GW4 Doctoral Student Training Scheme

Develop your own research training

The purpose of this award is to fund new student-led discipline-specific research training for postgraduate research students studying at GW4 universities.

Are you and your fellow students in need of discipline-specific research training that isn’t currently on offer? Do you think there might be a need for this training at the other GW4 institutions as well?  Are you interested in implementing such training?

If so, you should consider applying for funding from the GW4 Doctoral Student Training Scheme, through which you can bid for up to £2,000 to fund discipline-specific training.

Click here for Information about the GW4 Doctoral Student Training Scheme.

Click here for the GW4 Doctoral Student Training Scheme Application Form.

Click here for the GW4 Doctoral Student Training Scheme Guidelines for more details about what is expected if your application is successful.

The deadline for this call has now passed. The next call is expected to open in early 2018.


The successful projects for 2017 are listed below.

(Please find the successful projects from 2016 here.)

If you have any questions please get in contact with the project lead.


Digital Research Methods: Harnessing Social Media Data for Social Science Research

Project lead: Clarence Singleton (

This workshop will introduce participants to the study of social questions using digital methods tools, techniques and research principles to explore the web and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Grounded in a critical understanding of the strengths and limitations of digital methods, participants will be taken through a series of research steps including data extraction and analysis in the context of a critical, reflexive framework. The aim of the workshop is to equip participants with the confidence to initiate a deeper engagement with these methods and to explore further learning for themselves in critical, reflexive ways. To gain the most from the one day event, participants will be asked to prepare for the workshop by reading a few foundational papers and installing relevant (free) software onto their laptops beforehand, although there will be alternative options provided for those who are unable to do this. Students will be provided with materials at the end of the day including a ‘Toolkit for digital methods’ that will include an extensive list of various tools and applications for extracting, analysing and visualising data from various social media platforms.

19 May 2017, University of Bath (Event and registration details)


Postgraduate Training for Research at Cardiovascular-Engineering Interface

Project lead: Doyin Mansell (

There are many different disciplines all working towards the same goal: understanding and improving cardiovascular medicine. However, there is often little communication between similar research teams across various institutions, and a researcher from one discipline may find it hard to translate research conducted by another. The emphasis of this course is to give researchers information and training in aspects of cardiovascular medicine related to vascular disease, myocardial infarction, and heart failure at levels understandable to every participant. This is a one day course which will bring together students from multiple disciplines connected to cardiovascular health sciences, with a mixture of lectures, practical, and networking sessions, covering topics such as medical image analysis, cardiovascular pathologies, and clinical diagnostic practice.

18 May 2017, University of Bath (Event and registration details)


Fundamental Biological Techniques

Project lead: Rory Crean (

This student -led workshop will provide GW4 postgraduates with the opportunity to learn from experts across the GW4 about the key biological technique of protein manipulation and analysis. This workshop will therefore provide an A-Z guide to proteins, starting from the beginning with expression and purification, and ending with various analysis techniques.  A dinner and poster session (all attendees are invited to present) will then be held, and the event will be capped off with a plenary lecture by Prof. Christian Soeller (Exeter). This event is free to attend, and a travel bursary, lunch, dinner, and refreshments will all be provided, so please do come along.

26 July 2017, University of Bath (Event and registration details)


Arts and Humanities Editing Workshops

Project lead: Louise Benson James (

A one-day editing training workshop at the University of Bristol for twenty-eight GW4 students from the arts, humanities and relevant social science disciplines. Attendees will learn valuable skills in peer-reviewing, proofreading and providing feedback in a friendly, nurturing environment. In addition, participants will benefit from two distinct sets of detailed constructive criticism to make improvements to their own work, and learn good editing practice, tips and frameworks to take away and implement in their own work. The event will encourage professional networks, learning about other projects among the new generation of GW4 doctoral researchers within these fields. Participants will be encouraged to maintain lasting editing and peer-review groups following the workshop.

27 June 2017, University of Bristol (Event and registration details)


Methods for Reproducible Science Workshop

Project lead: David Mehler (

Many scientific disciplines including Cancer research, Genetics and Psychology currently face the so-called Replication Crisis: independent research groups fail to replicate a significant amount of previously published work.

This one-day training event is dedicated to the topic “reproducible science” and how we can make science more robust and replicable. The programme has been developed through conversations with experts in reproducible science who will provide theoretical background and demonstrate practical solutions.

Topics of preregistration, good data and code sharing practices, fallibility in science and statistical power will be covered. The training will be relevant to GW4 PhD students across disciplines that involve quantitative data analysis, including biomedical research, psychology, public health and related fields. More information will be provided on our website.

7 July 2017, Cardiff University (Event and registration details)


Taming the Theoretical Beast: Understanding, Selecting and Applying a Theoretical Framework to your Doctoral Research – A workshop for qualitative PhD researchers

Project lead: Carolyn Graham (

“What is your theoretical framework?” The dreaded question for many PhD students. Does it matter? What does it mean to “apply” a theory in the social sciences? Do I really need to declare allegiance to a specific school of thought? What can I gain from using the right theory? Where do I begin?

This workshop provides a space for participants to engage with these issues freely and openly. At the end participants should have gained some knowledge and skills to not only confidently respond to the questions above, but to select and apply a theoretical framework to their doctoral research.

30 June 2017, Cardiff University (Event and registration details)


Methodological approaches to document analysis in Social Sciences

Project lead: Maria Pournara (

This one-day workshop aims to introduce doctoral researchers to various approaches of analysing documents either on their own or as part of multimodal designs. Document analysis is one of the most widely used methods in Social Sciences research, yet many researchers do not feel entirely confident about analysing documents. This can be explained by a general attitude among social scientists that documents are merely ‘common sense’ versions of social phenomena that do not necessitate any particularly sophisticated scientific analysis.  Therefore, the training will provide attendees with an overview of main types and methodologies to documents; encouragement to experiment with different methodological approaches, and reflect on their relevance to their research questions; an opportunity to network with fellow researchers who share an interest on written texts.

23 June 2017, Cardiff University (Event and registration details)


Statistics for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics Research

Project leads: Denis Plotnikov ( & Neema Ghorbani Mojarrad (

Recently, large genetic datasets are becoming more widely used and offer unprecedented opportunities to better understand disease and health. This one day event combines a lecture series by expert researchers in the field, as well as a practical workshop on genome-wide-association-studies (GWAS). Key statistics and principles of genetics will be covered, alongside post GWAS data analysis techniques and how to present results in a useful manner.
This event is aimed at novices in genetics, from any subject area, and is intended to give students confidence in using these resources in their research, and how to interpret their results.

16 June 2017, Cardiff University (Event and registration details)


Introductory workshop to Laban Movement Analysis

Project lead: Sinibaldo de Rosa (

During this one-day introductory training you will learn the basics of Laban Movement Analysis (LMA), a recognized system for describing, analysing and interpreting all varieties of movement of the human body. You will gain an embodied awareness of your own movements before acquiring some of the theoretical notions. In this sense you will be escorted into an embodied experiential appraisal of your own individual movement patterns as well as of group dynamics. The workshop will provide a space for the practical exploration of these emerging movement patterns, as well as for their discussion through the theoretical lenses of LMA. LMA was introduced by Rudolf Laban, one of the most important figures in contemporary dance history as well as a visual artist, and further developed in Europe, the UK and US by several scholars and movement practitioners (Irmgard Bartenieff, Warren Lamb, Peggy Hackney and Carol-Lynne Moore among others). It occupies a specific place among the wider methodologies for the study of human movement firstly originated by Laban, aiming at outlining tools to approach the qualities of movement above the sole scope of staged performance.

19 June 2017, University of Exeter (Event and registration details)


Successful applicants have said the following about the GW4 Doctoral Student Training Scheme:

(This scheme was previously known as “GW4 Researcher-Led Discipline-Specific Training Fund”)

“It provided an excellent opportunity to access high-quality training and to share this with postgraduate research students from across the GW4. The students benefited from learning valuable skills that were applicable to their diverse projects and the occasion encouraged collaboration. As well as the expert-led training material, I gained valuable experience in applying for, and securing funding, and learning what it takes to organise a collaborative training day.”
(Cheryl McQuire, Cardiff University)

“I am grateful to GW4 for funding this training day which allowed me to develop a skill that is both crucial to my research and also of great interest to me academically and personally. The day was well received and inspired me to continue to develop the opportunity.”
(Matthew Parry, Cardiff University)