Date range
27 August 2019, 2:00pm to 31 August 2019, 4:00pm
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Our annual ‘Life Beyond the PhD’ conference is back! Join us for this unique celebration of postgraduate research culture in the UK.

Now in its 12th year, this annual, sell-out conference invites PhD students and early career researchers from all over the UK to share experiences of doctoral study, take part in valuable personal development opportunities, and explore the wider social value of doctoral research, in an inclusive and supportive environment. 

The varied programme includes sessions on:

  • Presentation and writing skills

  • Public engagement

  • Self-leadership for researchers

  • Interdisciplinary research proposals

  • Mental health for doctoral students

  • Sharing research with a nonspecialist audience.

'Life Beyond the PhD' offers opportunities for sharing research and career aspirations, exploring collaborative and interdisciplinary ways of working, and presenting to a diverse, non-expert audience.

The programme is designed to highlight the value of PhDs, both inside and outside of academia, and to generate ongoing support networks that cross traditional, institutional and disciplinary boundaries.

More than 480 students and early career researchers, from 113 different higher education institutions across the UK, have already benefited from participating in this event. 


Speakers at this year's conference include:

Dr Steve Joy - Head of Researcher Development, University of Cambridge

Professor Helen Nicholson - Vice Principal (Research Impact and Interdisciplinarity), Royal Holloway, University of London

Dr Laura Castells Navarro - Osteoarcheaologist, and former Cumberland Lodge Fellow

Dr Paul Whittington - Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Bournemouth

Margaret Webster - Copywriter and writing coach

Alex Blower - PhD student, University of Wolverhampton, and Cumberland Lodge Fellow

Lucy Kissick - PhD Student, University of Oxford, and Vlogger

Dr Eilidh Cage - Researcher and Lecturer, Royal Holloway, University of London

Dr Catherine Lichten - Senior Analyst, RAND Europe

Ben Ryan - Head of Research, THEOS

Dr Jason Arday - Senior Teaching Fellow, Warwick University

Dr Katherine O'Lone - Researcher and Public Education Officer, Woolf Institute, and former Cumberland Lodge Fellow

Dr Matthew Smith - Senior Lecturer in Public Humanities

Amy Orben - DPhil Candidate and College Lecturer, University of Oxford

Profiles for all our guest speakers can be found on this webpage.


If you have any questions about our 2019 conference, please contact our Programme team at

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