This page gives a list of some of the workshops, courses, and masterclasses that I offer for research students (masters or doctoral level), and early career academics. This is not exhaustive, and I can offer lots of customised sessions, as well as developing new ones on request.
If you are a research student or early career academic and think one or more of these sound like they would be useful for you, either get in touch with me, or contact a research student administrator in your university.
If you are an academic or administrator and would like to arrange for one or more workshops to be run in your university, please contact me directly.
Academic publishing masterclass (half day)
Reveals the secrets of journal publishing, goes into how to target journals and create a publications plan. Why do articles get rejected? Why do authors who know better still get things so wrong? Looks at real examples of peer review comments, and you’ll learn how to read, interpret and respond to reviewers’ comments (especially the nasty ones!). What to do when you’re rejected or asked to revise and resubmit? And how to write a brilliant (or awful) letter to the editor explaining changes you’ve made. This is very hands-on, with lots of examples and small group activities. It can be combined with the abstracts workshop to make a brilliant full day. You’ll finish this workshop feeling more informed, resilient, and with a lot of practical tips and strategies to use, increasing your chances of success!
Presenting qualitative data (half day)
This 3 hour workshop is designed to help qualitative researchers give the best account of their work in presentations at conferences, seminars etc. It will introduce a framework for understanding qualitative research that helps link your particular study to wider issues that others care about. This will be linked to a formula for writing abstracts (see below) that tell a clear and persuasive story about what you have done, how and why you’ve done it, and what you have to say that is new and important. Time will be spent thinking about academic presentations in general, and focusing in particular on effective (and less so!) strategies for presenting qualitative data. Hands-on activities will enable participants to get feedback on presentation slides, and to practice persuading others why their study matters.
Abstracts workshop (half day)
How do you write a fantastic abstract that gets people interested in your paper and presents you as a brilliant researcher with something important to say? It’s not easy, but this workshop will introduce you to Barbara Kamler and Pat Thomson’s amazing Tiny Texts approach. This will then provide the focus for hands-on activities where you get to review others’ work, and step in the shoes of a journal editor. By the end of the workshop, you’ll not only receive lots of feedback on your writing, but have learned lots through the process of being a reviewer and editor too!
Turbocharge your thesis (full day)
This is an intense, but really fun workshop. It begins by thinking about what slows you down in your thesis work (particularly reading and writing), and explores a number of strategies that can overcome these common challenges. Then you’ll work in groups on a fast-paced activity where you get to try out new approaches in a low-stakes, risk-free environment. You’ll finish feeling invigorated and ready to put your new skills into action on your own work, accompanied by a personal reading and writing plan to take you forward.
Advanced qualitative data analysis (1 – 3 days)
There’s only so much methods textbooks can tell you. This course is based on practical activities using examples of real data. What do you do when you’ve done your coding? What are the alternatives to coding? How can you use theory in analysis? How do you make the ‘intepretive leap’ that reveals your amazing insights? What do you do when you get stuck in analysing masses of qualitative data? How can you write up qualitative research without getting quotitis and hiding behind examples from raw data? You’ll finish the course feeling more confident in your analysis, with lots of new things to try out in your own work. 2 and 3-day options can include time for group activities based on your own research.
Secrets of postgraduate life: what do research students really do all day? (2 hour – half day)
This workshop is all about helping you understand what it’s really like to be a research student: how hard do students really work (and how many hours should you be working?), what do the ‘best’ students do to keep themselves happy, healthy and on track to complete on time? What are the most common challenges and what’s the best way to respond? You’ll finish this workshop feeling like you’re in good company, and that things aren’t as bad and everyone else isn’t as brilliant as they seem! This combines well with the half day on supervision (see below) to make an excellent day for first year students.
Presenting to academic audiences (half day)
This workshop combines some serious ideas about how to structure academic presentations and communicate your ideas, with seriously fun activities. We’ll be frank about how academics get it wrong and deliver truly awful presentations, and explore a range of practical strategies for making sure when you give your talk: everyone is paying attention, they remember your take home messages, and come away thinking you’re not only a brilliant presenter, but have done some amazing research that they really should go and read up on…
Putting a successful thesis together (half day – full day)
This is all about understanding what makes a doctoral thesis. What are the key ingredients that have to be in there? What are your options for organising your thesis? How do other people do it? What are examiners looking for? This workshop also includes a key focus on literature reviews, because they’re really important, but often not done brilliantly. Yours will be excellent if you apply what you learn today!
Making the most of research supervision (half day)
Supervision is super-important, but not always easy to get right. This workshop will introduce some simple but powerful tools to help you think about what you need from your supervisor(s), how to manage your relationships with supervisor(s), and where the limits of what you can expect from supervision might be. There will be lots of opportunity to learn from others about how they make it work, and what to do if it goes a bit wrong.
A version of this can also be offered for supervisors.
Research design in social science (half day – 3 days)
An intensive course covering the basics of social science research design, but with a difference! Rather than focusing on bland methods textbooks, this is a design course with attitude, focusing on real examples, practical activities, and the magic ingredients that turn competent ‘turning the handle’ research into studies that really have an impact and a long shelf life. The main focus is on qualitative approaches, but basics of experimental and large scale survey designs can also be covered.