Virtual ECR Writing Retreat for Research Staff
Duration 2 days
Team Researcher Academy

This online course is run by the Researcher Academy

The Researcher Academy courses are very popular and the majority are run in both semesters to give you the opportunity to attend at a time of the year that suits you. 

Target Audience: Research-only staff (i.e Research Assistants/Associates, ‘Postdocs’, Research Fellows, Fellows, Senior Research Fellows and Principal Research Fellows) and Assistant Professors who are within 18 months of their appointment. 

This retreat is for research staff only and therefore this retreat is NOT open to postgraduate research students.

Course Description: 

Do you have a writing project to complete but you are struggling to find the dedicated time that is required for academic writing?

This 2-day writing retreat for research only staff is the perfect opportunity to block out dedicated time in your diary, away from meetings and other distractions to focus 100% on completing your writing. Your writing project may be a grant or fellowship application, a research publication or research report. You can attend the retreat irrespective of the current stage of the writing project; idea generation, planning, writing, editing, proofing, rewriting.  The only requirement is that you have a clear aim and goal(s) for the Retreat.

This retreat is for you to ring-fence your time to make significant progress with your writing project whilst surrounded, virtually, by fellow researchers with the same ambition.

The programme for both days will follow approximately:

Day 1:

9.30-9.50: Retreat orientation with plenary talk (day 1 only), peer group meet and set goals. (plenary, required)

9.50-12.30: Writing block 1 (optional, with tea break at 11.20)

12.30- 13.15: lunch break

13.15-14.45: Writing block 2 (optional)

14.45-15.00: Tea break

15.00-16.20: Writing block 3 (optional)

16.20-16.30: day 1 Goal checks and next steps (plenary, required) or day 2 Retreat close down with goal checks and next steps (plenary, required)

Participants may wish to join the early bird (8-9.30am) and/or twilight (16.30-19.00) writing sessions. These won’t be facilitated and you can join at any time if you wish to extend your working day to suit your productivity windows.

Process: A two-day online writing retreat using Microsoft Teams

The two-day online writing retreat will be held over Microsoft Teams. Participants may choose to keep their webcams on throughout the retreat or just a portion during the peer-group sections of the programme. But as a minimum participants will need to have the chat box open to receive updates. There will be the option to join a breakout space to follow pre-determined timed writing sessions to assist productivity/provide structure. Throughout the retreat you will be part of a peer group who will help you to stay focused and motivated.

Participants will be invited to join a Teams group, where resources will be available for use and you can access the meeting links.

Course Accessibility

The following table shows a summary of what is needed to participate in the course. 

If you feel you will experience any difficulties participating, please let us know via the ‘special requirements’ tab, providing as much information as possible. The special requirements tab can be completed when you book your place. Alternatively, you can contact us directly at

Access and/or complete self-study/ pre-retreat tasks prior to main session
Access MS Teams
Access Moodle
Attend the retreat at the specified date and time
Use MS Teams chat box function
Engage with online materials
Watch and listen to the retreat facilitator(s) and/or other attendees
Follow presentation slides during the retreat
Complete reflections document/ workbook
Undertake and submit an assessment (to be marked as attended)

Booking Conditions:

Your Commitment:

Ideally, by registering for the retreat you are committing to attend for the full day. However, if there is a small portion (<10%) of this time where you would be unavailable but still wish to attend please email the retreat organiser, Victoria Sedman, before booking your place to discuss.

Participants should have all their own resources for writing. You will ideally have a good internet connection and should recognise that this retreat will require you to be online for the duration of the day. 

Our webinars/ online courses are very popular, especially in the current period and we are experiencing large volumes of people on our waiting lists.  

Please do let us know if you would like to cancel your place on this course so we can offer your place to another delegate. 

Please note, attendances for webinars/ online courses will still be recorded and corresponding training points, when shown as available, will be awarded.


Session Access Instructions

This is an online session within Microsoft Teams. A Microsoft Teams site has been created for the Writing Retreat and you can access this link above. The Teams site will provide resources and meeting links that will enable you to join the plenary talks and chat function throughout the day.

Please ensure that you access the Teams site in advance of the Retreat, when you receive the joining invite, to familiarise yourself with the site and access any resources you feel appropriate.

On the first day of the retreat, you should aim to be settled down in your chosen working environment and ready to start promptly at 9.30 am.


LocationStart DateAll DatesTimesPlaces AvailableBook
Online Course13 May 202413, 14 May 20249:30am - 4:45pm19