skip to primary navigationskip to content

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 6 October 2017, 3–4pm, Board Room; Sachiko Kusukawa and Adrian Currie

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 write an essay in the history and philosophy of science

Friday 13 October 2017, 3–4pm; Agnes Bolinska and Joseph Martin

What is an essay in history and philosophy of science and how does one produce one of high quality? This session covers the basics of writing history essays and philosophy essays and the challenges of doing interdisciplinary work.

How to supervise Part IB and Part II essays

Friday 20 October 2017, 1–2pm; Sachiko Kusukawa and Adrian Currie

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

Friday 27 October 2017, 1–2pm (and in Lent Term); Richard Staley

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!

Friday 3 November 2017, 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.

Introducing Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society

Wednesday 8 November 2017, 10–11am, Seminar Room 1; Sandra Harding

Sandra Harding, the Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi Visiting Professor (Michaelmas Term 2017) and Distinguished Research Professor at UCLA, will present the new journal Tapuya and discuss how to turn a dissertation chapter into a journal article while addressing the special challenges in publishing on STS in English when many of the readers are not English-first-language.

Using Cambridge archives and manuscripts in your research: notes from the UL

Thursday 9 November 2017, 11am–12noon, Seminar Room 2; Katrina Dean and Peter Jones

Archives are a stock-in-trade of historians (and others) and working effectively with archives is an essential skill to develop as part of your training. This Q&A session with Katrina Dean (Curator of Scientific Collections at the University Library) and Peter Jones (Fellow Librarian at King's and an associate of the HPS Department) will provide a brief introduction to working with archives and manuscripts in Cambridge. The territory that we will cover includes:

  • How have historians of science thought about archives?
  • What resources are available on your doorstep in the UL and across Cambridge?
  • Why have they been collected and how?
  • How to access them and what are some of the practical and ethical issues you should consider?
  • What are the gaps and why might this be the case?
  • How might this affect your work?
  • How might archives work with or against other sources?
  • Where to start (and end) your project.

A couple of examples of potential projects using UL archives will be provided.

How to think about the CLR and dissertation

Friday 1 December 2017, 1–2pm; Anna Alexandrova

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

How to turn an essay into a publishable article

Friday 4 May 2018, 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.