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Kickstart your PhD

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Kickstart your PhD


Kickstart Your PhD is a three-day residential workshop to help early-stage PhD students develop, refine, and present their research ideas in a supportive environment. We’ll explore techniques for boosting creativity, communicating research to different audiences, and dealing with feedback. Through a range of activities, you’ll clarify your objectives and build a compelling research narrative.

By the end of the weekend, you will have:

  • A clearer sense of your research project
  • Experience of communicating your research to others
  • Techniques for giving and receiving constructive feedback
  • More confidence in talking about your research in different contexts
  • A peer support group

Venue & Accommodation

The event is held at the University of Chichester, a short walk from Chichester Station.  You’ll get an en-suite single room on Friday and Saturday night, and meals are all provided in the restaurant.

About the Facilitator

Dr Catherine Pope is an academic researcher and experienced workshop facilitator. Since completing her PhD in 2014, Catherine has worked with thousands of researchers and writers to help them achieve their goals. She runs workshops and writing retreats at many universities, including Sussex, Birkbeck, Canterbury Christ Church, Portsmouth, and Surrey. Catherine has also published books in her field of Victorian literature and on technology. She divides her time between the 19th and 21st centuries.

Feedback from previous sessions

“Catherine created an excellent environment for the sharing of ideas and the exercises we did made me able to clarify my research aim in a way I had never managed to do before. This weekend was so productive it honestly has transformed some of my ideas from vague concepts that make me despair to specific, compelling objectives that I have real confidence conveying.”
“It met and exceeded my expectations. The variety of techniques and exercises used to help organise research ideas and structure your project was brilliant.”
“The exercises were engaging, the conversations were illuminating and the feedback was insightful.”

How to Apply

To apply, please complete the form. Places are strictly limited, so we’ll be assessing each application to determine your suitability for the workshop. Answering the questions fully will help us.

1)     Can you tell us a little bit about your research?
2)     What have you done so far on your PhD?
3)     Why would you like to attend this workshop?

Closing date: Friday 27th April