FOR SUPPORT, ACCOUNTABILITY AND PRODUCTIVITY
All retreats are guided and supported by experienced facilitators.
0845 - 1515
1800 - 2100
0845 - 1515
1800 - 2100
0845 - 1515
Please book below to secure a place
We meet every fortnight over zoom to chat, offload & share a few laughs.
Chats with other researchers at a similar stage of PhD or in a similar field (where possible). A chance to share & discuss your research.
Connecting in real life
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.
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.
Cat 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 investigates the varying degrees of hybridity in social enterprise & the impact on sustainability. In particular she is interested in the diversity of the sector & the influence of context. Cat won her PhD funding through the open competition at the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) & will submit her PhD in the next 12 months.
Cat worked as a Research Assistant at Heriot-Watt University in 2018/2019. In this role she evaluated the readiness of start-up social enterprise for scale and replication & produced a report for the social innovation fund partnership. This led to a teaching post where she taught on various modules on the International Business Management degrees, supervised UG dissertations and organised a global postgraduate module. Cat is now pursing a complementary piece of research alongside her PhD as part of an internship with InspirAlba & maps the unique characteristics of rural & remote social enterprise in Scotland. Outcomes from this project will be published in March 2021.
Prior to pursuing an academic career Cat worked in community education & worked with young people from areas of deprivation.
Cats vision for VWR in a broader sense, is to highlight underrepresented groups in academia by promoting the heterogeneous profiles of scholars. Furthermore, she aims to tackle education inequality by offering free retreats to low income students.
Cat is a first generation graduate & has a son in University. In her spare time she likes to ride her motorcycle, walk her huge dogs & unsurprisingly, loves to write.
You can follow her on twitter: @cataitken
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
Maja facilitates on Wednesdays, 0845 - 1515
Hilary Causer is a qualitative and mixed-methods researcher. Her research interests include suicidology and postvention, mental health and wellbeing, and workplace culture and wellbeing. Hilary was awarded her PhD from the University of Worcester following her Viva in December 2020. Her thesis explored the experiences of staff members in two United Kingdom Higher Education Institutions following a student death by suicide.
Alongside her studies, Hilary was a founding member of the University of Worcester Staff Mental Health Network and worked alongside the University of Worcester Research School to develop improved routes to mental health information and support for PGR students.
Hilary is currently authoring a book chapter and two academic papers reporting the findings of her research. In addition, she is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Prior to undertaking a PhD Hilary worked in social care and mental health settings within the public and third sectors with children, young people and their families.
To take time away from the screen Hilary enjoys hillwalking, photography and quilt-making.
“I first came to VWR in April 2020. During the early weeks of lockdown, with a thesis to write, I was in search of some structure to shape my days and a way to hold myself accountable. What I also found was a welcoming and friendly community of PhD and ECR academics who offered encouragement, support, and kindness. I quickly became a community regular and when the opportunity arose to become a retreat facilitator it was easy to say ‘yes please!’ I wholeheartedly believe that VWR played a crucial part in enabling me to write and submit my thesis, during a pandemic, ahead of my deadline.”
You can follow Hilary on twitter: @HilaryCauser
Hilary facilitates on Fridays, 0845 - 1515
Gift Cards for those who care about their research buddies!
For PI's who want to support their students!
For Institutions who care about their cohort's wellbeing.
Buy them the gift of support & community!
£3 - 1 day
£39 - 4 weeks
£117 - 3 months
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.