PGR Summer Writing Retreats

These PGR summer writing retreats provide you with a quiet time and space to focus on your writing without the distractions of the office, emails and daily life. These sessions are not facilitated, it is simply a dedicated space and time to progress your writing projects.

Thinking of coming along? Here is what you need to know:

•You will get the most out of the time by planning in advance and coming prepared to write

•Bring your laptop and any notes you may need with youuntitledgyh

•You can use this time to focus on anything related to your work

• You can attend as many sessions as you wish

•You can attend for the full day or half a day, but please make sure you book a place on each session

•Catering is not provided – please bring your own refreshments with you

•Laptops are not provided

The sessions will follow the timetable below:


09:30-10:15 – Writing

10:15-10:25 – Short Break

10:25-11:25 – Writing

11:25-11:35 – Short Break

11:35-12:25 – Writing


13:30-14:15 – Writing

14:15-14:25 – Short Break

14:25-15:25 – Writing

15:25-15:35 – Short Break

15:35-16:25 – Writing

For more information see here


Places available: Upcoming IAD PhD Workshops

We have places available on the following upcoming workshops:

Practical Project Management for Research Students

25th April 2018

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

Simply Assertive

11th May 2018

The aim of this workshop is to enable delegates to have a greater self confidence in difficult situations and feel able to express their opinions. More information here 

Speed Reading

11th May 2018

This short workshop will give you a number of tools to help you to read more quickly, more strategically and more critically. More information here

Effective Writing: Grammar

11th May 2018

Native speakers of English often have little knowledge of formal grammar and non-native speakers may know the grammar in theory but find the practice is a lot harder. This workshop starts by providing the vocabulary to discuss grammar. Using examples of academic writing from a variety of subject areas, we deal with common errors in sentence construction and punctuation in the work of native and non-native speakers.  Finally, we look at how a knowledge of grammar can help the writer communicate more effectively in a way that the reader will enjoy. More information here





Facilitation Skills for Public Engagement

Facilitation skills for public engagement workshop 10/5/18

Do you need facilitation skills to do your job? Probably: good facilitation skills are critical to team working, collaborating with other teams and organisations, planning and holding meetings, and small group teaching.

If you’d like to improve the communication and inter-personal skills needed to facilitate well, this workshop may be for you!network-1020332_1920

Skills You’ll Develop:

– Enabling everyone to speak openly about their views, interests and needs

– Thinking together to tackle difficult problems or get a job done

– Fostering creativity and realise the potential for ‘group intelligence’

– Handling dominant voices and ensure all participants are heard

– Working through conflict without confrontation

– Recognising different patterns of communication and encourage ‘authentic’ communication

– Using your power as a facilitator constructively

Training Approach:

Our training approach integrates some ‘theory’ with a lot of opportunities to practice. Specifically, we will:

– Introduce key concepts – about different forms of communication and styles of facilitation, and about collaboration

– Work on key skills and common challenges, giving you experience of some different techniques and approaches

– Make this relevant to your circumstances and needs, and encourage your reflective practice.

What this Course Does Not Cover:

Facilitation involves two skill sets: thinking strategically (for planning and evaluation); and attending to communication and inter-personal dynamics in these critical conversations. This workshop aims to build capacity in the latter skill set only.

While this workshop is extremely useful for people wishing to engage others with their research, this won’t be a specific focus on the day.


This workshop is intended for people who already do some facilitation and want the opportunity to reflect on and deepen their practice in this area. Those new to facilitation and dialogue, are encouraged to attend Public Engagement Beyond Public Lectures instead.

For more information and booking see here


Places available: Upcoming IAD PhD Workshops

We have places available on the following upcoming workshops:

Structured Writing Retreat

11th April 2018

This writing retreat is an opportunity to make progress on a writing project and build confidence in your academic writing skills.  Writing slots will be interspersed with short discussions and reflections. More information here

Managing your Research Project

17th April 2018

Project management is a core skill for most jobs and being a researcher is no different.   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. More information here

Searching Research Literature and Finding Bibliographies

17th April 2018

The workshop is a mixture of presentations and hands on practical computer-based sessions to help participants understand the information research process and developing Good practice in literature searching. More information here

Conference and Events Organising

18th April 2018

The workshop is designed to cover event planning and design, management, finance, venues, online tools, marketing and promotion, attracting sponsorship and post-event actions. More information here

Good Practice in Research Data Management

19th April 2018

This workshop is aimed at all postgraduate researchers who are interested in finding out how to manage their research data effectively and efficiently during their post graduate research study. More information here

Finding Funding for Research

20th April 2018

This workshop will initially focus on examining the current funding landscape, helping researchers to identify the most promising sources of funding for their research. In the second part we will look at funding applications and they review process, highlighting the most important mistakes researchers make and defining a strategy for applying that will produce the greatest success. More information here



PGR Mid-Semester Welcome Event

Thursday 1st February 2018  (9.15am – 1.00pm)

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:

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

Find out more, and book a place here

Happy New Year from the IAD!

Happy New Year and a prosperous 2018 from the IAD!  imagesCAJDXVCV

As a new year starts we continue to provide a range of resources and workshops for Postgraduate Researchers.  Take a look at some of the things we are offering this year:

  • Writing Workshops: We offer a range of writing workshops including Getting Started, Grammar, Writing for Publication, Is my Writing Academic Enough and Writing Abstracts.
  • Online Statistics: We run a 5 week online Introductory Statistics for Life Scientists Course
  • PGR Mid-Semester Welcome Event: This event is for students who have missed a University Welcome event this academic year or have arrived recently.
  • 3 Minute Thesis: The sixth annual 3 Minute Thesis Competition will take place on the 22nd June 2018.  Training is available to anyone interested in taking part in this competition, this will take place on the 14th and 21st February 2018.
  • Prepare for Doctoral Success: this online course starts on the 12th February and will help you settle in to your doctoral studies by sharing essential information, tips and advice, and giving you an opportunity to interact with other students at the same stage.
  • Follow us on twitter @iad4phd to keep up to date with the latest workshops and events

For more information on all of the above please see 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



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

PhD Writing Courses for International Students

English Language Support for International Students

A wide range of courses are available to help international students with their English and academic skills. For first year PhD students, there’s “Writing a PhD First-Year Report”, which aims to help students to prepare the paper (or report, or proposal) that they will be writing for their first year review (or ‘panel’ or ‘progression board’), towards the end of the first year of their doctoral studies.   This course starts in the week beginning 23 October 2017, and the application deadline is Friday 13 October.


For second and third year PhD students there’s Writing your PhD: Reviewing the Literature.

This course starts week beginning 2 October 2017

Other workshops include:untitledgyh

  • Writing up Quantitative and Qualitative Research
  • Social Speaking Skills
  • Better Pronunciation
  • Academic Writing
  • Grammar for Academic Writing

Find out more here: