For postgraduate research students we run “Research Cafes” which are an opportunity to get together informally across all research areas in the University. Before the pandemic these were face to face, usually on city campus, with tea and cake (kindly supplied by the Graduate School). These are now online and still provide an opportunity to meet with other research students and share experiences.
We encourage students to present their work in progress at the cafes, offering a safe environment in which you can hone your online presentation skills, and get feedback on your research in progress. At the last café we had a presentation from Lara Rose from Leeds School of Arts who had been researching into Yoruba influences on Carnival traditions, she shared how her practice based research had moved from the studio to her home, and how she had presented that to her supervisors for her progression.
We’ve found the number of researchers attending the cafes has grown since they moved online (despite the lack of cake!). As well as student presentations we often have themed topic discussions. The last research cafe was attended by 15 students who shared hints and tips on “researching from home” and what changes the current pandemic had meant for their planned research. For some this meant changing their methodology or the scope of work they previously carried out in the lab or the studio; for others it meant changing how they conduct interviews and collect their data. But what was really great to see was that all students had found a way to adapt their research to the current situation and they all felt it was useful to learn to hear about others experiences so they didn't feel so alone.
The next Research Cafe is 2 December 12:30-13:00 - if you are a postgraduate research student book online via SAM