Welcome Along/Back!

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 2019/2020

See our new brochure here: https://edin.ac/2MmF9Hgwelcome_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

Three Minute Thesis Competition Final 2019 – Winners Announced

PrintThe University of Edinburgh 3 Minute Thesis Competition final took place on 27th June 2019. 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 2019 competition was Frankie Greenwood from the School of Health in Social Science with her presentation ‘How can I know you when there are no words’ Frankie will now go on to represent the University in the UK and Universitas 21 competitions.

Runner Up: the runner up was Tim Wilkinson from the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, with his presentation ‘Big Data for a Big Problem: using real-world data to understand dementia’

‘People’s Choice’: Fiona McQuaid from the School of Biological Sciences won the people’s choice prize with her presentation ‘Malaria: A sticky problem’

Congratulations to all the finalists.

Find out more about the competition here – http://edin.ac/2AwzQNq


Seven Secrets of a Highly Successful Research Student

Workshop from international guest speaker Hugh Kearns

What do research higher degree (RHD) students do to finish on time, to overcome isolation, doubt and writer’s block, and to enjoy the process? And just as importantly what do they do in order to spend guilt-free time with their family and friends and perhaps even have holidays? If this sounds appealing, then this session will be of particular use to you.

This workshop describes the key habits that our research and experience with thousands of students shows will make a difference to how quickly and easily you complete your RHD. Just as importantly, these habits can greatly reduce the stress and increase the pleasure involved in completing a RHD.

The workshop helps you to understand how to increase your effectiveness and outcomes in the following key areas:

  • how you deal with your supervisor
  • how you structure your study time
  • your attitude (or lack thereof!) in relation to your research
  • key-2114334_1920dealing with writer’s block or having difficulty writing
  • getting the help you need when you are stuck
  • juggling multiple commitments and never having enough time
  • keeping on going when the going gets tough

List of Learning Outcomes. By the end of this workshop, students should be able to:

1.Identify strategies for successfully working with your supervisor

2.Identify tools for effective time management

Hugh Kearns BAgSc, MEd, MMHS

Hugh Kearns is recognised internationally as a public speaker, educator and researcher. He regularly lectures at universities across the world and has recently returned from a lecture tour of the UK and the US which included lectures at Oxford, Harvard and Stanford.

His areas of expertise include self-management, positive psychology, work-life balance, learning and creativity. He draws on over twenty years of experience as a leading training and development professional within the corporate, financial, education and health sectors in Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand and Australia. He has coached individuals, teams and executives in a wide range of organisations in the public and private sectors.

Hugh lectures and researches at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. He is widely recognised for his ability to take the latest research in psychology and education and apply it to high-performing people and groups. As a co-author with Maria Gardiner, he has published six books which are in high demand both in Australia and internationally.

This workshop will take place on Monday 25th March. Find out more here

Three Minute Thesis Competition Preparation

Are you thinking about entering the Three Minute Thesis Competition this year? We have a number of workshops and resources to help you prepare your presentation:

Find out more about the Three Minute Thesis Competition here



Edinburgh Local Gradschool 2019

Edinburgh Local Gradschool 2019 – Tuesday 4th June – Friday 7th June 2019

GRADschool is an experiential 3.5 day non-residential learning course, designed for doctoral researchers in the last 18 months of their PhD, aiming to raise participants’ awareness of their personal and professional transferable skills.

The course uses small facilitated groups to enable you to review your experiences at intervals as the GRADschool progresses.

It offers you the unique opportunity to:

  • take a step back from your research and consider your next step
  • develop a wide variety of personal and professional skills
  • build a network with students from across Scotland
  • develop self awareness and self confidence

The course aims to help you develop:

  • communication, networking, time management, and team work skills
  • awareness of your own individual qualities and strengths
  • self-confidence in research and beyond
  • career management skills and raised awareness of the range of career options open to PhD graduates.

For more information see: https://edin.ac/2pKSR9Q 

Presentation Skills Training at IAD

Will you be attending a conference or seminar to deliver a poster or presentation this semester? If so we have a number of workshops to help you develop your presentation skills, these include:

Presenting Made Easy – Presentation Techniques

Presenting Made Easy – Delivering Presentations

‘Just Present’ Presentation Peer Practice Session

Designing Effective Slides


Presenting with Ease (Online)

Writing and Designing your Academic Poster

Effective Conference Posters (Online)

How to Design an Effective Conference Poster

Pitch Perfect: Public Speaking, Networking and Engaging

Prepare for Doctoral Success


Prepare for Doctoral Success is a 4-week, interactive online course for all new 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 Monday 11th February 2019

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.

The next course starts on Monday 11th February 2019.  Find out more here

PGR Mid Semester Welcome Event

PGR Mid Semester Welcome Event – Wednesday 6th February 2019.

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

These welcome sessions are aimed at any new postgraduate research student who was not able to attend the September or January Welcome Week.


You will be provided with information on:

  • how to manage your Research
  • the support that is available to you at the University
  • Information from the Institute for Academic Development, Library Services and the Students Association
  • current PhD students’ experiences

Find out more here

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