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Academic skills and career development

Building on the advice given in the start-of-year induction sessions, these meetings will focus on very specific tasks and skills.

They take place on Fridays, 1–2pm in Seminar Room 1, unless otherwise noted; feel free to bring lunch.

How do undergraduate supervisions work?

Friday 7 October 2016, 3–4pm, Board Room; Marta Halina and Sachiko Kusukawa

All PhD students and postdocs are encouraged to supervise undergraduate students taking Part IB and Part II HPS courses. If you have never done supervisions before, this workshop is an essential prerequisite. It will explain the relationship between lectures and supervisions, departments/faculties and Colleges, and also cover practical topics such managing reports and payments through CamCORS.

How to supervise examinable coursework (I)

Friday 14 October 2016, 1–2pm; Anna Alexandrova

This session is required for first-time supervisors of examinable coursework (Part III and MPhil papers, and Part II dissertations and primary source essays), and optional for supervisors with previous experience. This workshop will give guidance on helping students choose topics, find and use good sources, plan and carry out research and writing, and manage the constraints of deadlines and word limits. We will also consider strategies for coping with various problem scenarios: how and when to ask for help; questions of confidentiality; and how not to end up doing all the work yourself!

How to supervise Part IB and Part II essays

Friday 21 October 2016, 1–2pm; Marta Halina and Sachiko Kusukawa

This is a continuation of the session 'How do undergraduate supervisions work?', but it is also useful for more experienced supervisors. It will provide guidance on effective ways to plan and deliver supervisions, with a particular focus on how to mark and comment on essays, based on real-life examples. There will also be a discussion of the pedagogical functions of supervisions.

How to supervise examinable coursework (II)

Friday 28 October 2016, 1–2pm; Hasok Chang

This session is required for first-time supervisors of examinable coursework (Part III and MPhil papers, and Part II dissertations and primary source essays), and optional for supervisors with previous experience. This workshop will give guidance on helping students choose topics, find and use good sources, plan and carry out research and writing, and manage the constraints of deadlines and word limits. We will also consider strategies for coping with various problem scenarios: how and when to ask for help; questions of confidentiality; and how not to end up doing all the work yourself!

Apply for a PhD!

Wednesday 2 November 2016, 2–3pm, Seminar Room 2; Nick Hopwood and David Thompson

For those considering doing a PhD, in Cambridge or elsewhere, deadlines will soon be looming. This workshop, run by the Director of Graduate Studies, will explain the Department's PhD admissions requirements and processes. More generally, advice will be provided on choosing places to apply to, finding a workable topic and appropriate potential supervisors, securing references, writing a convincing proposal, and applying for funding.

What is this thing called the CLR?

Friday 20 January 2017, 1–2pm; Helen Curry

The Critical Literature Review (CLR) is not a normal essay. This session aims to clarify what is involved in a good CLR, and offer concrete advice on how to tackle it. It is required for all Part III students. Supervisors and potential examiners of CLR are also very welcome to attend.

How to write a Part III/MPhil dissertation

Friday 17 February 2017, 1–2pm, Seminar Room 2; Richard Staley and Stephen John

This session constitutes the first Part III/MPhil dissertation seminar. The MPhil and Part III Managers will offer advice on getting started on the dissertation: choosing a topic, finding a supervisor, locating sources, and planning the research and writing. Attention will be drawn to the qualities that examiners typically look for in a high-quality dissertation, and also the common pitfalls. Guidance will also be given on formalities such as deadlines, word counts, figures, appendices and referencing style.

How to turn an essay into a publishable article

Friday 5 May 2017, 1–2pm; Tim Lewens

It's one thing to please your examiners, but how do you go about impressing journal referees and editors enough to persuade them to publish your work? In this session we will look at the different demands made on examinable work and publishable work, the issue of how to choose a journal, and how to give your work the best possible chance of being accepted.