The PGR Development workshops are delivered by a team led by the Postgraduate Development Officer working with four Postgraduate Teaching Assistants from across the University. Teaching materials are prepared by the Postgraduate Development Officer and delivered by all members of the team. The workshops aim to provide a framework and suggestions for development in a non-prescriptive way, and are designed to capitalise on the diverse and interdisciplinary PGR population at the University of Birmingham by encouraging discussion and experience-sharing around the topics.
Georgina Hardy, Postgraduate Development Officer
Since completing her PhD in Chemistry at the University of Liverpool in 2004, Georgina has been supporting skills development for students and researchers through her career in academic libraries. She joined the University of Birmingham as Postgraduate Development Officer in 2016, and really enjoys working with the diverse, committed, and inspiring PGR population at the University. She obtained Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2011 and is currently working towards Senior Fellowship.
Ben Price, Postgraduate Teaching Assistant
Hi, my name is Ben and I am a second year Postgraduate Research Student in the school of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences. My area of research is focussing on how saunas and hot baths can improve your cardiovascular health. At the university, I teach for the school, Careers Network and for Library Services. What I enjoy when teaching postgraduate researcher workshops is the opportunity to engage in debates and gather expertise from a range of different courses and backgrounds. This does not only help to facilitate learning in important topics for the members of the workshop but for myself which I can directly feedback into my own PhD. I would recommend the workshops to all postgraduate researchers and the open format in which they are delivered. Outside of academia, I enjoy watching rugby and competing in Latin and Ballroom competitions across the UK.
Andy Sanderson, Postgraduate Teaching Assistant
My name is Andy and I have been a PhD student at the University of Birmingham for almost 3 years now. My research looks at how back pain affects how we use our muscles, but I have a background in Anatomy so I teach broadly across several of the University anatomy programmes. I really enjoy public engagement work and over the course of my PhD I have had a lot of opportunities to present to other students, researchers and the public about a range of topics. Along with my teaching work, this has allowed me to gain and develop a range of skills, which I now hope to share with other PGRs across the university. This is my first year helping to deliver this programme, so I’m really looking forward to sharing my experiences and the skills I have learnt and hearing about those of other PGRs and learning from you.
Tuba Saygin Avsar, Postgraduate Teaching Assistant
I am a final year PhD student working on the economic evaluation of stop smoking interventions for pregnant women. Along with my studies, I have been delivering the Postgraduate Researcher Development workshops for two years. I enjoy the workshops because of many reasons. Most importantly, they give the opportunity to widen my perspective through discussions with researchers from different departments. Additionally, it is very rewarding to hear participants often talk about how helpful the sessions are for building confidence and skills in a friendly environment that allows learning from each other.
Simeon Whiting, Postgraduate Teaching Assistant
I have been studying for a PhD in Theology (part time) since September 2014. My thesis focuses on how trauma and collective memory might have shaped the Exodus narrative. I have taught several modules in Theology and Religion, for undergraduates and masters students, and have been part of the PGR Development team for over two years. I particularly enjoy leading seminars which develop into open discussions and enable students to share ideas for new approaches to research skills.