The 2018 edition of the UACES Doctoral Training Academy gathered fifty postgraduate students and Early-Career Researchers (ECRs) from all over the world at Aston University, Birmingham, on the 24th of November 2018. Olga Litvyak reports on the mix of roundtable discussions, talks and workshops devoted to navigating the world of academic publishing.
After a welcome from the outgoing UACES Graduate Forum Chair Anna Wambach, the day kicked off with a session on book publishing. Laura Chappell from the University of Surrey, Kathryn Simpson from Manchester Metropolitan University and Series Editor of European Politics, and UACES Chair Nick Startin from the University of Bath, shared their experiences and provided useful advice on how to turn academic work into a book. They discussed all the stages from securing a contract to editing an academic text for a wide audience.
The session also addressed co-editing process and publication of collective works, providing tips on how to find collaborators and manage the work process. Finally, the participants had a chance to hear an editor’s perspective, as Claire Maloney from Routledge explained how publishers select works for publication and what they expect from authors (read Claire’s top tips here).
Next, Kathryn Simpson and Nick Startin were joined by Viviane Gravey from Queen’s University Belfast. They addressed the topic of media, public and policy engagement and impact. Viviane Gravey shared her advice on how to get heard by policy-makers and promote one’s own research online. Nick Startin, with his extensive experience of commenting on the radio, discussed the pros and cons of engaging with this communication channel. Kathryn Simpson, who is frequently invited to share her expertise on a range of media channels, including BBC television programmes, gave the DTA participants tips on engaging with the media and advised to get visibility by reaching out to the university press offices. Read Kathryn’s top tips here.
The lunch was followed by the Graduate Forum Committee Elections 2018. Rachael Dickson from the University of Strathclyde succeeded Anna Wambach as the Graduate Forum Chair and I was welcomed as the new Communications Officer.
In the afternoon the DTA participants had an opportunity to participate in several group discussions and have some hands-on experience during the workshop session. Helena Farrand-Carapicco from Aston University and Ronni Littlewood, Strategic Funding Manager at Aston University, talked about the opportunities for research funding for postgraduates and ECRs that exist in the UK and abroad. Quincy Cloet, Crossroads Europe editor and a PhD candidate at Aberystwyth University together with the UACES Digital Communications Manager Helena Cicmil provided participants with advice on blog writing and, through exercises, showed how to transform research results into insightful blog posts. Arantza Gomez Arana from the Birmingham City University and Davide Vampa from Aston University explained how the peer-review process works and discussed the tasks that reviewers face.
In the final session of the day, Laura Chappell, who serves as Co-Editor of European Security was joined by Toni Haastrup, Editor in Chief of JCMS. They discussed the publishing, reviewing and editorial process in academic journals. As both established scholars and editors they reflected on the impact of journals and addressed publishing challenges that researchers face at the beginning of their career.
In addition to the official programme the coffee breaks and lunch provided an excellent opportunity for researchers to share their experiences, discuss own research and make new connections.
We are publishing a series of articles with tips and tricks from the DTA speakers:
- Top Tips for Academic Blogs (Twitter Q&A)
- Engaging With the Media as an Academic (Kathryn Simpson, Manchester Metropolitan University)
- Turning Your PhD Into a Book (Claire Maloney, Routledge)
Report by Olga Litvyak | @Olgaltv
University of Lausanne
Olga is a doctoral researcher in political science at the University of Lausanne. Her research focuses on communication strategies of political parties in recent electoral campaigns in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, as well as migration policy and energy policy in these countries. Olga is the UACES GF Communications Officer.
The Graduate Forum provides many events and activities to support your research and help you build networks. Visit www.uaces.org/gf for more details and to join us in the future.