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DTC Matters Issue No10. April 2015

April 30, 2015


Welcome to the tenth edition of the White Rose Social Sciences DTC newsletter; “DTC Matters”.

The White Rose Doctoral Training Centre was launched in November 2011. Read more

This newsletter is issued quarterly and includes NEWS AND EVENTS, TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES, PATHWAY NEWS, ESRC NEWS and FEEDBACK ON FEEDBACK. If you would like to submit an article for a future edition of DTC Matters or provide feedback on any of the featured articles, go to ‘News’ and click ‘New Article +’ button


Fourth WRDTC Annual Spring Conference 2015: ‘Getting Published’

University of York, 6th May 2015 

640px-York_University_New_Part_Ron_Cooke_HubThe fourth Annual Spring Conference of the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre will take place on Wednesday, 6th May 2015 at the Ron Cooke Hub, University of York.  Sessions throughout the day will focus on ‘getting published’ and will include topics such as Open Scholarship, writing for multiple audiences, dissemination and journal editing. More information and the programme for the day can be found here.

ESRC First Year Student Conference, Cardiff, 29th January 2015 

WRDTC first-year PhD student Antje Graul (Management and Business Pathway, University of Leeds) attended the ESRC first-year conference, hosted by the Wales DTC in Cardiff on 29th January 2015. Antje reported that:

first year confIt was a very great and enriching experience to have the possibility to build a nation-wide network with other PhD students of various areas. 

The talks and workshops provided very interesting insights from experts and practitioners and allowed for interaction between students which was particularly interesting due to their different backgrounds. 

The venue was great, very impressive location and very well organised. 

All participants loved the information provided with regard to additional placement schemes and research opportunities supported by the ESRC. 

 The picture of the event is also by Antje.

ESRC Final Year Student Conference, Oxford, 17th April 2015

Oxf-uni-mus-nhReport by Kate Wicker (Sociology Pathway, University of Leeds)

Targeted at final year students, this one day conference was held at the University of Oxford. It is an annual event that focuses on the topics of careers, applying for research funding, and research communication. A drinks reception was held the night before at Oxford’s Natural History Museum. Following introductions, the conference started with a talk from Professor Danny Dorling who demonstrated the use of data visualisation in his research on inequality. Read more….

White Rose DTC PhD researcher in the News 

Scott LaveryOn 19th February 2015, the Financial Times reported on research from Sheffield PGR Scott Lavery, on the comparatively smaller number of public sector job losses in London and the Southeast.

Scott’s PhD research focuses on the uneven development of the UK economy under New Labour and in the post-crisis period, focusing in particular on the changing composition of labour markets in the ex-industrial regions and their relationship to the UK’s debt-led growth model. Read more….

A blog post discussing the outcomes of the Researchers in Development Network (RiDNet) 3rd Annual Conference has been published on the London School of Economics Impact of Social Sciences blog page.

The conference was held at the University of Leeds in November 2014 and was titled ‘ Does research make a difference in development: Bridging the gaps between research, policy and practice’. The conference was supported by the White Rose DTC through the Interdisciplinary Network Funding Scheme.

Are you making an impact with your research? Let us know! Email enquiries@wrdtc.ac.uk 


WRDTC Student Seminar Series 2015 – ‘Real Research in the Social Sciences: Design, Fieldwork & Dissemination’, University of Sheffield 22nd May 2015

SharingThe White Rose DTC is organising a series of student-led inter-disciplinary seminars on the theme, ‘Real Research in the Social Sciences’. The series aims to place particular emphasis on the practical first-hand experience of doctoral students in carrying out their research. The seminar series will take place in Sheffield on 22nd May and aims to provide doctoral students with an opportunity to present their work, to exchange ideas and to meet fellow researchers in an informal and supportive environment. Read more….

White Rose DTC Advanced Training Series 2015 

Forthcoming training sessions offered by the WR DTC as part of the Advanced Training and AQUALM series are: 

WRDTC Networks 

The White Rose DTC’s Interdisciplinary Network Funding Scheme provides research staff and students with support in setting up interdisciplinary networks. Below are some updates on some of the initiatives supported so far:

Critical Race and Ethnicities Network (CREN) 

crenThe Critical Race and Ethnicities Network (CREN) aims to foster a strong research community of Critical Race and Ethnicities postgraduate researchers across the three White Rose Institutions. Over the past six months, CREN has established a significant presence on all three campuses, built up through a series of events, which focused on issues of criticality and ethics in research, tackling racism and xenophobia on campus and developing strong peer support systems and networks across universities.

Feedback from these events has indicated that the network has achieved its aims, and it will continue to do so through further initiatives. Several events have already been planned for the next few months across the three White Rose universities. Read more….

PARLAY conferences 

parley2015by Maria-Margarita Makri (Linguistics and Language Sciences Pathway, University of York)

PARLAY is an international student network for linguistics based at the University of York. Through an annual conference held in September, it aims to bring together researchers not solely affiliated with linguistics departments, giving them the opportunity to familiarize themselves with different perspectives on language research and to initiate new and innovative collaborations. As a forum for postgraduates and early career researchers the PARLAY network aims to promote knowledge sharing amongst a wider academic audience. Read more….

AQM Student Network

aqm networkThe AQM Network aims to promote the use of quantitative methods in the social sciences, by providing affordable training and resources to researchers, as well as to facilitate networking opportunities between members. There are currently 7 people involved in keeping the network running. The network has pages on WordPress and Facebook, as well as a mailing list, which allow members to engage with each other. Events and activities are also advertised on these pages.

The network organised two one-day workshops in January and November 2014 at the Universities of Sheffield and Leicester, followed by social gatherings. On these workshops, short courses on various topics such as data cleaning, marginal effects, social relation modelling, and analysis of variance were offered. Both workshops were well attended by network members from the White Rose Universities as well as from other institutions, and a third workshop is planned for May 2015 in York. This will consist of a morning and afternoon sessions focusing on transformation and standardisation of regression predictors, confirmatory factor analysis, (CFA), CFA measurement and variance, and multilevel modelling using M-Plus. The sessions will consist of short theoretical introductions to the topics, followed by practical exercises. A parallel session on statistics related to Electroencephalograms (EEG) will also take place, as well as presentation from a keynote speaker.


Planning Pathway: White Rose Planning Pathway conference, ‘Planning for Impact’, 19th May 2015, University of Sheffield

mixed effects modellingThis one day event will bring together Postgraduate Researchers to showcase their work and to begin considering the potential or envisaged impact of their research. The event is open to researchers at all stages of their career and will feature external speakers, postgraduate workshops and poster displays. Further information can be found on the WRDTC website. Read more….

Linguistics and Language Sciences Pathway: Mixed-effects modelling workshop, 1st-2nd July 2015, University of York

On July 1-2, in the Berrick Saul building, York, the Linguistics and Language Sciences Pathway of the WR DTC will host a workshop on the currently popular advanced statistical method known as ‘mixed-effects’ or ‘multilevel’ modelling. This modelling provides a way of extending traditional regression models to better capture the typically hierarchical structure of linguistic data sets.  Read more….


Thanks to Catherine Wynn (Quality and Operations Officer, University of Sheffield) and Dr Alice Temple (Research Training Senior Training & Development Officer, University of Leeds) for texts and information. 

A Brief Review of Research Ethics

P1000795In all research, it is important to act ethically and with integrity and the White Rose Universities expect that their students act in this way throughout their studies.  Indeed, being able to think and act ethically and with integrity is an important transferable skill, with many employers stating their expectation that their employees have integrity.

The importance of Research Ethics has been rapidly developing since World War 2 with the Nuremburg Code (1949) and Declaration of Helsinki (1964).  These originally covered the area of medical experimentation but have subsequently been applied to research involving humans, or their data. Read more….

Some perspectives on Ethics from WRDTC PhD researchers:

Ethics in Social Science Research: Common Challenges

esrc4by Kalina Zhekova (Politics Pathway, University of Leeds). Kalina is a student representative on a cross-Faculty Research Ethics Committee at the University of Leeds.

The Ethical review process can seem daunting especially in the first year of PhD, but it can also be particularly useful in learning how to communicate our research to a broader audience, summarising its key aspects (and deciding what they are!) and clarifying some of the details in methodology and recruitment strategy. In fact, some PhDs have found the process of going through ethical review beneficial to the later stages of their research: Read more….

‘Top Ten Tips for Gaining Ethical Approval’, by Laura Nicklin (Education Pathway, University of York) was published in January 2015 on the blog of the Educational Research Group at the Department of Education of the University of York.


This year’s ESRC Festival of Social Science will be taking place from 7-14 November 2015. The call for applications is now open and will close at 16.00 on 8 May for applications for sponsorship and 15 May for applications for participation only. All the relevant information can be found on the dedicated page on the ESRC website.



Longjie Lu (Socio-legal Studies Pathway, University of Leeds), Emily Gagnon (Psychology Pathway, University of Sheffield) and Urban Jaksa (Politics Pathway, University of York) are the new student representatives on the WRDTC’s Academic Quality Committee (AQC). They will work alongside existing reps to ensure feedback from PGRs is taken into account by the AQC, and that WRDTC initiatives and events are tailored to PGRs’ needs.

Phase 2 development of the White Rose DTC website will be announced at the Spring conference on 6 May. Student reps’ have had input in developing new features through focus groups and ongoing discussion based on feedback from WRDTC students.

Coming Soon…

Please check the WRDTC website regularly for more training opportunities and events being added – and don’t forget to follow the WRDTC on Twitter (@wrssdtc) for the latest news!