3 Minute Thesis Competition Information Session 22/11/18

Are you thinking of entering the 3 Minute Thesis competition and want to find out more?

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



Writefest 2018

Write Fest 2018

November is Academic Writing Month. This annual event was established as a way to support academic writing via the #AcWriMo hashtag on Twitter.

During November 2018, the Institute for Academic Development will be running WriteFest, a local contribution to this academic writing month, with the aim of bringing people together to raise awareness and celebrate academic writing.

WriteFest is a collaboration with the Universities of Manchester, Sheffield, Exeter, Bristol, Kings College London, Keele, Sheffield Hallam, Liverpool, Newcastle, Derby and Adelaide.


The festival aims to provide protected time and space for writing to help you to:

Write Fest aims

During WriteFest the IAD will be running writing retreats and ‘just write’ sessions to provide you with space and time to write, along with a selection of workshops and resources to support your writing.

How to get involved 

  • Book onto a workshop or writing retreat – have a look at our list to see what is running.
  • We will be regularly blogging during the festival from iad4researchers.wordpress.com and iad4phd.wordpress.com, where we will share some experiences, promote events and courses and reflect on academic writing. It will feature a range of voices from the researcher community in The University of Edinburgh and beyond. Please do go and have a look.
  • Use the hashtag #AcWriFest18 to share your progress with other researchers, and follow @researchersated and @IAD4PhD to keep up to date with what is happening during the month.
  • Also use the Academic Writing Month hashtag #AcriWriMo to get some inspiration from Academic Writing month overall.
  • Festival of Creative Learning: You many consider running a Pop-up event as part of the Festival of Creative Learning, linked to academic writing.  Both staff and students are invited to apply to run events in the Festival (February) and throughout the year as Festival Pop-up events, in order to encourage new ways of learning and teaching. There is a great deal of support to help you design and deliver your idea.

For more information see: https://www.ed.ac.uk/institute-academic-development/research-roles/writefest

Go Abroad

Erasmus+ funding available – any subject area!

Going abroad isn’t just for undergraduates or language students. Find out how you could go abroad as part of your Research Masters or PhD – and get funded to do it.

PhD and Research Masters students can apply for Erasmus+ grants worth between €400-450 month, to help you undertake work or research abroad. As the funding is towards your travel and living expenses, it isn’t restricted to a particular activity or subject area; it just has to be in an Erasmus+ programme country, and last between 2 and 12 months.

Some examples of what you could do with the funding are:

  • A supervised research placement at another university, at an institute, or with an expert in your field of specialisation
  • Field work for data collection, or to test your research findings
  • Hands-on experience in a laboratory or specialised organisation
  • Using your expertise as a specialist within a work organisation

Erasmus + funding is available for both paid and unpaid placements, and you can still get it if you’re receiving a salary, PhD bursary, or student loan. Already received Erasmus+ funding during your undergraduate degree? Don’t worry, you’re still eligible!

Applications are open year-round. For full eligibility criteria and to find out more, visit https://www.ed.ac.uk/global/go-abroad/work-abroad.

Any questions? Email workplacements@ed.ac.uk or pop into the Go Abroad Office on central campus for our weekly drop-in sessions – Tuesdays 2-4pm and Thursdays 10am-12pm.

Introductory Statistics for Life Scientists Online Course

Introductory Statistics for Life Scientists is a 10-week on-line course within Learn. It will introduce students to the basic principles of statistical thinking and outline some of the most common types of analysis that might be needed for Masters or PhD research projects.

You can access this course at any time of the year, there is no fixed start or end date.

Target audience

It is aimed mainly at students undertaking research projects (at either Masters or PhD level) in the College of Medicine (particularly lab-based subjects), but it may be of more general use, too – we welcome participants from any discipline, although the examples used will tend to reflect the instructors background in clinical research, public health and veterinary medicine. The principles taught, however, are universal!

Course contentdddd

Each week, participants will use resources such as recorded PowerPoint presentations, quizzes, and directed reading to investigate a topic, and will try some practical examples in Minitab, a statistical package available on the University’s Managed Desktop and in general-access computing facilities. Support is available through discussion boards that allow queries on specific points. The course runs asynchronously – participants work on course material and exercises in their own time, and interact via the discussion boards when required.

The following topics are covered:

  1. An introduction to the course and VLE
  2. Basic principles of statistical inference and exploratory data analysis
  3. Some basic concepts in probability
  4. Confidence intervals
  5. Hypothesis testing
  6. Study design – randomisation and blocking
  7. Study design – power calculations
  8. Correlation and simple linear regression
  9. One and Two-way analysis of variance models
  10. Method comparison/ reproducibility studies

Find out more here: https://edin.ac/2QUXevt

Prepare for Doctoral Success


Prepare for Doctoral Success is a 4-week, interactive online course for all doctoral researchers at the University of Edinburgh.

Starting a doctorate is a very exciting time, but it can also be difficult to know where to start.

We hope  this online course 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.

Course dates: this course will run for four weeks from 8th October 2018

Time commitment: we estimate you should expect to spend about 1-2 hours per week reading the materials and engaging with the tasks and online forums. It will be run as an asynchronous course, which means you can look at the tasks and post in the forums at a time that suits you.


  • Week 1: Getting to know you – this is to introduce you to the course and other participants.
  • Week 2: Starting out – the essential information and expectations.
  • Week 3: The first year – milestones, planning and skills development.
  • Week 4: Working with your supervisor – hints and tips, expectations and supervisor styles.

More information and booking here: https://edin.ac/2D7dFNZ

Welcome along/back!

A warm welcome to new students to the University of Edinburgh and a welcome back to returning students! This academic year has another packed programme of events and workshops here at the Institute for Academic Development.  We will use this blog to provide useful hints and tips as well as keep you up to date with events throughout the year.

You can find out about transferable skills, professional and personal development training and support for postgraduate researchers from the IAD in our new brochure for 2018/2019

See our new brochure here: https://edin.ac/2MmF9Hg welcome_primarylogo_main

You can find our monthly newsletter here: http://edin.ac/2cQtq3G

For details of Prepare for Doctoral Success Online Resource click here: http://edin.ac/2cica25

See our website for more information: https://edin.ac/2wrNqRm

Follow us on twitter: @iad4phd

Best wishes

Louise McKay

Programme Manager – Doctoral Provision at the IAD


Places available: Upcoming IAD PhD Workshops

We have places available on the following workshops running in September:

The Writing Process: Getting Started  (CAHSS)– 17/9/18

This workshop provides practical tools and tips for making the transition into writing by developing focus, structure and a writing habit.

Text: Coherence, Structure and Argumentation 18/9/18

This workshop looks at different aspects of organising a text. Topics include creating coherence; ordering sentences into paragraphs, and paragraphs into sections; using signposting to highlight connections and support transitions; and developing an argument.

Is My Writing Academic Enough? (CSCE/CMVM) 20/9/18

This workshop will focus on identifying key requirements for strong academic writing, and translating those into practical checks to ensure that your text meets relevant expectations.

The Writing Process Getting Started (CSCE/CMVM) 24/9/18

This workshop provides practical tools and tips for making the transition into writing by developing focus, structure and a writing habit.

Academic Writer – Creative Writer 25/9/18

This workshop will explore some of the creative writer’s toolkit through exercises that first take us outside the realm of academic writing, and then back into it.

Is my Writing Academic Enough? (CAHSS) 26/9/18

This workshop will focus on identifying key requirements for strong academic writing, and translating those into practical checks to ensure that your text meets relevant expectations.

Just Write for Research Students 28/9/18

The aim of a ‘Just Write’ session is to create a time and place for PhD students to write without the distractions of emails, Facebook, Twitter and everyday life.


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

3 Minute Thesis Competition 2018 – Winners Announced

DSC_0858The University of Edinburgh 3 Minute Thesis Competition final took place on 22nd June 2018. Nine finalists from Three Colleges competed to deliver the best research presentation in 3 minutes with 1 slide.

University competition winner: The winner of the University of Edinburgh 3 Minute Thesis 2018 competition was Phoebe Kirkwood from the Deanery of Clinical Sciences with her presentation ‘The Secrets of Scarless Healing’ Phoebe will now go on to represent the University in the UK and Universitas 21 competitions.

Runner Up: the runner up was Owen James from the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, with his presentation ‘Human Myelin in a Dish’

‘People’s Choice’: Gavin Woolman from the School of Physics and Astronomy won the people’s choice prize with his presentation ‘Better Thermoelectrics through high pressure’

Congratulations to all the finalists.

Find out more about the competition here



3 Minute Thesis Final 2018

3MT_Logo.jpgAudience tickets are now available for the University of Edinburgh 3 Minute Thesis Competition Final on the 22nd June 2018.  The Three Minute Thesis competition requires doctoral researchers to compete to deliver the best research presentation in just 3 minutes and one slide.  Nine finalist from three Colleges will present a compelling presentation on their research topic and its significance in just three minutes.

This year’s finalists are:

Owen James CMVM
Phoebe Kirkwood CMVM
Danielle Leighton CMVM
Gavin Woolman CSCE
Sorcha Gilroy CSCE
Warwick Wainwright CSCE
Fabio Battaglia CAHSS
Vivek Bhatt CAHSS
Katie McGoohan CAHSS

You will also be able to live webstream the final from your own computer.

Find out more about the competition, and reserve tickets for the final here