University holds first symposium for doctoral researchers who teach
20 July 2018
The Bristol Doctoral College welcomed 58 postgraduate researchers and academic staff to the Doctoral Teaching Symposium, a full-day event held at the M Shed.
The event aimed to provide support for doctoral teachers by coordinating a platform for doctoral researchers who teach to share best practice, and to discuss the main opportunities and challenges of being a doctoral teacher in different disciplines.
It brought together experts in learning and teaching, experienced researchers from across disciplines, and over 30 doctoral researchers who teach at the University of Bristol. Together attendees shaped an open-forum space to ask each other questions and learn from one another, encouraging peer-support and learning across disciplines.
Dr. Terry McMaster, Director of the Bristol Doctoral College, said: “The BDC is proud to support the large numbers of research students who teach at the University of Bristol. They occupy a special and important role in the University and we are delighted to support their professional development.”
Sarah Kelley, a PhD researcher in Film and Television in attendance on the day, commented that "it was really important to highlight the support available for [postgraduate researchers] who teach". Another attendee Chris Brasnett, a PhD researcher in Physics, said it was "the most useful teacher training" he'd been to yet.
The day focused on the balance of teaching and research in doctoral degrees, and how these two central areas of an academic career overlap.
Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education, Judith Squires, delivered the day's closing notes and said: "It is a pleasure to be at the Bristol Doctoral Teacher Symposium and see the Bristol Doctoral College work with colleagues across the University to support our Postgraduate Research Students in their teaching. Teaching and Research are mutually-reinforcing endeavours in which personal reflection is key, and the symposium is a great practical example of this."
Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, described the Symposium as "a great opportunity for postgraduate research students who teach to come together as a community and learn from each other. This type of PhD student is very important to the growth of the research community in Bristol. The symposium was the first of its kind in Bristol and I am very pleased with the work of the Doctoral College in organizing it and the response to it."