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Developing our doctoral community online

Alliance MBS is renowned for its friendly and supportive environment – and the postgraduate research community is no exception. Every year, our researchers forge strong links across our different doctoral programmes, cohorts and academic divisions.

Recognising that opportunities to interact with peers have been more limited over the last twelve months, the doctoral office has organised a series of interactive online sessions in partnership with the Brathay Trust. The sessions will help researchers set aside some time to think about the opportunities that are available to engage with their peers.

There are three sessions planned before the end of this semester to help catalyse connections. Each session will be delivered twice to accommodate different time zones for those who have not been able to travel to Manchester. Through a mix of group sessions and breakout groups, the events aim to help doctoral researchers with the following areas:

Session 1 Build personal links within your learning community through subject interest and personal interest groups
Session 2

Improve engagement with your community by providing touchstone meeting opportunities and catalysing independent group meetups

Session 3

Facilitate peer-to-peer support

Helen McManamon, Doctoral Programmes Manager, Alliance Manchester Business School, commented: “These engaging sessions offer our researchers an opportunity to meet people on the same journey, including those at a different stage. They are also a great chance to engage in small group conversations, feedback on what works well already and suggest useful changes for the future. We encourage all doctoral researchers to take advantage of these opportunities to build a deeper foundation for our community. Feedback so far has been positive and participants found the first session extremely beneficial."

Jana Kochova, PhD Researcher in Business-to-Business Marketing and Purchasing said: "It was great to attend the first session; it was an amazing opportunity. Working with the Brathay Trust has enabled our cohort to discuss very real issues that have been imposed on PhD researchers, especially the challenges that arose over the past year. The best parts of the workshop were the wonderful people I met and the overall atmosphere that was provided for us to talk and listen to each other. It helped us to seek solutions and, most importantly, develop friendships that will last way beyond the workshop.”

Jenny Twyford, PhD Researcher at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research added: "The Brathay session provided a place for informal discussions between postgraduate researchers that I thoroughly enjoyed. The last year hasn’t given us many opportunities to interact in an informal manner, so this was a great place to chat to people that I had not met prior to the pandemic."

Postgraduate researchers are encouraged to register now for the second session, which will take place on 7 May. For details on the event and joining instructions, please email Mark Falzon