North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership

Are certain characters – stereotypes – in Agatha Christie’s novels more or less likely to be murderers than others?

James Jackson, Social Statistics, Lancaster University, 2019 Cohort

This October marks the centenary of the publication of The Mysterious Affair at Styles, the debut novel of Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie. Born in 1890, Agatha Christie was a prolific writer of detective stories. She wrote 66 full-length novels – and several other books under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott – prior to her death in 1976. She is the best-selling fiction writer of all time.

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My PhD has always been a bit unusual

Judit Fazekas, Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychology, University of Liverpool

As I’m (finally!) at the other side of my PhD, having defended my thesis this March, I thought I would tell you a bit about the life after. My PhD has always been a bit unusual – as soon as I arrived to Liverpool my primary supervisor took up a job at the amazing Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics (MPI). While this is the dream destination for all language researchers, it had a small downside from the point of view of my PhD: namely that it is in a completely different country! While working with an off-site supervisor might be the subject of a whole different blog post, this one is about what happened afterwards, when my dream also came true and I got to join Caroline in the MPI for a year after my PhD.

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Liverpool Fashion Summit


Liverpool Fashion Summit took place from the 9th to the 11th of September 2020, and was funded by the NWSSDTP via the Northern Fusion Fund. Postponed due to the pandemic, it was hosted online. As a student-led event, it provided a platform for businesses, consumers and academics to debate and discuss industry trends and best practice, raise awareness of the key barriers to change, and look to ourselves to explore the part we can all play.

What did you miss?  

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Attending a conference in COVID-19 times


Veronica Vienne Arancibia, Economics, University of Manchester, 2018 Cohort

A big part of our PhDs involves presenting our research in workshops, seminars and conferences. Unfortunately, they involve social interactions, so most of them were either cancelled or moved online. Although online conferences are a good alternative to show your work to wide audiences, they don’t do very well when it comes to networking. And, let’s face it, it can be a challenge to pay attention to a full day or more of Zoom webinars.

There are new formats, however, that adapt to the new normality and could be adopted permanently, because of the flexibility and benefits they offer.

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