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Induction sessions

(1) MPhil and Part III students

Wednesday 5 October 2016, 2–5pm

This induction will consist of two parts:

  • 2–3pm: General introductory meeting for new people (Seminar Room 2)
  • 3–5pm: Introduction to the master's programmes (Seminar Room 2)

The latter session will be conducted by the MPhil Managers (Richard Staley and Stephen John), the Part III Manager (Helen Curry), and the Departmental Librarian (Anna Jones). Basic course structure and routines will be explained, and initial guidance will be given on how to get on with the first essay: choosing a topic, choosing and working with a supervisor, doing the research, and writing. There will be some specific guidance given on the Research Paper for Part III students, and the first essay for MPhil students. Initial advice will also be given for those who are interested in applying for a PhD in Cambridge or elsewhere, to be followed up by an hour-long advice session later in the term. A brief introduction to the rest of the graduate and postdoc training programme will also be given. (This induction session will be followed, at a later date, by individual meetings with the MPhil Manager or Part III Manager. Later in the year, look out for the advice session on dissertation-writing.)

(2) New PhD students and new PhD supervisors

Wednesday 5 October 2016, 2–5pm

This induction will consist of two parts:

  • 2–3pm: General introductory meeting for new people (Seminar Room 2)
  • 3–5pm: Introduction to the PhD programme and getting started with research (Seminar Room 1)

The first part, conducted by the Director of Graduate Studies (Nick Hopwood) will explain the basic structure of the PhD programme (including the annual reviews and the log book) and give advice on how to establish a working routine with the supervisor. Advice will be given about the support structures in the Department, the School and the University. The last part, led by the Graduate Training Officer (Marta Halina) and Departmental Librarian (Anna Jones) will give detailed advice on how to start researching for your PhD project and how to build the background knowledge and expertise to support that research. This will include a detailed introduction to the rest of the graduate and postdoc training programme, and other ongoing teaching, research and training programmes in the Department and elsewhere in the University.

(3) Continuing PhD students and new postdocs

Friday 7 October 2016, 12.30–2.30pm

This induction will consist of two parts:

  • 12.30–1.30pm: Guidance for second-year PhD students (Seminar Room 1)
  • 1.30–2.30pm: Guidance for late-stage PhD students and new postdocs (Seminar Room 2)

The first part, led by Hasok Chang, will provide a broad range of guidance on managing the mid-stage of the PhD and maintaining the momentum of research and writing. This session will incorporate advice given in previous years in separate sessions under the headings of 'How to beat the mid-PhD slump', 'How to give a research talk', and 'How to make the most of conferences'. Some preliminary advice will also be given on other aspects of career development, including the building-up of teaching experience. There will be a brief introduction to this year's graduate and postdoc training programme, and other ongoing teaching, research and training programmes in the Department and elsewhere in the University.

The second part, led by Lauren Kassell, will be directed at 3rd- and 4th-year PhD students and new postdocs. A broad range of guidance will be given on managing the final stage of the PhD, and the process of applying for academic jobs or developing non-academic career paths. This session will incorporate advice given in previous years in separate sessions under the headings of 'How to finish your PhD', 'How to give a research talk', 'How to make the most of conferences', 'How to publish an article', 'How to apply for a research grant', and 'How to get a job in academia'. Part of its aim is to highlight the existence of a large and congenial community of early-career scholars in (and around) the Department. Ways of encouraging mutual support within this community will be explored; for example, in past years people have enjoyed and benefited from the jobseekers' coffee mornings (leader TBA).