PhD Induction Day 2015

Photo courtesy of Agnieszka Mikolajczyk.

Photo courtesy of Agnieszka Mikolajczyk.

At the start of this semester the School of History hosted an induction day for all new PhD students, which took place at Cambo House just outside of Kingsbarns. This continued a tradition begun the previous year and, as Director of Postgraduates Riccardo Bavaj put it, the out-of-town setting was chosen so that new researchers could associate their formal welcome into the School of History with a distinctive (and beautiful) space.

Sixteen members of the new cohort attended, along with six other PhD researchers at a variety of later stages. The event was led by Dr Bavaj, with Elsie Johnstone (postgraduate secretary) organising and providing considerable guidance on the inner workings of the School. Dawn Hollis, the outgoing PGR Representative for the School, plus volunteers, contributed a student-led view of the PhD experience.

The day included ‘speed meeting’ (with pairs asked to break the ice by discussing such pertinent questions as what they would do with a time machine and a bar of gold), an introduction to the new PhD handbook, and meaty discussions of what it means for a PhD thesis to form ‘an original contribution to knowledge’. The new cohort were also introduced to the idea of the PhD as an apprenticeship during which they would not only write their 80,000 words, but also gain a range of experiences and develop a variety of skills to the benefit of future careers both within and outwith academia.

And all of the above before lunchtime! The group were excellently fed in Cambo’s lovely dining room, before returning back to St Andrews in the early afternoon, replete with both food and advice.

About standrewshistory
With over forty full time members of staff researching and teaching on European, American and Asian history from the dawn of the Middle Ages to the present day, the School of History at the University of St Andrews has one of the finest faculty and diverse teaching programmes of any School of History in the English speaking world. The School boasts expertise in Mediaeval and Modern History, from S cotland to Byzantium and the Americas to the Middle East and South Asia.Thematic interests include religious history, urban history, transnationalism, historiography and nationalism. The School of History prides itself on small group teaching and tutorials allowing for in depth study and supervision tailored to secure the best from each student. Cutting edge research combined with teaching excellence offer a dynamic and intellectually stimulating environment for the study of History.

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