Our International PhD Forum is seeking new leadership

What is the PhD Forum and what are its aims?

Research within the Design Society community offers many possibilities of exchange and collaboration between fellow researchers. While these opportunities cover a broad scope from young researchers to senior members of the community with a range of research interests, the PhD Forum aims to support the specific needs of PhD students. The PhD forum provides an opportunity for PhD students to discuss their research questions and ideas with their peers and experienced researchers to support their research.

In its current form the PhD Forum has been running successfully at alternating DESIGN and ICED conferences since 2012. This event routinely reaches capacity, attracting between 20-40 PhD students, as well as bringing together early career and senior academics in the field.

In doing this we have strived to foster an equitable and inclusive, research quality focused discussion amongst participants, building on three main aims:

  • To foster the exchange of ideas and research approaches between younger researchers
  • To provide opportunities for discussing personal research topics, methodologies and potential problems with experts
  • To enhance networking and collaboration


Where next for the PhD Forum?

The original vision of the PhD Forum was that it would be led by early career academics who could empathise with the struggles of the PhD student and provide a bridge between PhDs and senior academics in the field. Further, in creating the forum we wanted to plant a seed for the growth of further PhD and young academic support within the community.

To retain the essence of this vision we need to hand the PhD Forum to the next generation and empower them to develop it and help meet the needs of future PhD students. To that end we are seeking new leadership for the PhD Forum to take it into the next 5 years and establish a constitution for the longer term.


What are we looking for and how to apply?

If you are interested in giving back to the community, developing research quality in the field, and growing your own experience in leading community activities then this might be the opportunity for you. We are looking for:

  • Early career academics who are members of the Design Society
  • A passion for community and research quality
  • A drive to make a difference in the field and ideas for how to make this happen in the PhD Forum

To apply send a CV and 1 page cover letter with a statement on your relevance for this role and any ideas you might have in this area to philip.cash@northumbria.ac.uk and admin@designsociety.org CC'ed before 31st of January 2024.


What will happen next?

In collaboration with the Design Society, we will review applications and, if there are multiple qualified candidates, invite you to an interview around the mid of February 2024.

The successful applicant(s) will take on the leadership of the PhD Forum, aiming to deliver the event at the DESIGN conference in May 2024. The current leadership team will work with you to help make the hand-over smooth and support you in delivering this event. We will also help you in formulating a constitution and succession plan for the long term. After the DESIGN conference the current leadership will fully step back but remain available in an advisory role if so desired.

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