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DTC Matters Issue No2. April 2013

April 5, 2013


 Issue No 2. April 2013

“Creating communities of researchers and scholars across the Social Sciences”

Dr Susan Molyneux-Hodgson

dtc-logo-largeWelcome to the second 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 will be issued quarterly and will include News and Events, Training and Development Opportunities, Pathway News, ESRC News and Opportunities for Getting Involved.

If you would like to submit an article for DTC Matters or provide feedback on any of the featured articles, go to ‘News‘ and click ‘New Article +‘ button.


Second Annual Spring Conference 2013 – The Methods Mix

320px-Parkinson_Building_Leeds_University_England-12Sept2010 Date: Tuesday, 7th May 2013 (10:00 am – 4:30 pm), University of Leeds.

The White Rose DTC have put together an engaging and lively programme of sessions related to the mix of research methods in the social sciences. Speakers include Professor Alan Bryman (University of Leicester) and Professor Stephen Gorard (University of Birmingham) who will be covering the key debates in mixed methods. There will also be a ‘Methods Choice’ Panel where students will engage the audience in debate. There is also the opportunity to exhibit a poster during the conference.

Find out more and book a place.

The White Rose DTC Induction Event 2013


Over 200 academic staff and students will be invited from the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York to attend the 2013 Induction Event, 2 October 2013, at the University of York.

This will be the first of the WRDTC events and conferences in 2013-14 for social scientists that forms one part of the wide range of training events and courses offered to the post graduate research community.

The day will begin with an introduction to the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre and include short presentations from PhD students who joined the DTC last year. During the afternoon students will move into their pathway groups and start discussing how they would like to take forward their plans to expand their research network.


Broadening Horizons – Supporting Career Management for Researchers

In December, the University of Sheffield’s Researcher Professional Development team ran a one-day Broadening Horizons event for postgraduate researchers from the faculties of Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities. Based on the Vitae programme of the same name, the aim of the workshop was to provide researchers with the skills, tools and space to gain clearer perspective on their careers and to consider what their next steps might be, whether within academia or a different sector.

The event was both intensive and interactive, with participants reflecting on their skills, values successes and challenges to enable them to consider what they wanted and needed from their future careers. At the end of the day, the researchers developed a concrete action plan to help them achieve their next career goals, agreeing to check in with a partner in the weeks and months following the workshop to help to ensure that their plans were not derailed by other work pressures.

All the facilitators were impressed with the level of enthusiasm and commitment demonstrated by the participants, who really engaged with the activities and worked incredibly hard over the course of the day.

Feedback from the researchers was extremely encouraging too, with almost all participants rating the workshop overall as very good or excellent. Many researchers also left positive comments about the event, saying that they appreciated “the chance to reflect” and “to discuss careers more broadly with a cross section of people” as well as praising the “hugely motivating and inspiring speakers”.

Broadening Horizons is part of a much wider professional development programme for researchers at the University of Sheffield, which aims to provide research students and staff with the skills they need to succeed in their future career, no matter where their ambitions lie.

Similar opportunities are available at the University of York and University of Leeds.

COMING SOON! A range of master classes and advanced training sessions

Topics in June include:

  1. Understanding the Impact of Research Perspectives: The Importance of Metatheory, Research Methodology and Reflexivity in Crafting Qualitative Research
  2. Masterclass in realist methods
  3. The use of secondary/administrative data in social science research – an introduction

If you would like to find out more about future events, please visit the White Rose DTC training page.

Details of a whole host of great training opportunities at the White Rose DTC and across the network of UK DTCs can be found National Centre for Research Methods which can also be accessed by the training page.


Business and Management Pathway Networking Event

The EdgeThe White Rose Business and Management Pathway Network held an event for all the PhD students in their pathway at High Tor 2, The Edge, Endcliffe Village, University of Sheffield on 11th February 2013. The morning programme covered common interests and themes in Business and Management PhD Research. After lunch the discussions turned to Identifying Training and Development Needs. The students also had a sneaky preview of the new wrdtc.ac.uk website. The day was hugely successful.

Find out more about Management and Business, Accounting and Finance, and Work Psychology Pathway.

Economics Pathway Conference

Economics PathwayThe Second White Rose Doctoral Training Centre Economics Conference took place on 22nd March 2013 at the University of York. The conference was a collaboration between economists at Leeds, Sheffield and York universities. It was funded by their economics departments (or business school, in the case of Leeds). All presenters were PhD students at one of the three universities. There were a diversity of topics on offer, loosely streamed into two groups “macroeconomics” and “microeconomics”. There was also the opportunities to exhibit a paper.

Find out more about Economics Pathway.


ESRC and Sentencing Council Internship Initiative

Keir Irwin Rogers, an ESRC 1+3 Award PhD student, recently undertook a 3 month internship with the Analysis and Research section of the Sentencing Council for England and Wales. The Sentencing Council is responsible for promoting greater transparency and consistency in sentencing, primarily through the creation of offence-specific guidelines which provide a framework for judges to follow when sentencing individual cases. ESRCKeir was involved in three main projects. The first concerned the development of a new environmental offences sentencing guideline, in which Keir was given the opportunity to interview members of the judiciary in order to elicit their views on a number of draft models. The second project required Keir to perform quantitative data analysis on a large-scale dataset drawn from a national survey of Crown Courts in England and Wales. The survey was designed to explore the sentencing practices of the judiciary in the Crown Courts, in order to evaluate the impact of Sentencing Council guidelines on sentencing practice. The final project required Keir to critique the approach taken by existing sentencing guidelines and provide recommendations for their future development.Overall the internship provided Keir with a great opportunity to develop his qualitative and quantitative research skills, as well as offering a useful insight into the relationship between research and policy development (the Sentencing Council has since been awarded the Guardian Public Services award for evidence-based policy making). The internship also allowed Keir to create valuable networks with a number of academics and members of the civil service and judiciary. Keir has been informed by the Sentencing Council that they are keen to take on further ESRC funded interns in the coming years, and therefore recommends students keep an eye-out for these and other similar internship opportunities.

Find out more about ESRC and Sentencing Council Internship Initiative

esrc flyerESRC First Year Student Conference

The ESRC held their first student conference in London which was hosted by the London School of Economics and Political Science on 8 February 2013 at Central Hall, Westminster. For more information please visit the ESRC website.

ESRC Final Year Student Conference

The White Rose DTC is pleased to confirm that it will be hosting the next Final Year Student Conference which is scheduled to take place at the University of Sheffield on 24th April 2013. More information on the focus of the conferences can be found on the ESRC website.

Your AQC Student Reps

To feedback any comments to the DTC Academic Quality Committee (AQC), contact your student representatives.

dtc-j-buckellJohn Buckell is a PhD student at the University of Leeds.

He has a BSc. (Hons.) Transport Management from Aston University and a MA Transport Economics from the University of Leeds.

His PhD title is Location and Magnitude of Inefficiency in the National Health Service.  His current research Interests include his Innovations in Quantitative Methods. John is the University of Leeds student representative on the DTC Academic Quality Committee.


Simone Croft is a PhD student in the psychology department of the University of Sheffield, researching the impact of parenting on the development of antisocial behaviour in children and adolescents. Simone obtained her BSc in Psychology from the Open University (2008) and an MSc in Applied Social Psychology from the University of Sussex (2012). Simone has an Advanced Quantitative Methods scholarship and is conducting longitudinal research to explore bidirectional effects of parental discipline and externalizing behaviours through childhood. Simone will also undertake a behavioural genetics study using a twin dataset to explore the impact of parenting on adolescent antisocial behaviour. Simone is the University of Sheffield student representative on the DTC Academic Quality Committee.

dtc-hannah-lambieHannah Lambie-Mumford is a PhD student in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield undertaking research into food poverty and charitable emergency food provision in the UK.

She graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with an undergraduate degree in Politics. Hannah went on to work on regeneration and economic development issues in both the private and local authority sectors. Most recently she worked as a researcher at Coventry University’s Applied Research Centre in Sustainable Regeneration (SURGE).  Hannah is the University of Sheffield student representative on the DTC Academic Quality Committee.

dtc-andrew-quinnAndrew Quinn, Doctoral Student, Department of Psychology, University of York (DTC Academic Quality Committee Student Representative): Andrew Quinn, originally from Hartford in Cheshire, took his BSc in Psychology at the University of York (2007-2010), and then stayed at York to complete an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience (2010-2011) before starting his PhD (2011-present). His primary research interest is in language and the application of neuroimaging methods to characterise how words are processed and understood in the brain. Reading is a very complex task, yet in the modern world it plays a central role in our ability to communicate. His PhD applies measures of functional and effective connectivity to MEG data in order to better understand the neural structures underlying visual word recognition. Establishing how areas of cortex communicate with each other during reading is an important step in drawing together research from psychology and cognitive neuroscience to describe the reading system, and critically, how this may fail in reading disorders such as developmental dyslexia.

rifflerVera Riffler is a PhD student at the Centre for Applied Human Rights, Department of Politics, at the University of York. Vera’s research aims to analyse engagement of civil society organisations with the state while addressing vigilante violence during political transitions.  The research will draw conclusions from field research in South Africa and Guatemala. Vera studied for her Master of Arts in Politics and Management in both Konstanz, Germany and Barcelona, Spain. After graduation in 2008 Vera worked as a researcher for a German development policy think tank researching on Black Economic Empowerment in South Africa and Corporate Social Responsibilty in Latin America. Prior to her PhD she worked the last two years for the German Development Cooperation in Quito, Ecuador. Vera is the University of York student representative on the DTC Academic Quality Committee.


Abena Animwaa Yeboah is presently a PhD student at the University of Leeds. She holds an MPhil in Communication Studies and a BA (Hons.) in English and Psychology from the University of Ghana. Her proposed research is on the use of competitive intelligence in initiating responsiveness to customer needs.

Her research interests lie in areas of advertising, competitive intelligence, gender and communication, and employee use of intelligence. Abena is a DTC Academic Quality Assurance Committee student representative from the University of Leeds.

Find out more about the Student Reps’ Profile.