University of East Anglia Online Training Series for PGRs 2020-21


The ‘University of East Anglia (UEA) Online Training Series’ offers research and professional skills training for postgraduate research students (PGRs) in a ‘live-taught’ online format. Last year over 9000 places were filled across the series, attendees being drawn from around 50 UK universities and a very wide range of disciplinary backgrounds. Attendance is only available to PGRs at subscribing universities, so please check locally that your institution is a member before signing up. Training sessions are delivered via a virtual classroom, often on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings between 7pm-9pm, but also on weekday mornings between 10am-12pm. The series is organised and administered by Dr Simon Watts, PGR Training Coordinator for the Faculty of Social Science at UEA, who also teaches the majority of sessions. 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 schedule of the modules, individual sessions, and relevant dates and times for 2020/21:

MODULE 1 - ACADEMIC WRITING: (1) What Should a Literature Review Do? (Tues 6th Oct 2020, 7-9pm; Weds 7th Oct 2020, 7-9pm; Tues 17th Nov 2020, 10am-12pm; Tues 12th Jan 2021, 7-9pm; Tues 9th Feb, 10am-12pm; & Tues 16th Mar 2021, 10am-12pm); (2) Writing Effectively (Tues 13th Oct 2020, 7-9pm; Weds 14th Oct 2020, 7-9pm; Tues 19th Jan 2021, 7-9pm; Weds 10th Feb 2021, 10am-12pm; & Weds 17th Mar 2021, 10am-12pm); (3) Academic Publishing (Tues 20th Oct 2020, 7-9pm; Tues 26th Jan 2021, 7-9pm; Tues 16th Feb 2021, 10am-12pm; & Tues 23rd Mar 2021, 10am-12pm); (4) Writing & Structuring an Effective Thesis (Weds 21st Oct 2020, 7-9pm; Tues 27th Oct 2020, 7-9pm; Weds 18th Nov 2020, 10am-12pm; Tues 2nd Feb 2021, 7-9pm; Weds 17th Feb 2021, 10am-12pm; & Weds 24th Mar 2021, 10am-12pm).

MODULE 2 - QUALITATIVE RESEARCH SKILLS: (1) A Comparison of Qualitative Methods (Tues 3rd Nov 2020, 7-9pm; Tues 1st Dec 2020, 10am-12pm; Tues 9th Feb 2021, 7-9pm; & Tues 20th April, 7-9pm); (2) Qualitative Interviewing (Tues 10th Nov 2020, 7-9pm; Weds 2nd Dec 2020, 10am-12pm; Tues 16th Feb 2021, 7-9pm; & Tues 27th April, 7-9pm); (3) Analysing Qualitative Data (Tues 17th Nov 2020, 7-9pm; Tues 8th Dec 2020, 10am-12pm; Tues 23rd Feb 2021, 10am-12pm; & Weds 28th April 2021, 7-9pm); (4) Using NVivo for Qualitative Research (Tues 24th Nov 2020, 7-9pm; Weds 9th Dec 2020, 10am-12pm; Tues 23rd Feb 2021, 7-9pm; & Tues 4th May 2021, 7-9pm).

MODULE 3 - FINISHING YOUR PHD: (1) Preparing for your Viva (Weds 25th Nov 2020, 7-9pm; Weds 24th Feb 2021, 7-9pm; Tues 13th April 2021, 10am-12pm; & Weds 5th May 2021, 7-9pm); (2) Securing a First Academic Post (Tues 1st Dec 2020, 7-9pm; Tues 2nd Mar 2021, 7-9pm; & Weds 14th April 2021, 10am-12pm); (3) Preparing Impactful Research Proposals & Grant Applications (Weds 2nd Dec 2020, 7-9pm; Tues 9th Mar 2021, 7-9pm; & Tues 20th April 2021, 10am-12pm).

MODULE 4 - TEACHING SKILLS: (1) Preparing & Delivering Seminars (Tues 8th Dec 2020, 7-9pm; Tues 16th Mar 2021, 7-9pm; & Weds 21st Apr 2021. 10am-12pm); (2) Preparing & Delivering Lectures (Weds 9th Dec 2020, 7-9pm; Tues 23rd Mar 2021, 7-9pm; & Tues 27th April 2021, 10am-12pm); (3) Assessment, Feedback, & Module Design (Tues 15th Dec 2021, 7-9pm; Tues 13th April 2021, 7-9pm; & Weds 28th April 2021, 10am-12pm).

MODULE 5 - QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH SKILLS: (1) A Beginner’s Guide to Quantitative Research (Tues 11th May 2021. 7-9pm & Weds 12th May 2021,10am-12pm); (2) An Introduction to Scale Development (Tues 18th May 2021, 7-9pm & Weds 19th May 2021, 10am-12pm); (3) An Introduction to SEM (Tues 25th May 2021, 7-9pm & Weds 26th May 2021, 10am-12pm).

Booking Information

Given the exceptionally high demand, created by the pandemic, all sessions running between Tuesday 17th November 2020 and Tuesday 26th January 2021 will now open for booking on MONDAY 26TH OCTOBER AT 12PM. All other sessions, running from the beginning of February 2021 onwards, will open for booking THREE WEEKS BEFORE THEY ARE DUE TO RUN. When you access a specific session in the schedule below and go to 'Book this Session', it will tell you that the session is 'available to book' after the stated date and time. If you wish to attend, therefore, you will have to be 'clued in', access this website regularly, and generally be prepared! This little extra effort will, however, mean that places are available for PGRs to book all year round. I'm also hoping it will mean that a greater percentage of booked places are actually used (see 'Cancelling your Booking' below).

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

How to Book

To book a particular session just click on the relevant entry in the schedule below. If the session is 'available to book' (see above), 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.

Waiting Lists & Additional Sessions

If the session you want to book is full, you can still add your name to a waiting list. Having your name on the waiting list opens the possibility that you might subsequently receive an e-mail offering you the chance to book a place. You will need to respond to this waiting list/invitation e-mail quickly (within one hour), or the place will be offered to the next person on the waiting list, the next, and so on. Mails are sent out automatically, whenever the place becomes available, including during the middle of the night! The first person to respond to their waiting list/invitation e-mail will get the place. It is also possible, where there is particularly high demand, that additional sessions will be added to the schedule. These typically run between 10am-12pm (or sometimes between 1-3pm) on weekdays and information will be provided to your institution, and added to this website, if/when a new session(s) is added.

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, particularly if further iterations of the 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 four time points throughout the year - at the end of November, in February, at the Easter break, and as the program 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!

Cancelling Your Booking

Please cancel your booking if you are unable to attend. There is likely to be a waiting list for most sessions and someone else will happily take your place (if you 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 go direct to the website at: [], login to your account (if you haven't set one up, just enter the e-mail address you used to book and click 'forgotten password'), and follow the same procedure. 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 24 Jun 2021
No events
Times shown in timezone: London