SICSA Conference 2021 – PhD Skills Workshops: 13 September @ 16.00 – 17.30

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16.00 – 16.30, Plenary Session: Keeping Mentally Healthy

Doing a PhD can be lonely at times, but COVID has intensified the isolation and uncertainty experienced by PhD students.  The SICSA Universities provide support through counselling, mentoring and other mental health services.  But, at the moment these services are in heavy demand and access and provision are disrupted by COVID.  The SICSA PhD Peer Support Network provides additional support from within our PhD community.  In this plenary session the network will outline what it does, how to access it and how we can all contribute to our mental health.


16.30 – 17.30 – A choice of streams:


Coping with Covid: adapting your project to work during COVID

Based on a survey of attendees (please complete the survey), this session looks at how covid has affected PhD project plans and explore how people tackled the disruption caused by COVID.  The session will look at concrete examples of problems with PhD projects caused by covid, what people did about them and how the changed project plans have worked out.

Panel members:

  • Sarra Graja, Abertay University
  • Arturas Straizys, University of Edinburgh
  • Miruna Clinciu, Heriot-Watt University
  • Kyle Simpson, University of Glasgow
  • Amel Attatfa, Abertay University
  • Matteo Capucci, University of Strathclyde


Working across disciplines as a research student

Research programmes and funding schemes are increasingly challenge led and interdisciplinary. Research students play a critical role at the frontline of these projects. This panel explores research student experience of working across disciplines, including both the benefits and challenges.



The Endgame: Writing Up and the Viva

PhD students are familiar with the end goal: typically, a thesis examined by viva. This session will consist on two presentations which will outline expectations and best practices within this end stage: 1) how to write a coherent thesis, and 2) how to take control of the viva process. Each presentation will last about 25 minutes, with up to 10 minutes for questions and facilitated discussion.

Session Speakers:

  • Prof Tom Kelsey, University of St Andrews
  • Dr Graham Kirby, University of St Andrews
The event is free to attend and you can register via eventbrite
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