On the 6th of November I attended the North West ESRC / AHRC Doctoral Training Partnerships Impact Event at the University of Liverpool.
Before going into details about the presentations, I want to start by saying that I’m a Year 1 PhD student, and this workshop has completely changed the way I’m approaching my research. Although I knew it was important to connect with the relevant people/institutions that could be impacted by my research, I never thought about ways to measure it….
Asking for help from others is something we do all the time, and children are certainly no strangers to it. They request help with their homework, cutting up their food, and even with the simplest of things like tying their shoelaces (thank goodness for Velcro). But there are rules in place when requesting help which, if breached, can land you in hot water. If I ask you to pass the salt at the dinner table, for example, you pretty much have to comply. On the other hand, if I ask you to drive to the local store to buy me more pepper, leaving your dinner to go cold, you are likely to complain and quite rightly so. Likewise, we know from The Boy Who Cried Wolf that making false claims, like asking for help when you do not actually need it, can end poorly. The upshot being that as adults we have learned when we should and should not ask others for help. But when does this awareness develop in children?
My first year as a researcher at the University of Liverpool has flown by, and I’m finding it hard to believe that I am now technically in the second year of my PhD. My research project, Mediating Militarism: Chronicling 100 Years of ‘Military Victimhood’ from Print to Digital 1918-2018, is a CASE project, which means I split my time between collaborative academic partners; in this instance the University of Liverpool and the British Library. The project looks at militarism and its role in the commemoration of the British war dead since 1918 up until the present day, and utilises the vast materials on offer at the British Library, notably the UK Web Archive’s First World War Centenary collection.
As is probably the case for many PhD researchers, I often have to explain to friends, family and strangers what my PhD involves. Now this never goes as smoothly as it should do!
My research is looking at the impact of urban green spaces on physical activity and other behaviours important for our wellbeing, such as social interactions. Essentially, I’m trying to produce stronger evidence of the wellbeing impacts of urban green spaces, which will better inform policy makers and practitioners who are responsible for planning and designing green spaces in our cities and towns.
The ESRC North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP), in conjunction with Methods North West, the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (WRDTP), the Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership (NINEDTP) and the N8 partnership, are pleased to launch a competitive application process for funding towards student-led events directed primarily at DTP and N8 postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers.
It is our intention to fund events in the following broadly defined areas, in which synergies of interest exist between ESRC DTP and N8 researchers:
The scheme is open to all postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers who are currently funded by the ESRC NWSSDTP, the WRDTP, NINEDTP or the N8 partnership.
For further details, please download the application form:
Deadline for submission of applications to firstname.lastname@example.org: 13th December 2019
What was the event?
‘Identity, Values, and Elections across Europe’ was a NWSSDTP funded one day interdisciplinary conference aimed at early career researchers (ECRs), co-produced by the Democracy & Elections (D&E) and Comparative Public Policy & Institutions (CPPI) research clusters at the University of Manchester. It was co-organised by James Griffiths and Louise Wylie (Politics) of the University of Manchester and took place on Friday 27th September. The event consisted of three panels of three ECRs presenting their work, with each panel centred on one of the three themes of the conference, and a keynote talk from Professor Maria Sobolewska.
Thanks to the NWSSDTP Internship scheme, I spent my summer in Milton Keynes – the famed land of roundabouts and concrete cows. I had learnt that the grid layout in Central Milton Keynes, and its central street, Midsummer Boulevard, are orientated along the line of the sun on midsummer’s day, and this combination of modernism with ‘60s hippy spiritualism had sparked my curiosity. My presumption was that if any of the original architects of MK were still around, I’d find them on the night of the summer solstice somewhere along Midsummer Boulevard. Sadly this didn’t work out, but I had much more luck attending an evening nature walk in a rainy wood run by the MK Natural History Society: this was where I began to get to know some very welcoming and genuine characters who maintain what is between them a substantial oral history of the development of Milton Keynes, some of which is now getting written down.