North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership

Attending A Conference in Times of Change

Ian Winstanley, Sociology, University of Liverpool (2017 Cohort)

In light of the current impacts of rapid technological changes in so many industries, social researchers are being encouraged not only to think about how they might contribute to academic debates on these developments but also to think about how their research might address the practical concerns of people working in the industries that are being shaped by technological innovations. In the “ESRC research helping industry” document, for instance, the ESRC refers to the need for social science research that develops insights into how work is changing in the creative and cultural industries in the context of transformative digital technologies. In responding to this need through my PhD research, I’m always keen to find opportunities to learn more about the experiences of people who are dealing with technological changes in their working lives, and I’d like to share my experience of one such learning opportunity in this blog post.

Read More

‘In the moment’ with music – reflections on my CASE studentship experience with Manchester Camerata

Robyn Dowlen, Health & Wellbeing, University of Manchester (2015 Cohort)

Dr Robyn Dowlen is a postdoctoral research associate at the Centre for Cultural Value, University of Leeds. Robyn was awarded an ESRC CASE studentship (2015-2019) through the North West Doctoral Centre (now North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership) which focussed on understanding the ‘in the moment’ experiences of people living with dementia when they take part in improvised music making. Robyn’s industry partner was Manchester Camerata, an orchestra based in Manchester, who have a well-established music programme for people living with dementia and their family carers – Music in Mind

Read More

“Knowledge exchange during a year of lockdown”

Evanthia Koukouli, Social Statistics, Lancaster University (2018 Cohort)

It’s been more than a year since the first lockdown in the United Kingdom. Wearing a mask, arranging online meetings, social and academic events have now become the new standard. Although life within the university, receiving and sharing knowledge changed vastly, I am impressed by the quality of the organised online events and the unceasing effort to develop methods and techniques that make the online experience even better. A good majority of courses, seminars and conferences that I attended this year were truly amazing experiences…and of course from the comfort of my home. Fortunately, in the United Kingdom, technology was a huge part of society and education before the pandemic which makes me feel that the transition was less challenging compared to countries where the use of technology was not so popular in schools, universities and local businesses. Besides, I am still amazed to see the variety of software used for knowledge delivery and event organisation. Socio, MS Teams, Zoom, Padlet and many other software and apps could truly make knowledge exchange effortless.

Read More

Post-Grad Adventures in Lancaster

Charlotte Evans, Social and Economic History, Lancaster University (2020 Cohort)

As coronavirus restrictions began to lift (again) in March, spring melted away the last of the long locked-down winter. Lancaster’s bars and restaurants opened their gardens, and then their doors. Since moving to Lancaster to start my MA in Digital Humanities, I hadn’t had much time to properly explore the city without the various restrictions and if I were to write this blog a couple of months ago it would have been short and monotonous. We’ve all been in the same boat the last year and don’t need to read another blog about the student experience during a pandemic. So instead of zoom calls and working from home, I thought it would be nice to explore Lancaster and all that it offers now the restrictions are lifted.

Read More