Events 2023/24

The Grand Union DTP, its students, and the Scholars' Association host a variety of events across the partnership covering a wide range of topics and themes.  All upcoming events can be viewed on the Grand Union DTP website on this page. Additional events not directly sponsored by the GUDTP but still highly relevant to Social Sciences students are also listed below. 

Upcoming DTP Events April to October 2024

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Where: Online via Zoom

When: 24th April 2024, 10:00-13:00

How to register 

This event will be run by Piero Vitelli (Island 41), see: for further details. We strongly suggest those looking to present at the ESRC Grand Union DTP Annual Conference on the 4th and 5th June attend to brush up on their skills and get some handy hints and tips ahead of the Conference.

If you type “Presentation Skills” into a search engine, you will find links to - literally - millions of pages. Begin to explore these pages, and you will find a wealth of excellent advice that can help make presentations better. Many will cite aspects such as a comfortable speaking pace, making good eye contact, using appropriate gestures and adopting open body language. Undoubtedly this is good advice, but whilst most websites (and indeed, many workshops) are very good at telling you what to do, they mostly fail to address how to actually do it. This is where Piero's workshop is different. 

Potential Energy is a three-hour interactive workshop that focuses on how we as presenters build relationships with our audiences, and use our internal and external resources to create impact. Delivered online, the workshop requires no preparation and no one will be asked to present in-front of the group individually. That said, the workshop thrives on the active engagement of everyone present.

Before 1995 Piero worked as a West Indies based yachtsman, a butcher, a professional sound engineer and an actor with three years professional training in the Stanislavski method. Following a change in personal circumstances, Piero then chose to focus on the relationship individuals have with their resources, and what happens to us when we are in a heightened state. Piero helps people to develop their natural ability to work effectively in the personal, interpersonal and group settings, and focus on topics like presentation delivery, networking, vocal control, personal impact and teamwork

This event is only open to Grand Union DTP Scholars at Brunel University, the Open University, and Oxford University. Please register your interest via the booking form by 15th April 2024, using your University email address and we will then inform those who have been allocated a place on the programme.

There are limited spaces available for these sessions and the DTP is paying for external trainers to facilitate, so please only register your interest if you are certain you would attend if offered a place

Where: ESRC Grand Union DTP Hub Space, Manor Road Building, Oxford (with online capabilities via Teams)

When: 1st May 2024, 10:00-12:00

How to Register 

Calling all Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership students at Brunel, the Open University and Oxford!

Your attendance is requested at the GUDTP Scholars Association Town Hall meeting. This is the opportunity to have your voice heard on all things related to the GUDTP.

This Town Hall will be a student led event. We’d love to hear about successes, challenges, and important issues that you would like to raise directly to the GUDTP Management Board. Importantly, we want to hear your ideas on how the Scholar’s Association can better serve the needs of GUDTP students.

The Scholars’ Association aims to represent the interests of all GUDTP students and develop a supportive community for scholars. As a GUDTP student, you automatically become part of the Scholars’ Association.

It is important that we have representation from all three GUDTP universities – Brunel, the Open University and Oxford. The event will have some online capabilities, so that those who are unable to come to Oxford can also participate. However, we would love to see as many people in person as possible. We encourage you to attend to ensure that your concerns are heard and addressed, so that we can improve the GUDTP scholar experience.

There will also be time to socialize, so this is also a great opportunity to meet other GUDTP scholars.

We look forward to seeing you all. Anvita Ramachandran, Oxford Scholars’ Association Chair & Emily Ankers, Brunel Scholars’ Association Chair

This event is only open to ESRC Grand Union DTP Scholars at Brunel University, the Open University, and Oxford University. Please register using your University email address.


Where: Online via Zoom

When: 22nd May 2024, 13:30-17:00

How to register

We will be offering a half-day (three-hour) Zoom workshop on media engagement with two experienced former BBC journalists, Claire Bolderson and Caroline Finnigan. They will guide you through the process of refining your academic work into a story that is accessible to a wider audience. How do you draw people in with relevant and appropriate hooks and angles? How do you tell your story the story of your research effectively and fairly?

This event is only open to Grand Union DTP Scholars at Brunel University, the Open University, and Oxford University. 

Please register your interest via the booking form by 14th May 2024, and we will then inform those who have been allocated a place on the course.

There are limited spaces available for these sessions and the DTP is paying for external trainers to facilitate, so please only register your interest if you are certain you would attend if offered a place. If you have already attended a Media Training Event we have run you are welcome to apply, but please also be considerate of those who have not yet attended one of our Media Training events.

When and where

  • Tuesday 4th June from 16:00 until late at the DTP Hub Space, Manor Road Building, Oxford followed by a dinner at Rewley house, Wellington Square, Oxford and;
  • Wednesday 5th June 09:00 - 17:00 at Worcester College, Oxford.

How to register

Call for Participation to present deadline: 1st May 2024

Registration for attendance deadline: 7th May 2024.

We are thrilled to announce the call for participation and registration for the ESRC Grand Union DTP Annual Conference 2024 - we hope to see you there! The conference will be an opportunity to meet others within the DTP cohort, network, and present, and receive feedback on, your research from your peers. We will provide a dinner, refreshments, and lunch over the days. A full programme will be distributed closer to the time.

Please do reach out if you have any queries at all at this stage regarding the conference and we will be more than happy to help!


There are various formats available for participation, or you are welcome to come along as an attendee. 

You  may choose to present in one of the following ways:

  1. A 10 minute presentation (traditional conference format) to be followed by a 5 minute Q&A;
  2. A 5 minute presentation;
  3. A poster presentation.

For (1) you will be asked for a 200 word abstract; for categories (2) and (3) only a title is required at this stage. All stages of research are welcomed for all formats.


This event is only open to Grand Union DTP Scholars at Brunel University, the Open University, and Oxford University. 

Where: Online via Teams

When: TBC

How to Register: TBC


We are still finalising the details of this event and will share information as soon as we are able.

External Events & Training Opportunities

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During the 2020-21 academic year, the Social Sciences Division ran Oxford Minds, an online curriculum enrichment programme for our graduate students. It aimed to cover on the issues that matter for Oxford, for the social sciences, and for the wider world -- that we ‘mind’. It covered themes, theory, and methods. 

In Michaelmas 2021, these were continued with Oxford Minds through fortnightly online discussions and debates and then were made available on the SSD website. The series will provide an opportunity for the Social Sciences Division to convene conversations that transcend departments and lie at the core of the social sciences.  

These can be found online here along with recordings from previous events.


Please find below the relevant links to access researcher development training opportunities at each partner institution. 



Where specific training is not available at your home institution, training courses may be available instead at one of our partner institutions. If you have any questions about accessing training listed on the above sites, please make the DTP office at your home institution your first contact and they can assist you from there. 


In 2004 the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) set up the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) at the University of Southampton. NCRM was tasked to increase the quality and range of methodological approaches used by UK social scientists through a programme of training and capacity building, and with driving forward methodological development and innovation through its own research programme.

The courses are very reasonably priced for students and they are covering a wide range of topics, offered by both NCRM as well as external training providers. 

Students can browse the full training database here

Past Event Links

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Please see the tab on the left-hand side or click here to access the library of Grand Union DTP event recordings made available to students. 


(This series has completed - recordings of the below sessions are now available for viewing at the same link)

The Department of International Development has organised a series called the 'Oxford Development Talks' to showcase the best of Oxford thinking on international development and to make it accessible to a wider general public. The talks will take a variety of forms, from lectures to interviews, and will take key ideas from research and explain them in an accessible way. All the talks will be live on Zoom at regular points during Trinity Term 2020. Themes will include:


  • 'How Covid-19 Will Affect the Global Poor'

Monday 18th May, 2pm 

Sabina Alkire 

  • 'China's Growth Strategy, and What It Means for the World'

Tuesday 26th May, 2pm 

Xiaolan Fu

  • 'Space, Class and Social Distancing in the Indian City'

Monday 1st June, 2pm 

Nandini Gooptu

  • ‘Migration Control and Human Rights in the Pandemic Era'

Monday 8th June, 2pm 

Cathryn Costello

  • 'The Growing Costs of Inequality: Lessons from Latin America'

Monday, 15th June, 2pm 

Diego Sanchez-Ancochea

  • 'Islam in the Changing World'

Friday, 19th June, 2pm 

Masooda Bano

  • 'The Politics of Pandemics in Africa' 

Monday, 22nd June, 2pm 

Simukai Chigudu 

  • 'Should We Abolish Immigration Control?'

Monday, 29th June, 2pm 

Matthew Gibney 


To access the complete programme and registration details, please visit

ESRC Grand Union DTP Year Card

You can find the ESRC Grand Union DTP Year Card for 2023/24 here. Please note dates for events from January onwards are provisional and may change. 


Please visit the ESRC's website here to access a list of upcoming events directly sponsored or operated by the research council.

Social Sciences Researcher Development Term Card 2023

You can find the Oxford Social Sciences Researcher Development Term Card here. To book onto an event you will need to use the Single Sign-On login.