The SCCSSR Postgraduate Network
To complement the goals of the SCCSSR a posgraduate network was established at the same time as the centre in 2008. The PGN aims to provide a means for early career social science researchers who specialise on China to meet, share their work, and build skills which will be useful in their careers. At the same time the PGN will be supporting the SCCSSR by building research capacity in the social sciences of China in Scotland and the UK, developing links between China and UK based scholars and institutions and aiding the publication of high quality social science research on China.
The PGN has held events in the past which have provided useful experience and social opportunities for early career China specialists and this is something it will continue to do in the future. The SCCSSR has successfully supported the PGN on a number of occasions with funding applications in order to host events. Looking to the future the PGN is happy to hear of any ideas or events that early career researchers in Scotland and the UK would like to see organised. If you would like more information about the PGN or to discuss future events then please contact Dr Daniel Hammond at email@example.com.
Publishing in Chinese Studies, May 2010
On 11 May, the Scottish Centre for Chinese Social Science Research and its Postgraduate Network held a workshop on ‘Publishing in Chinese Studies’ at Glasgow University.
The day-long workshop was aimed at graduate students and other early career researchers doing social science research on China across Scotland and the wider UK. It was attended by students from the LSE and University College London, as well as Universities of Cambridge, Leeds, Sheffield, Edinburgh, West of Scotland, and Glasgow (among others). We were very privileged to have a core session on journal publishing delivered by Dr Julia Strauss (SOAS, London), editor of the leading Chinese social science journal, The China Quarterly. Other sessions included an overview of publishing strategies for early career researchers who straddle the social science/ Chinese studies divide (led by Jane), and on publishing books (led by Professor Catherine Schenk at Glasgow). Another core session involved participants reviewing and giving feed back on each others’ draft papers. The workshop’s organisation was led by Daniel and Ariel, with support from Jane and the Centre. We are grateful to the Roberts Funding that made the workshop possible.
Scottish Centre for Chinese Social Science Research PGN Launch Conference, June 2008
The official SCCSSR launch was followed by the official launch of the Centre’s postgraduate network. This took the form of a day-long workshop held on the Saturday after the main SCCSSR launch conference. The workshop, which was organised by Ariel,Daniel, Guohui and myself (Tom), was very well attended by approximately 20 postgraduate students representing universities from many parts of Scotland and the wider UK. It combined sessions on research training with four concurrently running research panels where graduate students presented papers on their research.
David Goodman kicked off the day’s proceedings by imparting some of his considerable knowledge gained from many years of doing fieldwork in China. He gave a fascinating and highly informative talk, relaying his own experiences from China and stressing the importance of personal connections in order to gain access to interviewees and information. Professor Goodman had been very lucky in this respect by virtue of befriending a Chinese student who later became a provincial Communist Party secretary, something that helped him greatly when he later came to conduct research in that particular province!
In the second session of the morning, Professor Ian Taylor and Dr Marc Lanteigne, both from the University of St. Andrews, gave excellent advice on careers, and in particular the different ways in which researchers involved in Chinese social science research can market themselves. Both sessions stimulated a large number of questions and discussion.
After lunch, student-chaired research panels on international relations, industry, social inequality and the media were convened. In total, 13 papers were presented on a wide range of topics. For many students this was the first time that they had presented a research paper, enabling them to gain confidence as well as valuable practical experience in a supportive environment. The final session of the day was held by Jane and Professor Guan Xinping from Nankai University in Tianjin. They turned the tables by discussing how Chinese academics view the process of cooperating and collaborating with overseas researchers and the kinds of issues this raises. In addition, they led an interesting debate on ethical considerations associated with conducting social science research in China. After an intensive and thoroughly stimulating day, participants retired to the Postgraduate Research Club for a well-deserved buffet and wine reception.
In all, the workshop was an excellent way to launch the SCCSSR’s postgraduate network, and, given the amount of interest it generated amongst Chinese social science postgraduate students, there is no reason why it should not continue to flourish in the future.