PhDs from around Europe attend once a year the Windsor workshop in the reverend halls of the grand Cumbeland Lodge in the Windsor Park. This years attendees Owen King and Fran Falcini from the York University and Lauren Knight from the Portsmouth University describe and advertize in this guest blog the workshop.
The Windsor Workshop is an annual, 4 day event organised by the British Society for Geomorphology that is designed to welcome first year PhD students into the world of academia, preparing them for the trials and tribulations they may face over the next 3 years of their project.
The Workshop is held at the grand Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Park and is a stunning location, especially on the frosty mornings and under the bright blue skies of our stay. The accommodation, catering (which is superb and plentiful) and entertainment on offer in the Lodge make it the perfect location to work and learn in a relaxed atmosphere. A wander around the Lodge, which contains some weird and wonderful pieces of artwork and statues (see below), and the grounds is highly recommended!
After a chance to meet all the other attending students on the first evening, our workshop began with a discussion on the philosophy of science; a thought provoking exercise that made us all think carefully about what we can and can’t believe or say as scientists as well as delve into scientific rigour and method! The following few days were filled with a range of tasks including designing a PhD project (unrelated to your own) from scratch and then presenting your design for it, experimenting with models which simulate everything from the greenhouse effect to how many wolves it takes to decimate a flock of sheep, and presenting our preliminary PhD project ideas to others studying similar topics. Lectures and seminars on paper submission, open-access publishing, the peer-review process and how to handle yourself on social media all gave vital information on how to effectively present yourself and your research to the broader scientific community.
As with those that attended in previous years, we would highly recommend the Windsor Workshop to any 1st year PhD students with an interest in any aspect of Geomorphology as it is a great way to meet prominent academics with the field and well as other PhD student. It truly is a great way to help you kick-start your PhD project.
The next BSG Windsor workshop will be held in December 2015 – expect an announcement to be made this October.
By Owen King and Fran Falcini, PhD researchers from the York University and Lauren Knight, PhD researcher from the Portsmouth University