SOAS University of London

Doctoral School

The PhD Studio and the Tea, Coffee, and Cake afternoons

In 2020/21, the Doctoral School launched several initiatives to support our PhD students in navigating the adverse impact caused by the pandemic. Besides the Connected PhD, which facilitates the virtual running of peer-led activities, the School hosts the PhD Studio (usually held at 11.00am) and the Tea, Coffee, and Cake afternoons (usually held at 14.30). The former is a regularly scheduled online forum where SOAS doctoral researchers at all stages are invited to participate in academic and social exchanges. The latter is a series of ‘hybrid’ gatherings where Doctoral School staff walk you through the administrative processes of different PhD milestones and provide clarification in a friendly setting.

Here are the topics that have been covered so far in the current academic year. Any associated slides or recordings can be found on the Doctoral School intranet page alongside materials for sessions covered in previous years (login required).

Term 1

Date Topic Led by
16 Sep 2021 Writing a PhD thesis in one’s second language Neil Robbie (IFCELS)
28 Oct 2021 PhD life at SOAS (general discussion) Lutz Marten
18 Nov 2021 Doctoral School improvement plans Andrea Cornwall

Term 2

Date Topic Led by
24 Jan 2022 A good supervisory relationship Lutz Marten
7 Feb 2022 Writer’s block Yenn Lee
7 Mar 2022 Turning one’s thesis into a monograph Shafi Fazaluddin

Term 3

Date Topic Led by
25 Apr 2022 Career support for PGRs at SOAS Philippa Hewett (Careers)
16 May 2022 New developments in the SOAS Journal of Postgraduate Research SJPR
30 May 2022 Keylinks, SOAS’s new reading list management system Stephanie Conway (BLE)
13 Jun 2022 Fieldwork in Taita-Taveta district Lutz Marten
Wed 22 June, 14:30 Doctoral School on Fieldwork process Doctoral School


If you have any questions about the initiative or would like to discuss your ideas for a session, please contact Dr Yenn Lee at in the first instance.