North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership

Introduction to Oral History course 

Angela Towers, Sociology, Lancaster University (2019 Cohort)

My PhD is concerned with what might be understood as the 4th wave of feminism defined by the digital spaces, and my work is focused on highly visible, or viral, campaigns and events of the last decade, and their legacies. My research questions warranted a qualitative approach, since part of what I am trying to understand are the experiences of people at the centre of these events, during and once the news cycle has moved on, and to take a snapshot of these particular moments in time and the conditions that gave rise to them. With these considerations in mind, it became apparent that an oral history approach could fit well with this project. Traditionally, and among other things, oral histories can provide different insights and evidence from a new direction, they can also give a sense of belonging to a place or time, as well as challenging myths about groups of people or social phenomena. My first stop when writing my ethics application was the Oral History Society. The website has a wealth of advice and content available, from best practice to project design, and much more. I drew heavily on their documentation and standards to put together my proposal, which was eventually signed off by my University in March.

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We are all effectively entrepreneurs.

Lee Wainwright, Business and Management, University of Liverpool ( 2019 Cohort)

Full disclosure – before I started my PhD I was an Employability Officer for Business undergraduates, so I’ve seen and been told first hand from students and employers what works and what doesn’t when it comes to getting noticed and getting the career opportunity you want. But that was undergraduates with limited CV’s and a highly competitive and swamped applicant pool. A key difference I’ve found so far with PhD students, is that we’re all effectively entrepreneurs trying to pitch our research in the most attractive, easy to digest yet interesting enough to want more, kind of way. And we’re pitching to journals, to co-authors, to internal review panels, to prospective employers, to funding bodies, to anyone who can help further our research and academic ambitions.

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COP26 and Climate Exp0 Conference: Thoughts and reflections of a critical climate decade

Eleanor Godwin, Socio-legal Studies, University of Liverpool (2020 Cohort)

Between the 17th – 21st May 2021 I (and my dog, as pictured!) attended the Climate Exp0 conference, including volunteering as a student rep on the Friday. This was first conference of its kind organised by the COP26 Universities Network and the Italian University Network for Sustainable Development and supported by the UKRI, Cambridge University Press, and the Conference of Italian University Rectors. With the weight of support behind it, this conference presented the latest thinking in issues related to the climate, as part of the official All4Climate Pre-COP26 Programme. This blog post will firstly look at what COP26 is and the purpose behind the Climate Exp0 conference, then it will provide key takeaway points from the conference itself.

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Method to the madness: the art of writing methodology chapters

Rosie Harrison, Business & Management, Lancaster University (2019 Cohort)

Although your methodology chapter is seen as the easiest chapter to write, I have found it really hard to balance what I need to say for my thesis to pass, and what I want /like /find easier to write about. After rewriting this chapter about 20 times and still not being happy with it, I decided to seek out some professional help. The NCRM website is a great source of training sessions, and with the RTSG covering most training costs, they are a good way of benefiting from expertise outside your institution. Especially now when provision is mostly online, I have found it a really good way of accessing courses which would otherwise have proved impossible due to the time and travel requirements when needing to travel around the country.

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