Welcome to February's Newsletter

Important dates for your diaries 
Bradley Allsop - 'What's coming up this term?'
This month's featured blog
In the Spotlight: The East Midlands History Network
You have 3 minutes to present your thesis! 
SU Awards 2017 - nominate a postgraduate today! 
E-mporium is seeking submissions for its first issue. 
Published and Accepted research papers 
Can you create the University's largest work of art?
This year's competition is open, find out more

The East Midlands History Network 

East Midlands History Network ‘Identity and the Other’ PG day conference: 18th January 2017.

By Rachel Yemm & Abi Dorr, PhD Students, University of Lincoln 

As third year PhD students at the University of Lincoln, we have greatly benefited from many advantages of working at a smaller institution. However, we felt our experiences as postgraduate researchers could be improved with support, advice, and connections from an extended network of students. We were missing sharing our research and our ideas in an informal atmosphere amongst peers.  

This inspired us to create a network aimed at all East Midlands universities in attempt to bring together postgraduate students at regular, friendly meetings to be held at various institutions over the region. The project aimed to provide an environment to meet new students, practice papers, and discuss any issues and concerns related to PhD life. We developed the East Midlands History Network; creating a social media presence and sending out a call for papers under the theme of ‘Identity and the Other’, which recently took place at the University of Lincoln on the 18th January. We hoped such a broad theme would appeal to a wide range of historical periods and allow students from all areas of history to be involved.  

We applied for funding from the East Midlands Centre for History Teaching and Learning and were fortunate enough to be awarded £800 for the academic year, which will be used to run three events. The funding enabled us to offer travel reimbursements for speakers and provide catering for all conference delegates.

Initially, we intended to run a half day event but after receiving more abstracts than anticipated and gaining financial support, the conference was extended to a full day. We were really pleased to have gained so much interest, which resulted in students from six out of nine East Midlands Universities submitting abstracts. Papers ranged from religious identity in post-reformation England, to representations of the mulatto and Native Americans, to race relations in British towns in the 1960s.

The day consisted of three panels; the first, chaired by Lesley Clarke (UoL), was titled ‘Local and National Identities’ and included papers from Jonathan Roche (UoN), David Civil (UoN) and Edward Cheetham (NTU) and Mark Orton (DMU). The second entitled ‘Gender and Identity’ included papers from Bradley Phipps (University of Leicester) and David Robinson (UoN). The final panel, ‘Race and Identity’ included papers from Janet Couloute (University of Leicester), Rachel Yemm (UoL), and Rachel Wilkins (Loughbrough). All panels gave rise to really interesting discussions and we were pleased by how much the group engaged with the research.  

We also wanted our events to include discussions on the process of research so organized a round table on publishing in academic journals, which gave attendees the opportunity to share experiences, questions and concerns about academic publishing. Our attendees ranged from first year to third year PhD students so it was great to share both positive and negative experiences with peers. The discussion was extremely informative, positive, and encouraging.

We believe the first conference was a huge success and were delighted at the level of engagement seen throughout the course of the day. It was exactly what we hoped to achieve and more! The next stage is to encourage other institutions to host their own event, with as much or as little guidance as required.  We are pleased to announce that the University of Nottingham has shown interest in organizing the next event, hopefully scheduled for May.

If you are keen to get involved in the East Midlands History Network, we would love to hear from you! 
For further information about the East Midlands History Network email: or follow on twitter: @EM_HistoryNet

Bradley Allsop, Postgraduate Officer, Student's Union

What's coming up this term?

Welcome back to the second term, hopefully you’ve had a relaxing Christmas break and are ready to take on the term ahead, it’s going to be a busy one at the Students’ Union!

The big news this month is elections, the nominations for a variety of Students’ Union positions are open from the President of the Union to various part-time roles (my role, Postgraduate Officer, is elected in October to give one-year post grads a chance to stand). You can nominate yourself for a position and find out more about the roles here: you have until February 10th to do so, with voting taking place between February 16th - February 24th. There’ll also be a range of workshops to provide some of the skills you’ll need to run an effective campaign. If you have any questions about running please contact me by email - it’s really important that we have more postgraduates involved in the running of our union!

This term I’m going to be working with both the Students’ Union and the teaching union UCU to produce a survey looking into the working conditions for Postgraduate Research Students (PGR) across the university. Keep an eye on your emails for developments on this over the coming month. If you are a PGR student that has done any work for the university and experienced any issues in this regard e.g. pay, conditions, amount of work or simply have any comments on this topic please don’t wait for the survey and get in touch with me.

I will also continue working with the Graduate School on postgraduate hardship issues. We have a range of actions we’re working on this term including better communication by the university of fees and other costs, as well as better advertisement both by the university and the Students’ Union (SU) of the support services that are available for struggling students. I’ll also be working with the SU to implement my successful suggestion of having a prominent food bank donation point in the SU for people to donate food that will help struggling students. If you have any other ideas regarding tackling postgraduate financial hardship, or are struggling yourself, please contact me.

We’ll also be having a number of postgraduate socials throughout the term - the first one is in early February - keep an eye on your emails and the Graduate School’s social media for details. With the elections and some of the work I’m doing this term, we’ve got a real chance to engage in and influence union and university decisions to get a better deal for postgraduates. Working together we can get some real wins for our community.

I hope you all have a fantastic term and as always, drop me an email if you need anything.

Contact Bradley by email: 

E-mporium Call for Papers 
E-mporium is now seeking submissions for its first issue. 

E-mporium has been created to showcase postgraduate research on a publication platform and to offer an experience that will enhance knowledge of academic publishing, providing hands-on professional experience invaluable for a future career in academia.

Due to the journal’s interdisciplinary focus, we invite contributions from postgraduate students across the spectrum of disciplines at both Masters and Doctoral level. As a result, E-mporium accepts a range of paper types at submission, including, but not limited to:
  • Journal/Scientific Article
  • Literature Review
  • Book/Film/Theatre/Exhibition/Conference Review
  • Technology Review
  • Perspective Piece
  • Comment Paper
  • Conference Paper

Email your 200 word submission abstract to for consideration before 27th February 2017.
Visit the E-mporium page on our website 

Nominations open for the SU Awards 2017

Nominations for the annual Students’ Union Awards are now open! The awards are a great opportunity to recognise the important contributions made by staff and students across the University.

The Postgraduate Research Award – This Award has been introduced to reflect the University’s strong interest in and commitment to research, and in particular the significance of our Postgraduate Researchers at the University of Lincoln. Nominees will be those who improve the Postgraduate learning environment and encourage collaborative, inter-disciplinary work. This may include representing the University nationally and internationally at conferences and major events, playing a significant role in innovative research or demonstrating good ideas using public engagement. Know someone who fits these criteria? Then nominate them now!

The Postgraduate Partnership Award – This award celebrates the strong partnerships between staff and Postgraduate students at the University of Lincoln. Nominations should be submitted which reflect work which exemplifies the importance of student-staff partnerships at a Postgraduate level, and efforts in this area which have significantly affected the Postgraduate environment in Lincoln.

Staff can nominate by following this link: 

Students can submit nominations here: 

Nominations will close at 12pm on Friday 10th February 2017. If you have any questions, please email:
A Call for Participants - Images of Research Competition

What is the Images of Research competition?

The Images of Research Competition showcases the research taking place at the University of Lincoln. Participants are asked to submit a unique image, along with an abstract of 150 words describing how the image reflects their research.

All entries will be exhibited throughout the academic year within the University and throughout the local community.

Who can participate?

Any staff member or student can participate who is undertaking research at the University of Lincoln.


The winning entries will be decided by a panel of Staff and Students representative of the University.

  • Overall winner receives £100 amazon voucher
  • People Choice Winner £100 amazon voucher
  • All entries will be part of the exhibition with winner and runner up images developed into posters for display

How to enter:

Visit to download the checklist and Application form. Return the completed application form with your image to before the closing date: Friday 10th March 2017


Competition Timeline:

Launch Date: 9th January 2017
Closing date: 10th March 2017
Panel selection Process – 13th to 24th March 2017
People’s Choice Vote – 13th to 24th March 2017
Winner’s announcement – 31st March 2017
UoL Exhibition – 3rd to 7th July 2017

For further information or any questions please contact

A Call for Participants - Three Minute Thesis Competition 

What is the Three Minute Thesis competition?

Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland which challenges research higher degree students to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance in just three minutes in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

The first 3MT was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 RHD students competing.

Who can participate?

Anyone who is active in a PhD (including thesis under submission) are eligible to participate. Graduates will not be permitted to enter.
Anyone who is undertaking a professional/named/higher doctorate is not eligible.

How does it work?

The Graduate School will organise and host the University of Lincoln Final on the 10th May 2017. Two awards will be presented at the final, Panel Winner and People’s Choice winner both will receive £100 voucher and the panel winner of the University of Lincoln final will then go forward to the UK Online Semi-final on 14th July hosted by Vitae as well as represent the University of Lincoln at the EMDoc regional final.

The top six contestants at the Semi-Final will go on to the UK final which will take place during the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference in September 2017.

Competition rules

• A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration).
• No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
• No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
• Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
• Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
• Presentations are to commence from the stage.
• Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
• The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

The closing date is Friday 31st March 2017 
Click here to book your place in the audience for the #3MT final

5 Slides in 5 Minutes 

When: Wednesday 15th February, 2017, 11:00 am to 12:30pm

Five slides in 5 minutes gives you the opportunity to present your research in an innovative way. You will have just 5 minutes and 5 slides to deliver your presentation to a lay audience which will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience. This is an informal environment in which you can practice your presentation skills, fine tune your presentation for a future conference and also gain constructive feedback.

If you are interested in presenting at 5 slides please follow the registration link below, if you would like to be part of the audience you can also register using this link: 
Register for 5 Slides 5 minutes

This month's featured blog:

Everybody is failing, you just don't know it!


January has been a tough month for everyone, but we are determined to motivate you and prove that hard works always pays off.


The Process

I started my PhD with partial funding, hoping that things will get better as the time goes by. As I really love what I’m doing, from the beginning I thought it was worth it – I’ll just figure it out along the way. And I did, I found a part-time job, and kept on applying for funding.

And it wasn’t just funding… I applied for Warden and Junior Dean positions as well, which would provide me with campus accommodation, anything that could promise a bit more than I had, but I wasn’t successful in these, either. When I look back to the previous 2 years, I must have applied for at least 20 different funding schemes. That means I have written (or adjusted the ones that were already written) around 20 statement letters, CVs, secured funding lists, long research proposals, short research proposals, you name it. Hours and hours of my life went into it.

After my first year, I was about to give up. I was talking to my supervisor and said something like: I don’t think it makes sense to keep on trying. I’m just wasting my time. To which he replied: But if you don’t apply, you’re not going to get it. As ridiculously obvious as it sounds, you never think of it that way. Us humans, we have this tendency to wish for something to happen, even though we’re not actually doing anything to make it happen. It’s like dreaming of all the things you would do if you won the lottery, but never actually buying a lottery ticket.

Getting it right

Within that second year, I worked on improving my application, and naturally, as you progress through your PhD, your CV starts looking better as well. And then suddenly, I got it right. When it finally happened, I realized one thing: if you try, you’ll eventually get there (though it might not seem that way while you’re still trying). Again, I know this sounds like one of those obvious things, but those are sometimes the hardest to believe in. The road to full-funding is often very bumpy, and can make you feel like a miserable failure, but again, you do need to buy the lottery ticket to be able to go on that trip around the world you always dreamed of.

Talking about failure

When talking about the whole process with a friend, she told me about something she saw onlinethe CV of failure. The idea was that even though an academic CV is a road map of one’s professional career, it usually just shows the successful side of it, and therefore, leaving the impression that there were no failures along the way.

Continue reading the full article on the 'PhD Life' blog

Suggest a PhD or research related blog for next month's issue - email: 

Can you create the University's largest work of art?

“We are delighted to announce the launch of a competition to design an art piece for the ‘signature wall’ in the atrium in the new Isaac Newton Building.”

This exciting opportunity is open to all students of the University of Lincoln with some great prizes including a new Apple MacBook Pro worth over £2,000.

The deadline for the competition is Friday 3rd March 2017

Collaborations between staff and students are particularly welcome.

“We will be holding an open Q&A drop-in session for this competition from 1-3pm on Wednesday 11th January in room AADE09. Please come along at any time during this period to ask questions about your ideas.”

Before entering please refer to the creative brief.

Have a query? Please contact Gyles Lingwood, Director of Education, College of Arts:

View the creative brief

Published & Accepted Postgraduate Research Papers

The Graduate School would like to hear from all postgraduate research students who have had their research work published or accepted into a conference, journal, or academic site from September 2016.

Your work will then feature in our new ‘Published/Accepted Papers’ section on the Graduate School Newsletter, to celebrate your success and accomplishment, and also raise the profile of your research work.
If you would like your work celebrated and shared with the postgraduate community at the University of Lincoln, please email with the following information:
  • Your full name
  • Your school
  • Title of your accepted work
  • Place of acceptance (journal name, conference title, etc.)
  • Date of acceptance
  • A link to your accepted content

Harry Francis Dorrell, School of Sport and Exercise Science 

'The Acute Effects Different Quantities of Branched-Chain Amino Acids Have on Recovery of Muscle Function’, Sports Nutrition and Therapy, Published December 2nd 2016,  

Recently Graduated

Dr Julie Pattinson, School of Psychology

Dr Julie Pattinson graduated this month after completing her PhD, entitled ‘British Older Adult Gambling Behaviour; Evaluating Psychological and Physical Health as Predictive Risk Factors for Problem Gambling Behaviour’, in November. Julie was awarded £60,000 funding by the Responsible Gambling Trust UK to complete the PhD thesis. She also completed her MSc in Clinical Research (2009-2011) and BSc (Honours) in Psychology with Clinical Psychology (2006-2009). Currently employed by the School of Health and Social Care as a research assistant, Dr Julie Pattinson is presently working on research led by Prof Siriwardena exploring the reasons for variations in performance in the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners general practice licensing exam, specifically the Applied Knowledge Test.
Craig Harper, College of Social Sciences (School of Psychology) 

Dr Craig Harper graduated in January 2017 after completing his PhD, entitled 'Attitudes to sexual offenders'. 
Rachel Orritt, College of Social Sciences (School of Psychology) 

Dr Rachel Orritt graduated in January 2017 after completing her PhD, entitled 'Developing a Risk Assessment Evidence Base for the Prediction of Human-Directed Aggressive Behaviour in Dogs'. 

A Call for Book Reviews

The Graduate School are always on the look-out for innovative and applicable literature which can aid PhD study and we want to ensure that we recommend the best, and most appropriate, resources to help you improve your research.

In our newsletter we are looking to include critical book reviews examining recent literature intended to improve PhD study, and we are currently seeking postgraduate research students who would like to undertake the role of a book reviewer. 

Not only does this provide a great opportunity to investigate the latest words of advice regarding postgraduate research—which may in turn assist your own work—but it also allows the opportunity to engage critically with the current academic discussion of PhD study and share your thoughts with your postgraduate peers. Your reviews may also have the opportunity to be published in our upcoming postgraduate e-journal, E-mporium. 

The literature available for review shall be provided by the Graduate School. This month’s suggested books are:

How to Write a Better Thesis, Paul Gruba, David Evans & Justin Zobel

This concise guide emphasizes clear and logical structure as the key to a well-written thesis. The book uses a direct and conversational tone while offering concrete examples of common structural problems and the numerous devices, tricks, and tests for avoiding them. It proves that the astute researcher must no longer regard writing as the last chore but rather as a crucial part of the research process. This updated edition demonstrates how computer software can be advantageous and includes a checklist to keep students organised.

How We Write: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blank Page, Suzanne Conklin Akbar, et al.

This collection is not about how TO write, but how WE write: unlike a prescriptive manual that promises to unlock the secret to efficient productivity, the contributors talk about their own writing processes, in all their messy, frustrated, exuberant, and awkward dis/order. The contributors range from graduate students and recent PhDs to senior scholars working in the fields of medieval studies, art history, English literature, poetics, early modern studies, musicology, and geography.

If you are interested in completing a book review or getting involved, please email 

PG Picture of the Month Competition

January's Competition Winner 

Congratulations to Craig Harper,  please email the Graduate School to claim your prize!
Get involved! Tag us with #PGPOTM on facebook, twitter  and instagram for your chance to win next month's prize!
#PGPOTM Facebook Gallery
Join us on YouTube for #TuesdayTalk
Naomi Oreskes: Why we should trust scientists
Why we should trust scientists with Naomi Oreskes
Success, failure and the drive to keep creating | Elizabeth Gilbert
Success, failure and the drive to keep creating
One more reason to get a good night’s sleep | Jeff Iliff
One more reason to get a good night's sleep
Have something you'd like to share with the postgraduate community in our next newsletter?  If you have a story, research or a survey that needs completing, get in touch using the icons below. 
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