All 15 entries tagged Ceren

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November 30, 2012

1st Interdisciplinary Collaborative Sandpit Workshop – by Ceren

Writing about web page

A Sandpit is an intensive,interactive workshop designed to produce radically innovative research proposals. Participants from a diverse range of disciplines come together in a creative,free-thinking environment – away from their every day routines and responsibilities – and immerse themselves deeply in a collaborative process around an important challenge.With the goal of inspiring more innovative and multi-disciplinary research proposals,the Sandpit was conceived by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in 2003.

The First Interdisciplinary Collaborative Sandpit workshop will take place on 11 - 12 December 2012 at Wolfson Research Exchange,Library. The Collaborative Sandpit will be a full 2 day event dedicated to develop new and creative interdisciplinary research proposals, with the 3 best proposals being awarded £5,000 each, to support the subsequent development of the projects. This interactive workshop and intensive discussion forum, will be held by Dr Peter Hedges (Director of the Research Support Services), and assisted by a number of Senior Academics.

This is a fantastic opportunity not to be missed - as well as a gateway to invaluable research progression, you will have an opportunity to develop your skills and confidence to work innovatively to solve problems associated with a real research issue. Over two days you will have the chance to work in a unique group, from a range of disciplines and backgrounds, and enhance your research and career development.

Over two days you will have the chance to work in a unique group,from a range of disciplines and backgrounds, and enhance your research and career development. You will generate ideas, find innovative solutions, promote yourself and your work and potentially attract funding. You will have a chance to work collaboratively with other Academics and researchers from Arts and Social Sciences, to Medicine and Sciences.This will be an intensive event, but there will be also opportunities for leisure and informal networking activities.

The themes selected for this Collaborative Sandpit are:

1) Cyber crime prevention and biometrics based surveillance for global security

2) Information Networks and Society

3) Sustainable Development: Technological, Economic, Human

The criteria for selecting sandpit participants are:

a) The potential to contribute to research at the interface between disciplines

b) The ability to work in a team

c)  The ability to explain research to non-experts

d) The ability to develop new and highly original research ideas

e) Later stage PhD and early career researchers

To register your interest, go to sandpit website and indicate your topic of interest. Provide 200 words on your contribution to the development of the research and how you think you will benefit from taking part in this research session.


Places are limited! DEADLINE to register - 9 am on Tuesday 4 December

If you do have any questions ,then please email

November 13, 2012

Referencing Tips – by Ceren

Think of referencing like this. A reference is a sign, an acknowledgement of indebtedness. In the academic world it is considered good manners, a sort of scholarly politeness.

To reference is to say, ‘I acknowledge my debt to this writer (or writers) for helping me with my work.’ You do not write that, of course. That’s the message, though.

Providing a reference also allows your reader to go to the texts that you have referred to in writing your assignment. A bibliographic reference provides the details of the author(s), the title of the text and even when, where and by whom the text has been published.

Here are Top 10 essay referencing tips:

1. Familiarise yourself with the most popular referencing systems, notably Oxford (footnotes) and Harvard (parenthetical). Plenty of internet sources provide helpful assistance in gaining a thorough understanding of the notation of the major systems, and how and when to use them.

2. Determine whether you are expected to use a particular system. In higher education, most work will carry detailed specifications regarding format and referencing as well as content. In such cases be sure to adopt the required referencing system rather than simply making up your own mind.

3. Referencing is for more than just quotes. Direct quotation of another’s work requires a reference, but so too does paraphrasing of another’s ideas. A good rule of thumb is that whenever a part of your work is substantially dependent on other material for its content, reference must be made to that other work.

4. Be thorough. Referencing is essential for all higher level academic work because it allows an interested reader to trace the origin of ideas and relevant external material. Incomplete information is an obstacle to this kind of research, so a thorough and meticulous approach is absolutely essential.

5. Be consistent. Determine a system and stick to it to ensure full clarity. Inconsistent use of referencing is a distraction to the reader and indicates carelessness of thought, lack of attention, and disregard for scholarly conventions. A tidy page implies a tidy mind.

6. Beware multiple publication dates. Many books – especially the best ones – have enjoyed many reprints, so it is necessary to be sure that your references can be traced to the right pages in the right volumes. It is usually sufficient to cite the date of the publication you are using, but often it can be informative to give the original publication date also, particularly if considering the history of emerging ideas.

7. Is the text a translation? If so you should bear in mind the tip above, namely that the original language version was probably published at least a year earlier. Also avoid the trap of taking the translator as the name of a co-author, as this will rather diminish your scholarly credentials!

8. Authors and editors. Edited volumes make up a huge part of many areas of academic literature. Do not confuse author with editor, and always refer to the former rather than the latter.

9. Specificity. Different referencing systems and different usage of material will require various levels of specificity, i.e. author, year and page number, or just author and year. There can be an element of judgment here, but where possible follow the established rules of your adopted system.

10. The most useful tip of all: look at how published academics do it. Any decent journal article will have a long list of references likely to contain edited volumes, translated material, collaborations and reprints; simply copy the notation. Also look at the text itself to find a model for parenthetical referencing or footnotes.

If you want to use Reference Management Software, please check out this blog post by Salma Patel (PhD Researcher)


To learn more please check out this blog post and make comments or ask questions if you need any advice!

November 06, 2012

Avoiding Plagiarism Tips – by Ceren

Plagiarism is presenting the words or ideas of someone else as your own without proper acknowledgment of the source.

If you don't credit the author, you are committing a type of theft called plagiarism.

When you work on a research paper you will probably find supporting material for your paper from works by others. It's okay to use the ideas of other people, but you do need to correctly credit them.

When you quote people or even when you summarize or paraphrase information found in books, articles, or Web pages, you must acknowledge the original author. It is plagiarism when you do any of the following:

1. Buy or use a term paper written by someone else

2. Cut and paste passages from the Web, a book, or an article and insert them into your paper without citing them. Warning! It is now easy to search and find passages that have been copied from the Web

3. Use the words or ideas of another person without citing them

4. Paraphrase that person's words without giving them credit

5 Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism:

  • First, use your own ideas. It should be your paper and your ideas that should be the focus

  • When taking notes, include complete citation information for each item you use

  • Use the ideas of others sparingly only to support or reinforce your own argument

  • Use quotation marks when directly stating another person's words

  • A good strategy is to take e.g. 30 minutes and write a short draft of your paper without using any notes. It will help you think through what you want to say and help prevent your being too dependent upon your sources


To learn more please check out this blog post and make comments or ask questions if you need any advice!

November 01, 2012

Benefits of Mentoring on PhD Funding Applications – by Ceren

PG Hub and the Graduate School are planning to run Peer-to-Peer Funding Mentorship Scheme as a pilot project targeted at specific departments. It is designed to support Master’s students in selected departments through the PhD funding application process for 2013-2014 academic year.

Successful applicants to the scheme will be matched with a Master's student looking for PhD funding As mentors, you will support your mentees via one-to-one and group sessions within their departments.

PhD mentors will help you on funding sources, brainstorming, planning, literature reviews, proposal writing and redrafting.

This mentor-mentee relationship will guide you to:

  • make more informed decisions in your applications

  • understand how to compose funding applications

  • engage with the wider postgraduate community

  • improve your prospects of success

You are eligible to apply to join the Peer-to-Peer Funding Mentorship Scheme if you belong to any of the following departments:

  • English

  • History

  • Economics

  • Chemistry

  • Computer Science

  • Complexity Science


Mentoring is a relationship. At the same time, it is a journey that mentors and mentees embark on together. Throughout this journey, two or more individuals help each other arrive at a destination called professional excellence. Naturally, the journey can be challenging, with occasional muddy trails and blind spots but with many more panoramic lookouts and high points.Good mentoring is simply " the best way to get there ".

Mentoring enables graduate students to:

  • acquire a body of knowledge and skills

  • develop techniques for networking and collaborating

  • gain perspective on how their discipline operates academically and socially

  • acquire a sense of scholarly citizenship by grasping their role in a larger educational enterprise

  • deal more confidently with challenging intellectual work


If you are interested in being PhD mentor and want to find out more about the scheme, please e-mail:

October 30, 2012

Speed Reading–Note Taking Strategies – by Ceren

If you are trying to increase your reading speed,it probably seems counterintuitive to include note-taking in the process.After all, if you are stopping to take notes or mark a spot in the text, you are also stopping the reading process, right? And the answer is “yes, you are” – but also “no, you are not.” It all depends on whether you define reading process as your moment-by-moment words per minute rate, or as the total time it takes you to get all of the information you need out of a particular text.

The goal of speed reading is to absorb, process, and retain the essential contents of an article, book, magazine, or other written material. If you read something very quickly but do not remember what you read, and later have to go back and re-read the material to look up a fact or figure, then the total time you spend reading the text is doubled.

On the other hand, if you pause briefly to make notes, you will do two things: first, you will help your brain retain those specific items by incorporating another activity (writing) and thus activating more parts of the brain; and second, you will have a quick reference for later use, and so will not have to page through the material looking for one small phrase.

You can make notes in the margins of the text, highlight or underline key phrases, or jot down what you need on a separate piece of paper (highly recommended if you are reading a book from the library!).

Here are some useful tips on taking notes you might find helpful:

  • Mark key words to get a quick visual overview of the entire page or chapter for later reference.
  • Highlight phrases that encapsulate the main ideas in the text.
  • Make a note of quotes that might be useful when citing the text in a presentation, and keep a list of facts, figures, and statistics that you can use later.
  • Write down in your own words the main points of a section; rewording something adds impact and makes the information easier to remember. Be sure to include the reason why you found what you marked important.
  • At the end of each major section or chapter, make your own short summaries to lock the information in your understanding and memory.
  • If you transfer all the notes you made to another page or two, it is the perfect review material, and there is no need to keep the original text. This will help you keep clutter off your desk, and you can organize the notes in a file folder in your desk drawer or on your computer.


To learn more please check out this blog post and make comments or ask questions if you need any advice!

October 29, 2012

Time Management Strategies – by Ceren

Time-management is a vital skill, one that will be necessary in your chosen career as well as in university. People have different time clocks and what works for one student might not work for you. The following are some time-management strategies that you may want to incorporate into your time-management routine. Test them out to see what works and what does not work for you. It might be a good idea to start by monitoring and reflecting on how you currently use your time.

First, Some Basic Strategies

Prioritise! You probably have a lot of things to do, so assess how important and how urgent the tasks are; then make sure high priority tasks get done first and are not put off on a regular basis. Avoid time wasters!

Be specific! Make the task as specific as possible - we tend to follow through then, especially if we write it down. For example, instead of telling yourself “I will do some statistics this week,” try “I will do 3 descriptive statistics problems Tuesday at 7pm”

Small bite-size pieces! It is easy to feel overwhelmed, so try breaking tasks down into smaller sub-tasks. Once you have started it is easier to keep going.

Use all available time! This is an especially good strategy if you are pressed for time. You do not necessarily need a block of time in order to study. There are lots of study tasks that can be accomplished in short periods, such as reviewing main points of a reading or a lecture.

Structure the environment! Find a place, preferably one you can use regularly and with limited distractions. Make sure you have all the essentials so you have no excuses.

Establish a routine! We are creatures of habit. If you always study at a certain time or day then it will be easier to get into concentration mode. Also, it is better to study briefly and regularly

Use time management and scheduling tools

Scheduling Tools and Tips

Create a master schedule that indicates on a term or year basis when holidays, exams, reports, essays etc. are due. Post it in a prominent spot!

Create a weekly schedule.

At a regular time, e.g. Sunday evening, plan your week taking into account your master schedule and your study goals for that week

Mark out commitments such as classes, labs, work, sport, meals, etc.

Make a list of your study tasks- be specific and prioritise.

Schedule into available time slots these study tasks.

Consider the purpose of the study task - if it is working on an essay, more time will be needed therefore schedule a block of time. If the purpose is for review, say to scan a text then make use of the odd half hours available.

Schedule tasks that may require maximum concentration during your “peak” or periods of maximum alertness – this varies from person to person.

Allot times for relaxation, exercise, etc. and be sure to include a “Cease study” time that allows time to unwind before sleep (and it gives you something to look forward to!).

Monitor and Evaluate: review what has been accomplished at the end of a day and decide if the schedule needs to be changed the next day.

Some students work better off a detailed daily To Do List. Again, at a regular time (for example last thing at night or first thing in the morning) plan your day taking into account your master schedule and the study goals for the week.

When you have finished a study task, cross it off your timetable or list.

Avoid too much detail- a schedule has to remain flexible or it becomes a dinosaur! Everyone has different needs; perhaps start with just organising study tasks for certain classes or only list your priorities.

Schedule in rewards, for example your favourite TV programme after doing a task you were dreading.

time management diagram

To learn more please check out this blog post and make comments or ask questions if you need any advice!

September 17, 2012

Collection of PhD Lives – by Ceren

Writing about web page

" I am currently a research student with background in biomedical, electrical &electronics engineering. My research focuses on impact on landing during gait analysis and modelling of musculoskeletal system." - Ceren

Here is a quick summary of various great posts in PhD Life Blog:

- Surviving a PhD: 10 top tips that shows how to survive your PhD easily

  • Academics need you
  • It's your PhD - take ownership
  • Write up as you are going
  • Love to hate your thesis
  • Finished is better than perfect
  • The written thesis is just part of the PhD
  • Enjoy the viva
  • Have a plan for life post PhD
  • It is worth doing it
  • To do one

- How different PhD's work:Differences and similarities between departments about PhD process

  • The PhD upgrade process of Chemistry department vs. Arts

- Countdown Begins: Countdown starts for submission of the thesis

  • Countdown and panic starts in your submission year of PhD

- PhD Life is Wonderful:Doing PhD at Warwick University is a wonderful experience

  • Scholarships/Studentships
  • Helpful anf fair people around the university

- Too Many Emails In Your Inbox: Use Outlook folders to manage your emails

  • Emails are better organised and easily searchable

- Introduction to REX Facility: Videos for introducing Wolfson Research Exchange and its facilities

  • Check it out REX facilities

- Power of Supervisors: Control,inner happiness and optimisim

  • Supervision relationships between the students and supervisors

- Unorthodox Tools of a Researcher: Reflection and examples of unorthodox tools that helps you within PhD period

  • Wheelie
  • Food flask
  • Meditation and reflection

- Homesickness and Culture Clashes: Homesickness of international students and cultural differences

  • Homesickness feeling and culture clash stories

- Choosing Your PhD Examiners: Tips for choosing the relevant examiners for PhD Viva

  • Internal and external examiners

- Effective Research Tools: Examples of useful research tools

  • EverNote
  • Mendeley
  • EndNote
  • Scrivener
  • Papers

- PhD,Risks and Murphy's Law: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong" according to Murphy's Law

  • What can go wrong in your PhD study?

To find more and more blog posts,just look at older entries and enjoy sharing your PhD Life with other colleagues...


August 17, 2012

Olympics Teach Researchers – by Ceren

Follow-up to Olympics vs. Research – by Ceren from PhD Life: a blog about the PhD student experience

Inspired by the Olympic theme and the five rings,here is my take on what Olympics can teach us as research students and how we can create learning opportunities that help learners get faster,higher and stronger:

olympic rings


No Olympian won a gold without dreaming about it.If I could ask any competing athlete what their goal was- I bet it would be to win a gold.As training professionals and trainees we need to start with a goal.Not everyone wins a gold,but it is a good place to start planning.


The intense planning for success,among other things,includes identifying our strengths and weakness and designing strategies to meet the goals by capitalizing on our strengths.It also involves gaining an understanding of things that can be controlled and accepting things that can not be controlled.


Trainers, training opportunities, equipment and so much more. Behind every gold, there is a well-funded training infrastructure. The individual can not perform his/her best without this support. It is the foundation on which individual and team success is built.


In the spirit of excellence, Olympics teach us about endless training and passionate practice. It is not always about the 'win'. Instead practice is about the commitment to be the best of what we can be and it is soaked with blood, sweat and passion.


Perhaps the biggest teacher of all - feedback. Feedback from the coaches and our failures. It is at the time of failure that we can provide and obtain the best guidance, inputs and feedback. Motivating feedback helps athletes pick themselves up from personal mistakes and disasters and use failure as the stepping stone to success.

The Olympics teach so much about individual goals,team performance,perseverance,determination,pride and humility but more than that,they teach us about how to live the best life we can,how to commit to excellence and pursue our goals with endless passion.

What else do you think that Olympics teach you in your PhD life?

July 10, 2012

Olympics vs. Research – by Ceren

Writing about web page

17 days left till London Olympics...Only less than a month left for making my dream comes true...It will be incredible and precious for me while watching Wimbledon Final matches at the Centre Court...It was my dream to feel the same atmosphere with people and tennis players live without watching them just on TV...


It will be also good to take some break from research...Is there anyone holding any ticket for London Olympic Games and feeling the same excitement like me?

April 02, 2012

Strengths vs. Weaknesses – by Ceren

Many people are painfully aware of weaknesses that hold them back. Yet, surprisingly, they are unaware of their many strengths. Focusing on our weaknesses while ignoring our strengths can be a source of discouragement and failure. And glorifying our strengths while ignoring our weaknesses can be equally unproductive.

It is only when we give equal weight to our strong points and faults that we can realize our potential. Also note that we must choose our friends carefully because each relationship nurtures our strengths and weaknesses. That is, we will grow better or worse, depending on whom we spend our time with.

Considering how they affect our lives and that we seldom see the big picture, I will try to share some helpful ideas about our strengths and weaknesses.We all want to be powerful. By powerful, I do not mean ruling over others, but ruling over ourselves. How can we reach our dreams unless we first master ourselves? This is why understanding and managing our weaknesses is so important.

The first lesson, then, is to remember that weakness means the absence of power. The question we have to ask is not "Do I want to overcome this weakness?",but "Do I want to be powerful or powerless?"

Weakness is nothing to be ashamed of; it is part of human nature. We are not dealing with a moral issue, but a practical one. That is, we want to know what works. What will help us reach our goals? It is not weakness but strength that will take us where we want to go. So, we need to identify our weaknesses and overcome or manage them.


1. Change those you can. The important thing is not overcoming them, but the strength we gain in doing so.

2. Accept those you can not change.

3. Regularly come back to the ones you can not change, for what you can not do today, you may be able to do tomorrow.

4. Embrace those you can not change because it is what makes you unique. If everyone were perfect, everyone would be the same, and we would live in a dull world.

5. Use your weaknesses to develop compassion. Since others have to tolerate your faults, it is only fair that you tolerate theirs. Also use your flaws to learn new coping skills and strategies. In other words, use your weaknesses to find new strength.


A wise woman admits her weaknesses. So, I would admit mine if I had any.Now that that is over, let's get serious again. I am going to end with a book for recommended reading...

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