Mid-Term Conference 2018

The next RGS-IBG postgraduate Mid-Term Conference will be held at Royal Holloway, University of London  over the 18-20th April, 2018.

Hosted by PhD students in the Department of Geography, this event provides a great opportunity for postgraduate students to present their research and discuss new ideas in a relaxed, friendly and supportive environment. In true Mid-Term tradition, there will be keynote addresses from leading geographers at Royal Holloway, along with a host of innovative workshops aimed at improving your skills as a postgraduate.

No matter what stage of your postgraduate studies you are at, we invite you to join us in Egham for what promises to be another fantastic Mid-Term Conference! More details here, or you can keep up through the menu bar at the top of the page.

Masters: Mapping it Out (number two)

This is the second instalment by Alice Watson, our new Masters representative and a student on the MSc in Migration Studies at the University of Oxford.  The blog is aimed at those interested in becoming or negotiating life as a Masters student. The series, entitled ‘Masters: Mapping it Out’, hopes to offer a light-hearted insight into everything from the application process through to writing a dissertation and thinking about future study. It will provide tips and handy hints and engage with fellow Masters and PhD students who are perfectly placed to reflect on their own experiences and guide those at the very beginning of their academic journeys. Read her second blog entry here.

Academic optimism – highlighting the positive aspects of academic life.

This is a blog about the positive aspects of an academic life, aimed particularly at those students and post-docs who are keen to continue in academia. It is written by David Rose, who was awarded his PhD in 2014 and recently started his first permanent academic post.

Postgraduate Forum – proposals for sponsored/co-sponsored sessions for the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference

We would like to invite proposals for sponsored/co-sponsored sessions for the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2018. The 2018 conference will be held at Cardiff University from Tuesday 28 to Friday 31 August 2018 and will be chaired by Professor Paul Milbourne (Cardiff University) with the focus being on “geographical landscapes / changing landscapes of geography”. More information can be found here, and the full call for sessions can be found here.

In keeping with the ethos of the Postgraduate Forum we would particularly welcome different or non-standard, highly interactive sessions that are of equal benefit to the audience and the presenter. We can sponsor up to a maximum of 12 sessions; each session lasts 1 hour and 40 minutes. If you are interested in sponsorship for a session please send a proposal to Peny Sotiropoulou (P.Sotiropoulou@lboro.ac.uk) and Jo Hickman Dunne (J.L.Hickman-dunne@lboro.ac.uk).

Proposals should include:

  1. Title of session;
  2. Name of co-sponsoring groups (if applicable);
  • Name, affiliation and contact details for session convenors;
  1. Abstract outlining scope of session (max 300 words, excl. references);
  2. Indication of preferred organisation of session (the more creative the better);
  3. Indication of any non-standard arrangements.

The Postgraduate Forum encourages postgraduates to propose sessions. This is a great opportunity to organise a session and the Postgraduate Forum is happy to provide help with the organisation of the sessions should it be required.

The full guidelines for organizing sessions can be found here.

The deadline for proposals is Monday 8th January 2018 and we will be aiming to inform session organisers of sponsorship by the end of Tuesday 16th January 2018. Any questions should be directed to Peny Sotiropoulou (P.Sotiropoulou@lboro.ac.uk). We look forward to receiving your session proposals.

Best wishes,

Peny Sotiropoulou and Jo Hickman Dunne

Annual Conference 2018 Session Organisers, RGS Postgraduate Forum Committee

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference: call for sessions, papers and posters

The call for sessions, papers and posters for the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual International Conference 2018 is now open. The Conference runs from 28 to 31 August 2018 at Cardiff University, and deadline for submissions is Friday 16 February 2018. This is great opportunity for postgrads to present, especially since we will be running our Annual Conference Training Symposium (ACTS) for postgrads at the start of the Conference. See here for details of last years ACTS

University and College Union – free membership for postgrads who teach.

More details here.

RGS-IBG Grants Programme – apply now!

The Society has a number of grants to support geographical research – for postgraduates, early career and more established researchers. Deadlines vary but many are clustered in November, and then again in January and February. There’s full information online at www.rgs.org/Grants.

PGR Workshop: Developing a communications and impact strategy for your research

Tuesday 14th November 2017, 12-4pm,  Sheffield

This workshop, organised by the RGS-IBG Developing Areas Research Group (DARG), will guide postgraduate researchers to develop a communications and impact strategy for their research.

Life at Sea as a Scientist.

Ever wondered what’s it like to carry out research at  sea? Our Physical Geography Officer James Brooks fills us in on the important stuff – like food! (and science, waves and pirates too). Here there be more details.

Tips for translation

Martin Watts, our ACTS Co-ordinator, has penned this fascinating blog about his experiences using a translator for fieldwork, including his top tips for success. More details here.

RGS (IBG) Geographies of Children, Youth and Families group workshop

The workshop, ‘Educating under- and post-graduate geographers for/about/using the geographies of children and youth’, will take place at the RGS-IBG in London on Wednesday 10th January. It’s for anyone who is interested in using research on the geographies of children and youth in their teaching, and will be exploring issues such as:

  1. how to use doctoral research in undergraduate teaching;
  2. should we be delivering modules on the geographies of children and youth? And if so, what makes for a good module?;
  3. what practical exercises work well in class?;
  4. what works well in fieldwork?; and
  5. How can we embed the geographies of children and youth in more general geographical teaching?

In short, this workshop is for you whether you are a postgraduate student, early career researcher/lecturer, or an established academic!

More information is available here.

‘Masters: Mapping it Out’

Alice Watson, our new Masters representative and a student on the MSc in Migration Studies at the University of Oxford, is starting a blog aimed at those interested in becoming or negotiating life as a Masters student. The blog, entitled ‘Masters: Mapping it Out’, hopes to offer a light-hearted insight into everything from the application process through to writing a dissertation and thinking about future study. It will provide tips and handy hints and engage with fellow Masters and PhD students who are perfectly placed to reflect on their own experiences and guide those at the very beginning of their academic journeys. Read her first blog entry here.

Update from the Forum

The new committee has just held its first meeting, and building on the hard work of the previous committee is busy planning events and activities for the coming year. A big thanks to last year’s committee as well as previous ones, who have done a brilliant job acting as a voice for postgrads within the RGS/IBG. Also a big thanks to the RGS/IBG for supporting the Forum.

We’ve moved a few pages around to clear some space, and information and blogs from 2017’s RGS/IBG Annual International Conference, Postgraduate Forum Annual Conference Training Symposium (ACTS), and the PGF Mid-Term Conference are now available under the ‘Past events’ menu.

Watch this space for more information on the current committee as well as upcoming plans. We’re always on the lookout for blogs and information about what’s going on, so please contact us if you have any ideas – photographs are especially welcome.

A facilitator’s story: Reflecting on the RGS-IBG’s Qualitative Methods Postgraduate Workshop

This is the second year I’ve run a postgraduate workshop at the RGS-IBG. The RGS-IBG and the research groups are happy to let us postgrad reps run free and explore the building, supporting and creating a space for us, the geographical academics in training or otherwise known as PhD researchers.

RGS-IGB Annual International Conference 2017: Nearly there!

The programme has now been finalised, and information is here. The conference opening plenary event and drinks reception will be held on the evening of Tuesday 29 August 2017 – all are welcome. This of course is perfect so that PGRs can attend our Annual Conference Training Symposium (ACTS) during the day, then socialise in the evening 🙂

Mid – Term Conference Blog: A few months on

Federico Bellentani,  PhD candidate at Cardiff University reflects on how he found the conference useful. Read his blog here.

RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum’s Annual Conference Training Symposium 2017

The RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum is hosting ACTS, their Annual Conference Training Symposium, on 29th August 2017 at the Royal Geographical Society in London. PGF-ACTS is an annually organised training symposium consisting of series of workshops that focus exclusively on the postgraduate student experience. More information is here.

10 Tips for Overseas Fieldwork

Doing overseas fieldwork can be a challenging undertaking. You don’t know where exactly you’ll end up, where to find respondents and how to organise the meetings. Especially in a narrow timeframe, you may only have one chance to speak to those who will define your research outcomes. Laura Sariego-Kluge (Newcastle University) kindly shares 10 tips for setting up and conducting semi-structured interviews, based on her 2-month period in Australia. Read her story here.

Mid-Term Conference blogging

To start off with we’re sharing one from the Geographies of Health and Wellbeing Research Group. Following on is a piece from Janu Muhammad, an MSc student at the University of Birmingham. Then we have Participatory Geographies Research Group‘s contribution, and the Social and Cultural Geography representative Jamie Halliwell (Manchester Metropolitan) updating you on his undertakings. Rich Gorman (Cardiff University) finishes the page with his reflection on the Rural Geographies session.

But this being a blog, his piece now comes first on the page!

RGS-IBG Postgraduate Workshop: Reflecting on Qualitative Methods

After the success of last year’s methodologies workshop, GFGRG is joint sponsoring a postgraduate qualitative workshop, which will take place on Friday 21st July at the RGS (with IBG) Building in Kensington London. There are limited spaces available, so early booking is recommended. The full workshop schedule and booking information is available on the GFGRG website here.

Any questions, please contact Eve (GFGRG Postgraduate Rep) eveleigh.buck@gmail.com

Top-10 Tips for Dissertation Writing

The month of May has finally crawled around. Masters students all over the world arriving back from the Easter holidays, and dreaming of the long summer about to come. Teaching is over, a couple of exams may be on the horizon, and Morris Dancing season is officially underway. Dreams of what comes next pale in comparison to the relief of another academic year drawing to a close. Yet something is clawing at your mind, something yet to do. Much of the year has been spent moving towards one final push, one more piece of work: the dreaded dissertation.

Blog 23. PhD life: Surviving or Thriving?

In the middle of Mental Health Awareness Week, we were reminded of a recent paper on mental health of PhD students. Some of our earlier blogs spoke about how messy PhDs tend to be, how long the thesis can drag along, and how life revolves around coffee and editing. But how does this survival affect our mental state? Time for an anonymous PhD student to explain the reality of our (psychological) well-being. Read it here.

Job at the RGS-IBG


The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is seeking an enthusiastic and efficient administrative assistant to provide membership, communications, events and general administrative support to the Association for Geographic Information (AGI).

Food Geographies Working Group Writing Workshop – places available

We’re glad to announce that the  Food Geographies Working Group  has been awarded funds from the RGS-IBG  to hold a one-day writing workshop at Bangor University on Wednesday 13 September 2017.  There are still some places available, so we are offering these to geographers beyond the FGWG.

Remember Me. The Changing Face of Memorialisation Interdisciplinary Conference,  April 2018, Hull. 

This AHRC funded project will be holding an interdisciplinary conference from 5-7 April 2018. The conference will be accompanied by a public exhibition of posters, stands and creative visual displays, a dedicated Photography exhibition  and Memorialisation walking trail through the museum quarter. For more information about the conference, or to be added to the mailing list for regular updates, please contact rememberme@hull.ac.uk. The call for papers is now open and closes on 1 September 2017 and can be accessed here.

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 m.c.thompson@ncl.ac.uk

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 (m.c.thompson@ncl.ac.uk) Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the latest updates.


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