BSG Windsor Workshop 2012

The Windsor Workshop is a 4 day meeting held at the spectacular Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Park by the British Society for Geomorphology. It’s designed for 1st year PhD students, such as I, who are still in the early stages of their projects and general academic life beyond undergrad.


On the first evening, the group talked about the philosophy of science, and how you can really know something is true. This is something I’ve always shied away from as a scientist, but if I’m going to defend my PhD in 3 years time then I need to start getting my head around it! It was a good introduction to the feel of the weekend, and put us all at ease with each other.

The following few days were spent in lectures and smaller group discussions and workshops, focussing on geomorphology as a discipline, and some more general discussions around PhDs as research projects. Modelling and experimentation sessions allowed us to explore the methodologies of our projects while a great lecture on academic publication showed us in real terms how the submission, peer-review and publication stages work in the real world!

The highlight of the workshop for me was the group task of planning a PhD completely outside your field of expertise. By the end of the session, a few of us knew more about a fictional project studying coral reefs in Egypt than our own research – a great reminder of the importance of planning and direction!

The gang

Reflecting back on a few days of good food, spectacular surroundings and great company, I would recommend the BSG workshop to any 1st year PhD students studying geomorphology as a great way to kickstart your project and hit the ground running.

By John Groves, Queen Mary

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