FOR SUPPORT, ACCOUNTABILITY AND PRODUCTIVITY
All retreats are guided and supported by experienced facilitators.
0845 - 1515
0845 - 1515
1245 - 1715
0845 - 1515
Please book VWR to secure a place
Where we meet online for an hour to just chat and make friends
Connecting in real life
Watch this space
VWR is working towards developing research that investigates:
1) How does VWR assist the PhD process?
2) How does VWR maintain wellbeing?
3) How effective is VWR?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be involved in shaping this research.
We are a not-for-profit service and rely on donations to deliver social good. Your contributions will enable us to keep providing support to those in need and widen our capacity during COVID-19. Your generous donation will fund our mission. Thank you.
1-2 hour chunks of writing with regular breaks - this process will be guided and supported by a VWR facilitator who will keep you on track.
Catherine Aitken founded Virtual Writing Retreat (VWR), in September 2019 as a tool to hold her accountable to PhD. Through the management pathway at the University of Glasgow, Cat’s research is focused on social enterprise sustainability and how they use their hybridity. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Cat aims to complete her PhD in the next 12 months.
Taking a year break from PhD allowed Cat to secure a Research Assistant (post-doc) role at Heriot-Watt University (HWU) in 2018. Evaluating the scalability and replication of start-up social enterprises on behalf of the Social Innovation Fund, allowed Cat to look at the social impact of the sector and this further strengthened her passion for the field of social entrepreneurship. Moreover, this led to a teaching post at HWU, where she teaches on various modules on the International Business Management degrees, supervises dissertation students and organises a global postgraduate module.
Prior to pursuing an academic career Cat worked in community education, where she worked with young people from areas of deprivation. This is where her ability and passion for enabling disadvantaged groups to reach their full potential was formed, and a keen interest in widening participation was developed.
Cat has an interesting background as a first-generation graduate. She left high school without qualifications, was homeless at 16 years old and had her son as a teenager. She attributes her drive to her son Blain, who has been her primary focus in life. Blain, now 19 years old, was voted the most influential Fifer of 2018 by the Fife Free Press for his advocacy work with minority groups. This work helped influence and shape government inclusion policy and the national curriculum. Blain now studies Robotics Engineering at Heriot-Watt University.
Cats vision for VWR in a broader sense, is to increase diversity at a postgraduate level and widen the participation of underrepresented groups in academia by highlighting heterogeneous academic profiles of scholars.
Dr Maja Brandt Andreasen is a researcher of feminist media studies, specialising in social media, internet memes, rape culture, and humour. She finished her PhD in Gender Studies from the University of Strathclyde in March 2020 after successfully completing her Viva over Zoom. Her PhD thesis investigates rape culture in humorous internet memes about #MeToo. Next to her PhD, Maja has taught courses in Gender Studies, Media Studies and Journalism at the universities of Strathclyde and Stirling. She also supervises undergraduate and MLitt dissertations.
Maja currently works as a research associate on the CILIA LGBTQI+ project at Strathclyde: Comparing Intersectional Lifecourse (In)equlities Among LGBTQI+ people in Scotland.
Maja is originally from Denmark but lived in Amsterdam for five years before she moved to Glasgow to pursue her PhD. She is an enthusiastic home cook and foodie with a secret passion for crime shows and musicals.
"I joined VWR at a point where I was juggling a lot of different tasks. I was preparing for my Viva, teaching, supervising dissertations and writing endless job applications. At the same time, I was struggling to find time to write the first journal article based on my PhD research. VWR enabled me to focus on those few days I could dedicate to writing. Since then I have used the VWR as a community to help structure my days and find support from people who understand the struggles of a PhD and academic life. I decided to become a facilitator to give back to the community and because it’s honestly a pleasure".
You can follow Maja on twitter: @MajaBAndreasen1
Receive alerts for our latest blogs and new virtual writing retreat dates