How to Design an Effective Conference Poster Workshop

How to Design an Effective Conference Poster Workshop 14/3/18

In research we are often called upon to present our work in the form of a poster at a conference. The design and layout of these posters is important, if we are to show our work in the best possible light. Many posters are, however, poorly thought out and badly designed. This workshop, using a series of short presentations and practical sessions will examine in detail the features of good poster design, will look at the relative importance of pictures versus words, and will equip the participants to play an active role in the design of their future conference posters.

After the workshop each participant will:1428641_69358700

• understand the purpose of the conference poster

• be familiar with the basic rules for poster design

• understand the importance of words, pictures and flow

• know how deliver a conference poster

• have a working strategy for designing a winning poster.

Find out more here


Places available: Upcoming IAD PhD Workshops

We have places available on the following upcoming workshops:


Beating Writers Block

Thursday 15th February 2018

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 and booking here

Writing a Literature Review

Tuesday 20th February 2018

This workshop will identify the Identify the key elements of a literature review and look at practical processes for writing the literature review.  More information and booking here

Academic Writing Peer Review

Wednesday 21st February 2018

The Academic Writing Peer Review workshop is tutor-led group session for academic writers who would like to get feedback on their writing from a small, supportive audience.  More information and booking here

How to be an Effective Researcher

Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd February 2018

This interactive and intensive 2-day course has been designed for first and second year PhD students and will look at practical ways to increase your effectiveness and meet the challenges of your PhD. More information and booking here

How to be your own best editor

Monday 26th February 2018

This workshop aims to equip you with strategies for editing effectively, and will identify the key aspects of good writing, including clarity, conciseness and flow. More information and booking here



Seven Secrets of a Highly Successful Research Student Workshop

Seven Secrets of a Highly Successful Research Student Workshop – 28th February 2018

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
  • dealing 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.

More information and booking here

Research, Researchers and Media – A Hands On Approach to Communicating Your Research

The red light comes on and you’re live on air to millions of listeners. That’s the experience we replicate on this immersive three-day course in broadcast production. For that added touch of reality, we install you in one of the state of the art studios at the BBC’s Pacific Quay Glasgow headquarters.

You also explore the newsgathering process, producing video and radio reports for the evening news. There will be nowhere to hide as you work in groups filming, scripting and editing to tight deadlines.

And, from fairy tales to Star Wars, what makes a great story? In a workshop on narrative, we will uncover the essence of compelling storytelling and how to apply it to your own research.

Whether in the humanities, the arts or sciences, communicating your research matters. In this workshop we explore how to formulate your messages in ways that are relevant, fresh and engaging for diverse non-specialist audiences. This is not a straight media training course. We aim to go deeper than that by critiquing the processes by which ideas pass from academia to the living room. We cast you as the journalists, programme-makers and exhibition designers, bringing you face to face with the practises and pitfalls of the mass media.

There is a strong emphasis on group work, requiring an open mind and a willingness to get stuck in. There is a significant distance-learning element to the course three weeks before you arrive. Think carefully before signing up to this workshop. You will be required to complete around five hours worth of pre-planning online. This will be in a group structure meaning that it will not be possible to opt out of the course once the pre-workshop tuition is underway.k6789970

Aims and Objectives:

• to give a first hand insight into how the media works

• to practise media techniques like interviewing, scriptwriting and editing

• to acquire a renewed, savvy attitude to the media and wider engagement

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

1. To identify and engage with media techniques such as interviewing, scriptwriting and editing

2. To identify the various ways in which those in the research community engage with the public

The course leader is Gareth Mitchell of Imperial College London and BBC Radio.

 Pre-course work

In the weeks leading up to the course, participants will be expected to collaborate online, preparing for the radio session at the BBC. With help from the course leader, tasks will involve programme planning, script writing and basic journalistic research. The involvement expected will amount to about five hours per delegate during the pre-course phase.

This workshop will run on Thursday 19th April and Friday 20th April from 9.30am – 5.30pm in St Leonard’s Hall, Pollock Halls, and on Saturday 21st April from approximately 10am – 1pm at the BBC Studios in Glasgow. For more information see here


The Imposter Syndrome: Why successful people often feel like frauds

How can it be that so many clever, competent and capable people can feel that they are just one step away from being exposed as a complete fraud? Despite evidence that they are performing well they can still have that lurking fear that at any moment someone is going to tap them on the shoulder and say “We need to have a chat”.

The session will explain why high performing people often doubt their abilities and find it hard to enjoy their successes. It will also show the links to perfectionism and self-handicapping strategies such as procrastination, avoidance and over commitment.

At the end of this session you will:

  • know what the latest psychological research tells us about the imposter syndrome is and how it operates
  • realise how widespread imposter feelings are and why highly successful people can feel like frauds
  • be aware of evidence-based strategies that reduce imposter feelings

This workshop will take place on Wednesday 28th February 2018, find out more and book a place here

Research Ethics and Integrity – An Introduction – Online Course

This online course is designed to help postgraduate research students understand the core principles of research ethics and integrity. It’s aimed at all research students and explains these basic principles to help you to understand any subject or project-specific advice or policies.

This course covers:

  • Introduction
  • Ethical approval
  • Plagiarism
  • Authorship
  • Collaboration
  • Publication ethics

Find out more here:

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 12th February 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.

Find out more here

Introductory Statistics for Life Scientists Course

We have places available on the following online course:

Introductory Statistics for Life Scientists – Level 1

29th January 2018 (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 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:

Three Minute Thesis Competition 2018

Are you thinking of entering the Three Minute Thesis Competition but not sure if its for you?

The 6th annual 3 Minute Thesis Competition will take place on the 22nd June 2018. The competition requires doctoral researchers to compete to deliver the best research presentation in just 3 minutes (and one slide).

We have a range of resources and information on our website to help you prepare for the competition, including:

  •  3MT ‘Competition Preparation’ workshops, running on the 14th and 21st February 2018
  • 3MT ‘Peer Practice’ Sessions, running on the 1st and 28th March 2018
  • Effective Slide Design workshop on the 2nd February 2018
  • a 3MT Handbook with tips on how to prepare your presentation and interviews with previous finalists
  • Video’s of previous competitions on the University’s YouTube channel.

Find out more about the competition, as well as details on how you can enter, here:




Places available: Upcoming IAD PhD Workshops

We have places available on the following upcoming workshops:

Just Write for Research Students

19 January 2018

‘Just Write’ will provide you with a quiet space to focus exclusively on your writing without the distractions of emails, Facebook, Twitter and everyday life. More information here

Presenting Made Easy – Presentation Techniques

22 or 23 January 2018

This workshop is designed to equip participants with skills and techniques to develop and improve presentations for a variety of audiences. More information here

The Writing Process: Getting Started

23 January 2018

This workshop provides tools and tips for when and how to get started with the writing process; for generating, focusing, targeting and structuring material; and for developing a first draft. More information here

Searching Research Literature and Managing Bibliographies

24 January 2018

The workshop will help participants understand the information research process and developing good practice in literature searching. More information here

Structured Writing Retreat

24 January 2018

This writing retreat will allow you to make progress on a writing project (such as a thesis chapter or a journal article) and build confidence in your academic writing skills. More information here

For a full list of workshops please see here