are important both for timely completion of your research degree and your future professional success. Success looks different for all of us, so it is up to you to decide what your priorities are, how you need to develop and how that can be achieved.

Dr Elizabeth Scanlon is leading a session to take you through the process of Development Needs Analysis against the Researcher Development Framework (RDF) that is required for RF1. There will be the chance for discussion to help you identify what you need to know right now and seek out opportunities for practising, improving and reflecting on these skills.

This session is for all Doctoral Students across SHU and is aimed at those in the first 3 months of doctoral study (6 months if part-time) i.e. pre-RF1 stage.

Further information about the session can be found on the Doctoral School blog on Planning your Development Link

Please book your place at the event on Eventbrite – the link can be found in the Friday email.


2.  Doctoral Supervisor Development Course – expressions of interest invited for November cohort

We are pleased to accept expressions of interest from staff for the next cohort of the Doctoral Supervisor Development course.  This will be delivered online over 4 weeks using materials on the Doctoral Supervisor Development Blackboard site, supported by two live 2-hour discussion sessions 1400-1600 on Wednesday 18 November (covering part 1 of the course) and Wednesday 25 November (covering part 2 of the course).

A ‘roadmap’ of the course is available on the Research Degrees Blackboard site within the Supervisor Development Course, Training and Resources tab, so you can see the format and requirements for course completion.

If you are unable to commit time to the course in November, there are further opportunities to join the course in January and April 2021.

If you are interested in requesting a place on the Supervisor Development Course, please fill out the expression of interest form – the link can be found in the Friday email.


3.  Independent Chair/Examiner Training for Doctoral Supervisors | 30 November 2020 1400-1600 GMT

The workshop is intended to be of benefit to a wide range of Sheffield Hallam staff with an interest in, or responsibility for, research degree student examinations.  It is likely to be of particular interest to inexperienced research degree examiners and inexperienced independent chairs and staff who are considering putting themselves forward for either or both of these roles.

We will also be addressing the changes to vivas necessitated by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The workshop will be facilitated by Professor Doug Cleaver and Professor Lisa Hopkins with contributions from experienced staff.

Book your place on Eventbrite – the link can be found in the Friday email.

This session is for staff only and not open to doctoral students.  Please note that if you are a member of staff currently studying for a doctorate, you will not be eligible to act as an Examiner or Independent Chair until after you have received your award.


4.  Events and opportunities from the SHU Students’ Union PGR Society

Weekly Focus Thursday 
Join other SHU PGR students via Zoom on a Thursday 0930-1130 GMT

Every Thursday the SHU PGR Society meets on Zoom to work in 30-minute blocks interspersed with opportunities for quick chats/short conversations.  Thirty minutes is a good time frame to keep focused.  You can spend the time reading, writing, or thinking, and chatting with fellow students in the break can be a great way to acknowledge your progress or get tips on how to ‘get out of a rut’ or shift ‘writer’s block’.  Peer motivation can make a massive difference to our study practices.

The Focus Thursday initiative offers a means of supporting your productivity in a social setting.  You can attend as often or as little as you wish.  The Society will send out a link to all members.  Join here:  https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/soc/prss/

Postgrad Pod Club – second meeting

The SHU PGR Society is getting ready for the next postgrad pod-club.  As Hallowe’en approaches, there are 2 podcasts to vote between:


See https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/soc/prss/ for further details on how to join in.  The time and date for the second meeting is still to be confirmed – a doodle poll has been opened – the link can be found in the Friday email.

If you would like to recommend any podcast episodes for discussion at future meetings please contact pgresearchsociety@gmail.com


5.  ‘Haunts: haunted places and haunting practices’ – Online Event on Thursday 29 Oct

There’s still time to join a timely SHU Space and Place Group online event on Thursday 29 October 1900-2100 (GMT).

“Although the cultural language of modernity usually prevents us from speaking about their presence, we constitute a place in large measure by the ghosts we sense inhabit and possess it.”

Michael Mayerfield Bell (1997) ‘The ghosts of place’, Theory and Society, 26: 813-836

This Zoom event – comprising eight short presentations – is the first in an irregular series which across 2020-21 will explore new ways to investigate the relationship between places and their hauntings, through provocative and productive interdisciplinary conversations and juxtapositions.

For details of the programme and how to join the event, please see the link in the Friday email.

Feel free to dress up in keeping with the theme, or to come as you are. The event will be recorded and disseminated afterwards. The event will be inclusive and respectful but is intended for an adult audience.


If you would like to share any good news stories, highlight any events that might be of interest to the SHU PGR community or wish to request any specific development sessions that would appeal to cross-disciplinary PGR students or supervisors, please get in touch via doctoralschool@shu.ac.uk  We’re always pleased to hear from you.

Looking after our physical and mental health remains important. You can find help and information about supporting your wellbeing via the University website on https://www.shu.ac.uk/wellbeing

Although we are facing increasing restrictions on meeting socially, we are always pleased to meet members of our PGR community face-to-face online at our Friday morning Drop-in PGR Virtual Café (1000-1100 GMT every week).  We know that times are challenging so please think about joining online social activities as a means of connecting with others.  You can join our Virtual Café via the link in the Friday email.   Everyone is welcome.