Which course is right for me?

An overview of the 2018 Summer School workshops

Please note the workshops take place at the same time from Monday - Friday each week, so it is possible to take one course per week only.

The next Summer School workshops are listed below grouped by theme:

I'm at the beginning of my PhD journey - I need help to understand the PhD process, the journey and how to plan to hand in a quality thesis on time....

This year we are offering two options to do a PhD preparatory course: Preparing for the PhD (8 - 12 January), is always a popular choice but as this course takes place at the same time as some valuable introductory courses on research design during week 1, we are also offering a shortened 3-day preparatory course for those who want to do both. Creating a successful dissertation from 4 - 6 January is, aimed at delegates planning to start their PhDs imminently or are in the early phase of their PhD and want to understand the background and context of the doctoral process. By offering this condensed course, it will also allow delegates to be able to take other introductory courses in the first week. As there is a large degree of overlap with the week 1 course, it is recommended that you select only one of the two and be sure to consider carefully which course you should take.

Preparing for the PhD - a roadmap for your dissertation: (8 - 12 January) by Dr Layla Cassim and Dr Nicolene Herman. This workshop is aimed at candidates across all disciplines, who are about to start their PhD journey, or are still in the planning phases and want to understand the background and context of the doctoral process. This preparatory course addresses a number of the difficulties new PhD candidates are often faced with. We work through the PhD process, taking you from the proposal and background to your study through to dealing with your examiner feedback, disseminating your science and everything in between. Included is a Postgraduate Toolkit that will help to guide you as your move through your research and dissertation writing. During the course, the presenters place great value also on student resilience during the process, as well as and taking charge of your project.

Project management principles for researchers by Joubert van Eeden is a one day course taking place on Saturday the 13th of January. This course aims to offer an insight into project management for researchers busy with their PhD. Writing grant proposals, presented by Ms. Riana Coetsee also  on the 13th January, is another one-day course, offering valuable and hands-on training for anyone wanting to know what should be included in a successful grant proposal. 

I need training in research design and methodology

The ADA is very pleased to host two collaborators and colleagues from the USA that will presenting courses on QuantitativeQualitative and Mixed Methods Research Design and Methodologies.

Prof Tim Guetterman hails from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), one of the top public research universities in the USA. Prof Guetterman is an applied research methodologist and will again be presenting two courses. In week 1 (8 - 12 January) he will be teaching an introductory course on Quantitative research design, aimed at early phase PhD candidates looking to upskill their quantitative research capabilities. In week two he will again be teaching his popular course on Designing a Mixed Methods Research Study (15 - 19 January). The course is aimed at delegates from the Social Sciences, and those who are about to design a mixed methods research study.

Prof Wayne Babchuk from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln will be presenting a course on an introduction to Qualitative Research Design (8 - 12 January). His course is aimed at novice qualitative researchers who want to learn more about and fine-tune their skills in qualitative research design and methodology. The course will have a strong holistic and interdisciplinary focus and draw upon examples from the social and health sciences and education over time and across cultures. This course could be followed by the mixed methods presentation.

I want to acquire skills for data analysis with software packages

Essentials for R - an introduction: R is an open source programming language for statistical procedures and is a highly customisable (and free) software environment, making it an increasingly popular choice among scholars and researchers. R provides a wide variety of statistical and graphical techniques as well as many built-in statistical procedures. Graphing capability is another reason R is gaining wide popularity. The workshop is presented by Dr An Carbonez (8 - 12 January) from our partner institution, (KU Leuven)) in Belgium. Read more about the R programme on their website here.

2017 saw the release of a new version of ATLAS.ti. Version 8 , with the ADA presenting the first workshop internationally. We are fortunate to have Monitoring and Evaluation expert, Dr Lauren Wildschut, present the introductory ATLAS.ti course from 15-19 January. Delegates should already be familiar with the basic concepts of social research and be computer literate and competent in order to register for this course.  The course on Advanced qualitative data analysis with ATLAS.ti will take place in the first week from 8 - 12 January, and requires delegates to have a firm and working understanding of the software. The advanced ATLAS.ti course by ATLAS.ti guru and author of the textbook Qualitative Data Analysis with ATLAS.ti Dr Susanne Friese takes place in the preceding week to allow delegates that might be taking other preparatory courses in week 1 to do the introductory course in week 2.

Also included in the Data Analysis component is an Introduction to SPSS (Dr Cindy Lee Steenekamp) (8 - 12 January). The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) is used widely for statistical analysis in the social sciences, and has also become popular in other disciplines.  This is an introductory course, ideally suited for first time users or participants with limited experience with the software program. The Intermediary SPSS course will be presented in week 2 (15 - 19 January) by Dr Nelius Boshoff and is recommended for those who have been using SPSS for some time or have attended a previous introductory course. 

Learning to apply innovative thinking in my research and achieve my goals

Dr Sebastian Kernbach (University of St Gallen, Switzerland) again presents The Productive PhD - Creating structure, gaining clarity & overcoming blocks (15 - 19 January). This course is aimed at those students from all disciplines who are busy with their PhDs or research projects, have hit a mental 'wall' or are struggling to motivate themselves to work through a problem. The course teaches successful innovation in scholarship and explores how "design thinking" can improve the research process to make us more innovative scholars or scientists. Especially emerging scholars and interdisciplinary researchers could benefit from newly learned tools, techniques, support, and inspiration to approach their research in an innovative and playful spirit of design.

Publishing and disseminating my research 

Furthering your writing and publishing skills: For those candidates who are at a stage where they are generating articles from their dissertations, we are offering Writing and Publishing from the PhD, for delegates in the last phases of their PhDs with Dr Ruth Albertyn and Dr Christel Troskie De Bruin (8 - 12 January). You will be offered the opportunity to work with a highly experienced writing mentor who will help you refine your draft. Delegates are required to bring a draft (with publishable data) article to the workshop, with the requirements (publication/technical) of their intended journal for publication and then work towards having a publication-ready version to submit by the end of the workshop.

Novice and first-time writers in the life sciences can also consider taking the Article writing for novice writers in the life sciences by KU Leuven presenter, Dr Maarten Ghequire

Effective communication; Presenting a poster, writing an article, and giving an oral presentation presented by Prof John Creemers from KU Leuven and Ms. Vicky Davis aims to capacitate PhD researchers in the broad field of Life Sciences who are going to present a poster or give an oral presentation at a scientific meeting, or need to write a manuscript for publication. 

The Digital Scholar: Using emerging and multimedia technologies to further your research and teaching projects, Prof Wim van Petegem (KU Leuven) returns to the Summer School to present this popular course (15 - 19 January). The course is designed for the Digital Scholar of the future, i.e. PhD students and graduates from all disciplines. This includes participants who want to further develop their skills on how to drive project websites, how to use social media, how to visualise research outcomes or learning analytics, how to cope with fast moving new trends in multimedia technology for research and teaching, and how to develop multimedia learning materials.

Furthering my career as a supervisor 

Prof Jan Botha will be facilitating our well-known competence course on Doctoral Supervision for new and novice supervisors (8 - 12 January). The focus of the course is on the PhD as knowledge production accompanied by the appropriate pedagogical principles and practices. Insights based on up-to-date research on doctoral education underpin the course. Theoretical and practical dimensions of doctoral supervision are blended in the presentations and activities. Delegates must already have a PhD (or be graduating in the next few months) in order to participate in the workshop.


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