Social Media and Doing a PhD, What Do You Need to Know – A Postgraduate Workshop

The Sociological Review Foundation is delighted to announce that it will be running a postgraduate workshop facilitated by Mark Carrigan, Inger Mewburn (Thesis Whisperer) and Pat Thomson (patter).

This workshop will build on our December 2017 workshop Sociology and Social Media: Problems and Prospects to address the challenges and opportunities which social media produce for PhD students. The event will begin with the three facilitators offering introductory talks, focusing on different aspects of social media and its implications for doctoral researchers. These will include developing your voice through online writing, the impact of social media for employability and engaging productively with online resources as a doctoral researcher.

The rest of the workshop will be spent in structured discussion building from these opening talks, giving participants opportunity to talk in smaller groups, producing a visual summary of their discussions. These will then be the basis for a larger discussion, recorded in sketch notes. The event will inform participants about the landscape of doctoral education and the challenges posed by social media. But it will also offer substantial opportunity for them to articulate their own concerns, as well as developing ways of working collectively to address them. The ideas raised at the event will feed directly into The Sociological Review’s digital strategy and help us find ways to address the challenges current PhD students face in a rapidly changing digital environment.

This workshop has been supported by The Sociological Review Foundation and The University of Nottingham.

Workshop Facilitators

Dr Mark Carrigan (The Sociological Review and Cambridge University)

Mark Carrigan is a digital sociologist at the University of Cambridge and The Sociological Review Foundation. His research explores how the proliferation of platforms is reshaping social life, particularly in relation to the social sciences and their role within and beyond the university. He is internationally recognised as a leading expert on the role of social media within higher education. He is social media editor of the International Journal of Social Research Methodology and associate editor of Civil Sociology. He is a member of the editorial boards of Discover Society, Applied Social Theory and Social Research Practice. He is a trustee of the Social Research Association, a research associate at the LSE’s Public Policy Group and a member of the Centre for Social Ontology.

You can follow Mark on twitter: @mark_carrigan

Associate Professor Inger Mewburn(Australian National University)

Inger Mewburn is an educator who has been working with PhD students for over a decade. She started her academic career as an architecture lecturer in 2001, following a decade in architecture practice with leading design firms. Inger created the famous Thesis Whisperer blog, which has had 4.3 million hits in the last five years and has 60,000 followers on email and social media. The blog is the most popular source of advice and a leading influencer for research supervisors and students in the world because it is grounded in Inger’s scholarly practice in higher education research. Inger is well known in the field as an innovative and creative scholar, publishing in high-impact journals as well as in a range of other media outlets and regularly comments on research culture and education issues in local and international mainstream media.

You can follow Inger on twitter @thesiswhisperer

Professor Pat Thomson (The University of Nottingham)

Pat Thomson has had three careers – community development, schooling and higher education. She is now based a school of education but her research is multidisciplinary. She is currently teaching and researching in: doctoral education, academic writing and research methods; alternative education; and the arts in and out of school. She has written and/or edited twenty three books, including four on doctoral writing, two on doctoral education and three on research methods, as well as numerous book chapters and refereed papers. She is, she says, now aiming for her own library book shelf. She posts weekly on her academic writing and doctoral education blog Patter ( Pat is a highly experienced supervisor and PhD examiner with thirty six doctoral completions to date, and over fifty vivas (she’s stopped counting). She is a Trustee of the charity Sociological Research Foundation Limited (SRFL).

You can follow Pat on twitter @ThomsonPat

Eligibility for Attendance

This workshop is for postgraduate research students and masters students only.

The workshop is free, but registration is essential. Places will be allocated on a first come first serve bases, but you’re expected to complete this registration form fully, ensuring that you outline your research interests and reasons for wanting to attend this workshop. That information will be passed onto the facilitators in advance of the workshop.

To register for this workshop, please go to:

Eligibility for Bursary

As with all of our events, we are making a number of bursaries available on a competitive basis to facilitate the attendance of those who might otherwise struggle to meet the costs of attending.

Bursaries are available for unfunded postgraduate research students* and others on the grounds of need. Bursary support available to apply for includes; travel funds (limited to £100.00), one-night overnight accommodation (organised by TSRF), and support with childcare (£50.00 per day).

Application for bursaries are available via the registration form. Deadline for bursary application is October 26th 2018, 17.00 BST. Decisions will be communicated in early November.

*Please note, that if you have been awarded a place at The Sociological Review’s ECR writing retreat this year (2018), a bursary for the Undisciplining conference or the ECR day, were a winner of the ECR conference funding competition 2018 or awarded a bursary for The Sociological Review and the History of the Discipline, then you are not eligible to apply for event bursaries until next year (2019). *Bursary awardees are also expected to stay for the entire workshop.

Getting to The University of Nottingham (Jubilee Campus)

This workshop will take place in Dearing Building, Jubilee campus. Workshop rooms are located on the ground floor, with accessible entrances and accessible WCs. A floor plan can be found here:

For any enquiries regarding accessibility, please contact events managers Jenny Thatcher:


Nottingham is right in the centre of the country and is very well connected to all other major cities by the train network.

Regular services operate between Nottingham and London St Pancras (from 1 hours 45 mins), Birmingham (1 hour 15 mins), Leeds (2 hours), Manchester (2 hours), or Sheffield (1 hour).

Be sure to book as far in advance as possible for the cheapest tickets and check out East Midlands Parkway Station – it’s close to Sutton Bonington Campus and often does deals on fares:

For train information, tickets and timetables visit the National Rail Enquiries website:

Nottingham train station to Jubilee campus

The Jubilee campus is 2 miles from Nottingham train station, about a 40 min walk or a short bus ride.

Take any of the bus services ( that start from the city. They depart from the northern side of the city centre.

For more information on travel and direction, see here:


If you require a visa to enter the UK for this event, it is your responsibility to check visa requirements and organise one within sufficient time to attend the event.

If you require a letter of proof of event registration and/or bursary awarded, please allow a minimum of two weeks’ notice for TSRF to produce this.

For more information on UK visas, please see here:


Looking for accommodation near the Jubilee Campus – The University of Nottingham?

De Vere Jubilee Conference Centre and Hotel is located on the Jubilee Campus:

A list of other local hotels near the Jubilee Campus can be found here:

For those on a budget there is also accommodation available in the student hall of residence. Please note, some of these student halls are located near the University Park Campus and not specifically the Jubilee Campus, therefore you are advised to check directly with the booking contact for the best option:

Contact Details

For academic enquiries related to this workshop, please contact Mark Carrigan

For enquiries related to applications for attendance and bursaries, please contact Jenny Thatcher

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