Researcher Summer School 2019 - Review

The third annual Researcher Summer School took place at Keele University during August 2019. Organised by the Keele Institute for Innovation and Teaching Excellence, the week-long programme of events was put together to support the development of postgraduate researchers, early career researchers and staff involved in research at Keele University.

Over 90 people registered for the programme, with each delegate attending their personalised choice of workshops over the week. The majority of attendees were PhD students but other postgraduate groups (Prof Doc, MPhil, MRes, PGT) were represented, and a quarter of attendees were staff, including lecturers, and research and teaching fellows.

Over the week there were 18 workshops on offer, ranging from those focused on underpinning knowledge such as running focus groups and understanding research integrity, governance and ethics, through to practical sessions concerned with research impact and grant writing. Two full day retreats were also on offer, a reading retreat to start the week and a writing retreat to end it.

New for this year the Summer School featured ‘Careers Wednesday’, which proved a very popular and well-attended day, providing the opportunity to reflect on career options and plan for the future. A particular highlight of the day was the lunchtime presentations from individuals, internal and external, talking about their varied career paths after completing a PhD, and their top tips for employability and job satisfaction. Also represented were our internal business partnerships, enterprise, global and entrepreneurship teams to highlight perhaps unconsidered business, global and enterprise opportunities for postgraduates and early career researchers.

In support of the Summer School, Keele Postgraduate Association also ran a social event in the clubhouse on Thursday evening, with a buffet laid on that provided an opportunity for Summer School delegates to meet outside of the academic sessions.

The whole week was well attended and a very positive experience, generating the opportunity to learn, network and share.

Feedback has refelcted how much people enjoyed the week - with one delegate reporting:

“I wanted to say thank you again (to you and all involved) in the Summer School, it was a really positive experience and I'll be recommending it to lots of people for next year.”

Other praise for the Researcher Summer School:

Reading Retreat – led by Angela Rhead
This was by far the most useful workshop I have attended whilst at Keele. Thanks to Angela for running it!

Careers Wednesday – various speakers
Provided great advice for work outside of Keele and academia. Definitely will make use of contacts and advice.
so many useful personal experiences
Good advice and ideas. Gives structure to how you will reach your achievements.

Google Forms and Google Keep – led by Karl Gimblett
Some great tips about how to use these tools

Tips for Proofreading your own work - led by Russell Clark
Best workshop of the day, learnt a lot, am very grateful to Russell, great session
I learned many new things. It will be very useful for my writing.

Grant Writing - led by James Cook
I got useful pointers to resources, as well as insightful tips
Very informative review about funding options and writing proposals

To find out more about the variety of development opportunities running throughout the year, take a look through the upcoming workshops organised by KIITE.