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


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

‘Just Write’ Sessions for Research Students

Are you struggling to find the time to write without interruption?

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.

‘Just Write’ will provide you with a quiet space to focus exclusively on your writing, the session is not facilitated, however a member of staff will be present to ensure that everyone gets the most from the session.

Thinking of coming along? Here is what you need to know:333

  • You will get the most out of the time by coming prepared to write
  • Bring your laptop and any notes you may need with you
  • You can use this time to focus on anything related to your work

For a full list of dates please see here

In addition to the ‘Just Write’ Sessions there are also weekly ‘Shut up and Write’ drop in sessions, these take place as follows:

  • Wednesdays 10am-1pm @ Red Box Marchmont, Spottiswoode Road, Edinburgh
  • Fridays 2-5pm @ Room 2.01, Old Infirmary (Geography), Drummond Street, Edinburgh

More information about “Shut Up & Write” here: https://thesiswhisperer.com/shut-up-and-write/

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: www.ed.ac.uk/english-language-education


Introductory Statistics for Life Scientists Course

We have places available on the following online course:

Introductory Statistics for Life Scientists – Level 1

2nd October 2017 (for 5 weeks)

This is a 5 week course delivered entirely on-line within Learn (the University’s virtual learning environment, VLE). It will introduce students to the basic principles of statistical thinking (statistical inference) and one or two of the most common types of analysis that might be needed for Masters or PhD research projects. It is aimed mainly at students undertaking projects (at either level) in the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine (particularly in 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’ backgrounds in clinical research, public health and veterinary medicine. The principles taught, however, are universal!

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, as well as more general interaction with the course team. 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 in the 5 weeks:dddd

  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

Each topic is expected to take around 2.5 hours per week to complete.  The full course should take around 12.5 hours.

The course runs for 5 weeks. A Level 2 course will run in the second half of Semester 1 and 2 to describe a number of additional topics and methods of analysis to enhance participants’ knowledge of, and confidence with, statistical methods.

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

1. Describe and apply the basic principles of statistical inference and exploratory data analysis.

2. Identify and apply basic concepts in probability

3. Define and construct confidence intervals and be able to apply hypothesis testing appropriately

For more information and booking see: http://edin.ac/2dd5UOL