Our renowned ‘Life Beyond the PhD’ conference is back, after a year off due to the pandemic! Join us at Cumberland Lodge, in the heart of Windsor Great Park, for five days of thought-provoking discussions and interdisciplinary engagement with fellow doctoral students from across the UK.
Every summer, this sell-out conference brings together current and recent PhD students, from diverse fields of research, to share experiences of doctoral study and explore the wider social value of doctoral research, in an inclusive and supportive environment. This year’s guest speakers will be confirmed shortly.
Graduate schools across the country have been invited to reserve a limited number of places for doctoral students to attend, and will be running competitions to fill those, in due course.
Please note that we are sticking to a significantly reduced participation of about 50% full capacity this year, to help ensure that everyone attending and working at the conference can do so in confidence.
All self-funded places for this conference (£400 per person) have sold out.
Register for digital conference alerts
If you were unable to secure a place this year, we will not be releasing further tickets at this stage but we are running a lighter, digital version of this conference in the autumn, and waiting list registrants for the full August conference will be given priority booking status.
To receive an early alert about places on virtual conference this autumn, please register your interest here:
Many universities run open competitions for fully funded places at this conference. Please enquire with your graduate school office to see whether this support is available to you.
What's in it for me?
Our varied programme is designed to help you develop the transferable skills you will need to maximise the impact of your academic work in the wider world, both within and outside of academia. This year we focus on communication, public engagement, interdisciplinary working and the job market for postgraduate students. Session include:
- Presentation skills and writing for non-academic audiences
- Sharing research with non-specialists
- Dedicated 1:1 CV writing skills
- Collaboration skills to optimise social impact
This unique event presents the opportunity to explore the social value of PhDs, both inside and outside of academia, and aims to develop long-lasting support networks across traditional, institutional and disciplinary boundaries.
More than 530 students and early career researchers, from 113 different higher education institutions across the UK, have already benefited from participating in this event. After attending our 2019 conference, 95% of delegates agreed that their PhD had value, both inside and outside of academia, and 90% felt more confident about communicating their research to specialists and non-specialists.
Our Life Beyond the PhD delegates on the lawn in 2017
This conference takes place physically at Cumberland Lodge, in line with Government requirements. All participants will be required to consent to relevant testing, contact tracing and health monitoring requests, and comply with our procedures for helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We are proud to be a Covid-secure venue, with ‘We’re Good to Go’ accreditation from VisitEngland. You can find out more about the measures we are continuing to take this summer, in light of the ongoing pandemic, here.
At Cumberland Lodge we value the connections that form when people from diverse ages, backgrounds and perspectives meet face-to-face and engage in open dialogue in a welcoming and convivial environment. Participants on part-time or professional doctorates, or non-traditional pathways, are very welcome!
This year, to facilitate maximum participation, elements of Life Beyond the PhD will also be made available to purchase and watch back online, later in the year.
If you have any enquiries about this year's conference or would like to get involved, please contact Sarah Galvin (Programme Administrator) at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find out more about the conferences we run for students each year, here.
I found Life Beyond the PhD an exceptionally positive experience, far more so than I had expected. The discussions were open and generated good dialogue among participants, and the range of topics selected suited the audience well. – Life Beyond the PhD delegate, 2019
Before attending, I was surrounded by people who were focused on academia as a career pathway... Putting things into perspective, in terms of the job market, and learning about different ways of using a PhD to build your career of choice was highly beneficial. – Life Beyond the PhD delegate, 2018
After attending, I understood that a PhD can and should be about more than simply a volume that a handful of people read: it as an unparalleled opportunity to grow as a future employee and employer, and to disseminate my knowledge to wider audiences. – Life Beyond the PhD delegate, 2018
As a part-time and older researcher, I very much appreciated having the space and time to really think about my work in the wider context of research ongoing across the UK. – Life Beyond the PhD delegate, 2018
I absolutely loved being a part of the conference community that we created. I felt challenged by the workshop exercises and stimulated by the lectures and discussions. – Life Beyond the PhD delegate, 2018
It had a positive and lasting impact on my personal and professional development. It was very therapeutic, particularly because I met and connected with so many PhD students from different disciplines. – Life Beyond the PhD delegate, 2019
Delegates taking part in a Life Beyond the PhD session