LISS DTP Monthly Newsletters

May 2021


  1. LISS DTP Research Assistant Internships – 2 positions currently available, more coming in June!
  2. BASS Spring Workshop Series Reminder
  3. Podcast on Participatory Research
  4. KCL Centre for Doctoral Studies Photoshoot – New Brochure
  5. Review of the PhD: ESRC Call for Additional Student Representation
  6. The Brilliant Club – The Scholars Programme 2020/21
  7. Qualitative Student Writing Group
  8. Doing IPS, PhD Seminar Series 20221/22: Call for Papers (deadline: 4 June 2021)


  1. LISS DTP Research Assistant Internships – 2 positions currently available, more coming in June!


In December 2020 we announced our Research Assistant Internship Scheme, which enables LISS DTP funded students to work as Research Assistants for a period of up to 13 weeks with an academic based at King’s, Queen Mary or Imperial. Interns will benefit from, for example, working with a larger team of researchers, gaining academic writing practice, training in research methods, networking and dissemination, collaboration with external partners.  Interns continue to receive their usual stipend payment for the duration of the internship and payments are extended by the relevant number of weeks at the end of the original funding end date.

Details of the two internship projects currently available can be found at . If you are interested please get in touch with the person named as Contact.  The Contact is responsible for selecting the student to take up the internship.  If you are selected, the you must then apply for an internship extension via the form at in order to show that you have obtained the agreement of your supervisor and so that the appropriate changes to your funding records can be made.

More opportunities will be announced towards the end of June 2021!

  1. BASS Spring Workshop Series Reminder

LISS DTP Pathway 6: Education, Mind & Society (EMS)

Hey everyone,

Hope you’re all having a good May so far despite the weather!

Just emailing to remind you of the second half of the BASS Spring Workshop Series taking place from next week. The schedule is here (scroll down to week 3), there’s some great ones coming up for PhD students so take a look for any you’re interested in.

We are also still accepting workshop applications on an ad-hoc basis, so if you see a gap in the programme content and think you could fill it, please fill in this form, and email and to let us know you have done so.

Thanks and hope to see some of you in the workshops!
Sophie Perry

  1. Podcast on Participatory Research: Staff and students share an insight into the unique aspects of the King’s BA Social Sciences programme

[This story features LISS DTP funded student Freya Aquarone and this podcast may be of interest to those conducting participatory research, particularly in the context of covid/remote research methodologies]


The BA Social Sciences programme at King’s launched in September 2019 and is trying to live out a set of principles and practices not commonly found in higher education. These include an emphasis on social science for social justice, forms of direct democratic decision-making, alternative assessment practices, and a focus on small-group, participatory approaches to learning.

A team of 10 students and staff from the BA Social Sciences programme decided to document its journey through a participatory action research project funded by LISS-DTP. What started as a small report snowballed into a book, which was published in December 2020 by the Centre for Public Policy Research in the School of Education, Communication and Society.

Four of the book’s co-authors recently spoke about the project, the book and their experiences on a podcast on participatory action research in higher education. They were interviewed by Dr Amber Fensham-Smith from the British Educational Research Association’s (BERA) Alternative Education Special Interest Group.

Tune in to hear the authors reflect on their journey of conducting action research together as they discuss ethical and practical challenges, the significance of trust and relationships in collaborative work, poetry, creativity, and personal discovery, as well as how all of this was mediated by the impact of COVID-19 and the reliance on a fully virtual approach and methodology. Listen to the podcast here or below*.

*This news item on the KCL website is here:

  1. KCL Centre for Doctoral Studies Photoshoot – New Brochure


The Centre for Doctoral Studies is organising a photoshoot in June to update photos for the 2021/22 brochure and website. Would you like to be featured? We are looking to showcase the diversity of our PGR student body. An expression of interest form is available here which also has all of the information about the photoshoot. Questions? Please write to Katie O’Keefe

  1. Review of the PhD: call for additional student representation

ESRC is currently undertaking a Review of the PhD in the social sciences and is looking for an additional doctoral student to join its Steering Group. The role will require active contribution to Steering Group meetings between June 2021 and September 2021 (approximately 3 in total) to help guide the final stages of the project and the development of ESRC’s new Postgraduate Training Strategy.

Students from any social science discipline are welcome, preferably within the second or third year of their PhD itself, so that they have sufficient experience of a doctorate to draw upon. Recommendations of students who already hold, or have held a PhD student representative role (i.e. on a university committee) would be particularly helpful.

Interested students are encouraged to submit a short statement to highlighting why they should be considered for the role. You should also copy in your supervisor for a short statement of approval. Please write to us by 1st June 2021 for consideration.


  1. The Brilliant Club – The Scholars Programme 2020/21

Recruiting, training and placing PhD researchers in schools across the UK to deliver university-style learning

The Brilliant Club’s Researcher Development Programme offers PhD and Early Career Researchers a meaningful, paid, professional development opportunity. Its mission is to support pupils from underrepresented backgrounds to have fair access to university. It does this by training PhD researchers as tutors to deliver The Scholars Programme in non-selective state schools.

The Opportunity 

The Brilliant Club’s Researcher Development Programme offers PhD and Early Career Researchers a meaningful, professionally developmental, paid tutoring opportunity. Training with The Brilliant Club and working as a Scholars Programme tutor enables researchers to communicate their research to a non-specialist audience, gain valuable teaching and public engagement experience and deepen their knowledge of the UK education system.

Tutors working with us will:

  • Support local pupils from underrepresented backgrounds to access university
  • Get expert training and real experience to develop their teaching and other transferable skills
  • Earn £500 per placement, plus an additional £100 for designing a new course, and travel expenses
  • Disseminate their research to small groups of school pupils
  • Join a nationwide community of like-minded researchers making a huge impact on university access

Tutors will be supported to complete a series of training modules before beginning work with us, and further continuous professional development for each subsequent placement.

Want to learn more? Visit

  1. Qualitative Student Writing Group

[LISS DTP funded initiative led by Catherine McCombie]


The Qualitative Student Writing Group is intended to be a supportive, friendly place for feedback and support on all aspects of qualitative research writing. The group is facilitated by Catherine McCombie, a PhD student at the IoPPN (KCL). We will meet monthly for an hour to an hour and a half.

Each month, in advance of each meeting, one or two members will submit an extract of writing that they would like help with to the group, with the meeting focused around feedback and discussion in an informal and non-scary environment. Written extracts could be anything relating to the qualitative work that students are working on, including methods, results, or discussion sections, or any specific aspect of writing up qualitative  work.

Occasionally, where there are particular issues with writing that group members would like more advice or support on, we will invite speakers to give a talk and Q&A session or workshop.

The group is open to all LISS-DTP affiliated students from King’s College London, Imperial College, or Queen Mary University of London who are undertaking qualitative research and have an interest in improving their writing and supporting others with the same goal. To get involved, please email to be added to the group. The aim is to foster a supportive and positive group, so please get in touch if you are interested and willing to make a regular commitment.

The first meeting will be held on Wednesday 2nd June at 2-3pm. In our first meeting, Dr Angela Sweeney will be speaking about her qualitative writing processes and answering questions on writing qualitative research for publication. As this is our first meeting, there is no need to submit writing in advance. After the Q&A we will discuss the format going forward to ensure that the group is a collaborative and supportive space for qualitative writers.

[See more on the QUAHRC website]

  1. Doing IPS, PhD Seminar Series 20221/22: Call for Papers (deadline: 4 June 2021)

[LISS DTP funded initiative led by Hannah Owens]



Into its 4th year, the ‘Doing IPS’ PhD Seminar Series introduces graduate students to research inspired by International Political Sociology’s (IPS) commitment to challenge methodological and conceptual assumptions in their research disciplines, and ask new questions about transdisciplinary modes of inquiry. It will address the need for doctoral candidates to have a forum dedicated to IPS where they can: (1) present their work and receive feedback from peers and senior academics in the field; (2) engage with contemporary IPS research designs and debates; and (3) develop transdisciplinary and cross-institutional relationships with a view to facilitating further discussions and collaborations around common research themes. Lastly, the series will strengthen the analysis and evaluation skills of early career researchers.

IPS is a collective intellectual project that seeks to challenge the fundamental oppositions within traditional theorising, such as that between politics and society, the individual and the collective, structure and agency, internal and external, international and national or local. Scholarship inspired by an IPS-approach centre around two related methodological orientations: firstly, understanding the everyday and situated practices as the primary site of power relations, and secondly, thinking processually and relationally. Thinking and writing from an IPS tradition is an active process, with motion and movement a central concern. In place of fixed and unchanging phenomena, IPS emphasises flows, networks, conjunctures and connections, disjunctures and disconnections, tensions, frictions, accelerations, entanglements, crystallisations, relations, alterities, differences, and multiplicities. Broadly speaking, IPS asks, “what are the connections between the international, the political and the social?” Contemporary IPS analyses embrace ethnographic and other anthropological and sociological methodologies, and employ a range of conceptual traditions, including (but not limited to) deconstruction, Foucauldian, postcolonial and decolonial, queer and feminist, assemblage and materiality, and critical race theory.

Themes in IPS

  • Migration, mobility and borders/border management
  • Citizenship, sovereignty, and exception
  • Resistance
  • Surveillance
  • Technology and STS (Science & Technology Studies)
  • Racialisation, racism and coloniality
  • Socio-legal studies and human rights
  • Transnational sociology of expertise
  • Innovations and interventions in critical theory and methodologies
  • Ethnography and fieldwork methodologies

Doing IPS Seminar Series – Programme and Structure

The series runs over a period of 10-12 months starting from September usually meeting on the last Friday of each month for two hours. The exact time will be determined based on the preferences of the accepted participants. The seminars will rotate between the three host institutions (King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London, and London School of Economics and Political Science), with sessions streamed virtually where possible for participants based outside London (see also: Key information below).

Standard sessions

In each two-hour seminar, two participants will present a piece of work-in-progress (around 8,000-10,000 words of a thesis chapter, book chapter, journal manuscript) to the group. In preparation for the session, each presenter will invite a senior academic to act as discussant for their paper. The discussion will be followed by questions and answers with the audience. Each presenter is allocated one hour, and all participants are expected to have read the papers in advance. Presenters are encouraged to invite their supervisors and colleagues interested in their work. We also organise special sessions, such as IPS open discussions, roundtables, writing retreats, etc.. Please email us on with your suggestions.

Key information

  • We accept applications from doctoral students in any discipline across the social sciences and humanities.
  • Please be aware that this is a forum for extensive and engaged discussion of your work; if you are planning on presenting near to the time you will be submitting your thesis, please make us aware when you apply.
  • We are aware that the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has impacted us all as scholars and in our personal lives in myriad ways. We are very much understanding of these changing circumstances and are committed to being as flexible as possible in whatever way we can. If you’re facing a problem that impacts your ability to engage with our group, please feel free to contact us.
  • Limited travel and accommodation grants are available for travel to London if necessary.

How to apply (deadline: Friday 4 June 2021 at 12:00pm BST)

Applications to the PhD seminar series should include:

  • A short bio (name, institutional affiliation, the year of your PhD, prospective thesis submission date, key words that describe your research interests)
  • How does your work relate to IPS (broadly defined)? (100 words)
  • Abstract of the work you want to present (250 words)
  • Whether you would like to apply for a travel/accommodation grant (if you live outside of London)

Please send your application to

The deadline for applications is Friday, 4 June 2021 at 12pm BST. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 30 June 2021.

Please email us at if you have any questions or queries.

Doctoral student organisers

  • Josh Walmsley, Department of War Studies, King’s College London
  • Hannah Owens, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London
  • Mirko Palestrino, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London
  • Shruti Balaji, Department of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Mattia Pinto, Department of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science

Senior academic organisers

  • Audrey Alejandro, Assistant Professor of Qualitative Text Analysis, Department of Methodology, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Jef Huysmans, Professor of International Politics, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London

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