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DTC Matters Issue No14. April 2016

April 29, 2016

banner-yWelcome to the 14th 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 ‘Suggest A Story’ button.


WRDTC Fifth Annual Conference 2016

LeedsThe annual WRDTC conference will take place at the University of Leeds on 15 June 2016, and will focus on innovation in data and methodologies. Professor Mark Birkin, Director of the Consumer Data Research Centre is the keynote speaker. Other talks on methodologies, including experience and advice from current WRDTC students, will be part of the morning programme. In the afternoon, delegates will have a chance to meet with their Pathways and discuss use of data and methodologies in their disciplines.

WRDTC PhD researchers will also have the opportunity to showcase their work in a poster exhibition and be automatically entered into a competition where the winner will win a £50.00 book voucher.

Refreshments, lunch and travel from York and Sheffield will be provided.

Places are limited so book now via the event webpage.

“Where are they now?” WRDTC Alumni share their post-PhD experiences and achievements

Ibrar Bhatt (Education Pathway, University of Leeds)

Ibrar BhattImmediately upon completing his PhD in the School of Education at the University of Leeds, Ibrar joined the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University. This current work explores knowledge production in Higher Education and the writing practices of academics, as part of an ESRC funded project.

Ibrar is also writing a book to be published by Routledge entitled ‘Assignments as controversies: a study of digital literacies in classroom writing’. The book draws on his doctoral study and deepens his interest in digital literacy theory and the practices of student assignment writing.

In addition to this, Ibrar is a co-convener for the Digital University Network of the SRHE (Society for Research into Higher Education), and has written and presented on his PhD research extensively.

He has continually reflected on his PhD experience, and current activities, on his personal site: http://ibrarspace.net Twitter: @ibrar_bhatt 

Emma Blakey (Psychology Pathway, University of Sheffield)

blakeyI submitted my thesis in December 2015 and started a three-year post-doctoral position at the University of Cardiff in January 2016. My PhD examined how goal-directed cognitive skills develop in early childhood. My new project at Cardiff is examining the development of time and causality perception across childhood. I’m researching a bias that occurs when we perceive events that are causally related (e.g., turning on a light switch and the light coming on). We perceive the timing between two causal events to be shorter than when these events do not have a causal relation. This occurs automatically without our awareness. It’s a bit like when we repeatedly press a traffic light button, believing the lights will come on faster the more we press it. Although this bias has been documented in adults, we know nothing about the developmental origins of these biases and whether they change with development. Read more….

Simone Croft (Psychology Pathway, University of Sheffield)

Simone headshotEveryone knows that finishing a PhD is hard. For me, in the final months I found balancing my time and efforts between my thesis and my two children was incredibly difficult. The worry of a fast approaching end-date for my funding added to the pressure, but I felt I couldn’t stretch myself to job hunting as well. There is an odd draw towards looking at and applying for jobs in your final year. Perusing vacancies affords some mental escape from the often tedious job at hand. Imagining yourself in academic or research positions or in different cities or countries can be inspiring and motivating, but can also be a huge distraction at a time where focus is needed. I had seen from colleagues that applying for jobs or grants can be incredibly time consuming, and at times heart-breaking. So I made a conscious decision with about 6 months to go, to focus all my efforts on finishing my thesis before job hunting. This provided the motivation I needed to finish by the time my funding ran out and meant that I would have the advantage of being able to start a new job immediately. Read more….

Elizabeth Harrison (Environment and Sustainability Pathway, University of Leeds)

I have landed my dream job and in February 2016 I moved to Malawi as a Government Services Associate with One Acre Fund. The Government Services Unit is a trial programme which aims to support and build the capacity of the Malawian Government Agricultural Extension Service to reach the poorest farmers across the country and improve their food security. I head up a team of 4 Trial Coordinators, and throughout the year we’ll be working to provide farmer focused training on good planting practices for various crops, professional training for extension agents, and identifying areas we can contribute to progressing the overall extension service. My PhD considered the governance of natural resource management and food security issues in Zimbabwe, including assessing the lack of capacity and resource issues within the district level services towards rural smallholder agricultural production. I’m really happy and grateful that I have found a job that builds on this experience and utilises some of the learnings of my PhD.

Vincent Hughes (Linguistics and Language Science Pathway, University of York)

Vincent HughesMy name is Vincent Hughes and I did a PhD in Linguistics at the University of York funded by the White Rose Social Science DTC between 2011 and 2014.

The focus of my research was in the area of forensic voice comparison. Forensic voice comparison cases generally involve a recording of an unknown offender (e.g. a covert drugs deal recorded via mobile phone) and a recording of a known suspect (almost always a police interview). Forensic speech experts are often asked to perform an analysis of these materials to help courts determine whether the defendant is the person speaking in the recording of the unknown offender or not. My thesis addressed issues with attempts to evaluate and quantify the strength of speech evidence in forensic voice comparison cases using the same numerical, probabilistic framework used for forensic DNA evidence. Read more….

Manuel Ojeda Cabral (Planning Pathway, University of Leeds)

Manuel for web 140x180pxManuel completed his PhD in Economics in 2014-15 and is now working as a Research Fellow in Transport Economics and Appraisal at the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) at the University of Leeds. His PhD thesis is a contribution to the existing knowledge on the empirical estimation of the ‘value of travel time savings’, a crucial element of cost-benefit analysis in the transport sector. Read more….

Stephen Parkes (Planning Pathway, University of Leeds)

stephenparkesI completed my PhD in January 2015, emerging from just short of three and a half years of study at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds. I survived the challenges that PhD research presents and moved, in March 2015, the relatively short distance down to the University of Nottingham to take up a position as a post-doc on a Leverhulme Trust funded research project (Sustaining Urban Habitats: An Interdisciplinary Approach).

This position has provided me with a 3-year contract in the School of Geography but working with colleagues from across many different disciplines in the University. This has been my first experience of interdisciplinary working and the experience has enlightened me on the many challenges faced when approaching this type of research, which I perhaps underestimated before I started. It has also, however, shown me the great value that can be found when working closely with colleagues who are experts in their respective fields, and the opportunities this presents. Read more….

Giulia Poerio (Psychology Pathway, University of Sheffield)

Giulia PoerioGiulia is now a post-doctoral researcher at the University of York working with Dr Jonny Smallwood and Prof Beth Jefferies. She is working on an ERC funded project entitled “Not all minds that wander are lost: A neurocognitive test of the mindwandering state’s contribution to human cognition” which examines the neural basis of higher-order thought as well as its functional outcomes. Giulia also has continuing research collaborations examining the phenomenon of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, the effects of imagining other people during daydreaming activity, and unusual sleep experiences such as lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis.

Rebecca Woods (Linguistics and Language Science Pathway, University of York)

WoodsI took up a post as Senior Lecturer in Language Acquisition at the University of Huddersfield in September 2015. I became aware of the position through word of mouth as well as by browsing for linguistics jobs online. It was fortunate timing for me as they were looking for a new and recently graduated researcher to join a growing team with enthusiasm and ambition.

Although it was difficult at times to finish my PhD while learning how to be a lecturer at the same time, I submitted my PhD in February 2016 and am waiting for my viva, which will be held in May 2016. In addition to teaching Syntax, Language Acquisition, Multilingualism and Field Linguistics, I have begun a pilot project recording and analysing the early utterances of a Hungarian-Japanese bilingual child. I am also working on a project on tense and assertion in child language with Professor Tom Roeper (UMass Amherst) and have presented my PhD work in Konstanz, Cambridge and Goettingen (Germany), receiving useful feedback on it in preparation for the viva! Though my first aim is to successfully negotiate my viva, the plan for the next academic year is to turn my thesis into a monograph, hopefully with the open access publisher Language Sciences Press. 


WRDTC Advanced Training Series 

WRDTC logo-high resolutionAQM: Following on from an AQM Taster event which took place last January, further training sessions focusing on different aspects of AQM have been scheduled, in partnership with AQMeN and the Sheffield Methods Institute.

AQUALM: The Conversation Analysis Summer School is taking place in York from 13 to 15 June 2016. 

Further Advanced Training sessions coming up:

Big Data, Social Media Research Methods and Analytics for Social Science Research, 13 May 2016, University of Sheffield

Advanced Visual Research Methods, 9-10 June 2016, University of Sheffield

Big Data Analytics for Social Science Research, 20 June 2016, University of Leeds

Realist Methods, 29 June 2016, University of Leeds

WRDTC Company Internship Report 

Rachel HuxleyRachel Huxley (Environment and Sustainability Pathway, University of Leeds) recently completed an internship with organisation C40, which deals with climate change in cities. Rachel had the opportunity to work on two projects: ‘Unlocking the potential for urban climate action’, and ‘Demonstrating the co-benefits of urban climate action’. Rachel has commented on her experience, reporting that: “The support and opportunity provided by C40 has met and exceeded my original aims and expectations. I have been involved in research that is highly relevant to my PhD and that has given me much greater insight into the global picture of city ambition and action……” Read more….

Overseas Institutional Visit at the University of Leuven Report 

Ian MarderWRDTC PhD researcher Ian Marder (Socio-legal Studies Pathway, University of Leeds) took advantage of the OIV scheme to spend a period of his studies at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium. Ian said he chose this institution because it hosts a large amount of researchers involved in the topic he is studying – restorative justice.

While at Leuven, Ian had the opportunity to present his research at two events, to teach on an MA module, and to forge relationship with other researchers through formal and informal networking opportunities. In addition, Ian also made contact with local organisations working in fields relevant to his research, and wrote and submitted his first academic article, incorporating feedback he received from an editor based at Leuven.

Ian’s comments on his OIV experience were extremely positive, as he noted the amount of useful experiences and contacts he made, and the ‘invaluable’ opportunity to live in a different country and participate in the research culture of a foreign institution.

Overseas Institutional Visit to Australian Catholic University and Queensland University of Technology Report

Fiona ScottFiona Scott (Education Pathway, University of Sheffield) undertook an Overseas Institutional Visit (OIV) to Australian Catholic University (ACU), Melbourne and Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane. Fiona reported to the WRDTC that the OIV proved valuable far beyond what she had anticipated:

My trip to Australia came at exactly the right time in my PhD journey. I had been extremely busy with data collection and teaching, right up until the day before I left the UK. The OIV gave me three months to stand back and consider my thesis from new perspectives and within a number of incredibly rich, supportive environments. Read more….

WRDTC Student-led Interdisciplinary Networks

Find out more about Interdisciplinary Network Funding. 

York Policy Review

york policyThe York Policy Review is delighted to share a Call for Papers for its coming Special Issue on the theme of Mental Capacity. The guest co-editor, Gillian Loomes (doctoral researcher in the Department of Sociology, University of York) is keen to welcome submissions from both undergraduate and postgraduate students, and from relevant practitioners, on a range of issues associated with the broad topic of mental capacity, embracing national, international and supranational perspectives.

The Call for Papers is available at this link. The deadline for submissions is 31st May, 2016. For further information, please feel free to contact the guest co-editor in the first instance at gl739@york.ac.uk

Sheffield Journal for the Sociology of the Everyday

sociologyThe Sheffield Journal for the Sociology of the Everyday is an online journal run by PGR students. Their aim is to encourage and enable students from all levels to publish research and to experience the peer review process. They accept submissions from students from all disciplines. The journal is a new venture and as such they welcome comments and suggestions about the direction in which to take it. They hope to expand and develop the journal over time, and in the future there is scope for events, special publications and submissions from outside the academic community. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with comments, questions or ideas at everydayjournal@mail.com, or follow the journal on Twitter @SocEveryday.

Research Network for Interdisciplinary Approaches to Politics: CIAP 2016 – Emotions in Politics, 20-21 October 2016, University of Leeds

CIAP-Emotions-rectangular-300x131The 2016 Conference for Interdisciplinary Approaches to Politics (CIAP2016) will take place at the University of Leeds on 20 and 21 October 2016, and will focus on the importance and role of emotions in Politics and International Relations, as well as on particular emotions and their connection to specific moral, political, legal and social problems. Further information can be found on the WRDTC website, and on the conference website.

Migration Research Network: 2nd Postgraduate Conference on Migration: ‘Looking Beyond the Refugee Crisis’, 9 June 2016, University of Sheffield

BrettsThis one-day intensive research conference aims at looking beyond the mediatised refugee crisis by exploring issues about migration and development, evolution of migration policies, challenges encountered in researching migration and representations of migrants. The conference provides diversified insights into a wide range of migration topics and discussions, providing a friendly environment for engagement between post-graduate researchers from within and beyond the UK. This will be an opportunity to showcase your research, preliminary research findings and any other ‘work in progress’ with a critically engaged postgraduate community. More information can be found here.

Cultures of Credit Network:

creditThe ‘Cultures of Credit’ White Rose Interdisciplinary Research Network was created to consider cultures of personal credit in comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. It brings together complementary expertise across a wide range of disciplines at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York, including (but not limited to): sociology, law, economics, politics, geography, management, social history. The network is funded by the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre and particularly encourages participation by doctoral and post-doctoral researchers alongside established academics.

The network’s launch event took place in October 2015, and a further workshop on Financial Exclusion took place on 22 April 2016.

Critical Races and Ethnicities Network: Multiple Oppressions in the Curriculum: a symposium, 13 May 2016, University of Sheffield

This one day symposium will bring together undergraduate and postgraduate students, academics and community organisers to consider the intersections of misogynoir, able-ism, homophobia, Queer-phobia and speciesim in the academy.

This exciting event will feature papers from a range of academics, including Pat Noxolo, Krithika Srinivasan, Katy Sian and Derrais Carter.

For more information, please see the network’s website.

International Education: Classroom Interactions – Postgraduate Conference, 20 June 2016, University of York

20162In an ever globalised world, education systems are being pressured to improve performance, to cater for students from diverse backgrounds and be able to teach as accessibly as possible. UK students are increasingly studying abroad and record numbers of international students are studying in the UK. Research into ‘international education’ has been conducted across a wide range of disciplines focusing on specific aspects, from teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) to improving classroom teaching at UK institutions and making lessons as understandable and challenging for students as possible. Read more….


Communication and Media Studies Pathway: 

Digital Methods for Social Science Workshop, Tuesday 24 May 2016, University of Leeds

17627Places are now available to be booked for a ‘Digital Methods for Social Science Workshop’ to be hosted by the Communication and Media pathway. Chris Birchall and Dr Heather Ford from the School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds will run this day-long workshop specifically aimed at PGRs in our pathway. Read more….

Education Pathway:

Fourth Research Student Conference, 9-10 May 2016, University of Sheffield

25081The School of Education at the University of Sheffield will hold its Fourth Research Student Conference on 9th and 10th of May, 2016 in Octagon Centre. This conference is organised by the postgraduate students of The School of Education (The University of Sheffield) and is open to all PGR students in the White Rose DTC. This one and half day conference will feature four keynote speakers, as well as student presentations. Presenters will also receive feedback from an academic. Read more….

Research Students’ Education Conference, 7 June 2016, University of Leeds

The School of Education at the University of Leeds are pleased to announce the Research Students’ Education Conference 2016 (RSEC). We invite PGR students from across the WRDTC Education Pathway to participate and attend. This year’s theme is ‘Reflection’. Read more…

WRDTC Interdisciplinary Summer Conference on Education in 21st Century (WISE 21), 24 June 2016, University of York

wise21This graduate student event will provide a unique opportunity for participants from the WRDTC to present their research related to education to peers from various disciplines at a high profile Conference. WISE21 Conference attendees will include academics and research students from departments of Education, Sociology, Management, Psychology, Sciences, Philosophy, History, English Literature and others, all interested in issues related to education. Read more… 

Environment and Sustainability Pathway:

Turning Research Into Action, 7 June 2016, University of Leeds

This one day event aims to bring together researchers from the broad range of disciplines that make up the Environment and Sustainability pathway.  The conference will feature talks from senior research staff studying a broad variety of topics in a number of different contexts including government agencies, NGOs, academia and the commercial sector.

19513This event is free and is open to all postgraduate research students in the Environment and Sustainability field from any department at the Universities of Sheffield, York and Leeds. Free buses will be provided between the Universities of York and Sheffield and the conference, which will be held in School of Earth and Environment in the University of Leeds. Refreshments and lunch will be provided throughout the day.

In addition to presentations from senior researchers, we are also inviting postgraduate students to deliver a short talk on the research impacts of their work, in order to practice their presentation skills. A poster competition will also be held on the day. Read more about the conference here.

Management and Business, Accounting and Finance and Work Psychology Pathway:

2016 Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change (CERIC) Doctoral Conference, 11 May 2016, University of Leeds

The Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change (CERIC) warmly invites postgraduate researchers at all stages to the 2016 CERIC Doctoral Conference, to be held on Wednesday 11th May 2016 at Leeds University Business School.

employmentThemes of the conference will relate to:

  • Work
  • Employability
  • Labour Markets
  • Industrial relations / trade union movements
  • Human resource management

For any queries please contact the organisers at cericphd@leeds.ac.uk

White Rose DTC Business and Management, Accounting and Finance and Work Psychology Pathway Annual Conference 2016, 7-8 July 2016, University of Leeds

23885The Conference will be taking place at Leeds University Business School on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th July 2016 and will represent a great opportunity for PhD researchers to present their research amongst their peers in an academic conference environment.

The Conference will address the theme of ‘Change’ in the domains of business and management, accounting and finance, and work psychology. Read more…

Registrations are open through the University of Leeds online store (free of charge).

Social Work Pathway:

Getting Published in Social Work Journals, 18 May 2016, University of Sheffield

16399This session is aimed at those doing social science PhDs who are interested in publishing in journals with a significant social work focus. Part-time and non-ESRC funded students are very welcome. This workshop will be led by Dr Rachel Fyson (Associate Professor, University of Nottingham), Prof. Kate Morris (University of Sheffield) and Dr David Saltiel (Lecturer, University of Leeds). Between them they have extensive experience of recently publishing from a PhD, editorial responsibilities on journals and peer reviewing for a range of ‘social work’ journals. Read more…. 

Sociology Pathway:

Sociological Studies PGR Conference: Breaking Boundaries, 19 May 2016, University of Sheffield

boundariesThe conference will have six streams across the day; topics include: Social Policy, International Social Policy, Sex, Gender and Epistemology, The Lifecourse, Communities and Voice, and Social Research. A full programme will be provided on the day. Keynote speaker will be Dr Stevienna De Saille, doctoral research fellow at the University of Sheffield.

The event is free to attend; lunch and refreshments will be provided, and there will be ample time for networking and meeting other students. Students from across all levels, disciplines and universities are invited to attend. Please find more information and a registration link on the DTC website.

Sociology Pathway and Social Policy Pathway:

Building New Research Relationships: Doing Participatory and Collaborative Research, 30 June 2016, University of Sheffield

Building New Research Relationships: Doing Participatory and Collaborative ResearchThis event is designed to contribute to White Rose training for PhD students, especially in Social Policy and Sociology, but we welcome attendance from a broader audience of researchers, research participants and users of research. The event will be held at the Sheffield Methods Institute. The event is free to attend, we have 40 available places. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Please register here.

Call for posters and presentations: We’d like to hear about your experiences of collaborative research at the workshop. This could be through a poster or we have a limited amount of time for presentations. These should be no longer than 15 minutes long and can be presented through a variety of formats. If you’d like to submit a poster or present please contact Ruth Beresford rberesford1@sheffield.ac.uk with an abstract by the 31st of MayRead more….


Festival of Social Science

ESRC Festival of Social Science

This year’s ESRC Festival of Social Science will take place from 5-12 November. All the details are on the ESRC website, including information on previous years’ festivals.

7th ESRC Research Methods FestivalESRC Research Methods Festival

The 7th Research Methods Festival is being held at Bath University on 5-7 July 2016. A draft programme and a booking form are available on the National Centre for Research Methods’ website.

Centre for Global Higher Education

Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE)The Centre for Global Higher Education, partly funded by ESRC, was launched on 2-3 February 2016. It is the largest research centre in the world specifically focused on higher education and its future development.

ESRC Media training

ESRCFor researchers who have findings they are ready to share with the wider world, ESRC media training provides a practical day of interview coaching, together with tips and advice to build confidence when engaging with the media.

Sessions are free to attend for ESRC-funded researchers, with new dates around the country being added regularly. The next training dates are:

  • 10 May, London
  • 16 June, Manchester


esrc blogRecent posts on longitudinal studies, biosocial research, and use of consumer data have appeared on the ESRC’s blog. ESRC-funded researchers are welcome to contribute to the blog.

 ESRC Student Conference

North West Doctoral Training CentreThe next ESRC PGR conference will be hosted by the North West DTC on 16-17 June 2016 in Liverpool. This conference is open to all current ESRC-funded PhD students, from any Doctoral Training Centre. For details of the programme and to register please visit the conference website.



WRDTC PGR FORUMAre you involved in an event you’d like to advertise to the social science research community across the White Rose Universities? Are you looking for other PhD researchers with similar research interests? Do you want to share your achievements, or an interesting resource? Do you want to start discussion with PhD researchers in your Pathway?

You can now use the PGR Forum area on the WRDTC website to communicate online with other PhD researchers in the White Rose universities and find useful research connections. 

Coming Soon…

Please check www.wrdtc.ac.uk to keep up to date with WRDTC news and events.