Invitation to the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research Graduate Seminar

PhD Students – would you like:

  • an opportunity to meet other social science PhD students?
  • to discuss your research, and present work in progress?
  • to explore issues of methodology, research design and epistemology?
  • to develop your reflective practice as a social researcher?
  • to choose interesting visiting speakers to invite to Birkbeck?
  • to explore key theoretical debates within contemporary social research?…in a supportive and intellectually challenging environment

The BISR Graduate Seminar is a fortnightly seminar (on Wednesday evenings 6.00 – 8.15pm) open to PhD students from across Birkbeck who are working on empirical social research theses which fall within the remit of the BISR. This includes sociology, psychosocial studies, socio-legal studies, gender and sexuality studies, race, ethnicity and community studies, global, development and transnational studies, human and social geography, social policy, religious studies, politics, social research on art and artistic practice, and qualitative empirical cultural studies.

The Graduate Seminar aims to support and enhance the supervision and training students already receive in their own Schools.

The Graduate Seminar is run by Professor Sasha Roseneil, Director of the Birkbeck Institute of Social Research. Each seminar will be divided into two parts and students are expected to attend both. From 6-7pm there will be an open discussion of the current issues faced by members of the seminar in their research. This discussion will aim to develop students’ “reflective practice” as social researchers, as well as providing a regular space for skills and information sharing and peer support. After a short break, the seminar will resume from 7.15-8.15 with a structured programme of activities, including, over the course of the year:

  • Seminars on issues of methodology and research strategy, with particular reference to new methodologies (e.g. internet-based research; visual methodologies)
  • Presentations by students of their research to each other, for critical engagement and feedback
  • Seminars on key debates in contemporary social research based around close reading of key texts (e.g. exemplary texts of ethnographic/ interview-based research; epistemology and theory in social research etc)
  • Workshops on transferable skills (such as writing for publication; presenting conference papers)

How to apply:

The seminars are open to all Birkbeck postgraduates. If you are interested in attending please send a brief description of your PhD project, information about your department, year of registration and the names of your supervisors to:
Sasha Roseneil ( by  Monday 14 October. Students are expected to attend all sessions of the Graduate Seminar.

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