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DTC Matters Issue No11. July 2015

July 29, 2015


Welcome to the eleventh edition of the White Rose Social Sciences DTC newsletter; “DTC Matters”.

The White Rose Doctoral Training Centre was launched in November 2011. Read more

This newsletter is issued quarterly and includes NEWS AND EVENTS, TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES, PATHWAY NEWS, ESRC NEWS and FEEDBACK ON FEEDBACK. If you would like to submit an article for a future edition of DTC Matters or provide feedback on any of the featured articles, go to ‘News’ and click ‘Suggest A Story’ button


ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize 2015 


Congratulations to Professor Celia Kitzinger (University of York, Director of the White Rose DTC Advanced Qualitative Methods Group) and Professor Jenny Kitzinger (Cardiff University), who won the award for Outstanding Impact in Society as part of the ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize. The awards ceremony took place in London on 24th June 2015. The prize was awarded to Celia and Jenny for the creation of an online resource supporting relatives of patients in long-term coma states. Read more on the DTC website, and find out about the resource created by Celia and Jenny and its impact on the ESRC website. 

Fourth WR DTC Annual Spring Conference 2015: ‘Getting Published’, 6th May 2015, University of York

ArwaThe fourth annual White Rose DTC Spring conference took place on 6th May 2015 at the Ron Cooke Hub, University of York and was attended by about 200 PhD researchers from the universities of York, Sheffield and Leeds. The theme of the conference was ‘Getting Published’, and videos of talks from the day, as well as pictures, are available on the post-conference page of the WR DTC website.

A Poster Competition also took place during the conference. Sixteen PhD researchers participated and their posters were voted by the other attendees based on the quality and clarity of their posters. The first prize (£50 book voucher) was won by Arwa Gandeel (Education Pathway, University of Leeds) with a poster titled ‘Do their beliefs matter? A study of teachers’ beliefs and the teaching of speaking’. Arwa commented on her experience and the importance of feedback received:

I presented my first poster in the University of Leeds ESSL Research Postgraduate Conference 2015. I did not win in the competition but I received valuable constructive feedback from the poster panel judges. Later, I decided to make another poster for the White Rose Social Sciences Spring Conference. Based on the feedback I received and with the great help of Dr Heather Sears, I was able to make the poster. I am grateful for all those who contributed to this success as much as I am glad I was voted first place. It was a great experience!

Joint second placed were Giulia Poerio (Psychology Pathway, University of Sheffield), whose poster focused on ‘Social daydreams: frequency, phenomenology and perceived functions’, and Yuri van Hoef (Politics and International Relations Pathway, University of Leeds), with a poster on ‘Why friendship in politics matters’.

WRDTC Best Paper Competition 2015 – winners announced

best paperThe WRDTC’s first ‘Paper of the Year’ competition was launched prior to the annual Spring Conference in May 2015. Entries were submitted from many disciplines within the Social Sciences and were of a very high standard. An academic panel selected the best entries and the first prize was awarded to Lena Kruckenberg (International Development Pathway, University of Leeds) for her paper ‘Renewable energy partnerships in development cooperation: towards a relational understanding of technical assistance’. Lena received a £50 book voucher as a prize, and her success will be formally recognised at the WRDTC Welcome Event in the Autumn.

First runner up was Yuri van Hoef (Politics and International Relations Pathway, University of Leeds), with his article on ‘Friendship in world politics: assessing the personal relationships between Helmut Kohl and Francois Mitterand, and George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev’, while second runner up was Simone Croft (Psychology Pathway, University of Sheffield), with a paper titled ‘Validity of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire in Preschool-Aged Children’. You can read more and find links to the winning papers on the WRDTC website.

White Rose DTC Student Seminar Series: ‘Real Research in the Social Sciences: Design, Fieldwork and Dissemination’, 22nd May 2015, University of Sheffield 

Thanks to Robin Morris for providing the information below 

James HeydonA WRDTC PGR-led seminar series was organised at the University of Sheffield and took place on 22nd May 2015. A total of 22 PhD researchers attended on the day from across all three institutions. An hour at the end of the day was dedicated to a ‘Research Surgery’, which was designed to facilitate a discussion between those attending about some of the more common problems that they faced or they were expecting to face in their fieldwork. Read more…. 

White Rose DTC doctoral researchers in the News

Lee Johnson (Socio-legal Studies Pathway, University of Leeds) was interviewed on the Morning Show on local BBC Radio in Lincolnshire as the programme was discussing recent figures from Lincolnshire Police around the number of police officers assaulted in the last year. Read more….

cosmeticsAn article by Suhaili Ramli (Management and Business Pathway, University of York) has appeared on both the printed and online version of The Star, an English-language newspaper from Malaysia, part of the Asia News Network. The article describes the demand for halal cosmetics by Muslim women. Suhaili’s PhD research, whose title is “Immigrant Entrepreneurs on the World’s Successful Global Brands in the Cosmetic Industry”, is a comparative study about the history of cosmetic brands created by immigrants and non-immigrants in the US. Read more….

An article by George Wilson (Socio-legal Studies Pathway, University of Leeds) was published in the Huffington Post (UK) on 13th May 2015, discussing the future of the National Minimum Wage after the recent British General Election. George also authored a post on the Conversation website on 9th July 2015, commenting on the national living wage in light of the recent budget plans by the Government. George’s research focuses on the possibility for a Union-wide Minimum Wage in Europe. Read more….

blog post by Wasim Ahmed, PhD researcher at the Information School, University of Sheffield (Science and Technology Studies Pathway) on ‘Using Twitter as a Data Source’ in the social sciences, has recently been published on the LSE impact blog. Read more….

Are you making an impact with your research? Has you researched been published in the news? Let us know! Email enquiries@wrdtc.ac.uk 


A total of over 700 PhD researchers have attended at least one advanced training workshop in 2014-15, including Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) and Advanced Qualitative Methods (AQUALM).

Workshops offered this academic year were:

Understanding the Impact of Reseach Perspectives: The Importance of Metatheory, Research Methodology and Reflexty in Crafting Qualitative Research


Open Scholarship

Impact and KE: What, Where and Why?

Impact: Approaches to Co-Construction of Knowledge

Impact: Building Successful Partnerships and Collaborative Bids

Impact: Managing Collaborative Research Projects: Tips, Tricks and Traps

Impact: Disseminationm2

Impact: Achieving Impact Excellence

Elite Interviewing

Doing Interdisciplinary Research

Doing Fieldwork in Distant or Difficult Locations

Impact: Thinking Critically About Evidencing Impact

Big Data and Predictive Analytics for Social Science Research

Big Data, Social Media Research Methods and Analytics for Social Science Research

Qualitative Longitudinal Research: an Advanced Workshop

Advanced Conversation Analysis Summer School

Realist Methods

A workshop on Interdisciplinary Visual Research Methods will take place on 1st and 2nd September 2015 at the University of Sheffield. Places can be booked on the WRDTC website’s training page.

A full programme of Advanced Training for 2015-16 will be advertised from October 2015.

Overseas Institutional Visit at the University of California, Irvine 

uciReport by Johanna Schönhöfer (Socio-legal studies Pathway, University of Leeds)

I have recently returned from an Overseas Institutional Visit to the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of California, Irvine. The OIV scheme is a great way to explore new departments and countries, all within the frame of your own work. I applied to visit UCI because it is home to one of the world leading institutes of research on criminology with quantitative as well as qualitative approaches. Read more….

WRDTC Networks 

White Rose Critical Race and Ethnicities Network (CREN) 

crenThe annual conference of the White Rose Critical Race and Ethnicities Network took place on 19th June 2015. A programme can be found here.

The network also hosted a symposium on the topic of ‘Surviving in a White Institution’. A detailed report on this event can be found on the network’s blog.

White Rose Migration Research Postgraduate Network

The first annual postgraduate workshop of the White Rose Migration Research Postgraduate Network took place at the University of Sheffield on 11th June 2015 and was attended by about 50 PhD researchers. Read about it on the WR DTC website.

AQM Student Network 


The AQM Network aims to promote the use of quantitative methods in the social sciences, by providing affordable training and resources to researchers, as well as to facilitate networking opportunities between members. The 3rd AQMN workshop took place at the University of York on 28th May. The workshop aimed to provide theoretical and practical training in advanced statistics and EEG data analysis.

This one-day workshop consisted of two parallel sessions: one exploring transformation and standardisation of regression predictors, confirmatory factor analysis, (CFA), CFA measurement and invariance, and multilevel modelling using M-Plus. Another session focused on Electroencephalography (EEG). It covered the basic concepts of EEG technique and signal processing using EEGLAB toolbox, Independent Component Analysis (ICA) and time/frequency analysis.

The sessions consisted of short theoretical introductions to the topics, followed by practical exercises. The workshop ended in a keynote lecture delivered by Dr Jan Boehnke on “The role of measurement in the social sciences: Old hats and new societal challenges”.

White Rose Research Network for Interdisciplinary Approaches to Politics (RNIAP)

rniapWRDTC PGRs in the Politics and International Studies Pathways at Leeds are involved in the organisation of the Conference for Interdisciplinary Approaches to Politics (CIAP), as part of the activities of the recently founded White Rose Research Network for Interdisciplinary Approaches to Politics. The conference will take place on 16th October 2015 at the University of Leeds and will focus on Cooperation – Between Moral Obligation and Political Responsibility. Further information can be found on the WRDTC website and on the conference website, where registration and a preliminary programme will be available soon.


Planning Pathway conference, ‘Planning for Impact’

p2by Gareth Young (Planning Pathway, University of Sheffield)

The WRDTC Planning Pathway (Department of Town and Regional Planning, University of Sheffield and Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds) hosted their first postgraduate conference, Planning for Impact, on 19 May 2015. Read more….

Management and Business, Accounting and Finance and Work Psychology Pathway

  • Annual Conference, 11th-12th June 2015, University of Sheffield

The annual Pathway conference took place at Sheffield University Management School this year, and its theme was Sustainability. For more information read here.

  • Foundations of Impact: Non-academic audiences – affecting policy and practice, 21st July 2015, University of Leeds

This workshop invited PhD researchers and research staff to reflect on different forms of impact and engagement with non-academic audiences. More details can be found here.

  • Leeds University Business School PhD researchers awarded Michael Z. Brooke Prize

Two postgraduate researchers at Leeds University Business School and in the Business and Management Pathway of the WRDTC, Janja Tardios and Liang Cheng, were awarded a prize for their research papers at the Academy of International Business (AIB) UK Ireland Chapter annual conference. Read more about the prize and about Janja’s and Liang’s comments on receiving the prize.

geographyHuman Geography Pathway

WR DTC PhD researchers based at the University of Sheffield were involved in organising this year’s event on behalf of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). Their reflections after the conference have been published in a blog post on the pages of the Department of Geography of the University of Sheffield. Videos of the conference are also available online.

Science and Technology Studies Pathway: Workshop on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)

PhD researchers and academics from the three universities attended this workshop in York, which featured PhD presentations on the topics of Responsible Research and Innovation, and discussion on the future direction of the Pathways. A programme can be found here.

Social Work Pathway: Summer Conference

The conference, which continues a tradition of summer events for Social Work scholars based in Yorkshire, featured keynote presentations by Dr Martin Webber and Professor Ian Shaw, as well as presentations from PhD researchers from Leeds, York and Sheffield and other institutions in the region. The event aimed to raise the profile of Social Work within the WRDTC as well as regionally.

Psychology Pathway Conference

The conference, organised by PhD researchers at Leeds, was attended by about 50 researchers from Leeds, York and Sheffield. The programme had a strong focus on communicating research and on the last phases of the PhD journey, including career planning. A poster exhibition and competition also took place on the day.

Socio-legal Studies and Security Conflict and Justice Pathways: A dialogue on the role of state and non-state actors in the development, delivery and regulation of restorative practice in the UK: The inaugural conference of the Community of Restorative Researchers

by Ian Marder (Socio-legal Studies Pathway, University of Leeds), Founder of the Community of Restorative Researchers, and Megan Sharp, Community of Restorative Researchers Network Intern

a1On 7 July 2015 the School of Law, University of Leeds, welcomed over 65 researchers, practitioners and policy makers for the inaugural conference of the Community of Restorative Researchers.

The Community of Restorative Researchers is an international, interdisciplinary research network, connecting individuals who work in the field of restorative practice in different capacities. It promotes an open, critical dialogue within the field in order to maximise the benefits and minimise the risks of the growing use of restorative practices in this and other jurisdictions. The objective of the event was to contribute towards these goals by enhancing communication and collaboration between key individuals and organisations in the field. Read more….


ESRC Media Training (ESRC-funded researchers only)

ESRCOne day-long media training sessions will be available on the following dates and at different locations:

17 September 2015 – London

15 October 2015 – Cambridge

30 October 2015 – London

12 November 2015 – London

Read more about ESRC Media Training and find out how to book.

ESRC Blog 

The new ESRC blog was launched at the endesrc blog of June 2015, and will be used to “share thoughts, opinions and knowledge of the ESRC and social science issues and activities”, while representing an opportunity to establish a dialogue between ESRC staff and researchers, and will host guest writers from the social science community.


PGR FORUM – Join Now!

The WRDTC website now hosts a PGR Forum area, which will allow WRDTC PhD researchers to communicate online and find useful research connections across the three universities.

This is a space to share research tips, literature and resources, and to discuss publication and scholarship issues, exchange experiences, ask for help, advertise events you might be involved in, etc. There is a section dedicated to a virtual ‘swap shop’ where WRDTC researchers can offer or search for something or someone (for example, someone with a specific skill or with similar research interests, etc.). Pathway-specific sections will facilitate discussion between members of the same Pathway, overcoming geographical distances across the White Rose universities.  

Coming Soon… 

WRDTC Welcome Event, Sheffield, 23 October 2015.

Please check www.wrdtc.ac.uk to keep up to date with WRDTC news and events.