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Faculty of Humanities, University of Manchester postgraduate research open day 2017


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Learn about doing a PhD in humanities and social science at the University of Manchester - what it entails, support available and development opportunities.
Faculty of Humanities, University of Manchester postgraduate research open day 2017

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Faculty of Humanities, University of Manchester postgraduate research open day 2017

  1. 1. Postgraduate Research in the Faculty of Humanities Professor Stuart Jones Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research Dr Ian Fairweather (Researcher Development Manager) Ms Nichola Ellis (Senior Postgraduate Research Administrator)
  2. 2. What we will cover • What it is to be a Doctoral student in the Faculty of Humanities. • The key aspects involved in getting a PhD. • The importance of the supervisors in the PhD process. • Researcher development. • Funding a PhD. • How to apply.
  3. 3. Doing a PhD • Most people think of the PhD as the thesis (or series of articles etc.) that you will produce. • This makes them think of the PhD as a lonely enterprise. • However, in Humanities we aim for PGRs to have a sense of community. • PhD colleagues, supervisors, students (if you teach), research contacts etc. all have an impact on how your PhD develops. • Important to think of this aspect of the PhD: the PhD as process, and not just the end product
  4. 4. Aspects of the Process Subject & Discipline Knowledge Supervision & Dialogue Research Integrity Methodology & Approaches Fieldwork & Data Collection Reflective Practice Interdisciplinary working Publications Academic Practice Academic Conferences Researcher- led activities Teaching Research Seminars Research Communities
  5. 5. Working with your supervisor(s) • This is (still) at the heart of the PhD. • Finding the right supervisor(s) is therefore incredibly important. • Not just about expertise, but also about how they will work with you. • Try to speak with your prospective supervisors during the application process.
  6. 6. The Doctoral Journey • Whatever your ‘thesis’ product, you are aiming to become a highly skilled, professional researcher Wider training opportunities are important Methods training, researcher training, integrating into the research environment are all important aspects of a doctoral researcher’s development
  7. 7. Connections for training... • Manchester is part of the ESRC Northwest Social Science DTP ( and leads the AHRC Northwest Consortium DTP ( • This means students at Manchester have access to resources and training at institutions across the Northwest (and vice versa) and of course wider opportunities to interact with with academics and doctoral researchers at these institutions • The AHRC NWCDTP is also working with partners outside of the HE sector, such as the BBC, TATE Liverpool, HOME, who can provide specialist training and support doctoral researchers in developing knowledge exchange skills
  8. 8. Methods and all that methods@ manchester Researcher Development Programme artsmethods@ manchester In Humanities,(and in the DTPs we are a part of) we provide methods training through methods@manchester and artsmethods (and their ‘Northwest’ counterparts) Researcher Development Programme provides opportunities to develop important transferrable skills Also: Events, workshops, online resources, student-led activities. See ProGRess@Humanities research training hub
  9. 9. Online resources for researcher development • a national organisation supporting the professional development of researchers • a blog newspaper dedicated to the topic of doing a thesis and is edited by Dr Inger Mewburn, Director of research training at the Australian National University. • A website dedicated to discussing what happens after a PhD in arts/humanities • PGR Doc Blog: • Humanities Researchers Facebook Group • Follow us on twitter @HumsResearchers
  10. 10. How do universities support this? • Seek to integrate you with your cohort and with academic researchers in your area. • The relevant Research Councils – the AHRC and ESRC – fund DTPs and CDTs: all these bring together doctoral researchers to train and develop together. • These arrangements foster interdisciplinary work, impact and knowledge exchange. • Many of the RC-funded training structures are now inter- institutional.
  11. 11. It pays to do your research! Studentships Awards Bursaries Scholarships
  12. 12. Major Funding Bodies •UK Research Councils • Charities • Employers • Industry • Universities • Overseas Funding Councils
  13. 13. Main funders in the Faculty of Humanities • ESRC via the North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP) • AHRC via the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (NWCDTP) • EPSRC studentships • President’s Doctoral Scholar Award • Research Impact Scholarships • School specific awards
  14. 14. Funding -Typical Award Values Fully-funded PhD studentships should provide support for: •Tuition Fees (£4,195 FT UK/EU 2017/18) • Stipend (maintenance award): £14,553p.a. (2017/18 minimum RCUK rate). Rates vary between the various funding bodies. • Some studentships also provide an allowance towards research training costs (equipment, participant expenses, travel, conference attendance etc.) – this is often referred to as the RTSG allowance. • Supplementary support may be available for overseas fieldwork expenses, disability, maternity/illness cover etc. • Always ask to check the terms and conditions of your funding so you are clear on your entitlements
  15. 15. Searching for funding • Online funding database: research/funding/opportunities/ • Faculty funding webpage: research/funding/ • School websites – PGR funding webpages SEED: research/opportunities/ SOSS: research/opportunities/ SALC: AMBS: LAW:
  16. 16. Typical criteria 3 Year PhD • Minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree • Masters qualification at merit with 60% minimum in dissertation • Previous research experience
  17. 17. How to apply • Know what subject area you would like to research • Identify a preferred supervisor • Write a research proposal – liaise with your potential supervisor to develop your proposal. Guidance is available within your school e.g. apply/postgraduate-research/writing-your-proposal/ - Make sure that your research idea, question or problem is very clearly stated and well-grounded in academic research. - Make sure that your proposal is well focused and conforms exactly to the submission requirements described here. - Poorly specified, jargon-filled or rambling proposals will not convince us that you have a clear idea of what you want to do. • Submit online with supporting documents
  18. 18. Standing out from the crowd •Read between the lines – which qualities are you being asked to demonstrate at each stage? • Take ownership from the start – don’t be afraid to ask searching questions • Show preparedness – knowledge of relevant publications, background to the research group, wider developments in the research area, potential ‘impact’…. • Assess the ‘fit’ of the research training to your own requirements (career progression, depth/breadth of training, potential outputs etc.)
  19. 19. Key contacts • AHRC NWCDTP: • ESRC NWSSDTP • EPSRC: • President’s Doctoral Scholar Awards: • Research Impact Awards (Alumni): School contacts • SoSS: • SALC: • SEED: • Law: • MBS: