18 PhD researchers took part in a Doctoral Academy ‘Thesis Boot Camp’ at the end of January. The residential event brought together PGRs from every University faculty for two days of intensive thesis writing in the unique, inspiring setting of Gladstone’s Library in Wales.
Thesis Boot Camps are a structured form of writing retreat designed specifically for late stage PhD researchers. The programme draws on a growing body of research that suggests retreats can increase writing motivation, help participants to feel part of a community of writers, and develop productive writing habits to use when back on campus. Many of the PGRs who attended the January bootcamp wrote over 7,000 words of their thesis during the two days. One participant described how the experience “really helped to get ideas that I had been struggling to write down into actual words. The atmosphere was brilliant as everyone was there to work but also support and encourage each other”.
The Doctoral Academy runs residential Thesis Boot Camps three times a year, along with monthly Community Writing days at locations across LJMU campuses. If you are supervising a PGR and think they would benefit from a Thesis Boot Camp, writing days or any other development opportunities, you can direct them to Researcher Development Programme. Expressions of interest for the next boot camp in May can be sent to Jo McKeon.
If you are interested in writing retreats for staff, these are now part of the offer of the ACTivator researcher development programme. Look out for news of future staff retreats via email from Mel Jones, Researcher Development Advisor.