Early Career


TORCH provides a range of training and development opportunities for early-career academics (including DPhil students and postdoctoral researchers). Taking TORCH's research themes as their inspiration, these events comprise media training, public engagement initiatives, writing workshops, social events, and career planning workshops.

TORCH initiatives designed specifically for early-career academics.

Early Career Lunches and Support Talks

The Humanities Division and TORCH hold informal lunches with a very short talk on Tuesdays of even weeks during full term in the TORCH Common Room. These lunches are a great chance for academics from across the Division to meet one another in an informal setting, think about career development, and explore ways of getting the most out of your time in Oxford. 

Early Career Writers' Workshop

The ECWW offers a friendly, constructive occasion to share ideas about research and writing. Participants read a piece of work in advance (whether an article-in-progress or a book or grant proposal) to offer sympathetic, critical feedback on writing that's nearing completion or needs jumpstarting. A great strength of the workshop is its interdisciplinarity: members bring new perspectives to bear on each other's work and help each other communicate research to wider audiences.

There are usually two or three ECWW meetings a term, mostly at the Royal Oak pub opposite Radcliffe Humanities. Please get in touch with Hannah Simpson (Hannah.simpson@stx.ox.ac.uk) or Pippa Byrne (philippa.byrne@history.ox.ac.uk) to sign up to the mailing list and receive the work to be 'shopped' for the next session - or just to find out more.

TORCH Academic Writing Group

Our twice-weekly TORCH Academic Writing Group is organized by Alice Kelly (Harmsworth Postdoctoral Research Fellow) to carve out some frequent dedicated time for writing. It’s aimed especially at DPhil students, postdocs, and early-career academics, but everyone is welcome. The group meets on Monday afternoons (2-5pm) and Friday mornings (9.30-12.30pm) in the Radcliffe Humanities Building. There are two writing sessions in each meeting and you can come along for one or for both. Using the principles of peer support and accountability, this group can help you meet a short-term writing deadline or to work on a longer-term project. Tea, coffee, and biscuits are provided.

We meet in the Colin Matthew Room on the ground floor of the Radcliffe Humanities Building. Our regular schedule is:

Mondays – 2-5pm

2-2.15: Set up; share writing goals

2.15-3.30: Write! (Session 1)

3.30-3.45: Break

3.45-5: Write! (Session 2)

Fridays – 9.30-12.30pm

9-9.45: Set up; share writing goals

9.45-11: Write! (Session 1)

11-11.15: Break

11.15-12.30: Write! (Session 2)

We also have two Writing Marathons a term, usually in Weeks 9 and 10.

To join the mailing list, please email Alice Kelly (alice.kelly@humanities.ox.ac.uk). Signing-up in advance is necessary and there is a cap of 14 people. Sign-up sheets are sent out to the mailing list every Friday at 12.30pm.

Things to note:

- This is a group designed to help provide some structured writing run by a postdoc – it isn't a workshop or writing skills session

- Please arrive promptly in order for us to start on time

- Please arrive with everything you need in order to write (books, papers, etc)

- Please try to use this group to focus on your own writing projects, rather than any note-taking, essay marking, etc

- Please do any Facebooking, Tweeting, emailing, etc, before the group begins – we try to keep this space social media free! (Except in the break)

TORCH Bake Off

Join us for coffee and cake every Friday morning at 11am during term timein the TORCH common room. A great way to meet more members of the TORCH community and have some delicious baked goods. 

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