Tag Archives: PhD

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.

 

Digital Economy Diversity Network Meeting: 23 March, Nottingham

*This meeting is open to all current CDT/PhD/EngD students within the Digital Economy Network – it is free to attend, and funding available for travel and accommodation*

Registration now open at: https://dedn.eventbrite.co.uk

The third Digital Economy Diversity Network (DEDN) Meeting will be held at the University of Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus on Friday 23 March 2018, from 9.45am-4.30pm.

This will be the third meeting of the DEDN, after meetings held at the Open Lab/Digital Civics CDT at Newcastle University and the Web Science CDT at the University of Southampton.

This meeting is open to all current CDT/PhD students within the EPSRC-funded Digital Economy Network and is free to attend. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Travel and accommodation can be organised and funded for you.

There will also be an evening meal at Las Iguanas Restaurant in Nottingham City Centre on the evening of Thursday  22 March,  for those travelling to Nottingham the night prior to the meeting.

How to register

You can register to attend this meeting and indicate your travel/accommodation requirements here: https://dedn.eventbrite.co.uk

 

DEN PhD Writing Retreat: Matlock Bath

Digital Economy Network 2-Day Residential Writing Retreat for CDT/PhD Students

Wednesday 7 March – Thursday 8 March 2018

Venue: New Bath Hotel & Spa, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, DE4 3PX

A two-day facilitated writing retreat for current CDT/PhD/EngD students on the edge of the scenic Peak District in Derbyshire.  25 residential places are available at this event.

The retreat will start a 9.15am on Wednesday 8 March and will finish by 5.00pm on Thursday 8 March.

This event is free to attend for current CDT/PhD/EngD students within the CDTs of the Digital Economy Network. Overnight accommodation (all rooms en-suite) will be provided for delegates at the New Bath Hotel venue.  Breakfast, lunches and evening meal  is also included, as well as day time refreshments throughout the 2 days.

Registration for this event has now closed as it is fully booked. Please email felicia.black@nottingham.ac.uk if you want to be added to the waiting list.

Location and Travel:

A location map for the New Bath Hotel is available at: newbathhotelandspa.com/enquiries/

Free ample car parking is available on site at the New Bath Hotel for those driving to the venue.

Nearest train stations:

  • Matlock Bath: 0.5 miles
  • Cromford: 1.2 miles
  • Matlock: 2 miles
  • Belper: 9 miles
  • Derby: 17 miles

 

DEN holds two-day annual event at Digital Catapult

The Digital Economy Network (DEN) held a two day event at the Digital Catapult Centre in London on 1-2 February 2018 , which over 75 CDT staff, students, alumni and Network collaborators attended.

Over the two days, over 75 doctoral students and staff from the DEN member Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), along with representatives from the EPSRC and Digital Catapult, participated in the following programme of activities:

  • The one -day DEN Annual Meeting for CDT staff, students, key collaborators and the EPSRC as funders of the Network.
  • DEN CDT Directors Meeting to discuss current and future collaborations, and relevant EPSRC calls.
  • A CDT table-top showcase where delegates could experience a flavour of the multidisciplinary research that is taking place within the DEN EPSRC-funded CDTs.
  • An evening networking reception, which commenced with three short talks by CDT students from three different Centres for Doctoral Training across the Network.
  • A one-day CDT Careers Symposium featuring talks from CDT alumni who had progressed to positions in academia, industry or had founded/co-founded their own start-ups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEN Annual Meeting Presentations:

  • At the start of Day 1 Professor Sarah Sharples delivered a  DEN update presentation to delegates on recent events and activities that had been initiated and supported by the Network.
  • John Baird, Research Councils UK Digital Economy Theme Lead at the EPSRC delivered a  theme update to attendees.
  • Mike Board, Project Manager at the Centre for Digital Entertainment at Bournemouth University, outlined the initial plans for the DE Summer School 2018, which will take place on 1-3 July in Poole, Dorset.
  • Rosie Bellini, Janis Meissner, Cat Morgan, Sean Peacock and Angelika Strohmayer, CDT Students gave an update on the  Digital Economy Diversity Network meetings that had been held so far, hosted by the Digital Civics CDT at Newcastle University, and the Web Science CDT at the University of Southampton.

CDT Student Networking Evening Presentations:

DEN CDT Careers Symposium (2 Feb 2018) Presentations:

  • Dr Catarina Fernandes, Academic Engagement Manager, Digital Catapult Centre –Academic Engagement Digital Catapult
  • Justin Larner, Lancaster University, Revealing the Mill Race (HighWire DTC alumni)
  • Dr Chris Carter, University of Nottingham (Horizon DTC alumnus)
  • Dr John Harvey, University of Nottingham (Horizon DTC alumnus)
  • Dr Emily Webber, Head of Insights, Bionical , From PhD to the Insight Lab  (Horizon DTC alumna)
  • Joe Lyscke, Co-Founder & CEO, MMX Music (QMUL alumnus)
  • Dr Paula Parpart ,Founder, Brainpool.ai (UCL alumna)
  • Christian Butterworth, Highwire DTC, Lancaster University
  • Daniel Kershaw, Elsevier (Highwire DTC alumnus).

Prizewinning PhD students celebrate success at entrepreneurship event

The Digital Economy Network delivered a two day entrepreneurship workshop and pitching competition specifically for Digital Economy doctoral students at the Digital Catapult Centre in London on 19-20 September. 

Over 40 attendees from across 11 EPSRC Digital Economy Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) and Universities within the Network attended the event, which was led by Professor Philip Treleaven, Director of the EPSRC Financial Computing  & Analytics CDT at University College London, who had put together an exciting and informative two-day programme of activities, including CDT alumni speakers, from which the students could gain valuable insights and expertise.

Day one

Above: Dr Daniel Hulme, Former UCL Data Science PhD Student and now CEO of Satalia

After being welcomed to the event, delegates benefited from masterclass seminars delivered by Professor Treleaven on idea visioning, branding,  and funding pitches, as well as introducing three entrepreneurial case study presentations from former CDT students of the Financial Computing CDT at UCL, who had gone on to launch their own spin-out companies and products during and after completing their PhD.  Chris Skilton, who is an entrepreneurship consultant, led a session on the components of the Business Model Canvas.

Above: Post-doc Dr Paula Parpart talks about the launch of Brainpool for Data Scientists.

After lunch, the hackathon competition was launched by Dr Chris Carter, Assistant Professor of the Nottingham University Business School, and mentors Chris Skilton (Entrepreneurship Consultant) and Oonagh McGee of Newcastle University. The attendees formed small cross-CDT groups to work together on a chosen digital economy themed innovation idea, that would be pitched to a judging panel during the afternoon of the following day.  The Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ingenuity Process was showcased as a suggested three-stage model to help the students identify and develop an enterprising idea.

The students continued working on their ideas during the afternoon and into the evening over dinner in the capital city.

Day two

After starting the day with coffee and croissants, Philip Treleaven delivered an informative presentation on company structures, intellectual property and potential sources of entrepreneurial funding.

The groups then continued working hard on their ideas ready for the competition in the afternoon. Each group had been given the brief of a five-minute presentation, with 10 minutes per group for questions from the floor.

The pitch-off

After a well-earned buffet spread (which was a working lunch for some), the final afternoon session was dedicated to the ‘pitch-off, where the seven groups of PhD students presented their idea to the independent ‘Dragon’s Den’ panel, and there was a £1000 cash prize for the PhD student group who were judged to deliver the best five-minute pitch.  Each group was kept strictly to time by the Dragons!

There were some truly fantastic novel ideas put forward by each of the groups, that aimed to address a broad range of technological, societal and economic problems such as middleware to help solve home-buying/renting challenges in London, supply of bicycle storage racks/spaces, and stress-level measuring software and apps.

Prize winners

Overall Winners: Huge congratulations were in order for CDT students Cristina Guerrero Romero (IGGI CDT – Essex), Youssef Hamid (Embedded Intelligence CDT – Loughborough), Yitong Huang (Horizon CDT – Nottingham), and Alex Owen (Web Science CDT – Southampton) who collectively won the £1000 cash prize for the best business pitch for their proposed innovative CycleRack app idea (see logo left), which aimed to match cyclists and local businesses for mutual benefit to provide affordable, secure and convenient bicycle storage space.

Above: The winning cross-CDT ‘Cyclerack’ team developing their idea at the Digital Catapult Centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was also a People’s Choice Award up for grabs, which was voted for by the other PhD students anonymously, using a interactive voting app.  The Dragons were exempt from voting for this category. The winners were Carlos Gonzalez Diaz (IGGI CDT – York), Dr Ege Sezen (HighWire CDT – Lancaster), Tatiana Styliari (Horizon CDT – Nottingham) and Fabio Turchet (Centre for Digital Entertainment – Bournemouth) for their employment skills matching data anaylsis AI platform  ‘EmployAIble‘, who were rewarded with £250 of Amazon vouchers.

 

 

 

 

Relevant News items:

Next steps

DEN hopes to deliver the same event in 2018, as the feedback from the students who attended was extremely positive, and they relished the chance to learn from entrepreneurial experts, as well as having the opportunity to meet and work collaboratively with their peers.

Acknowledgments and thanks

DEN would like to thank Professor Philip Treleaven of UCL for putting together the extremely well received two day programme together, and also Dr Chris Carter (University of Nottingham), Chris Skilton (Entrepreneurial Consultant) and Oonagh McGee (Newcastle University) for co-organising, delivering and mentoring the students at the event. Thanks also to be extended to Dr Catarina Fernandes, Academic Engagement Manager at the Digital Catapult Centre, for being part of the Dragons Den judging panel for the group presentations, and to DEN Social Media Advocate Chira Tochia for social media coverage. Finally we would also like to thank the Financial Computing CDT alumni speakers who gave up their time to come and share their experiences with the next generation of CDT students.

We would also like to thank all the CDT/PhD students that attended and participated, which made it such an inspiring and vibrant event!

Felicia Black – Digital Economy Network Manager

Wyresdale Park: A haven for writing

The Apple Store Cafe at Wyresdale Park in Scorton provided the scenic summer setting for the third Digital Economy Network cross-CDT writing retreat of 2017, which was held on 19-20 June.

There were 24 PhD student attendees from across eight EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training  within the Network, who spent two days in rural Lancashire focusing on a writing project of their choice.  The CDT students participating were all at differing stages of their PhD and found the opportunity to have dedicated time to focus on their writing, as well as benefit from the advice and support from their peers at the retreat, extremely valuable.

Some used the session-focused event to focus on specific chapters of their thesis; such as their methodology, whilst others used the time to draft academic papers, carry out data analysis or work on their PhD annual review reports.

Students were able to make the most of the warm sunny days by using the tree sheltered peaceful gardens in the Estate as a haven for productive writing.

Photos from the retreat can be viewed here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm3aB5QN

Students from the following CDTs were represented:

  • Digital Civics, Newcastle University
  • Embedded Intelligence, Loughborough University
  • Financial Computing, UCL
  • Healthcare Innovation, University of Oxford
  • HighWire, Lancaster University
  • Horizon, University of Nottingham
  • Media & Arts Technology, QMUL
  • Web Science, University of Southampton

DEN would like to extend utmost thanks to Andy Darby (HighWire, Lancaster University) for facilitating, Sally Whewell of Wyresdale Estate for hosting, and to Tish and Kate of HighWire for helping to look after our delegates for the retreat.