FOR SUPPORT, ACCOUNTABILITY AND PRODUCTIVITY
All retreats are guided and supported by experienced facilitators.
0845 - 1515
0845 - 1515
0845 - 1515
Please book below to secure a place
All monthly pass holders will gain access to our 24/7 Drop-in Room
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.
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's second piece of research outside her PhD identifies the characteristics of rural & remote social enterprise in Scotland. You can read more about this research on rural social enterprise hub.
Prior to pursuing an academic career Cat worked in community education & worked with young people from areas of deprivation . This is where her sense of community was established. In her spare time she likes to ride her motorcycle & walk her huge dogs.
Cats vision for VWR in a broader sense is to tackle education inequality by offering free retreats to low income students.
"I created VWR because I wanted to hold myself accountable to PhD. I had chosen to undertake my PhD at distance & that meant I was not embedded into a research community. For that reason, it was very easy to become disillusioned & disengaged with the process. In 2019, online academic retreats simply did not exist, so in response, I created VWR. Initially the motive was accountability, but it became something more. It gave me a sense of belonging and it grew my self belief. The support generated by the community was a game changer for my PhD & wellbeing".
Cat facilitates, Monday, 0845 - 1515
You can follow her on twitter: @cataitken
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
To maintain our wellbeing during PhD we must be aware of the dangers of the process. No one is immune to PhD struggles and for that reason this poster series has been created to highlight the common pitfalls and to present the best tools to manage difficulties.
Created by Dr Zoe Ayres: a mental health advocate and R&D scientist. https://www.zjayres.com/
VWR can help you to create small manageable goals and help you to overcome feelings of isolation and guilt, by connecting you to a supportive community of scholars who together work on shared schedule.
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!
£3.50 - 1 day
£10.50 - 1 week
£39 - 1 month
£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.
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