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DTC Matters Issue No15. July 2016

July 25, 2016

banner-yWelcome to the fifteenth 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


WRDTC Fifth Annual Conference 2016 – ‘Data and Methods: Innovations and Connections’

IMG_00057wThe fifth WRDTC annual conference took place on Wednesday 15 June 2016 at the University of Leeds. Almost 200 PhD researchers from Leeds, York and Sheffield attended on the day. The topic of the conference was ‘Data and Methods: Innovations and Connections’.

The keynote speaker, Mark Birkin (University of Leeds, Director of Consumer Data Research Centre) talked about New Forms of Data for Social Research: Big Opportunity or Big Distraction? Read more….

WRDTC Conference – Research Exchange

IMG_00574_smallerDelegates at WRDTC events have the opportunity to post messages on a ‘Swap Shop’ board, offering or looking for particular skills exchange, research participants, academic collaborations, etc.

Below are some of the messages left by conference attendees on the ‘Swap Shop’ board at the most recent WRDTC conference on 15 June 2016. The Research Exchange will also become a regular feature on future editions of DTC Matters, and WRDTC PhD researchers are also encouraged to post messages on the PGR Forum section of the WRDTC website.

  • Rowling needs Chinese students who took IELTS preparation before they came to the UK – free lunch in exchange for your information! Contact: rh783@york.ac.uk
  • Annis is looking for help sharing her survey. Contact as799@york.ac.uk
  • Jack is in the early stages of organising a seminar series in Leeds focussed on Critical Discourse Analysis, specifically related to Politics & International Relations. If you are using or considering using this approach, please contact newman1@leeds.ac.uk
  • Ning invites colleagues to join the Leeds Data Science Society on Facebook.
  • Victor is looking for participants for his research Musical experience in the digital era: value, ownership and quality – A comparative study between Mexico and UK. Participants must be between 20 and 40 years old, available to talk about music, their devices, and their collections, in the place where they enjoy music. Contact: vmat500@york.ac.uk

Lutz_BruscheCongratulations to Lutz Brusche (Management and Business, Accounting and Finance and Work Psychology Pathway, University of Leeds), whose article Gaps in Academic Literature on Venture Capitalists’ Decision-Making on Funding for Early-Stage, High-Tech Ventures will be published in a special issue of the journal ‘Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship’ titled ‘Open-Innovation Ecosystem for Emerging Technological  Entrepreneurship: Focus on Biotech, New Energy, and Information Technology’.

Lutz commented on his article: ‘For high-tech firms in the life science industry to become a success, usually great sums of funding are required, while the return on investment -if any- will happen at a way later point of time. Hence capital and the provision thereof play a centre role in the realities of start-ups and should play a centre role in academic research too. But as my article shows, there are a number of problems with the current stock of knowledge on venture capitalists’ decision-making on funding. This article calls attention to those problems and suggests a number of future research directions that, in particular, should place more emphasis on the role of context’. 


WRDTC Advanced Training 

Over 700 WRDTC PhD researchers attended Advanced Training sessions during the 2015-16 academic year.

Workshops offered this year included:

WRDTC Advanced Training Series 2016:

Advanced Qualitative Methods:

Advanced Quantitative Methods:

Further Advanced Quantitative Analysis sessions will be available in Sheffield in August (Social Network Analysis), September (Age-Period Cohort Models) and November 2016 (Agent Based Modelling). Details will be released shortly on the WRDTC website Training page.

The Training page will also be updated with new courses for the 2016/17 academic year.

ESRC Funded Overseas Institutional Visit to Monash University, Melbourne

By Joanna Elvy (Planning Pathway, University of Leeds) 

Joanna_Elvy_140x180Earlier this year I had the opportunity to spend 7 weeks in the Institute of Transport Studies at Monash University in Melbourne, on a WRDTC Overseas Institutional Visit. Australia was chosen in part because of its relevance to my PhD literature (particularly the work carried out by Karen Lucas, Graham Currie and Janet Stanley on transport and social exclusion), and in part because I was able to meet my academic hosts in person in advance of the visit (which laid some of the ground work for what we hoped the visit would achieve). Read more….

Overseas Fieldwork Reports:

“Just show them that we have feelings.” – Reflections on the representation of migrant children’s stories

By Lena Opfermann, Politics and International Relations Pathway, University of York

lena-opfermann-b-180In September 2015 the name and image of Alan Kurdi became an enigma. The three-year old boy, drowned in the Mediterranean and washed ashore, became a heart-wrenching emblem of the devastating effects (forced) migration can have on children in the light of increasingly inhumane border controls and exclusionary migration policies. In the wake of Alan Kurdi’s unfortunate death, the world focused on refugees moving towards Europe. Similar migration flows and sadly similar fatalities mark and continue to define migration in other parts of the world, always involving and affecting children. Read more….

Secondment with UNESCO in Paris (February 15-May 15, 2016)

By Sara Torsner, WRDTC ESRC Collaborative Award holder, Communication and Media Studies Pathway, University of Sheffield

Sara-Torsner-200sqAs part of my PhD research on the safety of journalists as a potential indicator of democratic development I spent three months at UNESCO in Paris to do data collection. The focus was to map what information UNESCO, as the UN agency working with press freedom and the safety of journalists gathers in order to examine the value and limitations of existing datasets. Read more….

WRDTC Student-led Interdisciplinary Networks 

Find out more about Interdisciplinary Network Funding. 

York Policy Review

york policyAt the workshop Less Talk, More (Inter) Action, hosted by the York Policy Review and the White Rose DTC on 20th June 2016, a range of leading researchers from across the country explored what it means to be innovative within social science research and provided examples of their own work. You can read a full report on the event here. 


parlayPARLAY is an international student network for linguistics and is 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….


Funding is available to each Pathway for the organisation of PGR-led events – if you want to host or suggest an event, please contact your Pathway Leader. 

Environment and Sustainability Pathway

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

The conference was organised by PhD researchers in the Pathway, and attracted about 60 delegates from the three White Rose universities. Read more….

Education Pathway

10th Research Students’ Education Conference (RSEC), 7 June 2016, University of Leeds

Report by Zuraidah Ismail and Arwa Gandeel

Zuraidah Ismail and Arwa GandeelThe 10th Research Students’ Education Conference (RSEC) 2016 was held at the School of Education at the University of Leeds on 7th June 2016. This year‘s conference theme was on “Reflection”.

The conference has been a platform to bring all Education PGR community together. It has been a dynamic environment where research students can share different aspects of their research journey in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. This year, students were given the opportunity to share reflections on different aspects on their research journeys. We had around 18 talks which were well received by the audience. More than 40 academics and PGR students attended this year. All the presenters’ received valuable feedback from experienced academic staff and the attendees. Read more….

Management and Business, Accounting and Finance and Work Psychology Pathway

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

management pathwayThe topic of this-two day conference, which took place at Leeds University Business School, was ‘Change’. 27 PhD researchers from all three universities presented their papers, and posters were also exhibited at the conference.

The poster competition was won by Vedran Lesic (University of Leeds), with Meenakshi Sarkar as a runner-up. Aleksandra Irnazarow (University of Leeds), Caroline Knight (University of Sheffield), and Nourhan Eid (University of Sheffield) received prizes for their papers. In addition, Caroline Verfürth and Ahmad Mohamad Mokhtar (both from the University of Sheffield) also won prizes for their short papers.

Keynote speakers were Prof. Mario Kafouros (Leeds University Business School), Prof. Emma Bell (Keele Management School) and Dr Saeed Khanagha (Ericsson). 

Social Work Pathway

IMG_00721_smallerThe 7th Annual Regional Social Work PhD Summer Conference took place on 8 July 2016 at the University of York, and was attended by about 20 PhD researchers. Presentations from WRDTC PhD researchers included topics such as vocational education, social work with unaccompanied young people, the ‘media construction of child abuse in mainland China’, use of mixed methods in researching social work supervision and performance, and ‘a realist evaluation of mental health street triage’. Keynote speakers were Professor Tony Evans (Royal Holloway University of London) and Professor Jan Fook (Leeds Trinity University).

Socio-legal Studies and Security, Conflict and Justice Pathways

University of Leeds School of Law Inaugural Postgraduate Research Conference, Tuesday, 13th September 2016 

law leedsAll WRDTC PGRs are invited to the forthcoming University of Leeds School of Law Inaugural Postgraduate Research Conference, which will be held on Tuesday 13th September 2016. This year’s theme is ‘Law, Justice and Austerity’.

The call for papers has just been released, and delegates are also now able to register. The conference is free for PGRS to attend (regardless of institution/funding arrangements).

Please see further information on the School website, and register at this link

Please see the Events page on the WRDTC website for more events! 


ESRC PGR Conference 2016 

ESRCThe 2016 ESRC PGR Conference took place in Liverpool on 16 and 17 June. Jess Mant and Sean Butcher (Socio-legal Studies Pathway, University of Leeds) attended the event – read their report below:

On the 16th and 17th June 2016, we were invited to attend the ESRC’s Postgraduate Research Conference, hosted by the North West DTC at the ACC Arena in Liverpool.

Although the conference was funded by the ESRC, it was open to all postgraduate researchers from any DTC and discipline, and as such was one of the largest ESRC conferences to date, attracting around 400 delegates across the two days. Read more….

rcukRCUK Policy Internship Scheme

The scheme, open to ESRC-funded PhD researchers, provides an opportunity to work for three months in one of a selected group of highly influential policy organisations. Details of the organisations and information on how to apply can be found on the ESRC website.


WRDTC Fifth Annual Conference 2016 – ‘Data and Methods: Innovations and Connections’ – Feedback 

IMG_00758_smallerConference attendees particularly valued the afternoon Pathway meetings, which were described in the event feedback forms as ‘a chance to have an in-depth discussion about research and meet other people’, and ‘particularly helpful to put research into perspective’. Delegates appreciated the possibility to ‘discuss a variety of topic’, as well as their ‘frustrations’. One comment also noted that ‘everyone had a chance to speak, share experiences, learn from others’.

Delegates also praised the keynote presentation by Mark Birkin, and the poster exhibition, as well as the variety of topics presented in the PhD researchers’ panel.

Finally, one delegate commented that ‘it is difficult to find relevant material across the whole of the social sciences, but I think this was achieved with a good mix of presentations across disciplines’.

The 2017 Conference will take place in Sheffield. 

Coming Soon… 

640px-York_University_New_Part_Ron_Cooke_HubThe WRDTC Welcome Event will take place on 6 October 2016 in York. All new first-year PhD researchers in the social sciences at Leeds, Sheffield and York will be invited to attend. Current PhD researchers can participate by sharing their experiences and submitting their posters. Further information will be available in due course.

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