Workshop and Events Programme

Knowledge and Intellectual Abilities

Introduction to the Curriculum Framework​ 



This session aims to detail the programme for research degrees at Coventry University. It will detail each stage of your degree, the requirements you need to fulfil and the milestones you will need to achieve in order to progress throughout your research degree.

An Introduction to E-Learning​


This workshop is an introduction to the different online systems at Coventry University that you will use throughout your research degree. This will include: Student Portal, Moodle, Turnitin, and Solar.

Introduction to the Library


Attend this session to find out about some of the more specialist library services available to postgraduate research students, including in-depth advice and support with literature searching, open access publishing and research data management. The session will also include a look round the postgraduate reading room.

Nvivo Training


Basic Nvivo

This course is designed for beginners and novices who are eager to explore what NVivo can offer them. It starts with the basics of creating and designing a project, introduces the main platform tools, demonstrates how to import and create documents and progresses through to basic coding. This course is suited to people just starting their research, or people who wish to see whether NVivo will be of use to them as well as people who are about to start analysis and have data ready to input.

Advanced Nvivo

This is the second half of the training and is usually completed by those who have previously attended the basic training. Participants need to have a good grasp of the software and ideally will have a project running and more in-depth questions in relation to how to explore their data beyond basic coding. The session introduces users to auto-coding, analysing non-text data, running searches and queries as well as how to utilise the visualising and modelling functions of the programme.​



RefWorks is a piece of web-based software which will help you to store and organise references from lots of different sources and easily create reference lists in the correct format for your work.

By the end of the session you will have:

Registered for a RefWorks account

Exported references from a database search into RefWorks

Entered references manually into RefWorks

Exported references from Google Scholar

Used RefWorks and Word to create in-text citations

Edited in-text citations 

Created a reference list in a the Coventry University Harvard referencing style.

Essential IT Skills for Using Microsoft Word for Complex Documents


​​Although Word is one of the most widely used word processing programmes in the world, it is not very intuitive or helpful when preparing longer, more complex documents such as projects & dissertations. This workshop familiarises delegates with the essential skills & relevant functionality for this type of writing & introduces some tips, tricks & workarounds which resolve some of the major limitations of the application for this type of work.

Prerequisites: This workshop assumes that all delegates are already able to use Word to write and format simple documents.

Critical Writing and Critical Reading​


This session will focus on a much-valued feature of advanced academic writing, namely criticality. By looking at strategies of reading and writing critically, the workshop is meant to create stronger awareness of critical language and the intricacies of argumentation at doctoral level with a view to changing reading and writing practices.

Case Study Research​


This session is designed to provide an introduction into case study research in qualitative and mixed-methods research. It begins by outlining some of the most popular case study approaches and identifying their advantages and disadvantages in particular contexts. The session then addresses the key assumptions and myths associated with case study research. Finally, a recent example of a doctoral case study in practice is presented, with lessons learned from using case study in doctoral research.

Concept Mapping as an Analytical Method​


This workshop will provide a theoretical and practical introduction to concept mapping as an analytical method. It will begin by providing an introduction to concept mapping and the types of methods, methodologies and approaches for which it might be suitable. Concept mapping will be discussed with reference to both digital and analogue tools, and their relative advantages and disadvantages will be discussed. Attendees will then have an opportunity to analyse data (provided by the workshop organizer) using concept maps. The workshop will conclude with discussions between the attendees and organizer on the experience of creating concept maps and their potential value in attendees' own research contexts.

Structuring Your Thesis


This workshop will offer an in-depth discussion of the macro, meso and micro-structuring of a doctoral thesis. There will be some individual and group activities and you are encouraged to bring in your own work, if at all possible (e.g. your thesis outline, a sample chapter or section).

Study Design and​ Statistical Terminology


In this workshop we will discuss some basic study designs, relating them to specific research questions. We will consider issues of sampling and randomisation, and explain common statistical terminology.

Introduction to Questionnaire Design


Questionnaire design and analysis seems a straightforward exercise, but a badly designed questionnaire can lead to meaningless data. In this workshop we will look at some published results of questionnaires, and critically appraise the process. We will also discuss general guidelines on design, question development and sampling issues.​

Descriptive Statistics


The first step in analysing any data set is to understand the data by summarising and presenting it graphically. This workshop will revise approaches to data summary and presentation, focussing on the use of appropriate measures of central tendency and spread for different variable types, and the correct graphs and charts that may be used. Some of the measures and plots discussed may be new to some students.

Introduction to SPSS


SPSS is one of the most commonly used statistical analysis packages, and has many advantages over using spreadsheets such as Excel. This workshop will be a hands-on session, in which there will be a quick overview of SPSS, and chance to work through some detailed examples on entering data, creating sub-sets for analysis and generation of tables and graphs.

Introduction to Statistical Interference


Statistical inference is the process of using a sample to make statements about a population. There are many different methods of analysis, depending upon the type of variables and design of the study. In this session we will introduce the Normal distribution, the most commonly used of the statistical distributions, and discuss the principles behind hypothesis (significance) testing, using the two sample t-test as an example. We will also define confidence intervals, and explain the relationship with hypothesis test results.​​

Introduction to Non-Parametric Statistics


We cannot always assume that our data follows a nice bell-shaped statistical distribution. In addition when we have categorical data the methods covered in the earlier workshops cannot be used. In this workshop we will consider the chi-squared test and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient, as well as touching briefly on other non-parametric approaches to analysis.​

Introduction to Analysis of Variance


When we have more than two experimental groups we cannot carry out comparison between them using the t-test, but instead need to use analysis of variance. In this workshop we will explain the underlying concepts, and practice the use of this approach.​

Correlation and Regression


​We are often interested in the relationship between two or more variables. In this session we will look at the correlation coefficient, and the use of simple linear regression to examine the linear relationship between two continuous variables. There will be an opportunity to practice how to carry out the analysis using SPSS.

Introduction to R​


R is a widely used statistical programming language and is open source so freely available to all. It is very flexible due to the large range of additional packages for specific topics. This workshop will be a hands-on session for complete beginners to R including data entry, summary statistics and basic graphs.​

Intermediate R


Aimed at those who have some prior experience with R, this hands-on workshop will cover installation and use of packages, function writing and dynamic document generation.​​

Introduction to Minitab 17


Minitab is a widely used statistical package with a range of useful features in data manipulation and probability distributions as well as extensive statistical analysis. Coventry University has a site licence for this software. This workshop will be a hands-on session to introduce the package, including data entry, data manipulation, data summaries and some basic analysis.

Introduction to Graphics in Minitab 17


In addition to its features on data manipulation and analysis, Minitab can generate a wide range of graphical summaries at publication quality. This hands-on workshop will cover the generation, editing and storage of graphics from this package.​

Introduction to Bristol Online Surveys


There has been a recent new release of Bristol Online Surveys making it much more user friendly and allowing results to be imported directly into SPSS for subsequent analysis. Coventry University has a site licence for this software. This will be a hands-on workshop on setting up of questionnaires in BOS. All participants must register as users in advance of this workshop.​​

Understanding the PRP


A workshop that explains all aspects of the PRP including: what you would need to prepare, what are the reasons for the PRP, a rundown of the proceedings of the day and how the PRP outcome effects you going forward.

Abstract writing: conference talks, theses, research articles


​The abstract is the primary writing site for the dissemination of knowledge, whether through conference talks, thesis writing or research article publications. Although very concise in scope, it is, alongside the title, the reader’s point of entry into the writing and performs, therefore, an important persuasive role. This workshop will discuss the discursive function of the abstract, the main types of abstracts, the differences between conference, thesis and research article abstracts. It will be an opportunity to analyse abstract samples while at the same time work on your own, whether you are preparing a conference, thesis or research article abstract. Please, bring along work in progress!

Preparing for Thesis Submission and the Viva


This workshop aims to explain all aspects of the Viva from beginning to end including: the preparation for the Viva, understanding the process from thesis submission to Viva, the proceedings on the day of your Viva and finally, the outcomes of a Viva and how they will affect you going forward .  This session is also aimed to help you feel confident going into your Viva.​

Turning your Conference Paper into a Journal Article


This session is designed to show you how you can use existing conference papers and turn them into journal articles. Producing quality papers is an important part of being a researcher, and is something that throughout your career you will be measured on. It aims to give you the tools to produce conference papers that are easily converted to journal articles as well as advice on issues relating to publishing in academia.


Personal Effectiveness

Managing Yourself and Your Supervisor


This workshop is designed to help students explore that vital relationship between student and supervisor. It will also explore ways of managing work that can be used to maximise the benefits of a supervisory team.

Development Needs Analysis


A workshop to support research students to think about what skills they currently have, and what skills they need/ want to develop. The session will allow students to focus down on three particular skills that they want to develop, and to write a plan for how they are going to achieve these. ​In attending this workshop you will produce a plan for your development which should be brought along to your PRP as part of you Research and Key Skills logbook.

Dealing with Culture Shock and Homesickness​


Moving away from home or to a new country can be difficult at first due to the unfamiliar surroundings and culture. In addition being far from family and friends can be challenging and many home and international students can suffer from ‘homesickness’ and ‘culture shock’. During the workshop we will look at ‘HOW’ we can help ourselves to settle into a new environment and enjoy our time at Coventry University.​

Become Your Own Personal Coach​


Group-based psychoeducational workshop based on CBT will help you in building your skills on compassion and resilience towards your personal and academic life while at university.

Stress Management


This workshop will give you the knowledge to recognise the symptoms and sources of stress and it will introduce you to different ways to manage stress.

Work/Life Balance


In order to work effectively there needs to be a balance between work and home. This workshop addresses the importance of this, and provides some strategies for maintaining a healthy work life balance.

Career Decisions and Skills Mapping for Research students


This workshop will examine possible influencing factors impacting on​ career decisions. Secondly, the workshop will cover how the wide range of skills developed by research students can be reflected in CVs, for jobs inside and outside of academia. Genuine opportunities will be explored for further examination.

Managing a Career in Academia


This workshop looks at some of the issues for developing a balanced career in academia using two case studies: 'A Chair in Ten Years – Getting Promotion' and 'Getting the Balance Right'.

Research Governance & Organisation

Intellectual Property Rights and Commercialisation for Researchers


A workshop to help students think about the types of intellectual property that will be created as a result of their research, including things such as know-how, inventions, results, copyright, patents, trademarks, designs, software and art. It will discuss practical methods to control who can use your research as well as ways of making your research freely available to all. The session will also cover the support and funding that is available for developing and commercialising ideas and intellectual property arising from your research.

For the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Session 

How to use the appropriate consent forms for artistic clearance

To provide practical advice on how to restrict or not information on the internet, creative commons licences and open source​

For the Science, Engineering and Computing Session

To understand in detail the requirements and processes for patent protection

To gain practical skills in searching global patent databases as a source of technical information.

Introduction to Intercultural Competencies​ for Research Students


​As research and research teams become increasingly internationalised and there is currently a strong focus on publications with international co-authorship, this session will be an introduction to cultural differences and how to work effectively as part of a culturally diverse team.

GRP and PGR Student Funding​


The Global Researchers Programme (GRP) is designed to support research students in internationalising their research, in fostering the growth of academic networks and in encouraging and facilitating international collaboration. Through a combination of online experiences, intercultural learning activities and support with international mobility, the GRP aims to provide research students with the necessary guidance to become global researchers with tools and experiences necessary to engage in research in the contemporary globalised world.

This session is designed to introduce research students to the GRP and where to look for funding towards activities such as conferences and overseas mobility.  The session will signpost you to internal university schemes and contacts as well as guidance on where to look for funding beyond the university.

The GRP team can be contacted via email on:

​​​​​​Open Access Publishing


Academic publishing is shifting towards Open Access (OA), with articles more freely available to the public.  Funders, Government and HEFCE increasingly require open access to research publications; reflecting the view that the freedom to access and use research outputs has considerable benefits for authors researchers, funding bodies and the wider higher education sector, and beyond.  This session will provide a brief overview of OA and where it fits into the research cycle; including where to find scholarly OA material; HEFCE OA requirements for future REF; and the support available at CU to help researchers meet these requirements.​

Research Data Management


"Research funders and organisations increasingly require data management plans, both during the bid-preparation stage and after funding has been secured.  By planning, preserving and sharing data and digital materials so others can effectively reuse them, you will maximise the impact of your research – and inspire confidence among the research councils and funding bodies that invest in your work."

(The Digital Curation Centre, 2014) 

Research Data Management is the active management and appraisal of data over the lifecycle of scholarly and scientific interest.  The creation of a management plan provides a framework that supports researchers and their data throughout the course of their research, and beyond.  This session focuses on the elements that form a data management and sharing plan, which will not only help you manage your PhD research but will also prepare you for applying for funding bids if you embark on a career in research and academia.​

Life as an academic researcher: Funding your research career​


This will focus on what research funding options are available to research students who want to make the jump to becoming a postdoctoral researcher after receiving their doctorate. It will give some examples of current open funding streams. It will talk about building your research profile and the importance of networking. Also it will provide tips for how to pitch a proposal to funders and how to build impact into a proposal.​

Open Access to Theses and Third Party Copyright​


PhD students are required to submit an electronic copy of their thesis which will be made available openly in the University repository CURVE, and the British Library EThOS Service.  This session will consider the issues regarding the inclusion of third party copyright material in your thesis.  It will also look at the implications of providing open access to your thesis and highlight the support available at CU.​

Advanced Intellectual Property Rights and Commercialisation for Researchers


A workshop to help students understand the processes, use and management of intellectual property. The course will equip them with the necessary skills and understanding to be effective employees or entrepreneurs on leaving the University. This course builds on the research skills workshops on IPR for researchers and goes into more detail on essential practical skills in interactive sessions. The course will cover the commercial use of IP, valuation techniques and global IP rights. Students will learn how to conduct an IP audit and understand business IP strategies.

Engagement, Influence & Impact

Planning and Designing an Effective Poster Presentation


Presenting posters at conferences and symposia is a highly effective way to disseminate your research and network with peers. The challenge is to present complex material using language and format appropriate to your target audience in a very limited space. This workshop presents a process for planning and designing poster presentations that will help you to communicate your message with clarity. There will be plenty of hints and tips for producing a great poster and examples of common pitfalls to be avoided.

Once you have attended the workshop course you will be offered the opportunity to receive feedback and/or some assistance with using PowerPoint on a poster you are preparing.

Finding Data on Journal Impact and Ways to Increase Your Own Impact​


With increasing focus on research quality and publishing, this session will show you how to identify highest quality and most appropriate journals in your discipline, demonstrate tools such as Scimago, Scopus and Web of Science, and suggest handy tips on how to increase your citations by following best practice in publishing. This session is aimed at PGRs who want find out more about establishing themselves via publishing research outputs.

Getting Your Journal Article Published​


This session will shed further light on a number of issues related to how to get published in good journals, ranging from ‘choosing the right journal’ to the ‘submission and review process’, including how to deal with the outcomes of submissions and reviewers’ reports.​

Research Impact


Research impact – the real world benefit of research – is an increasingly important element of academic life.  From securing funding to being included in research assessment exercises, academics must understand how to plan, create, capture and evidence the impact of their work.  This session will cover the basics of impact, tips for public engagement (inc. social media) and considering the impact of students' own research.

Networking Tips to Advance Your Career


Networking is an important skill at every stage of your career. Improving your interpersonal skills is important, but you then need to leverage these skills to grow your network to support your future career. This workshop will provide you with networking tips that will help you grow your network and advance your career after your research degree.  There will be the opportunity to explore useful online networking sites such as LinkedIn and Pirrus.​

Tips on Networking at Conferences​


Preparing for and attending a conference can be a source of anxiety.  Come along to this workshop to share tips on how to get the most out of a conference: including preparing to get the most out of your conference and effectively networking.  We will spend some time on some essential skills to help ease the pain of networking!  The course will cover the following areas:

  • How to start and close conversations
  • Assertiveness skills
  • First impressions and body language
  • Describing your PhD in a succinct, accessible and memorable way​​
​Designing Presentations


This session is aimed at helping students create outstanding presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint. The session focuses on creating professional presentations that deliver a message using more visuals and less text.

During the session we will explore different charts, themes, animation settings and more.

Presentation Skills


​It's not what you say it's how​ you say it! Presentation skills is a mix of art and science and if you want to get it right you need to get access to the keys of a successful presentation.

This session focuses on presentation skills covering, Body language, vocal skills, Audience engagement, elevator pitching and post presentation questions.​

Maximising your academic potential via social media​


This workshop​ will explore how researchers and academics can maximise their academic potential and impact via social media. The session will focus on building your online presence, how social media can be used for research purposes and engaging with the right social media communities. Topics will be focused around the use of Linkedin, Twitter, Altmetrics and Facebook. We will be learning by doing! So please bring along your mobile devices.​

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