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Being a self-advocate

An online workshop on tackling difficult situations and speaking up for oneself.

Person sitting alone at desk

The workshop ‘Being a self-advocate’ aimed to help participants understand unacceptable behaviour, from microaggressions, which may be dismissed, to inappropriate physical contact.  

Participants received practical tips on how to deal with these behaviours and examined the resources on offer to report issues and where to go for support and advice.

Course participants learned about behaviour associated with harassment, bullying and discrimination, the consequences of leaving a situation unresolved, how to speak up for themselves, the structures in place to help them escalate an issue in confidentiality, as well as their support network.

Problematic situations

PhD students often feel that they straddle the divide between students and staff at the University and, as such, are dependent on building and maintaining strong relationships with their supervisor, course directors, peers and other staff in their department.

Their reliance on these relationships can mean that when problems arise, they feel under pressure not to have a difficult conversation or escalate the issue for fear of being labelled a troublemaker or having their careers sabotaged.  

Dealing with a problematic relationship can be stressful and, if not dealt with in a timely and constructive manner, lead to mental health and wellbeing issues.

The workshop was aimed, but not limited to, PhD students. It was hosted by the Roslin Career Development Committee and delivered by external tutor Anna Britton, who has led recent workshops on ‘Giving Effective Feedback’ and ‘Successful Communication in English as a Second Language’.

Related links

Giving effective feedback

Mental health and home working

Postgraduate opportunities

Image credit: Bethany Legg via Unsplash