Tag Archives: PhD

#CHInclusive workshop (CHI2019)

CHInclusive:  A one-day workshop focusing on building a more inclusive CHI community, which will be held at the 2019 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI2019); the premier international conference of Human-Computer Interaction.

Find out more about this DEN supported workshop that will be held at the CHI 2019 venue in Glasgow at https://chinclusive.glitch.me/

  • Workshop date: Saturday 4 May OR Sunday 5 May 2019
  • Duration: 9.00am-5.00pm, followed by evening dinner
  • Venue: The SEC, At ACM CHI 2019, Glasgow, United Kingdom (pictured above)
  • Workshop websitechinclusive.glitch.me
  • Proposal submission deadline: 12 Feb 2019
  • *DEN Travel & Accommodation funding available – see below for conditions*

About #CHInclusive:

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) has a growing body of work regarding important social and community issues, as well as various growing grassroots communities working to make CHI more international and inclusive.

By attending this workshop, participants will build on this work:  First – by reflecting on the contemporary CHI climate, and then through developing an actionable plan towards making CHI2019 and subsequent SIGCHI events more inclusive for all.

Call for Proposals:

The workshop organisers would like to invite you to take part in this one-day workshop, which will be  held on either the 4 or 5 May 2019 at CHI2019 in Glasgow. Within this workshop, attendees will proactively take part in building a more inclusive CHI community.

CHInclusion will be a highly interactive workshop where participants will first reflect on current privilege, marginalisation, and inclusion in our community, and then develop actionable ideas on how to improve inclusion at CHI2019 and future HCI events.

Workshop Submissions:

Submissions are welcomed from individuals who are concerned about inclusion at CHI and HCI more widely, and who would like to play a part in building a better future for our discipline.

In order to take part, we ask you to write a brief personal statement (maximum. 3 pages including references and short bio) in the Extended Abstract format.

The submissions should address one or more of the following statements listed below – or alternatively a related question that is important to you, and could also be important to others.


  • I think inclusion is an important aspect of the CHI community, because……
  • I think that we could improve inclusion at CHI by……
  • I have been involved in campaigning for a cause related to…, and think that we can learn from this activity and improve inclusion at CHI by……

Submissions should be sent in PDF format by the deadline of 1 February 2019 to CHInclusion2019@gmail.com.

Admittance will be on the basis of workshop relevance, and the potential of contribution to discussions and actions, as reviewed by the workshop organisers.

Further information:

DEN Travel Funding available for PhD Students

The Digital Economy Network (DEN) is able to provide funding for standard class travel and accommodation (in Glasgow) for up to five current Digital Economy PhD students* within the Network who are specifically accepted to attend this #CHInclusion workshop by the organisers.

CHI 2019 Financial Support for Students

The CHI 2019 website has also launched details of other potential sources of financial support for students wishing to attend the conference.

#CHInclusive #CHI2019


*In accordance with the DEN funding eligibility criteria and EPSRC research grant award terms and conditions.

DEN Writing Retreat: Feb 2019

Digital Economy Network 2-Day PhD Student Writing Retreat: February 2019

This event is now fully subscribed and a waiting list is in operation

*Free to attend for currently registered PhD/EngD students/those writing up thesis within the Digital Economy Network Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) and within Digital Economy related research groups/institutes at Universities*.

25 places are available for CDT students within the Digital Economy Network on this 2-day residential time-facilitated writing retreat, which will held on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 February 2019 at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor.

These very popular events provide doctoral students with an ideal environment and a beneficial opportunity to have dedicated time to specifically focus on writing or projects relating to their PhD/EngD, and in particular writing up their thesis or producing research/conference papers to publish their research.

Day 1 will start with a short discussion on writing objectives in pairs, and individuals will set their own short, medium and long-term writing goals, including what they want to achieve at the retreat over the time facilitated sessions.

Venue website: www.cumberlandlodge.ac.uk

Registering doctoral researchers will need to be able to attend both days of the retreat, day delegates only welcome.

What is funded by DEN for CDT/PhD students attending the retreat:

  • A place on the facilitated writing retreat.
  • En-suite bed and breakfast accommodation at Cumberland Lodge for the nights of Monday 4 and Tuesday 6 February 2019.
  • Lunch and refreshments throughout the 2 days of the retreat.
  • Evening meal on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 February at Cumberland Lodge.

If you have any queries about this retreat, please contact Felicia Black, Digital Economy Network Manager at felicia.black@nottingham.ac.uk.

DEN 21-Day Writing Challenge

A Digital Economy Network 21-Day Writing Challenge for PhD Students


The Digital Economy Network brings you the first official 21 Day DEN PhD Writing Challenge, which will run from Monday 14 January 2019 to Monday 4 February 2019.

This is your opportunity to Write With DEN, providing a supportive online forum and a great incentive for DEN PhD students to set goals, review productivity and practice writing skills.

For further information and to sign up – please visit the DEN 21-Day Writing Challenge website.

The Writing Challenge rules are simple:
    • Participants must register their interest via the Surveymonkey online form by 13th January 2019
    • The 21 Day Writing Challenge starts on 14th January 2019 and ends on 4th February 2018 (this is one day before the February 2019 writing retreat so it helps you build momentum) – participants must write at least 500 words each day for the 21 days.
    • You must tweet your progress daily to @DECDTNetwork  using the #DENWritingChallenge hashtag so that others within the DEN Community can engage, learn and share their experiences with you.
    • You can also post your progress via Instagram using this hasthag and tagging decdtnetwork.

DEN will be sharing highlights of the Challenge throughout the 21 days via our social media channels, so please do follow and encourage your peers if you are unable to participate personally.

The challenge will provide you with a valuable opportunity to
focus on productivity, learn more about goal setting and breaks, share writing successes/experiences with your peers and colleagues from the DEN community via the #DENWritingChallenge hashtag, as well as learning from each other to help you reach your goals whilst participating in a fun and rewarding challenge!

An average PhD chapter is 10,000 words hence 500 words a day for 21 days on paper will result in 10,500 meaning essentially you could write a PhD chapter in 21 days!

The 21 Day DEN Writing Challenge has been created to motivate you to achieve your writing goals as we know how hard the process can be!
Good luck, and we look forward to hearing about your progress!


Acknowledgements: The Digital Economy Network would like to thank Jennifer Agwunobi, the DEN Social Media Specialist/Advocate for creating this DEN Writing Challenge.

Increasing research writing productivity at Beamish Hall

PhD students from across multiple EPSRC-supported Digital Economy Centres for Doctoral Training and relevant research groups recently benefited from a two-day residential facilitated writing retreat, which was held at Beamish Hall in County Durham on 27-28 November 2018.

The aim of the residential retreat, which was attended by 28 PhD students from across 10 Universities, was to create a positive, quiet and productive environment in order to maximise writing productivity via eight time-facilitated sessions over the two days.

When registering for the event, attendees were required to specify what they would be using the retreat for, and they also discussed their short, medium and longer term writing goals in pairs at the start of Day One.

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PhD students at various stages of their programmes, from across the following nine EPSRC-supported Digital Economy Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs)/relevant research groups benefited from this event:

  • Cloud Computing for Big Data (Newcastle University)
  • Digital Civics (Newcastle University)
  • Embedded Intelligence (Loughborough University)
  • Healthcare Innovation (University of Oxford)
  • HighWire (Lancaster University)
  • IGGI: Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (Goldsmiths)
  • Media and Arts Technology (Queen Mary University of London)
  • Web Science (University of Southampton)
  • The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Loughborough University London)
Above: The Beamish Hall venue, County Durham

The majority of PhD students present were concentrating on writing or editing their thesis, although other writing goals included drafting conference papers or journal articles, literature reviews, preparing for an annual review and coding.

Student feedback included the following:

“During this writing retreat I wrote an abstract for a conference. The DEN retreat helps create an ideal environment for producing quality writing material” (PhD Student – 2016 cohort, Embedded Intelligence CDT, Loughborough University)

“I set a challenge of writing the introduction to my thesis over the first day. The writing sessions helped me to focus on the goals and made the writing more manageable. I was able to achieve my goal of writing my introduction” (PhD Student – 2015 cohort), Digital Civics CDT, Newcastle University)

The feedback from the PhD student attendees indicated that they  also specifically valued the opportunity to talk and network with peers over the breaks and dinner, share common research interests and expertise, as well as providing and receiving advice. This retreat provided an opportunity to meet with other CDT students they may not have necessarily have met, would it not been for an event such as this.

#DENWritingRetreat       #WriteDEN

Join the DEN mailing list to stay in the loop

We are aware that the Digital Economy Network (DEN) PhD Student community is ever changing, with new CDT students joining the EPSRC-supported Centres to embark on their PhD journey, as well as graduates and alumni moving on to their postdoc career destinations.

DEN keeps your CDT Managers and Administrators informed on all the Network’s relevant events and activities that are taking place that will be beneficial and of interest to you, but new doctoral students can also join the DEN mailing list via the sign up form below, so that you can also be informed directly of any DEN opportunities.  You can also choose to unsubscribe from the list at any time.

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Thrumpton Hall Writing Retreat, 23-25 April 2018

The Digital Economy Network (DEN) hosted their second PhD writing retreat of 2018 at the idyllic setting of Thrumpton Hall; a spectacular 17th century English country house, set in the village of Thrumpton near Nottingham. PhD students from across seven EPSRC-funded Digital Economy Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) signed up for this event to have the opportunity to focus on research writing or associated work relating to their doctoral study.

18 CDT students from the Network’s Cloud Computing, Embedded Intelligence, Horizon, HighWire, Media & Arts Technology, and Web Science CDTs attended the two-day retreat.

The retreat, which facilitated by Andy Darby of Lancaster University, is a structured programme which aims to establish a highly productive and healthy relationship with writing over the two days. Each day is broken down into four writing sessions of either an hour or ninety minutes, with set break times, including an hour slot for lunch to allow people to move away from their work, talk with other CDT students from across the Network, have food and refreshments and to take walks in the surrounding gardens and parkland.

Above: The gardens of Thrumpton Hall

Attendees paired up at the start of day one and discussed with each other their specific writing objectives for the event, and then individuals evaluated their progress against their set goals at key points during the retreat.

CDT students used the retreat to work on various tasks including thesis chapters, literature reviews, interview transcription, data analysis, coding, journal submissions, conference papers, blogs and annual review reports.

The majority of the 18 students who attended, also enjoyed an evening meal in the Hall’s impressive and grandiose dining room and stayed overnight in the country house, and were extremely well looked after by the Thrumpton events staff. DEN had exclusive use of the Hall and various rooms for the duration of the event, which provided ideal conditions for people to focus on their work, and base themselves in different rooms across the two days.

Above: CDT students at evening meal in Thrumpton Hall dining room

Cat Morgan, PhD Student at the Web Science CDT at the University of Southampton wrote a blog article entitled ‘To writing retreat or not to writing retreat’ about her experience of the event.

The next two-day retreat will be held on 15-16 May 2018 at Elmore Court in Gloucester.

Thanks and acknowledgements:

DEN would like to thank Andy Darby of Lancaster University for facilitating the retreat, and providing writing coaching and advice to the individual delegates who required this. Thanks also to Paula, Lynn, Nancy and the other staff at Thrumpton Hall for doing such a great job of looking after us during our stay.  Thanks to all the CDT students who attended and I hope you made the progress you aimed for.



Peak District PhD retreat held

The Digital Economy Network held it’s fifth two-day writing retreat on 7-8 March at the New Bath Hotel in Matlock Bath, located on the edge of the Peak District.

35 CDT and PhD students from across nine EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) and University digital economy research groups attended the fully-subscribed residential event, which was held on the edge of the Peak District.

Although in a scenic setting, the Derbyshire-based venue was very easily accessible by train, with Matlock Bath train station being less than 1 mile away.  PhD students travelled from as far as Newcastle and Southampton to attend the retreat.

Writing retreat in Ballroom

Delegates used the retreat programme to focus on a variety of research writing priorities including thesis corrections, draft journal papers, Researchfish submissions and conference papers.

PhD students from the following nine EPSRC CDTs attended:

  • Cloud Computing CDT – Newcastle University
  • Digital Civics CDT – Newcastle University
  • Embedded Intelligence CDT – Loughborough University
  • Financial Computing CDT – University College London
  • Healthcare Innovation – University of Oxford
  • HighWire CDT – Lancaster University
  • Horizon CDT – University of Nottingham
  • Media & Arts Technology CDT – Queen Mary University of London
  • Web Science CDT – University of Southampton.

The Network will host it’s next two-day writing retreat at Thrumpton Hall in Nottingham on 24-25 April 2018, with two further retreats planned for May and June.