Writing Courses for International PhD Students

English Language Education run a number of courses for international PhD students, including:

Writing a First Year Report for first year doctoral students  https://www.ed.ac.uk/english-language-teaching/students/current-students/elsis/elsis-courses/course-9; this course will start in the week beginning 29th January.

Reviewing the Literature for second year doctoral students (and students at the end of their first year, if they have passed their Board / been upgraded) https://www.ed.ac.uk/english-language-teaching/students/current-students/elsis/elsis-courses/phd-review-lit. This course will start in the week beginning 19th February.

For these two courses, there are also independent study materials available, for those students who are unable to attend face-to-face classes, or who already have a good level of academic written English and would simply appreciate some reference materials: https://www.edweb.ed.ac.uk/english-language-teaching/students/current-students/elsis/elsis-courses/independent-study-materials

Writing up your PhD: Quantitative researchhttps://www.ed.ac.uk/english-language-teaching/students/current-students/elsis/elsis-courses/writing-phd. For this course, there are no independent study materials, as we use a very helpful course book, which students can buy at Blackwells: Science Research Writing for Non-Native Speakers of English by Hilary Glasman-Deal. The course starts in the week beginning January 22nd.

Writing up your PhD: Qualitative researchhttps://www.ed.ac.uk/english-language-teaching/students/current-students/elsis/elsis-courses/phd-qual . This course will start in the week beginning 5th February, and there are independent study materials available.



Places available: Upcoming IAD PhD Workshops

We have places available on the following upcoming workshops:

Structured Writing Retreat

Monday 27th November 2017 (9.30am – 4.30pm)

Come to a writing retreat if you want to make progress on a writing project (such as a thesis chapter or a journal article) and build confidence in your academic writing skills. At this structured retreat, writing slots will be interspersed with short discussions and reflections. The retreat format of working alongside (and sometimes in conversation with) others has been shown to generate pages as well as solutions to writing problems.  More information and booking here

 An Introduction to Copyright and Publishing

Wednesday 29th November 2017 (10.00am – 12 noon)

 This workshop provides an overview on the fundamentals of copyright as it applies to PhD students in terms of writing the PhD thesis and associated publications.  The workshop will also provide an introduction to academic publishing, including open access.  More information and booking here

Managing your Research Project

Monday 4th December 2017 (9.30am – 4.30pm)

This workshop is designed to help you take control of your research and support you in the successful completion of your PhD and future research projects, and explores how you can apply project management principles to research projects.   More information and booking here

 For a full list of our workshops please see here


‘Just Present’ Presentation Peer Practice Session 23/11/17

This session will provide you with an opportunity to practice delivering a presentation in front of a small audience, and give the option to receive constructive feedback from peers. You can use this session to practice delivering a presentation on anything related to your research.  Each participant will have a maximum of 10 minutes to preseimagesllnt, and feedback will be on the style and delivery of your presentation, not the content.

You do not need to have your final presentation prepared, it can be in draft format and you can bring notes or a script with you. It is simply an opportunity for you to practice delivering a presentation in front of a small audience.

This session is not facilitated, however a member of IAD staff will be present to ensure that everyone gets the most from the session.

Find out more here

Three Minute Thesis Competition Information Session 24/11/17

Are you thinking of entering the 3 Minute Thesis competition?

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an international competition celebrating the exciting research conducted by PhD students. Developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, the competition requires contestants to condense their research into a three minute, one-slide presentation for a non-specialist audience.

This information session will give you the opportunity to find out more about the competition and how you can take part, and will cover:

  • What is the 3 Minute Thesis Competition
  • Who is eligible to take part
  • Why should you take part
  • The rules and judging criteria
  • Competition structure
  • Training available
  • Q&A

There will also be an opportunity to hear from previous winners and finalists

Find out more here


Places available: Upcoming IAD PhD Workshops

We have places available on the upcoming workshops, open to all postgraduate research students:

Managing Your Work, Yourself and Your Goals

Wednesday 8th November 2017

This interactive workshop explores how important our daily working practices, time management and goal setting can be to help us achieve our life and career goals More information here

Communications Toolkit for a Public Audience

Thursday 9th November 2017

This workshop is ideal for researchers who are new to engaging members of the public with their research.  More information here

Beating Writers Block

Monday 13th November 2017

This workshop will look at how writer’s block manifests, what causes it and what strategies you can adopt to re-connect with your research, your writing, your confidence and your voice. More information here 

Viva Survivor

Tuesday 14th November 2017

Viva Survivor is a session for postgraduate researchers close to submission who want to gain insight on how to be well prepared for their viva. More information here

For a full list of our workshops please see here



Winners announced in the 5th annual U21 3MT® competition

Congratulations to Euan Doidge who was awarded the Highly commended prize at the Universitas 21 3 Minute Thesis Competition with his presentation ‘WEEE are Golden: metal recovery by solvent extraction’. Euan is a 3rd year PhD student from the School of Chemistry and his presentation described his research on extracting gold from recycled waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), such as mobile phones, which contains 300 times more gold per tonne that naturally occurring rocks and ore. By designing molecules called ‘extractants’ which are specific to gold, Euan uses a solvent extraction technique to separate out gold from other metals in the WEEE, in a process that is far more efficient and environmentally friendly than mining for gold.Carole Morrison, Colin Pulham, Euan Doidge and Jason Love_CLOSE UP

Euan described his experience in taking part in the competition: “The 3MT® competition has been amazing! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of the fantastic competitors throughout the various stages of the competition. It’s been a great opportunity to meet other PhD students and the people who support them, as well as learn little chunks of information on novel research across an amazingly diverse range of subjects. I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to present my research in a different and memorable way that can resonate with a wide audience and engage in the discussions that follow.

I am incredibly proud to have represented the university at the 3 Minute Thesis UK and U21 competitions, and delighted to bring the Highly Commended Award home to Edinburgh! Many thanks go to everyone from the School of Chemistry, the Institute for Academic Development, the University and beyond for all your support!”

Professor Jeremy Bradshaw, Assistant Principal Researcher Development, spoke of Euan’s achievement: “I am delighted that Euan has won this prestigious award, in what was a strong field of competitors. As an institution, we really value what benefits 3MT® brings to both the University and the individual.”

First developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, the Three Minute Thesis competition (3MT®) challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.

Now in its fifth year, the U21 3MT® competition 2017 pitted the leading presenters from Universitas 21 (U21) member universities against one another. Each participating member held their own internal 3MT® competition to select a local winner who was then put forward for the U21 final.

Find out more here

PGR Mid-Semester Welcome Event

Thursday 9th November 2017 (1.00pm – 5.00pm)

Postgraduate students arriving after Welcome Week still have the opportunity to attend University welcome events

What will happen during this event?

This morning is for students who have missed a University Welcome event this academic year or have arrived recently. The event is being hosted by the  Institute for Academic Development. You will be provided with information on:welcome_primarylogo_main

  • how to manage your Research
  • the support that is available to you at the University
  • current PhD students’ experiences

Find out more, and book a place here

Places available: Upcoming IAD PhD Workshops

We have places available on the following upcoming workshops:

Academic Communication Skills Workshop

19th October 2017

This session is aimed specifically at first year international postgraduate students for whom English is not their first language. It will provide guidance and confidence to students who may feel unsure as to whether they are able to communicate their research effectively. More information and booking here

Team Building and Leadership Fundamentals

25th October 2017

This workshop will help you understand what you contribute to and how to be part of an effective team. It will explore leadership and how you can inspire and motivate other members of a team and resolve conflict. You will learn skills that every team leader and aspiring leader should know. More information and booking here

Think Strategically Respond Rapidly

25th October 2017

This workshop will examine how to respond quickly to opportunities as they arise. It will also examine how to write rapidly to a pre-specification and respond to policy consultations and other stakeholder requests. More information and booking here

Practical Project Management for Research Students

26th October 2017

This workshop will introduce you to project management, with a focus on the development of practical skills. More information and booking here

For a full list of our workshops please see here

Think Strategically Respond Rapidly Workshop

We have places available on the following workshop:

Think Strategically Respond Rapidly – 25th October 2017

Research often moves very slowly, but sometimes we need to be able to move very quickly indeed. Last minute conference invitations, grant announcements and journal calls (amongst other demands) all require research teams to mobilize their resources and respond straight away. In this workshop we’ll examine how to respond quickly to opportunities as they arise. We’ll also examine how to write rapidly to a pre-specification and respond to policy consultations and other stakeholder requests.

By the end of this workshop, students should be able to identify strategies to quickly respond to opportunities.

For more information see here

IAD Action Fund

The IAD offers funding for University of Edinburgh staff and students to develop and support academic networks and communities and/or test ideas for creative learning activities. (Includes Festival of Creative Learning Pop-ups.)

The aim of the fund is to support applicants to:

  • Establish, develop or support internal interdisciplinary networks, particularly strategically important internal cross-School and cross-College networks.
  • Establish, develop or support internal academic communities within a discipline, School or subject area, particularly involving both staff and students.
  • Run innovative professional development activities which would support groups of colleagues or students to develop skills in leadership, communication, networking, writing and other generic transferable skills. We encourage you to explore experimental or creative approaches to professional development.
  • To run a Festival of Creative Learning Pop-up event outside of the main programme in February. Please refer to the Festival of Creative Learning website (link at bottom of page) for additional information about Pop-ups.brainstorming-300x300

There are two levels of funding available:

IAD Action Fund Small Grants

Small grants can be for up to a maximum of £500. You can apply at any point during the academic year

IAD Action Fund Regular Grants

You can apply to up to a maximum of £3000. Application deadline in October. The next deadline is 16 October 2017.

Find out more here