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SeNSS 23-24


The ‘University of East Anglia (UEA)/South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) Online Training Series’ offers research and professional skills training for postgraduate research students (PGRs) in a ‘live-taught’ online format. Attendance is only available to PGRs at regustered at universities who are members of SeNSS so, if you have any doubts, please check that your institution is a member before signing up. You can do this by mailing []. Sessions are delivered via a virtual classroom, either on weekday evenings between 7pm-9pm or mornings between 10am-12pm. The series is organised and administered by Dr Simon Watts, PGR Training Coordinator for the Faculty of Social Sciences at UEA, who also teaches the majority of sessions. Over 7500 PGR students attended Simon's training sessions in the 2022-23 academic year.

For your convenience, the training has been organised into five modules, each focused on a specific area/topic. You are nonetheless free to sign up for individual sessions (and not a whole module) if you prefer. Here is a full list of the modules and indiviIf you have any problems with any aspecdual sessions for 2023-24 (delivery dates and times for each session can be found in the booking schedule at the bottom of this page):

MODULE 1 - ACADEMIC WRITING: (1) What Should a Literature Review Do?; (2) Writing Effectively; (3) Academic Publishing(4) Writing & Structuring an Effective Thesis
MODULE 2 - QUALITATIVE RESEARCH SKILLS: (1) A Comparison of Qualitative Methods; (2) Qualitative Interviewing; (3) Analysing Qualitative Data; (4) Using NVivo for Qualitative Research
MODULE 3 - FINISHING YOUR PHD: (1) Preparing for your Viva; (2) Securing a First Academic Post; (3) Preparing Impactful Research Proposals & Grant Applications; (4) Conference Presentations
MODULE 4 - TEACHING SKILLS: (1) Preparing & Delivering Seminars; (2) Preparing & Delivering Lectures; (3) Assessment, Feedback, & Module Design
MODULE 5 - QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH SKILLS: (1) A Beginner’s Guide to Quantitative Research; (2) An Introduction to Scale Development; (3) An Introduction to Structural Equation Modelling

How to Book

To book a particular session just click on the relevant entry in the schedule below. Go to Book this Session, click Select and then View Selections. You will be asked to provide your full name, university affiliation, and e-mail address (please use an official university e-mail address if you have one). When you confirm your booking you will receive an e-mail confirmation to the address provided. Please use a university e-mail address where possible, read the booking confirmation mail thoroughly, and keep it safe - it includes the hyperlink that will allow you access to the virtual classroom. The e-mail also contains a calendar invitation which can be used to add the date and time to your calendar, and you will receive a further e-mail, five days before the relevant session, reminding you of your booking. If you find you can’t attend for some reason, please cancel your booking in advance. Instructions about how to cancel are provided below.

If you have any problems, with any aspect of your booking, please e-mail [] and/or [] and we will be happy to help.

Session Recordings

Session recordings, slides, and other supporting materials are provided, as standard, to session attendees. These will be sent by e-mail, shortly after the relevant session has run. They will NOT be sent to anyone who has booked a session but failed to attend or to those on the session waiting list. If, as the year progresses, you have been unable to attend a particular session for some reason and would still like to benefit from the training, you can request a copy of the session recording(s) by mailing []. Please do this as a last resort, however, particularly if the relevant live-taught session are still available/upcoming. Having received your request, your name will be added to the relevant register and the session recording, slides, and materials will be sent out at the next available opportunity. Recordings will be distributed at the Easter break and as the series concludes in early/mid June.

Accessing/Setting Up the Virtual Classroom Software

In order to attend the online training, you will need to download the appropriate virtual classroom software, provided by Electa-Live. This can be accessed direct from the Electa website at: []. Please do this as soon as possible and do not wait until the day of the session. The software can be downloaded to a PC, laptop, tablet, or even a smart phone. Remember, however, that downloading to a work computer may require administrative permissions to be granted. For this reason, the use of a personal computer may be advisable.

If you want to ensure that the software has downloaded and is working correctly, please click on the session link in your booking confirmation mail. When you do this, a (predominantly) orange and blue screen should appear containing the session name, date, and time. The screen also contains an embarrassing picture of Simon! This screen will say the 'event isn't open yet' (or something similar), but this isn't a problem - if you can see the screen, Electa is present on your computer, it is working, and all is well. Clicking on the same link, within 30 minutes of the sessions start time, will allow you access to the virtual classroom. If you run this test, click on the session link provided, and can't see the orange and blue screen for some reason, please e-mail Simon at [] and he will do his best to help. Thanks!

If you want to check that the classroom is opening/launching properly on your computer, Electa provide a test classroom for this purpose. You will find it, along with additional information about setting up/configuring your computer/device at: [].

Cancelling Your Booking

Please cancel your booking if you are unable to attend. Every year, between 25-35% of places on the session are wasted by non-attendance. There is likely to be a waiting list for most sessions and someone else will happily take your place if you are considerate enough to give them the chance! You can cancel until two hours before the session start time by using your booking mail - click on View Booking, then Ticket Options, and finally Cancel Ticket. Alternatively, you can contact Simon direct at [] and he will cancel for you. Please, please cancel your booking if you are not going to attend!

PLEASE NOTE: If you fail to attend two booked sessions without cancelling in advance (or without mailing [] to offer suitable apologies and excuses), any further bookings you have made will automatically be cancelled. Please attend diligently! Thanks for your help with this. #Sign up, Turn up!

About the Sessions

If you have any particular issues/topics you’d like to see covered in the session(s) you've booked, things that are already troubling you or questions you’d like answered, please feel free to get in touch []. All the online training sessions take advantage of the skills and academic experience of the presenter – gathered over too many years in Simon’s case – and offer many useful tips and tricks-of-the-trade, to render potentially complicated and multi-layered academic tasks a little more simple. We hope you enjoy. The session slides, a session recording, and other relevant materials will be forwarded after the session, but it is still a good idea to take some notes as you listen along. It’s a sensible thing to do and too few students do it effectively.

Looking forward to seeing/hearing you all during the sessions…

Best wishes,

Dr Simon Watts,
PGR Training Coordinator & Deputy Director of the Graduate School,
Faculty of Social Science,
University of East Anglia.

From 18 Jun 2024
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