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ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Social Sciences

Open Days

Cambridge ESRC DTP
Training and Engagement 


Every term all DTP students will be required to attend a training and engagement day.  This will also be for each academic year of their doctoral studies.  

Training days will be cohort specifice with the 1st years having their own day and the 2nd and 3rd years combined.

On these days we provide training and seminars around developmental skills that meet the ESRC requirements for the researchers that they fund. In addition, we provide engagement activities and support internships and placements. 

Training and Engagement days will also cover TNAs and training logs.

1st year cohort - Monday 22nd February

10am to 10.15am: Catch up with Alison and Konstantina  

10.15am to 11.15am: Abigail Docherty, Leadership and Lateral Thinking: How to Tap into your own Creative Potential  
In this session Abi will look at how understanding and accessing our own unique forms of creativity can be central to developing highly employable skills such as intuitive leadership. We will examine how lateral thinking can enhance our professional resilience, particularly looking at ways of applying Jerome Bruner's concept of Possibility Thinking to our professional and personal lives.  

11.15am to 11.30am: Break  

11.30am to 12.30pm: Real world insights on leadership and lateral thinking 
Cambridge Grand Challenges (CGC) is a social sciences initiative that brings together PhD students, postdocs and other Cambridge academics to apply relevant academic social science research and methods to solve key industrial issues. CGC has been established around addressing real-world problems and engage the Social Sciences to provide solutions to critical issues such as government policy, climate change, ageing of society to applications of Artificial Intelligence and digital technology. In this session insights on the importance of strategic leadership as well as how social sciences students can help policy leaders and their teams think latterly will be explored.     

12.30pm to 1pm: Lunch 

1pm to 2pm: Presenting your methodology  
This T&E day is all about showing being able to present in a way that is clear but also creative.  We would like to you to speak for a few minutes to a single slide to show where you are so far with your research project and in particular the types of methodologies you are using or planning to use.  Many of you have had to alter your methodologies since starting as well due to the pandemic.  We hope that this session will help you to gain a wider knowledge of how different methodologies are used in different disciplines.   

1st Year Cohort - Tuesday 17th November

10am Welcome
10.15am The Engaged Researcher Training
11.45am Break
12pm Meet the Policy Fellow and Q&A
1pm Closing Group Discusson

Training and Engagement for 2nd and 3rd Year ESRC DTP Students 

Tuesday 15th September, 10am to 12.30pm

10am:  Welcome from Alison and Konstantina – brief discussion around TNAs and Training logs  

10.20am: Head of Careers Service: Jenny Blakesley

Formerly Head of the Careers Service at King’s College London, Jenny has also worked in careers at Queen Mary, University of London, SOAS and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. As the new Director, Jenny is responsible for developing a new strategy for the Careers Service, which will form part of the University’s education strategy. 

10.40am: Office of Scholarly Communication: Alexia Sutton

Alexia will take you through key points on getting published and using Open Access at Cambridge 

11.10am: ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow: Dr Sarah Foley

Sarah will talk about her experience as a doctoral student and transitioning to being a postdoc.  She completed her PhD in 2018 at the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge and her post-doctoral research is also based there.

11.30am: Break (with option to chat within breakout rooms for 15 minutes)

11.45am PostDoc Academy: Dr Katia Smith-Litiere

Katia will provide an overview on the new online programme originally planned for postdocs but now being offered to doctoral students - p2i online: Empowering Researchers to Innovate 

12pm: ESRC DTP Internships:

Students who have completed non-academic internships will present to you their experiences and will also take a short Q&A session 

12.30pm: Close 

Monday 18th November 2019

Slides available here

On 18th November 2019 Dr Pallawi Sinha led our termly DTP training day, which was focused on reflection in research. Pallawi shared her own research experiences working with some of the most vulnerable communities in India, and explained how central reflexivity has been to her own work. One of the most powerful parts of the workshop was Pallawi’s elicitation from us of reflections on our own life stories and what had brought us to Cambridge at this time in our lives to research particular issues. This really brought out the diversity of the DTP community here in Cambridge, how deeply invested we each are in our own research questions and the very individual ‘toolkits’ each of us brings to our research due to our own life histories. The workshop concluded with practice advice on how to reflect in a purposeful way in our own research, and the opportunity to apply our learning to a range of challenging case studies. 

(Written by: Siobhan Dickens, 1st year doctoral student, Education)

Siobhan and some of her cohort are writing a post for our School Blog, The Cambridge Researcher around the mind mapping session - keep a look out for it in the next few months.


In the afternoon, we were delighted to welcome Adam Anthony Ingle, (Assistant Director, Electronic Surveillance Section, National Security Policy Branch, Department of Home Affairs, Australia).

This term’s theme is Communication and Networking and during the session Adam explained the importance of both effective communication and networking on his sector. 

 See Adam's profile here

Our next T&E day will be on Monday 16th March, the theme will be around Leadership and Management.