Geographies of PhDs: Applying in the UK and Canada

Following on from our previous blog, Lacey Willmott (University of Waterloo) and our very own Maddy Thompson (Newcastle University) take a detailed look at the differences and similarities in funding, applying for, and ‘doing’ PhDs on both sides of the pond. It’s here.

How to apply for PhD funding? – An expert interview

This week’s blog is based on the all-important topic of applying for PhD funding. Beth Robertson and Wilbert den Hoed took your questions to Professor Peter Hopkins (Newcastle University) who has plentiful experience of  applying and judging funding applications. From this interview, Beth and Wilbert created a summary of helpful things to note when thinking of applying.

The RGS (with IBG) is seeking a part time Administrative Assistant AND a Research and Higher Education Assistant!

Details here.

The latest in our series of blogs on postgrad life comes from our chair, Maddy Thompson, who writes about her experiences in Canada on an Overseas Institutional Visit.

You can read about her adventures here.

Postgraduate Forum (PGF) sponsored and co-sponsored sessions at the RGS (with IBG) Annual Conference 2017: Decolonising Geographical Knowledges

More information and a downloadable table of sessions is available here

Funding and juggling: tales from the fourth year (2)

Former PGF-chair Greg Thomas (Aberystwyth University) shares his experiences of ‘post-funding’. How did he end up in this unblessed position? What jobs did he look for? And how did the PhD writing hold up under these pressures?  Read here about juggling different roles and the birth of a political career.

Coffee and editing: tales from the fourth year (1)

Newcastle University’s Matthew Scott about the shady months before submission of the PhD. What was his week like? The blog gives you a real-life insight in a period that’s never in the spotlight but everyone will go through eventually. Read here about the pit in his stomach and the voices in his head (and good things too).

Jobs at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

Two job vacancies have just been announced (Head of Finance and Services and membership Recruitment Coordinator). More information here.

Questions for PhD students from Master’s students (or is a PhD like a tortoise wading through gloop?)

Our Master’s rep Beth has driven this fascinating conversation, with contributions from the PGF committee and Twitterworld. It’s turned about to be a pretty major piece, and while it probably won’t answer all of your questions, hopefully it will give you a good flavour of what’s it like to be a PhD student. Read it in all its glory here.

The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Postgraduate Forum (RGSPGF) invites proposals for sponsored/co-sponsored sessions for the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2017

Guest Blog – Academic Jobs Post-PhD

Dr Charlotte Mathieson (University of Surrey) tells you about the first few years after her PhD in the School of English and Languages.

Top-10 Tips – Want to start a PhD?

University of Sheffield’s Dan Casey tells you about how to secure your PhD funding.

Call for Papers – RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference

This is the one we’ve all been waiting for – it doesn’t get more glamorous or prestigious than this! It’s a fantastic opportunity for all postgraduate students to present their current work and research to their peers in a friendly and supportive environment. It will take place on the Cathays Campus of Cardiff University over the 20th and 21st April 2017. Abstracts can be submitted up to January 20th, so there’s plenty of time to hone your ideas – more information on this here. Lots more details are here and the friendly Conference organisers are happy to answer any queries.

Call for Papers – The Researchers in Development Network, or RiDNet, announces 5th Annual RiDNet conference

The Conference is entitled “I, Researcher: exploring the research experience – context, self and interdisciplinary practice”, and takes place on the 27th of January, 2017 at the University of Leeds. More details here.

New, regular feature of Area: ‘Ethics in/of Geographical Research’.

Following a successful discussion forum at this summer’s RGS-IBG conference, the journal is launching a new, regular feature, ‘Ethics in/of Geographical Research’.  Contributions are welcomed from across the discipline (and beyond), which reflect on ethics in the widest sense. It is the journal’s intent to publish at least one piece in this feature per issue. They are open to submissions of different kinds – from commentaries and symposia to full articles and proposals for special sections, and encourage prospective authors to get in touch with any of the Editors to discuss ideas for potential contributions.

For further details, please see here.

Future challenges for exploration and fieldwork

A selection of TED-talk style presentations to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Explore weekend. The first is on Friday 18 November 2016 at 6.30pm, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), London. More information is here.

Explore: the annual expedition and field research seminar

 The Society’s annual fieldwork and expedition planning weekend, 18-20 November 2016 at the Society’s headquarters in London. More information here.

The Geological Society  announces the first of a new series of flagship conferences, the Bryan Lovell Meetings.

Water, hazards and risk: managing uncertainty in a changing world, 24-25 November 2016, The Geological Society, Burlington House, London. More information here.

Want to present a conference paper but don’t know where to start?

Phil Emmerson provides Top Ten Tip for submitting abstracts here

First blog from our new Masters Representative, Beth Robertson from Newcastle University

Beth’s blog highlights the start of her Postgrad journey, and she shares some of the nervousness and excitement as she starts to get to grips with it all. You can read it here.

New section ‘postgraduate opportunities’

This new page is where we will be posting information on topics such as funding and training. It’s worth checking the page regularly to keep up to date with the latest opportunities.

 RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2016

CNz3-W1WIAAseuJThe 2016 Annual International Conference was held at the Royal Geographical Society in London, from Tuesday 30th August to Friday 2nd September 2016 and was Chaired by Professor Peter Jackson (Sheffield University). For more information about the Annual International Conference please visit our RGS-IBG Annual International Conference page or the RGS-IBG Website.

As usual the Postgraduate Forum sponsored a number of sessions at the conference, and details of our sessions can be viewed here.

The Postgraduate Forum Annual Conference Training Symposium (PGF-ACTS) was held on Tuesday 30th August. More information on PGF-ACTS can be found here, and reflections  viewed here.

Top Ten Tips

We have begun to compile our top ten tips for surviving postgraduate life. 

Would you like to share your top ten tips? If you would like to write a post please get in touch with Maddy Thompson @MaddyCThompson or

Postgrad Life: The Blog

Just launched, we have a new twice monthly blog looking at the high and lows of Postgrad  life, the blog intends on being a truthful look at the real lives of geography Masters and PhD students. From successes to failures, the blog will cover it all. If you would like to contribute please get in touch with Maddy Thompson ( Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the latest updates.


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