Monthly Round-up: August 2017

I can’t believe it has already been a month since I took up the post of SGSAH blogger! I’ve been looking forward to compiling this monthly round-up of blogs posts, calls for papers, articles and anything else which might be useful for PhD students.

On the SGSAH blog we have had some cracking guest posts in August. We heard from Anastasia-Stavroula Valtadorou who used the SGSAH Cohort Development fund to attend a conference in Glasgow – her first visit to the city since arriving in Scotland. Luca Nasciuti wrote about his experience presenting work he developed during a SGSAH residency with the RSPB: dwelling particularly upon the importance of sustainability & collaborative research networks. Jill Dye & Erin Farley gave us an insight into a SGSAH-funded workshop on using Special Collections for research – an event which they co-organised after discussions with other PhD students on ‘library anxiety’. Freya Spoor & Nia Clark wrote about academic speed dating and the historical marginalisation of women in a fantastic overview of the event they organised with the help of SGSAH funding: Female Networks (1750-1950) Postgraduate and Early Career Study Day. Most recently, Rhona Ramsay considered her experience working with the Gypsy/Traveller community in Scotland, in light of recent displays of discrimination against the group.

I’ve really enjoyed my first month – I was overwhelmed by how many people shared and responded to my first post. It was also nice to feel that something useful came out of the week I was ill, with these reflections on how difficult it can be to take time off and recover when unexpected illness disrupts your PhD plans. This post from FindaPhD explores the issue from the perspective of a PhD student with a long-term illness and is worth a read. I took a week of annual leave to visit the isle of Harris, and wrote about how my research has impacted how I view my family holiday. My final post so far was a discussion of the challenges around getting back into PhD work after some time away. 


SGSAH bottle crp

I made the most of the merchandise available at the SGSAH Summer School in June – it’s come in handy when I’ve been out & about in the Highlands


This article by Hannah Shepherd was one of my highlights this month. It provides a candid discussion of the challenges she faced during the final push to write up, prepare for the viva and find a job. For anyone who has ever struggled to balance research with paid work, this writing will resonate; and it’s a must-read for those who are thinking ahead to their first post-PhD job.

Although ostensibly for social scientists, this post by LSE about the process of developing and launching a multi-author academic blog provides an excellent outline of the planning process involved for any group of PhD students hoping to launch a new blog.

James Hayton’s entire backlist of articles is worth delving into, but this month he’s written about managing an absent supervisor and how to set up a productive writing routine.

As always, there has been a great range of articles from the Pubs & Publications team. From considering which football team your PhD has most in common with to practical tips on how to remain productive (and let go of the guilt) over the summer period as well as guidance for writing up your thesis. This week, I’ve made use of their most recent article with advice on how to write a literature review (thank you!!)

I’m a big fan of the Thesis Whisperer, and really enjoyed this article on developing principles to guide your PhD – covering everything from your relationship with your supervisor to the suggestion to ‘have a life’.

The History Girls Scotland blog has become a firm favourite since I first saw Rachael & Karen talk at the SGSAH Summer School. This month they introduced readers to Maude Webster, one of many influential Glasgow Women they’ll be discussing at Doors Open Day 2017 on the 15th of September. You can find out more about Glasgow Doors Open Day here.

Calls for Papers/ Opportunities

The summer conference season might be winding down, but there are still plenty of opportunities and calls for papers out there. Here are a few handy places to look for more information:

A whole range of conferences and calls for papers are listed on the SGSAH website, as well as funding opportunities and PhD studentships.

Sheroes of History have put out a call for contributions to celebrate Black History Month – find out more here.

Pubs & Publications are looking for guest writers (and so are we!).

The Dress & Textiles Specialists have put out a call for papers on the topic of ‘Dress and Biography: Exploring Narratives Through Clothing’. More details here

Armacad have a list of international conference Calls for Papers.

The Postgraduate Gender Research Network of Scotland also have a comprehensive list of relevant calls for papers which you can find here.

Scottish Transport and Industry Collections & Knowledge network (STICK) are hosting their 2017 Conference at Perth Museum and Art Gallery on Friday 29th September. Find out more here.

The Willison Foundation offers funding opportunities for anyone pursuing advanced research in the History of the Book – you can read more about the application process here.

That’s it for the monthly round-up! Don’t forget we are always seeking new guest bloggers – if you have an idea for a blog post or would like to informally discuss writing for the SGSAH blog please get in touch with Joanna via email at, or find her on Twitter

For regular news, updates and opportunities follow SGSAH on both Twitter and Facebook.


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