Spaces of austerity: experiences of youth in Dublin and Cork

Photo by Piet den Blanken www.denblanken.com

The 2008 economic crisis and subsequent austerity undoubtedly affected everyday life for people living in Ireland. From the bailout of the so-called Troika of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission, the foundation of the National Asset Management Association to the attempted implementation of water charges, the aftershocks of a homegrown property bubble combined with an international financial crisis left no one untouched.

Although Ireland successfully left the Troika programme and an economic recovery is underway, the lives of many did not return to ‘normal’; in 2015, 25.5% of the population was living in deprivation – compared to 11.8% in 2007, precarious working conditions expanded, take-home pay fell or stagnated for many, and homelessness is still rising sharply. It is therefore critical to move beyond economic figures to investigate the lived realities of austerity and recession as experienced by those affected.

Austerity particularly ‘bites’ in disadvantaged urban neighbourhoods harbouring those most vulnerable to layoffs, most dependent on state supports and thus vulnerable to retracting and reforming state practices. Youth is particularly vulnerable to recession and austerity. Young people are often the first to lose employment, lack the experience to regain employment and do not possess financial reserves to fall back on. Furthermore, several austerity measures specifically addressed youth, such as the age-specific reductions of Jobseeker’s Allowance and certain activation programmes. My investigation engaged youth aged 18 to 25 from Knocknaheeny in Cork and Ballymun in Dublin to illuminate the experiences of austerity by disadvantaged urban youth.

As a geographer, I investigated the role of place and the neighbourhood in shaping the localised emergence of austerity. Indeed, nationally implemented austerity did not arrive equally in both neighbourhoods; its arrival was shaped by local histories of regeneration, the embeddedness of neighbourhoods within their city, and their level of institutional and governmental penetration. Such deeper institutional penetration in Ballymun, for example, channelled austerity experience to spheres of training and social services, while in Knocknaheeny it was often experienced in the income-related spheres of work and social welfare.

Furthermore, the interactions of reduced social welfare, falling income through work and minimised access to affordable housing restricted opportunities for disadvantaged urban youth, excluding them from social networks, employment, support and leisure options that the city traditionally offered. Not only did inhabitants have less money themselves, facilities and services left their neighbourhoods through processes of austerity. This increased costs of access and thus reduced availability. This was most visible in housing; youth cannot leave the parental house and becomes trapped in unfavourable living conditions in an urban landscape without possibilities.

Austerity, thus, has differential effects beyond the socio-economic characteristics of individuals and groups, it is also spatially variegated. Austerity and recession create new urban spaces. Understanding the socio-spatial variations of austerity’s impacts is essential to create a more inclusive society. Dedicated policy and support in these urban spaces is required, especially now that the economy is recovering, to prevent the consolidation of such spaces of exclusion as a permanent legacy of the financial crisis.

PhD Scholar discusses involving the patient in research from the study design stage


Kieran Walsh, PhD Scholar and Research Pharmacist, UCC

As a research pharmacist, I am interested in understanding the patient’s perspective on issues. For instance, why a patient doesn’t take his/her statin as prescribed, or what a patient thinks about being prescribed antipsychotics. Historically research has been conducted by researchers ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ patients, with little regard as to what actually matters to the patient.  However, there has been a shifting attitude by the research community towards involving the patient in research from the study design stage, asking them “what’s important to you?” Involvement of members of the public and patients has the potential to increase the utility of findings to both researchers and to patients. My PhD research is focusing on developing strategies to reduce the inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotics in people with dementia, utilising participatory methods.

So, when I saw the advertisement for PG6025, Community-Based Participatory Research, I was naturally intrigued. Although I had no experience of conducting participatory research, I was very interested to get involved, learn the skills and apply them to my own research. The 5-credit module involved a blend of classroom-based theory and discussions as well as on-site participatory activities with our community partners. The cohort of PhD students that I was part of, consisted of a huge range of disciplines from, for example, pharmacy, public health and sociology, and our diverse perspectives enabled rich discussion and analysis. We also received top-class direction from the knowledgeable and enthusiastic lecturers, Catherine, Kenneth and Ruth. Engaging with our community partners was also a really rewarding experience. I felt honoured to listen to their stories and I believe they really enjoyed somebody asking “Well, tell me what’s important to you?” As a group of PhD researchers, academics and community partners, we collectively gathered, prioritised and created novel research questions that were important to this community. These research questions were subsequently answered by undergraduate students the following year to the satisfaction of our community partners.

I came away from the module with a better understanding of the principles of community-based participatory research and strategies for applying them to my own research. As a result of participating in this module, I was better able to engage with my advisory group members who had dementia, and enable true discussions on the issue of antipsychotics. I would highly recommend this module to any PhD student in STEM, Medicine and Health, particularly if you are considering involving members of the public or patients in the design or conduct of your research. I learned valuable skills and knowledge in this unique module, and I also found it a really enjoyable experience.

Module Details
Target Audience: PhD Students
Credit Weighting: 5
Proposed Start Date: Semester Two 2018
Registration and further information: Contact Dr Ruth Hally – email: ruth.hally@ucc.ie

Modules for PhD students – Community-Based Participatory Research

Community-Based Participatory Research – PG6025 
2016 Recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

What is Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and why should it be part of your/your students’ PhD journey?
Community based-participatory research focuses on the reciprocity and democratization of knowledge production between stakeholders. Students engage in community-led authentic research projects with the attendant benefits of increased societal engagement and enhanced employment prospects through the development of research skills; project management skills; an engaged orientation, and a critical and inquiring mind-set. Through engaging with community partners on real-world research issues, students are made aware of the role of research beyond the university’s walls and gain an increased sense of responsibility, civic engagement and increased motivation in supporting community partners. This module was first introduced in semester 2, 2016. UCC partnered with The Westgate Foundation in 2016 and Before 5 Family Centre in 2017. In 2018, UCC will partner with a new community group. The feedback (below) from participating students has been very positive and we are looking forward to working alongside a new group of PhD students.

Student Feedback
“This module provides a unique opportunity to engage in and experience CBPR. So often PhDs can feel isolated in their research. This engagement with UCC and the community feels ground breaking, empowering and democratic in that everyone has a contribution to make. We all have something to learn from each other – we need to stop and listen.”

“I have learned something valuable from my encounters with everyone involved in this module. The module coordinators were all pretty inspirational in their own way. The PhD group were all empathetic and engaged.”

Module Details
Target Audience: PhD Students
Credit Weighting: 5
Proposed Start Date: Semester Two 2018
Registration and further information: Contact Dr Ruth Hally – email: ruth.hally@ucc.ie

Finding the Best Places for Growing Old

“Hand in Hand” by Garry Knight https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/5836253352 CC BY 2.0

By Marica Cassarino PhD
School of Applied Psychology

We all want to grow old being healthy and happy, and we all deserve to live in places that promote our autonomy and quality of life. In a world that is becoming increasingly older and urbanised, it is important to understand the impact that growing cities have on healthy ageing. This is a global priority set by the World Health Organization in 2007 to encourage the development of “Age-friendly” places that promote health, safety and participation as we grow old.

While living longer is a positive demographic change, ageing comes with a higher risk of developing chronic conditions, such as dementia and cognitive impairment, which can have a significant negative impact on wellbeing, independence and quality of life, and, by consequence, considerable economic and social costs. Creating age-friendly places that can help to contrast cognitive decline is one of the main challenges faced by the scientific community and policy-makers for the coming years. A first step in addressing such challenge is to map the places where older people are more cognitively healthy, and I did so in my doctoral project by investigating whether urban or rural places in Ireland support better cognitive health in adult age. In my studies I used data from the Irish Census, the All-Island Research Observatory (AIRO, Maynooth University), and The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (Tilda) – a large study conducted by Trinity College Dublin on the health, socioeconomic and lifestyle circumstances of over 8,000 healthy people aged 50 and older. I explored whether living in a more or less urbanised area would be associated with differences in multiple cognitive abilities, such as memory or attention. I found that, despite the participants in Tilda are overall healthy and relatively young, those living in cities have better executive functions than rural residents, independent of socioeconomic or health status: Executive functions are cognitive skills which allow us to solve complex problems, multi-task, plan our actions, and successfully interact with the surrounding environment (for example, when we cross the road while holding a conversation and paying attention to the traffic), and which can be severely impaired in dementia. Maintaining good executive functions contributes to be cognitively fit for longer, and the more mental stimulation we receive from the variety and novelty in the environment the longer we keep our brain active and engaged. Finding differences in such skills among people who are still young and healthy based on levels of urbanisation supports the idea that the places where we live can influence how well our brain ages, and suggests that rural areas might lack in opportunities for mental stimulation in adult age, calling for interventions to enhance accessibility to stimulating activities. The project represents the initial phase of an ongoing multi-disciplinary investigation which will inform policy-makers and local communities on how the built environment can be improved to support cognitive health with ageing.

Postgraduate Cafe for Research Students June 2017

Postgraduate Café for UCC Research Students – Summer 2017

On Wednesday June 28th from 11am to 1pm we will be sponsoring another Postgrad Cafe for UCC Research Students in the Postgraduate Common Room, No. 4 Carrigside

DAY: Wednesday June 28th

TIME: 11am to 1pm

WHERE: Postgraduate Common Room, No. 4 Carrigside (no. 17 grid reference F6 on this map)

We will provide coffee, tea, biscuits and handmade Irish chocolate, yes handmade Irish chocolate by Ó’Conaill’s Cork.

This is a chance for UCC research postgraduate students to meet other students and use the university postgraduate common room. This is a friendly and comfortable environment to meet other students for both social and academic conversations. We encourage our students to come along, enjoy a hot drink and meet some of the UCC research student community.

Please email graduatestudies@ucc.ie for more information.

The Impact of Biofuels on Food Security: From Global to Local

by Stephen Thornhill

Biofuel production rose sharply in the early years of the new millennium as governments promoted their use in petrol and diesel fuels as a way of reducing fossil fuel use and encouraging rural development. However, in recent years biofuels have been criticized for causing increased hunger by reducing food availability and driving up global food prices.

Biofuels are made from various feedstocks, including maize, sugar cane, oilseeds and by-products such as molasses, and they also produce large volumes of co-products in their production processes, particularly protein meals for animal feed. A number of biofuel feedstock operations have been established in developing countries to either supply local needs or for export to processors in developed economies.

In contrast to much of the media coverage and public perception surrounding the food versus fuel debate, Stephen’s thesis finds that biofuel operations can, under the right conditions, help improve food security in rural areas of low-income countries where poverty and hunger is most rife. It also finds little evidence that biofuels have significantly reduced global food availability or have been responsible for rising food prices over the past decade.

The results of household surveys in Mozambique and Tanzania showed that those households with employees of biofuel operations were likely to be significantly more food-secure than other households in the same locality. His analysis, which controlled for key influences on food security, such as household size and crop area, confirmed “biofuel involvement” as a significant factor behind a better food security status. Most households involved in biofuel operations attributed their improved food security to better and more stable income from salaried employment.

Stephen’s analysis of the global biofuel sector found that the rise in the biofuel feedstock area over the past decade represented little more than 1 per cent of the world’s arable and permanent crop acreage. It also found little evidence that US biofuel production (the world’s largest producer), had accounted for any substantial proportion of maize price changes over the past decade. Moreover, there appeared to be limited transmission between US maize prices, used as the global benchmark, and local maize prices in Mozambique and Tanzania.

Stephen also developed a novel food security indicator during the study – the Household Nutrient Deficit Score. The new metric and its methodology can help measure the impact of agri-based and other interventions on food and nutrition security, assisting policymakers, private sector operations and organisations involved in such projects, as well as those involved in sustainable certification systems. Stephen is currently seeking funding to improve the metric and methodology further and develop an app-based tool for use on ipads and phones.

Food research scholarships available at UCC

Image result for food science ucc

Food Research at University College Cork, Ireland
Lauritzson Research Scholarships

UCC invites applications for the first Lauritzson Research Scholarships which have been established in honour of the late Dr Lauritzson to promote research in food science and food-related disciplines.  These scholarships aim to support students and integrate them into the academic, social and cultural aspects of University College Cork. The scholarships are targeted at high performing students proposing to undertake impactful research, possibly of an inter-disciplinary nature, at the highest level in the broad area of food science under a supervisor or supervision team with significant experience in the area.

Eligibility:

Students who have attained at least at least Second Class Honours, Grade 1 (or equivalent) in an appropriate degree are eligible to apply for a PhD or MSc Research degree at UCC.   The scholarship consists of student stipend of €16,000 and €12,000 towards tuition fees and laboratory consumables. The scholarship is tenable for two or four years, depending on the course of study (i.e. MSc or PhD).

Applications should be inspired by the values/ethos of the sponsorship programme, which in turn reflect those of Dr Torre Lauritzson whose interest was in food research that had an impact on industry. He was passionate in his desire to increase educational standards and to see research applied for the betterment of society. Please see biography of Dr Lauritzson below. His name is synonymous with innovation and he took immense pleasure in taking an idea, developing it, improving it and successfully bringing it to the market. These successes were evident in areas of high technical demands as well as those with strong marketing requirements.

Prospective applicants are advised to consult with the Head of relevant School/Department and with the proposed supervisor to discuss their area of research prior to making an application to the Lauritzson Food Research Scholarship programme. Students should also apply for their PhD/MSc via the online Postgraduate Application Centre (www.pac.ie) prior to applying for this scholarship, as this forms part of the selection criteria.

Terms & Conditions:

Students must have attained at least at least Second Class Honours, Grade 1 (or equivalent) in an appropriate degree, and be pursuing a research programme in a food related discipline.

The Lauritzson Research Scholarships will have a value of €28,000 per annum, tenable for two or four academic years (depending on whether the successful applicant is pursuing a MSc or PhD) and includes a student bursary of €16,000 per annum, tuition fees and a budget for laboratory consumables to support the student’s research.

Prospective scholars must have applied for their research programme via the online Postgraduate Application Centre (www.pac.ie) prior to applying for this scholarship and are advised to do so at least 2 months in advance of the desired start date of 1st October. Students must also provide written confirmation of support from a proposed supervisor.

Successful candidates will be selected on the basis of their PAC and scholarship applications in the first instance, and may be called to interview, if required.  Two references, at least one academic, are also required.

Students may not be in receipt of any other scholarship funding.

For more detailed information on the regulations for UCC research degrees, please refer to: http://www.ucc.ie/academic/postgraduate/calendar/.

APPLICATION FORM

The Lauritzson Scholarship Application Form is available here.

The student selection will be at the discretion of the Lauritzson Research Scholarships Selection Committee to be established at UCC. The Committee will be comprise

  • the Head of the College of Science, Engineering & Food Science or his/her nominee
  • a representative from the Lauritzson Foundation
  • a representative from the UCC Development Office
  • two members of the Food Strategy Group to be rotated on an annual basis and to include at least one Head of School

The committee will meet at least once a year and as deemed necessary.

Successful applicants must confirm their intention to take up the Scholarship within ten days of notification and if necessary, arrange visa requirements via the International Education Office, UCC.

Academic staff can only supervise or co-supervise one student funded under this scheme at any one time.

University College Cork will endeavour to provide teaching/demonstrating opportunities for the research student when appropriate. Should a teaching/demonstrating opportunity be arranged by the University, the recipient will provide teaching and examining (if required) in an area reasonably compatible with his/her expertise, and for a number of hours (to a maximum of three per week) as agreed by the University, the recipient and the recipient’s Supervisor at UCC.

Evaluation of applications

Evaluation of applications will take into account (a) the details provided through the PAC application and (b) the merits of the applicant with particular focus on the impact, quality, feasibility and relevance of the proposed project.

Selection of successful applicants for shortlisting on the basis of the materials supplied will be made by the Lauritzson Research Scholarships Committee. This Committee (or a subset of the Committee) will conduct interviews if required.

The award of the Lauritzson Research Scholarship will take place only if the Committee is satisfied that there is a candidate of sufficient merit.

Reporting

Recipients of the Lauritzson Scholarship and his/her supervisor at the UCC must submit reports as outlined below to the Lauritzson Research Scholarship Committee. If the progress reports are deemed unsatisfactory, the scholarship may be terminated:

MSc programme: Two reports, one after 12 months, and a second at the end of the programme

PhD programme: Four reports, at the end of each year (1-3) and on completion of PhD

Referees

Applicants are required to submit two references along with the application form and personal statement. If you graduated within the last five years, at least one of these references should be from a lecturer or tutor. Applicants who have graduated more than five years ago or who may be coming from a non-academic background should provide references from an employer or another appropriate individual who can comment on academic ability. References from relatives or friends will not be accepted.

Dr Torre Lauritzson 1913-1984

Torre Lauritzson was a man of many parts, a man with many hats. Throughout his life he donned and doffed his many hats and played his many parts as the technical need arose, as his vision dictated, as a business opportunity presented itself. The one part he never relinquished, the drive that never diminished throughout his life was his entrepreneurial core. Torre took immense pleasure in taking an idea, developing it, improving it, taking it to the market and earning profit from it. He achieved success in areas with high technical demands and in areas with strong marketing requirements both with equal facility.

Torre Lauritzson graduated from Stockholm University in 1936 with an MSc in Chemical Engineering. He joined the Swedish Sugar Co. that same year, and there donned his inventor’s hat, developing and patenting new methods for improving sugar yields. In 1941 he left the sugar industry to join Findus AB which later became part of the Nestle Group. There he donned his food chemist and innovator’s hat and developed for Findus a wide range of convenience food dishes. The need to improve quality and extend shelf life became paramount so in 1946/47 Torre went to the US on a 6 month study tour. While on that tour Torre met with Clarence Birdseye, the father of the modern frozen food industry.

During his visit to the US Torre became convinced of the essential role of the refrigerated warehouse/freezing facility in the future growth of the convenience/frozen food industry. He returned to Sweden and in 1948 left Findus, donned his pioneer’s hat and founded a company that in time became Frigoscandia AB a worldwide refrigerated warehousing group. Allied to the development of the warehousing network Torre, putting on his chemical engineering hat, founded Frigoscandia Contracting AB which became perhaps the most significant refrigeration engineering company in the world. Located in Helsingborg, Sweden the company developed many of the in-line freezers used in modern frozen food production lines all over the globe. Among the freezers developed were the FloFreeze, GyroFreeze, CartoFreeze and PelloFreeze. Frigoscandia Contracting also developed the FrigoPanel used in the building of refrigerated warehouses worldwide.

In the research laboratories in Helsingborg, with Torre’s help and guidance, was developed a comprehensive data base dealing with the chilling, freezing, thawing, conditioning, handling and storage of a wide range of food products ranging from prime raw materials to consumer ready prepared dishes.

In the 1970’s Torre again donned his innovation hat and drove the design and development of the “Mobile Freezer” concept. This enabled a freezing source to be taken directly to the point of harvesting, the field, the quayside, the orchard. Torre firmly believed that “catching” the product as early as possible was the key to reducing the yield losses, slowing down the deterioration process, improving the quality of the raw material going to the production line and thereby improving the final product going to the consumer. A mobile freezing service helped in the search for that quality.

The hat that Torre donned most often was his entrepreneur’s one. Torre was first and foremost a businessman, an ideas man. He relished the process of taking an idea, developing it through the technical phases and then successfully to market. Apart altogether from his worldwide success in the refrigeration warehousing and contracting business Torre Lauritzson owned the biggest egg producer in Sweden. He developed an apparatus to make lawn fertilizer pellets from poultry manure. He was a fruit farmer, a restaurateur, a pub owner, a meat plant owner. He developed a successful hamburger business.

Torre Lauritzson visited Ireland in the early 1960’s. He was impressed with the potential of the agri-sector and believed Ireland could develop into the “Food Larder” of Europe. In 1967 he built his first refrigerated warehouse in Midleton, Co. Cork which became the nucleus of the NCS Group. Torre died in 1984 and bequeathed his Irish assets to the Lauritzson Foundation to be used for the benefit of Ireland and in particular the improvement in job opportunities through education.

Torre Lauritzson’s contribution to the development of food freezing, handling and storage know how was remarkable. He saw the industry as a vital link in getting harvested product, vegetable, animal or marine from the point of production to the final consumer in as optimum a condition as possible. He believed in, supported and funded research which had innovative and practical applications as this brief account of his achievements demonstrates. He was truly the founding father of the modern European Temperature Controlled industry. Indeed a remarkable man.

 

 

It’s time to take a shortcut

By Anthony Kiely, PhD, UCC

Picture the scene. You’re in the pub with your friends and you’ve gotten a drink from the bar. You’re eager to get back to them but also very conscious of spilling your drink. You want to go at a goldilocks speed. Not too fast, not too slow. You don’t want to spill your drink, but you don’t want to walk at a snail’s pace and miss all the fun either.

So what do you do? You realise you could tilt the glass back and forth as you walk to counteract for the sloshing motion the liquid gets as you walk. You might look like you’ve drank more than you have, but you’ll get there much faster than a snail and won’t spill anything.

As you might have already guessed, moving drinks around isn’t exactly what I research. I work in theoretical quantum physics which describes objects at very small scales such as atoms and molecules. We find that things like atoms often behave much more like waves (like the sloshing water in the glass), than solid particles. Recently there has been a lot of interest in controlling individual atoms, which has been part of what I work on.

So what would be the most basic thing you could do with an atom? You could confine it (i.e. put it in a “glass”) and move it from one place to another. Ideally this would be done without it spilling out of the “glass” or taking a long time to get to its destination.

There are two options to achieve this. You could either move the atom very slowly (or adiabatically) so you don’t “spill” it. Alternatively you could do an analogous complicated tilting back and forth of the “glass” known as a shortcut to adiabaticity. These shortcuts were the topic of my Ph.D. research.

I used these shortcut methods to design a fast way to create an array of cold atoms which behave like vortices. In our water analogy, a vortex is a lot like the whirlpool you get when you pull the plug in a bathtub. These were created by shaking the “glass” the atoms were in back and forth in just the right way to create the circular motion of a vortex. This arrangement of atoms is useful for simulating complicated materials, such as transition metal oxides. This is because the behaviour of the atoms in an egg crate shaped “glass” can be shown to be very similar to how bound electrons in solids behave. However cold atoms are much easier to control and image.

It is predicted that many technologies which exploit the wavelike behaviour of atoms will emerge in the near future. The European Union will launch a flagship program in quantum technologies worth 1 billion euros in 2018. Companies such as Google, Microsoft and IBM are also getting in on the act, so expect to hear much more quantum physics in the news!

Link to journal article.

PhD student poster competition

POSTER COMPETITION FOR POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH STUDENTS

Prize: Win a funded workshop place (travel and accommodation).

Workshop: The Worldwide Universities Network funded collaboration ‘Exploring the health experiences of children who migrate’ is holding a workshop from 11 to 13 September 2017 in Sheffield. Enter the poster competition to win a funded place.

Deadline: Friday 28th April 2017.

Eligibility: Open to all Irish postgraduate PhD students.

Enter: Send entry as a pdf file to Jill.thompson@sheffield.ac.uk

The World University Network funded collaboration ‘Exploring the health experiences of children who migrate’ is holding a workshop 11th – 13th September 2017.

This three-day event will bring together the network partners who are International experts in the fields of migration, childhood and family studies and health services research.

We are holding a ‘poster competition’ for postgraduate researchers worldwide to showcase their work at the intersections of childhood, migration and health. The competition winner will be provided with a fully funded place at the workshop (travel and accommodation).

To enter you need to design a research poster that showcases work that you have undertaken or are currently undertaking at the intersections of childhood, migration and health. Your poster should be submitted as a PDF to Jill.thompson@sheffield.ac.uk by Friday 28th April 2017.

All entries will be included in a virtual poster display on the network website and the winning entry will be announced on Friday 12th May 2017.

Workshops for Postgraduate Research Students January 2017

Guest Workshops for Postgraduate Research Students

January 23rd and 24th 2017

The Graduate Studies Office is delighted to offer a series of workshops for research students facilitated by Hugh Kearns of Flinders University, Australia. Hugh regularly lectures at universities across the world and will join us in Cork for two days before delivering workshops at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Berkeley and Stanford.

Details for the five workshops below along and early sign-up is advised as places are limited. You are encouraged to attend one or more workshops.


Monday 23rd January
9.30am to 12.30pm
The Seven Secrets of Highly Successful Research Student
Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room 1.21
           

What do research students do to finish on time, to overcome isolation, doubt and writer’s block, and to enjoy the process? And just as importantly what do they do in order to spend guilt-free time with their family and friends and perhaps even have holidays? If this sounds appealing, then this session will be of particular use to you. This workshop describes the key habits that our research and experience with thousands of students shows will make a difference to how quickly and easily you complete your thesis. Just as importantly, these habits can greatly reduce the stress and increase the pleasure involved in completing a research programme. The workshop helps you to understand how to increase your effectiveness and outcomes in the following key areas:

  • Dealing with your Supervisor
  • Structuring your study time
  • Dealing with writer’s block or having difficulty writing
  • Getting the help you need when you are stuck

To sign up to the Seven Secrets Workshop click here

Monday 23rd January
1pm to 2pm   

The Imposter Syndrome – Why successful people often feel like frauds
Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room 1.21

How can it be that so many clever, competent and capable people can feel that they are just one step away from being exposed as a complete fraud? Despite evidence that they are performing well they can still have that lurking fear that at any moment someone is going to tap them on the shoulder and say “We need to have a chat”. The session will explain why high performing people often doubt their abilities and find it hard to enjoy their successes. It will also show the links to perfectionism and self-handicapping strategies such as procrastination, avoidance and over-commitment. At the end of the session you will:

  • know what the latest psychological research tells us about the imposter syndrome is and how it operates
  • realise how widespread imposter feelings are and why highly successful people can feel like frauds
  • be aware of evidence-based strategies that reduce imposter feelings

To sign up to The Imposter Syndrome Workshop click here

Monday 23rd January
2.30pm to 5pm
Creative Tools You can Use
Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room 1.21

This workshop will explain how you can use a range of creative thinking tools in your research. It will cover brainstorming, idea mapping, six thinking hats, lateral thinking and more. These tools will allow you to look at problems differently, seek creative solutions and have fun. This workshop will be hands-on so you will have the chance to try out these tools and see how you could apply them in your role.

To sign up to The Creative Tools Workshop click here

Tuesday 24th January
9.30am to 12.30pm
The Balanced Researcher
Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room 1.22

So you’re a researcher. Chances are then that you are pretty busy. Firstly there’s your research. Writing proposals. Getting ethics approval. Dealing with the paperwork. Meetings. Applying for grants. Getting grants and then managing the money and the people. Writing reports. And that’s all before you even get to the actual research. Then there’s papers to write, rejection letters to deal with and conferences to attend. And for most people research is just one of the things you do. You might teach or tutor, run demonstrations, or manage a unit or even have another completely different job. And that’s just work. No matter how much you enjoy your research it’s a fair bet that there are other parts to your life too. For example you probably have a family or friends, you may have social commitments and you may even have some personal interests. This workshop will describe the most useful strategies that thousands of researchers have found helpful in balancing the many demands on their time.

To sign up to The Balanced Researcher Workshop click here

Tuesday 24th January
2pm to 5pm
Turbocharge Your Writing
Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room G.02

Would you like to know the secret to high output, low stress scholarly writing? In academia it is often assumed that writing comes naturally. However, an overwhelming body of research shows that there are very clear and practical strategies that can greatly increase your writing productivity. This workshop will help you to understand:

  • why it is hard to get started
  • how we deliberately use distractions to slow down writing
  • the principles of quick starting
  • how to deal with destructive internal beliefs
  • how to set a writing plan and stick to it
  • how to set achievable goals by writing in a silo
  • how to greatly increase the number of actual words you produce
  • how to clarify your thinking, and improve the quality of your work

To sign up to The Turbocharge Your Writing Workshop click here