Tag Archives: Writing Retreat

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 associated research groups*.

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 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.

Venue website: www.cumberlandlodge.ac.uk

Registering doctoral researchers will need to be able to attend both days of the retreat.

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

  • A place on the facilitated retreat.
  • Single occupancy en-suite (or shared if preferred) 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.

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

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.

 

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

 

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.

Writing progress made at Elmore Court

The second DEN cross-CDT PhD Writing Retreat took place on 16-17 May at Elmore Court, a stunning and historic 13th Century country house venue, located just outside Gloucester.

Elmore interior21 CDT students from across various DEN CDTs, at differing stages of their PhD research, attended for the 2-days, to focus on a writing project related to their research. Some students were returning to the event for the second time after finding the previous retreat held in Leicestershire extremely beneficial.

Some students used the two days to focus on finalising chapters of their PhD thesis, whilst others were drafting research papers, journals or conference workshop presentations. Attendees were able to make use of the vast space of the Hall, Drawing Room and Morning Room at Elmore, as well as the peaceful surroundings of the grounds.

As well as having a goal-setting, time-structured approach to writing, some students took advantage of dedicated time with the facilitator, Andy Darby (HighWire CDT), to talk through, get advice and receive feedback on their chosen writing projects.

The majority of the delegates stayed at Elmore Court overnight, as the house benefits from seventeen individual rooms with views of the Cotswolds and the River Severn. During the breaks and over dinner, PhD students were able to talk with their peers about the progress of their PhD and share advice and experience.

Elmore 2

The EPSRC-funded Digital Economy CDTs represented via PhD students at this DEN organised event were:

  • Financial Computing & Analytics – University College London (2 students)
  • Healthcare Innovation – University of Oxford (1 student)
  • HighWire – Lancaster University (6 students)
  • Media and Arts Technology – Queen Mary University of London (4 students)
  • My Life in Data (Horizon) – University of Nottingham (4 students)
  • Web Science – University of Southampton (4 students).

The next writing retreat will take place on 19-20 June at the popular venue of Wyresdale Park in Scorton, Lancashire.

DEN would like to thank Andy Darby of the HighWire CDT for facilitating the event.

If you have any questions about the DEN writing retreats, please contact Felicia Black, DEN Manager at felicia.black@nottingham.ac.uk.

Felicia Black

DEN Manager