SWDTC- South-West Research Cooperative(SWRC) Call for Applications

Call for applications – South-West Research Cooperative (SWRC) – Funding for Short-Term Collaborative Postgraduate Research

The SWRC is a student-led venture, funded by the ESRC that facilitates collaboration between postgraduate students and community groups in short-term research or an advisory capacity. The SWRC has previously funded a diverse array of projects, including collaborations with: Bristol Nightstop charity for the homeless, Rethink mental health charity, and Exeter Mosque. The exact nature of the project is to be decided by you, in collaboration with a contact at your chosen community group.

After a successful first year, the SWRC is again offering this opportunity. Funding is available to all postgraduate students at the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter. The only criteria are:

  • That the collaboration is of a short-term nature, lasting no more than five days (although these can be spread out and do not have to be consecutive)
  • That the project conducted is with a partner organisation local to the South West
  • That the project has clear benefits to the local community

The funding enables students to be financially compensated for the time that they put into the project, at a rate of £75 per day. Therefore, a maximum of £375 may be applied for. To apply, please complete the short application form attached to this email and return it to us before the deadline.

The deadline for applications is Friday 10th February 2017.

Successful requests shall be informed of the outcome two weeks following the deadline. Please note that if you have previously applied you can reapply with a new proposal or an updated version of a previously unsuccessful proposal.

If you have any questions or if you would like to apply, please send us an email at this address: 

Highlight call for UoB registered students – Brigstow Institute

The SWRC has also secured a small pot of funding from the University of Bristol’s Brigstow Institute www.bristol.ac.uk/brigstow/ to offer Bristol-registered postgraduate students the opportunity to work in collaboration with a range of organisations across the city and beyond. The criteria are the same as those given above but should fit with Brigstow’s key values where the focus is on new ideas, experimentation and new ways of working within the theme of human experience and living well. Aimed particularly (but not exclusively) at those working across the social sciences, arts and humanities disciplines, projects should engage with one or more of Brigstow’s research themes:

  • living well with technology
  • living well with difference
  • living well with uncertainty
  • just plain old living well!

If you wish to apply please tick the box on the application form and explain how your application meets the criteria for this highlight call.

Call for members  

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a genuinely student-run scheme providing real impact with a light time commitment. The SWRC is run by postgraduate students across the three universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter. If you’re interested in joining us to help run the SWRC, we are currently asking for expressions of interest – just send us an email with a few details such as your home institution, pathway, year of study etc. by the end of November. We will then be in contact to discuss details further.

All the best,  Thomas Sealy, Jack Nicholls, Lewis Coyne, Siobhan Mitchell, Ed Atkins, Joff Jones, and Caroline Hickman

Call for applications – South-West Research Cooperative (SWRC) – Funding for Short-Term Collaborative Postgraduate Research

The SWRC is a student-led venture, funded by the ESRC that facilitates collaboration between postgraduate students and community groups in short-term research or an advisory capacity. The SWRC has previously funded a diverse array of projects, including collaborations with: Bristol Nightstop charity for the homeless, Rethink mental health charity, and Exeter Mosque. The exact nature of the project is to be decided by you, in collaboration with a contact at your chosen community group.

After a successful first year, the SWRC is again offering this opportunity. Funding is available to all postgraduate students at the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter. The only criteria are:

  • That the collaboration is of a short-term nature, lasting no more than five days (although these can be spread out and do not have to be consecutive)
  • That the project conducted is with a partner organisation local to the South West
  • That the project has clear benefits to the local community

The funding enables students to be financially compensated for the time that they put into the project, at a rate of £75 per day. Therefore, a maximum of £375 may be applied for. To apply, please complete this short application form and return it to before the deadline.

The deadline for applications is Friday 10th February 2017.

Successful requests shall be informed of the outcome two weeks following the deadline. Please note that if you have previously applied you can reapply with a new proposal or an updated version of a previously unsuccessful proposal.

If you have any questions or if you would like to apply, please send us an email at this address: 

Focus on…Communicating Your Research

The Autumn term has seen the first Doctoral College Focus On… event. Throughout November the Doctoral College have provided a range of training and networking opportunities for PGRs and ECRs with a Focus On…Communicating Your Research. This included a panel and networking event on Monday 14th November, where PGRs and ECRs gathered to present and discuss their experiences of communicating their research to different audiences and in different fora – from Twitter to 12 year olds.

The event had four invited speakers:

  • Malaka Shwaikh, a PGR in Arab and Islamic studies, who discussed her experiences of PGR and academic communities of Twitter
  • Matthew Knight, a PGR in Archaeology, who discussed using Twitter and Blogging to engage people with his research
  • Richard Cross, a PGR in Biosciences, who discussed his participation in PressGang who advertise the successful research carried out in the Biosciences department at Exeter
  • Maria Weber, an ECR in Astrophysics, who talking about talking about your research – to colleagues, as well as the general public

There was a lot of discussion and debate throughout the session, but for me the key take home messages were:

  • Sometimes it’s not about the amount of followers your blog or twitter account has, but the quality of engagement you get from the followers you have!
  • Practice articulating yours and others research for a general – public – audience is invaluable. It demonstrates that you can make complex ideas ‘digestible’, and will help develop clarity in your research writing generally!
  • Talking to people about your research is about knowing your audience – what they may or may not know about your research topic, and making sure you don’t ‘dumb down’. 12 year olds can understand complex ideas – you just have to find a way to engage with them. Images and objects – engaging other senses – is a great way in to understanding complex ideas.

With the proliferation of social networking sites, and the increasing emphasis on impact and public engagement, there is a clear need for the academy to rethink the way we engage with and communicate our research. Remember there’s lots of training available on twitter, blogging, working the media, public engagement and much more on the Researcher Development programme!

The Brilliant Club – teaching opportunity for PGRs and ECRs

The Brilliant Club: A meaningful, well-paid teaching opportunity for PhD students and postdoctoral researchers at Exeter University.

The Brilliant Club is an award-winning charity that recruits, trains and pays doctoral and post-doctoral researchers to deliver programmes of university-style teaching to small tutorial groups of high-performing pupils in schools that serve disadvantaged communities. Over the course of the 2015-16 academic year, The Brilliant Club placed over 400 researchers in schools across the UK, where they worked with over 8000 pupils.

There is now the opportunity for you to be involved in Spring and Summer 2016-17 summer placements.

The Brilliant Club will be holding an Information Event at Queens Building LT7.1 at 11.30 on Friday 18th November, please come along if you would like to find out more about becoming a Brilliant Club PhD Tutor. To find out more and book your place, please visit My Career Zone.

In addition to earning £450 per placement, successful candidates will gain valuable teaching experience, enhance their knowledge of the UK education system and develop a programme of tutorials drawing on elements of their own research with a chance to disseminate it to a non-expert audience. As well as this, they will also join a cohort of like-minded researchers who are interested in widening access to highly-selective universities. Tutors will be supported by a training programme consisting of two full-day sessions and will accompany their pupils on a university trip.

To apply to be a Brilliant Club tutor, please find the application form at http://www.thebrilliantclub.org/the-brilliant-club-for-researchers/get-involved/ along with further information about the assessment process.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to email us at .

Follow a PGR Blog: Exeter Film PGR Community

Chris Grosvener is a PGR in Film researching the role of the cinema as it intersected with the lives of those who served for Britain during the First World War. The post first appear on the new Exeter Film PGR Community blog. Head over to find out more about PGR research in Film at Exeter!

Preparing-an-Outdoor-Screen-672x372

Every day I read stories about men suffering through the horrors of the First World War. I should correct that: they’re not stories, they are real experiences, real lives and real facts. Necessarily, my research on the provision of film entertainment for British and Dominion soldiers during WWI means learning much about the lives of those who fought and died for their country: both the good times and the bad. As a researcher, it means confronting the harsh realities of war on a day-to-day basis, and despite being a century removed from the experiences found in the war diaries, newspapers and other documents I examine, the images and experiences I come across are no less harrowing, heartbreaking or poignant. Reading through the war diaries of a particular division or battalion, you begin to feel the ebbs and flows of the conflict, the highs and lows, the much needed periods of “rest” behind the lines and the dreadful anticipation of returning to the trenches. The casualty lists and statistics are staggering in themselves, but it is the personal narratives of loss and suffering that resonate the most. First-hand accounts of the conflict – descriptions of daily life on the front lines – places everything in front of you in a very real way. The immediacy, emotion and honesty that are found in the faded lines of a soldier’s diary, a diary you hold in your hands one-hundred years after it had made its way through the horrific conditions of trench warfare – even if its owner was not as fortunate – puts everything in perspective.

The fact that the same soldier visited a divisional cinema in the hope of forgetting, for a time at least, the horrors of the war is an equally moving sentiment. It’s very easy for us in the 21st Century to look back on the people who endured and suffered through the Great War, either at home or on the front, as being far removed from ourselves. Their lives must have been so different, we tell ourselves. Their interests and habits, how they passed the time and enjoyed themselves, seem so archaic. Many people today would find it difficult to place themselves in the shoes of such a person.

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An open air cinema on the Western Front. Source: Imperial War Museum.

However, if I were to take one thing away from my research up to this point, it would be that the presence of the cinema on the front lines has compacted the distance in space and time between myself and those who fought in the war. Of course, the generation of men and women who experienced the war are exactly the same as us, with the same fears, hopes and desires. But for me, there is something very moving about the fact that whilst living through a conflict of such unprecedented scale and brutality, soldiers would turn to the cinema as a form of comfort and escape from the immediate dangers and disturbing sights of the battlefield.

‘Fancy seeing a cinema show within the enemy’s shell fire!’ one soldier proclaimed in 1915. His disbelief may equal our own today, perhaps. The idea that the bulky, impractical technology needed to project film made its way on to the front line is a baffling notion in and of itself. Yet, dozens, even hundreds of makeshift cinemas did find a home on the battlefields of the First World War, established in dilapidated barns, shoddy huts or even in the open air. These cinemas, and the films they showed, most notably the films of Charlie Chaplin and other contemporary comedians, brightened the lives and raised the morale of those in the midst of the veritable hell on earth that the war had fostered. They turned to the cinema to ‘relieve the monotony and depression of trench warfare’. ‘It’s like being at home’ wrote another soldier, a sentiment shared by many. ‘Oh how we laughed – laughed as we had never laughed before’ proclaimed another about the antics of Chaplin. Like it is today, the cinema was a place where soldiers relaxed, met their friends and shared a laugh or two. On a day like today, it’s important to remember that these people were just the same as us, sharing the same interests and passions. Even with the distance of a century, soldiers would flock to front line cinemas just as we visit our local Vue or Picturehouse, for comfort, for friendship, to enjoy the film on screen and to escape, for a time at least, from the world outside.

Read Chris’s research profile here.

Career Mentor Opportunities

The University’s Career Mentor Scheme is a unique opportunity for students to be matched with an experienced professional to gain one-to-one careers advice, support and guidance into their profession and sector for up to 6-months. This is a particularly valuable opportunity for PGRs who are looking at a career outside of academia, to get specialist careers advice. The current Career Mentor scheme closes for applications on 13th November. Mentors are available in the following sectors:

  • Accounting and Auditing
  • Banking and Financial Services
  • Charity and Development Work
  • Construction, Civil Engineering and Building Services
  • Education, Teaching and Research
  • Engineering and Product Design
  • Healthcare and Wellbeing
  • Hospitality and Event Management
  • HR, Recruitment and Training
  • Information Services, Economics and Statistics
  • Information Technology
  • Insurance, Pensions and Actuarial
  • Language and Translation
  • Management and Consultancy
  • Politics and Government
  • Social Guidance and Community Work
  • Theatre and Performing Arts

A full list of opportunities, including hyperlinks to apply for a mentor, is available to download here.

The Career Mentor scheme offers the following mentors in education, teaching and research, which may be of particular interest to PGRs: