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2nd Year PhD Students

Deadlines for each of the activities described below appear in the Postgraduate Timetable.

Progress Report and Research Plan

The second year is probably the most important period of PhD training. By now the project should be well defined and you will have acquired the skills required to collect, or calculate, meaningful data. As part of the Department's monitoring programme, students are asked to produce a short progress report and a brief outline of your future research directions. Combined, it should consist of not more than 2 pages (500-1000 words) outlining progress to date. If you have not yet completed your year 1 work, you should include an outline of how and when you intend to complete any outstanding tasks. Please include details of any Physics Graduate School (MPAGS, taught modules or approved alternatives) you have completed, and a plan for obtaining your remaining credits.

You are also required to develop a more detailed and structured plan of work for the next 18-24 months of active research remaining before the thesis must be written. You should include appropriate intermediate milestones and your progress in completing your Transferable Skills modules. This should be presented as a Gantt Chart uploaded to SkillsForge.

Your Progress Report and Research Plan should be discussed with your supervisor and your feedback supervisor by Week 4 of the autumn term and submitted via SkillsForge.

Where there are issues delaying progress or the plans are not satisfactory the Director of Graduates may require the student to also attend an interview.

Physics Graduate School

By the end of the second year we expect that you have obtained the 6 graduate credits related to attending graduate-level physics modules, and required as part of the Physics Graduate School. If you haven't completed these in year 1, then please look at the Physics Graduate School webpage and linked information about the MPAGS and other taught modules available.

Doctoral Skills/SkillsForge Portfolio

You will need to continue updating your SkillsForge portfolio as set out in the first year regulations. This will be reviewed together with your research plans for the year.

You will again perform a Training Needs Analysis to identify your strengths and areas requiring further development, both in respect of the specific project and more general skill development.

Research Talk

Each student will give a talk on their research during their second year to an audience of researchers with knowledge of the student's field of study. These talks will normally be about 20 minutes long, with time for questions afterwards, and will usually be presented during research group seminars. Alternative arrangements will be made for students in small groups that don't run regular seminars - please contact us to help arrange that.
To complete this assignment you should upload 2 files to Skillsforge. The first is the actual presentation given. The second should be a short reflection piece (less than 1 page) on how you planned the talk, what you included and why. You should also reflect on whether the audience followed the talk, and from the questions asked whether your decisions on content were correct. Reflect on what you would do differently if you were to give the presentation again. If you'd like more help on presentation skills there is an online Moodle course:

Poster Presentation

In the summer term, students get the chance to display the results of their research so far to the Department (academic & research staff, postgraduate students and final year undergraduates). The format is designed to simulate a conference poster session, where many students can expect to present their results to the world. Posters will be displayed on the Physics Concourse, mounted on the usual boards.

Please print poster in A0 portrait, posters can be printed through Warwick print

The Poster Presentation will be on the 15th of May 2024

If you will not be able to attend the Poster Presentation, you must contact both your feedback supervisor and PG Programmes Officer to make alternative arrangements.

The poster should contain a brief introduction to the work and details of the research you have completed including data, discussion and conclusions. The aim is to produce something that will both convey the key elements of your work to a non-expert reader and also serve as an aid for you during more in-depth discussions. Note that reusing a poster prepared for a conference is permitted, however consider that it will have been produced for sharing with experts in your field, so it may not fulfil the requirement of explaining your work to a non-expert reader. You should also be prepared to discuss the next stages of the research and may wish to include an outline of this on the poster.

Students should be prepared to use the poster in talking about their work with members of academic staff and other postgraduates, as well as being assessed by your feedback supervisor.

The timetable for the day will be as follows;

  • 11 am - Deadline for display of poster on the Physics concourse
  • 1pm – 4pm - you should be available on the Physics concourse to present your poster to fellow students and staff . You will also present your poster to your feedback supervisor during a ~15 minute slot within this time.
  • 4pm - Poster prize awards.

Conference Presentations

PhD students will normally attend at least one UK and one international conference during their training period. This will give you experience of presenting your own work and meeting the experts in your particular field. The Department has allocated certain funds for each student to pay for the registration and travel expenses. There are other sources of funds for students who want to go to more conferences, especially if presenting a paper: look to your research group's grant portfolio, ask the conference organisers to waive the registration fee, apply to the Institute of Physics or other charities

Departmental Colloquia and Research Group Seminars

Physics Colloquia are open to the whole department are held each fortnight during full term, on Wednesday starting at 4:30pm in PLT. These aim to bring a wide variety of cutting edge research from high profile speakers to the attention of a general audience of physicists. The level is suitable for all staff, postgraduates and final year MPhys students.

Attendance at these colloquia is compulsory for all PhD students as part of their general training programme.

In addition, the various research groups have their own seminars and it is usual practise for PhD students to attend.