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Doctoral College Newsletter 15 May 2023

Welcome to this fortnight's issue of the Doctoral College Newsletter. In the following sections you will find:

  • Reminder- Competition Deadline Monday 22nd May: Research Showcase 2023
  • Cumulative Absence: Applications due by 30th June 2023
  • Survey: Your thoughts on PGR Shut Up and Write Group
  • PGR Coffee, Cake and Conversation
  • Training Needs Analysis
  • Training and Development
  • 1-2-1 Careers Appointments
  • Opportunities
  • Reminders
  • Wellbeing
  • Enquiries

If you have a news story or an opportunity you would like to advertise in the next newsletter (30 May), please email: by Wednesday 24th May.


Reminder- Competition Deadline Monday 22nd May: Research Showcase 2023

This year's PGR Research Showcase will be taking place from Monday 12th June to Friday 16th June. The Showcase provides an opportunity to promote the up-and-coming talent of Exeter's research base and to give postgraduate researchers the opportunity to develop their presentation, communication, and impact skills. As part of the Showcase, there will be three competitions that you can participate in:

To register for the Poster competition, please fill in the form here.

To register your participation in the Three Minute Thesis competition, please fill in the form here. We will be hosting 3MT in person on Streatham campus. Penryn students are encouraged to participate as we can offer support with travel. Students are asked to send their slide to by 12pm on Monday 22 May.

#TweetYourThesis competition runs from 9am GMT on 5th June until 5pm GMT on 9th June. To enter, you must tweet during these times using the #tweetyourthesis and tagging @ExeterDoctoral.

Please keep an eye on our webpage, future newsletters and social media for further updates.


Cumulative Absence: Applications due by 30th June 2023

The PGR Student Absence Policy allows PGRs who have taken short absences (less than one month) for medical reasons to request ‘cumulative absence’ by way of a programme extension. 

A cumulative absence may be requested when a student has had multiple short-term absences (not recorded as interruptions) which total a month or more* in duration and are supported by medical evidence or an Individual Learning Plan (ILP). The period of study will be extended by the equivalent duration. Funding may be extended for any absences taken for medical reasons during the funding period (further details about eligibility for funding extensions).

We are asking PGRs to submit their requests for an extension due to cumulative short-term absences by 30th June 2023. To qualify, you need to meet the following criteria:
•         All short-term absences recorded in the PGR Personal Absence Certificate  
•         All absences must be supported by medical evidence or an ILP which supports absence from study.
•         The total of the absences should amount to a minimum of one month or more*. Students whose absences do not add to a total of one month at the time of application will have their cumulative absences rolled over to the next academic year*. 
(*) If your period of study will end before 31 May 2024, you may apply for an extension shorter than one month, but you need to make this clear in the application.

To apply, you will need to send the following information to your PGR Support Team by 30th June 2023:
•         The subject of the email should be “First Name, SURNAME, Student Number – Cumulative Absence Request”
•         Total duration of sickness recorded in the PGR Personal Absence Certificate and not already mitigated by interruption 
•         An email from your supervisor confirming that they are aware of and support your request
•         Details of funding 
•         Current completion deadline

If you have any questions, please contact your PGR Support Team who will be happy to help.


Survey: Your thoughts on PGR Shut Up and Write Group

This quick survey is for all PGRs, whether you are a regular attendee or have not even heard of Shut Up and Write, so that we can further develop this dedicated research study space to benefit the whole PGR community. The deadline for filling out the survey is Friday 26th May; fill out the survey here.

If you would like to join Shut Up and Write, join the Teams group or email Jo Sutherst.

Deadline: Friday 26th May


PGR Coffee, Cake and Conversation

The PGR Coffee, Cake and Conversation events, which take place on a monthly basis in Old Library Training Room 4, are an opportunity to meet fellow PhD students in person and share coffee, cake and conversation. Each event will be centred around a different theme.

The next session- Tuesday 23rd May in Old Library Training Room 4- is currently full; if you would like to be put on the waiting list, please contact The theme is Bystander Training.

As there are limited spaces, if you have signed up and are no longer able to attend please inform Researcher Development team as soon as possible.

Please keep an eye on our Twitter and newsletters for registration for the June event.


Training Needs Analysis

All PGR students are required to complete a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) form every academic year. Prior to completing the form, you should discuss your training needs with your supervisors. You can view a list of questions asked in the Training Needs Analysis here so that you can prepare prior to filling out the form.

We have a Training Needs Analysis webpage which includes more information and frequently asked questions. 

Please aim to complete your form as soon as possible.


Training and Development

NEW- Introduction to Text Analysis in Python (in-person) - Fridays 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd June, from 10AM-1PM

The demand for high-level numeracy skills and knowledge of statistical and computational methods is ever increasing. This 12-hour course will provide you the foundations to understand, execute and communicate text data analysis in a widely recognised software platform that was built for data analysis.

This Introduction to Text Analysis in Python course is designed to acquaint you with approaches to analysing text as data using Python programming language. Over four sessions, you will learn how to preprocess text data, summarize its contents, visualize textual information, and run more complex types of analysis using Python via Jupyter Notebooks. You will gain valuable skills that you can market to employers, gain confidence in your ability to work with data, and create a knowledge base that you can build on for years to come. All courses are completely free and funded by the European Social Fund as part of the SMART skills project.

To register your interest, you must fill out this Microsoft form.


The below sessions are now bookable via Inkpath and more will be added very soon!

Please carefully check the delivery mode of your session as some of our new sessions are in-person only.

You can access Inkpath through your web browser, and by downloading the Inkpath app.

Please note all of our events have limited spaces; if you cannot attend, kindly remove your booking.

To learn more about Inkpath and to get started with your account please watch the following introductory content:

    Continuous tutorial video
    Individual section tutorials

Video Passwords: exeterinkpath2021

You can find all of our sessions on Inkpath under 'Activities.' If you have any technical questions/difficulties using Inkpath please email the helpdesk, If you have any questions about the training programme please contact


1-2-1 career appointments available

1-2-1 careers appointments with our dedicated PGR careers coach, Kenneth Howgill, are available to book throughout the Spring term on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week. Kenneth is a qualified and experienced career coach, lecturer and learning and development professional with over 20 years’ experience within the corporate sector, universities, further and adult education. He has held management roles in the public, corporate and not for profit sectors, leading professional development, coaching programmes, and recruiting graduates. Kenneth is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and holds a business degree, a master's in music and a professional career coaching qualification.

All appointments are 50 minutes long and can be booked via Inkpath.



Get Involved - Promotional Videos for PhD study

We’re looking for current PhD candidates across all our campuses who would like to be in some short films talking about your research, the PhD application process, funding, and your experience as a PGR student at Exeter.

We’re interested in PhD students from the HLS and ESE faculties, and are happy to offer a £20 voucher for taking part.

We’re particularly keen to hear from PhD candidates from diverse backgrounds, including mature students, international students, people with caring responsibilities, people with disabilities, and people with unusual routes to PhD study or funding stories.

This project is an excellent opportunity to disseminate your research, work on your communication and presentation skills, and gain experience in front of a camera.

If you’re interested, please fill out this form. Contact Michelle Langridge if you have any enquiries.


Sponsor Request: 50 Miles in May for Eden Dora Trust

Associate Professor Anna Adlam, Co-DPGR for Psychology, will be running, cycling, and walking (parts of the South West coastal path) to complete the 50miles in May challenge to raise awareness of childhood encephalitis and to raise vital funds for the Eden Dora Trust. You can find out more about the great work that the Eden Dora Trust do to support families and children with encephalitis, follow Anna's progress, and sponsor Anna via JustGiving.


Deadline 22nd May: Paid Opportunity- PTA opportunity – ‘introduction to decolonization’ curriculum design

In partnership with colleagues at Jadavpur University, the University of Exeter has been awarded British Council funding to design curriculum for an ‘introduction to decolonization’ module aimed at first-year undergraduates. This builds on a resource created last year by the same collaborators.

We are seeking 1-2 PTAs to support this new phase of the project, which will involve:
• Deciding an appropriate structure for a term-long course
• Selecting themes for each session/week
• Creating a list of key readings and multimedia resources
• Designing or collating appropriate learning activities
• Writing accompanying instructions and tips for educators interested in delivering the curriculum in their context
• Working with the University’s Design Studio to share the above as a booklet that can be disseminated digitally and in hard copy (via the British Council, Jadavpur University, and the University of Exeter)
If you are interested in applying for this opportunity, please send an expression of interest (no longer than 500 words) to Dr Caitlin Kight by 9am on 22nd May 2023. You are welcome to email in advance with any questions.

Deadline for applications: 9am on Monday 22nd May


Deadline Monday 22nd May- Expression of Interest for Theory and Methods Challenge Fortnights (TMCF)

The Turing Institute are now seeking researchers to join a team of 12 in tackling the challenge ‘Navigating the garden of forking paths: theoretical foundations for interactive data analysis in data-driven science’. The multi-day event will take place in the summer of 2024, dates TBC. You can read the full proposal (PDF); to express your interest in joining the team, please complete this form.

The deadline for expressing of interest is 22 May 2023. For more information about TMCF please visit the webpage.

Deadline for expressions of interest: Monday 22nd May


Webinar on Monday 22nd May- ReproducibiliTea Exeter- Students & Early Career Researchers in Open Science

ReproducibiliTea Exeter is a journal club aiming to promote Open Science (a movement to make research more accessible and transparent). On 22nd May, Dr Gilad Feldman from University of Hong Kong will talk about how he works with students and ECRs on over 120 replications and extensions of classic findings in psychology, and have built dozens of collaborative resources (tools, templates, and guides) to assist others in implementing open-science.

This session will be held online via Zoom, please register your attendance via Eventbrite. Dr Gilad Feldman is happy to have additional conversations after the talk and show what their ECR team’s process and outputs looks like. If you would like to talk to him, please contact Xinran Du.

This activity is a Researcher-led Initiative that has been funded by the University of Exeter Researcher Development and Research Culture team.


Deadline Wednesday 24th May- Paid Opportunity: Postgraduate Teaching Assistants- Academic Development

We are looking to recruit a number of PGRs as PTAs to work with the Academic Development team to create engaging, multimedia online resources for the Education Toolkit, and in response to the EduExe Festival.

There are 500 hours available, so we are recruiting a number of PGRs to work across a wide range of resources and topics. Tasks will be allocated based on number of hours available to work, and teaching/research interests. The roles are available from May-July 2023 and will be paid at PTA rate.

Please note full time PGRs can only work 6 hours per week.


Deadline Friday 26th May- Event Proposal or Event Request for EduExe Festival

The Academic Development and Skills team are in the process of organising an EduExe Festival for June 2023 – as a celebration of teaching and learning at the University of Exeter. The festival will celebrate and showcase the achievements of our staff and students alongside providing opportunities for professional development and discussion and key issues in education. Events will take place on our Exeter and Penryn campuses, hybrid and online, to enable engagement from across our university community.

The festival events are themed around the Education Strategy values, and also mapped to the UKPSF to support colleagues in preparing for Aspire Fellowship.

The festival team are busy planning a wide range of events, including external speakers, and are inviting the University community to propose either an event they would like to deliver as part of the festival to share their practice, or to request an event or speaker they would like the festival team to organise and deliver. Please submit proposals and requests via this short form.

Any questions, please contact or find out about our evolving programme at

Deadline for submissions: Friday 26th May


Webinar on Friday 26th May- ReproducibiliTea Exeter - Statistical Significance Testing at CHI PLAY: Challenges and Opportunities for More Transparency

On 26th May, Jan Vornhagen from the Aalto University will talk about transparent research practices in Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) in Play. Both CHI researchers and non-CHI researchers are welcome to join if you are interested in looking into transparent reporting practices and how to advocate for transparency in fields that are more on the sides of the Replication Crisis.

This session will be held online via Zoom, please register your attendance via Eventbrite. If you would like more information, please contact Xinran Du.

This activity is a Researcher-led Initiative that has been funded by the University of Exeter Researcher Development and Research Culture team.


Application Deadline Wednesday 31st May- Cumberland Lodge Fellowship 2023-25

The Cumberland Lodge Fellowship gives 10 doctoral students the opportunity to get involved in their work; bringing together people from different backgrounds, ages, and perspectives, to address the causes and effects of social division and work towards more open and inclusive societies.

The Fellowships fit around the demands of doctoral research and are open to students of any age who are enrolled on a doctoral programme within the UK (including full-time, part-time and those on non-traditional pathways and professional doctorate programmes).

Applicants must:
• have at least two years left to complete their PhD (completion not before June 2025)
• be studying at a UK university and living in the UK
• provide two referees (one academic, one non-academic)
• be able to attend the residential Fellows’ Retreat at Cumberland Lodge on 8-10 September 2023.

Full information about the scheme and how to apply can be found on the Cumberland Lodge Fellowships webpage. If you have any queries, please email

Application Deadline: 12 noon on Wednesday 31st May


Deadline 5pm on Friday 9th June- Engineering Research Image Competition

The Engineering Research Image Competition event will take place at the Streatham Campus Forum on Thursday 29th June 2023. It aims to highlight the creativity and innovation within the department's engineering research, including projects in Renewable Energy at the Penryn campus. Selected images will be showcased during the event.

Participants are required to submit a research image and a description. The deadline for submission is 5pm, Friday 9 June 2023. For eligibility and judging criteria, please check out the Engineering Research Image Competition 2023 webpage. After checking you have fulfilled the eligibility requirements, submit your entries here.

If you have any enquiries, please contact

Deadline: 5pm on Friday 9th June


Student Study: Help improve disabled representation in video games

Sam Scully, PhD student at the University of Exeter in the Department of Communications, Drama and Film, is researching how video games represent disability, and to what extent disability stereotypes (as they have been identified in film and media scholarship) might also be present in video games.

Sam is looking for gamers who identify as autistic or identify as having a physical disability. Participating in this study gives you the opportunity to address disability representation and help to hopefully improve the medium you love through your lived experiences.

Participation includes a weekly 1-hour, 1-to-1 online meeting for 5 weeks in total, to discuss games and disabled representation. There will be an optional 1-hour focus group meeting per week, which brings together all the participants.

You can opt out of the study at any point without needing to give a reason. If you are interested in participating, please email Sam directly.


Wellbeing support from Chaplaincy

Feeling stressed, upset, or just in need of a confidential chat?

There are now self-bookable one-hour slots for students or staff who wish to speak with a University Chaplain in person on online.

The chaplains provide a non-judgemental listening ear that can prove invaluable if you are worried or feeling stressed, or simply just in need of some friendly company.

The link for booking slots is here.

You can still e-mail if you wish to speak with someone outside of these times.



Every Mind Matters
Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. The NHS have expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. See their website here.

Sprectrum.Life provides a confidential telephone, video, and live chat counselling service to help with stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, bereavement and more.

Wellbeing Centre
If you would like to speak to our PGR Support Advisor for Welfare, they can be contacted at: or tel: 01392 726207. Further wellbeing information, tools and support can be found on our wellbeing webpages.



Details on how you can contact the PGR support team, either via email, telephone or face to face via our hubs (located on all campuses) is available on our contact us webpage.

Remember you can come along and meet the team or to ask any enquiries you might have at either of our helpdesk hubs below at any of our campuses:

The Streatham PGR Hub is open from 10.00am – 3.00pm Monday to Friday. The Streatham Hub is situated in the Old Library Ground Floor next to the Quiet Study Space and Bill Douglas Centre.

The St Luke’s PGR Hub is open from 10.00am – 3.00pm Monday to Thursday. Students wishing to access the hub should go to the Info at St Luke’s desk and request PGR support, the PGR team will then be called to see you.

The Penryn PGR Support Office is open from 10.00am – 2.00pm Monday to Friday and is based in the Postgraduate Suite in Daphne Du Maurier building 3 (next to the SU and opposite the Stannary).

For enquiries surrounding training and development, please contact the team on:

To view previous versions of the newsletter, you can do so here.

Information on all PGR support


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