The Graduate School are working hard to support students through Covid-19 – for all updates relating to this please refer to our dedicated Covid-19 webpage. As students you are encouraged to look after yourselves during this difficult time and to remind yourselves of the importance of keeping in touch.
Training and Development
Due to Covid-19 we have moved all training sessions online until further notice. We will do our best to ensure that teaching and learning continues throughout this period.
You will find all your online training on MyHub. You will need your student login credentials to login.
For any reason that you can not access the training please contact the Training and Development Team at email@example.com.
Leeds Beckett University research students also have access to training provided by the North West and Yorkshire Postgraduate Training Group. All available sessions will be available on MyHub.
This group includes:
- University of Huddersfield
- University of Bradford
- Manchester Metropolitan University
- University of Liverpool
- Liverpool John Moores University
- University of Chester
- Leeds Trinity University
- University of Salford
Tips for Postgraduate Researchers during lockdown
It may be some time before your studies resume in ways that resemble your working patterns prior to the lockdown period. Below are some tips from a supervisor’s perspective that might be useful to you; they are not exhaustive and you may have adapted your ways of working and already be focusing on some of these suggestions. They are offered for beginning, middle and end stages as these are the phases of undertaking a Postgraduate Research Degree that Vitae (https://www.vitae.ac.uk/) frame their development support around and that we encourage students to base their RTP on. Remember we have institutional membership at Vitae and you can access a range of their resources and further tips online.
A key tip for all our Postgraduate Researchers is to maintain regular contact with their supervisors, as a means of just keeping in touch as well as them being able to support the progression of your studies during this period. You may also have questions regarding your registration, please see the information posted on the Graduate School webpages that covers all stages of research journey and progression (https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/thegraduate-school/existing-students/covid/). You may want to connect with other Research Students via our Postgraduate Research Society https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/thegraduate-school/community/postgraduate-research-society/
We have a diverse PGR community and individually you have different learning styles and needs and you also have your own personal everyday circumstances. Looking after your mental health and wellbeing is central to positive progression during your studies; there are resources that you might find helpful via the university website https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/studenthub/student-wellbeing-team/#tabplaceholder3
Please remember that we recognise you can only get done what is feasible in the context of your circumstances at present.
• Try and strike a balance between being functional and immersing yourself in ‘academic enrichment’ and the all important reading that your topic demands and being a PGR offers you whilst at university.
• Make sure as you read you reference and note your sources accurately - this could be a good opportunity to sort out your referencing approach http://libguides.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/research_support/topics/reference_management
• You may remember at your induction you had a session on how to search for information and literature effectively and efficiently for research. This is a good time to explore some of the online resources the library has access to as part of your academic enrichment.
• Link your activities to your Researcher Development Plan (RTP) and use online activities and engagement as part of your portfolio of evidence accordingly
• A note for MRes students – or the ‘Fast and Furious!’ as I am encouragingly referring to them as here – depending on whether you are full or part time you can also attend to your literature review sections and referencing during this time. Look back at what you put at the start of your studies and revise/edit and enhance for your dissertation.
• There’s no doubt that this will be a challenging time for those who are collecting data or were about to start. Keeping in touch with supervisor at this stage is crucial. It might be that you will just have to wait or that you can adapt your approach – your disciplinary area and the expectations for your data will dictate at this time and so it is difficult to give generic advice, however;
• It is a good time to go through your methodology chapter with regards your epistemological and methodological basis, even if you can’t add the account of what actually happened at this stage
• Make sure you indicate where you will add the detail of the research process after data collection – External (and Internal) Examiners often comment and ask for amendments to a thesis because there is not enough coverage on this
• At this stage I want to add another shout out for our MRes ‘fast and furious’ – it’s important not to lose momentum and if you need to adapt your approach to data gathering then discuss with your supervisor and work out a new plan as soon as you can
• If you are already into your analysis and working out how to organise themes and significance one of my favourite tips here is to be creative about how you ‘record’ your ideas and thoughts at this stage. For some this can be onto your phone or generating mind maps.
• You can also let yourself have a break from screen time and use some good old pen and paper and write or ‘draw’ ideas that might help you make sense of your findings. Again, Examiners often
note and invariably ask in some depth at viva, how you came to know your findings from the data gathered (recognising disciplinary variation here)
• Allow yourself some time for positive reflection that you have got this far. That is really important in the period of ‘unknowns’ we are currently experiencing
• Think about your ‘so what’ and wow factors in the final chapter. It is another area that Examiners commonly ask for amendments on. Consider carefully what the beginning and end of the thesis look like in terms of content and articulation and link this to the key threads running through your thesis. Regardless of discipline and subject, ask yourself is the ‘scaffolding’ throughout your thesis enabling you to offer a coherent and well supported set of assertions and arguments?
• Get your abstract into good shape! Examiners often comment on these not being accurate or succinct enough. Your abstract is the gateway (available online) to your research once your thesis is fully completed (i.e. post examination and any amendments).
• Start to imagine how you will answer key questions in your viva – why did you decide to develop this particular project? How did you undertake the research? What have you found? These are things that you can discuss with supervisors and it might be timely for them to set up a mock viva at this stage.
More Online Resources and Useful Links
The Vitae part-time doctorate webpage and part-time doctorate videos have useful tips and perspectives for part-time PGRs.
The UKGCE aims to explore current trends in postgraduate research study.
LinkedIn Learning provides an online training library of high-quality video courses. This is a subscription service, however the first month is free.
There is range of topics such as those below and many more:
- SPSS training
- NVivo training
- Project management
- Time management
- MS Office
- Communication skills
- Leadership skills
FutureLearn is a private company owned by The Open University. They offer free high quality online courses in subjects such as:
- Language and culture
- Business and management
- Science and technology
- Health and psychology
The NCCPE offers a range of professional development and training opportunities to support the development of high-quality engagement work.
You can visit the Library for their information about COVID-19.
Leeds Beckett Academic Librarians support researchers in particular subject areas and can support you with identifying journals to submit your work to and how to promote your work using social media.
You can access Library resources including:
- Research support
- IT Support
- Skills and Subject Support
- Resource material
The British Library plays a key role in the UK research community and works with national and international partners to support and stimulate all kinds research.
Doctoral students are supported through online resources, training and events.
A reduced interlibrary loans service is running at present as most libraries within the UK are closed.
The SCONUL service has been suspended. Doctoral students are supported through online resources, training and events.