man being interviewed in front of a camera

Thriving in your fieldwork (even when things go wrong)

It’s not news that Covid-19 has thrown many big spanners in the (PhD) works for many of us, upsetting numerous plans for fieldwork and data collection.

However, even without a global pandemic and enforced lockdowns, things often still go wrong in the field, producing situations and results that we don’t anticipate and hadn’t planned for.

An online peer-led discussion between current PhD students and post-doctoral researchers, in June 2020, explored some of issues that may arise during fieldwork.

Speakers also shared their personal experiences with preparing for and doing fieldwork, and offered tips and suggestions for how to make the best of your time in the field.

If you missed the session, we’ve made the talks available online so you can still catch some of the discussions in the following videos:

Panel discussion
(covering various general aspects of fieldwork, including how to respond to things going wrong)

Emotional aspects in human centered research
(Victoria Hoyle, postdoctoral research associate, History)

Ethics sensitivity and security in interviews
(Ian Foxley, PhD candidate, Politics)

Negotiating researcher participant relationship in interviews with high level participants
(Manogna Goparaju, PhD candidate, SEI/Environment)

Recruiting participants and the practicalities of fieldwork
(Maria Turkenburg-Van Diepen, postdoctoral research associate, Education)

Safety in the field and doing fieldwork abroad
(Anna Adima, PhD candidate, History)

University ethics and high level research participants
(Nauman Reayat, PhD candidate, Politics)

Or, view the full playlist of interviews here

This workshop was organised as a part of the peer-led ‘How to Survive your PhD‘ series of workshops, organised by PhD students for PhD students.

Find details of other workshops on Skillsforge, or for any enquiries, email the PGR student liaison officer:

We also always welcome PhD and postdoc researchers to join the project and volunteer as a speaker for the workshops. Find more information here or email the PGR student liaison officer to express your interest: We’d love for you to join us!

{Photo: Rodrigo Souza from Pexels}

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