The Social Scholar seminar is back with another lunchtime session, this time on Wednesday 18 February 2015, 1pm-2pm, in room 243 (Senate House). This week our focus will be on Research and Podcasts, and how audio and video can be an aid to the researcher and administrator in promoting the work that is done and building connections. As per usual we sat down with the speakers to ask them to put into their own words what they will be talking about.

Title: Podcasting academic research: PhD-Casts and Viva-Voce – giving voice to your research

Speakers: Gemma Sou (University of Manchester); John Gallagher (University of Cambridge)

The seminar is FREE but we request that you RSVP via Eventbrite.

SAS: Thank you Gemma (Sou) and John (Gallagher) for talking with us, first of all could you tell us a little more about yourselves?

Gemma: Yes, of course. I just handed in my PhD and will have my viva in March in Development studies at the University of Manchester. I’m native to Liverpool and despite setting up Viva Voce, I am not quite a ‘techy’ web whizz.

John: I’m a historian of early modern Britain and Europe, working on vernacular language-learning. I’ve just passed my viva (phew) and am in the first year of a research fellowship at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. I’m a co-founder of PhDcasts, along with Ruth Rushworth (now at the University of Manchester) and Dr. Richard Blakemore (now at Merton College, Oxford). If you’d like to ask us anything, we’re @earlymodernjohn, @anotherrambler, and @historywomble on Twitter!

SAS: Most of the Social Scholar sessions have focused on Blogging and communication tools such as Twitter. This time around though we wanted to look at a different kind of tool, in this case podcasts. Could you both tell us a little bit about the two projects that you set up?

Gemma: Viva-Voce is a social media platform that allows researchers in the Social Sciences to set up 3 minute podcasts about their research and research interests. We’re more interested in the topic of your research (‘what you do’) than how many publications or years of experience you have (‘how much you have done’).  Each short and sweet Podcast is accompanied by direct links to up to two of your publications, personal websites, Twitter ID, and e-mail.

John: We started PhDcasts in association with the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH) because we felt that the researchers we knew had amazing stories to tell, but that there weren’t many avenues for PhD students in the humanities who wanted to get their research out there. Our PhDcasts are 30 minute interviews with doctoral students on topics as diverse as luxury in 20th-century France and the archaeology of the Indus civilisation. They aim to introduce exciting topics while also giving an idea of what it is that researchers actually do all day.

SAS: And finally, what can we expect from you at the Social Scholar?

Gemma: I’d like to give you a taster of the website and to tell why I decided to set it up in the final year of my PhD. Hopefully I can entice some of the attendees to set up a podcast too as it’s really simple and free.

John: An introduction to our PhDcasts and a chat about why we did what we did – and plenty of encouragement and advice for anyone who’d like to try doing something similar! (Also an almost insatiable hunger for biscuits.)

SAS: Thank you both for your time and we look forward to seeing you on the day.

If you would like to join us at the Social Scholar then please check out the full details on this event on the SAS events system. Please RSVP your interest in attending on Eventbrite. The Social Scholar is a FREE seminar held by the School of Advanced Study every month. Please also follow us on Twitter @SASNews hashtag #socialscholar.

social scholar 18-02-2015