All-day Online Writing Retreats - GenSeM and MITRA

Writing can be stressful, but it is also a crucial part of the PhD life. To support PhD and Early Career Researchers with their writing, the GenSeM and MITRA Standing Committees have come together to jointly organise a series of all-day online writing retreats. This collaboration aims to ease the writing phase of candidates and promote collaboration across researchers working within the field of migration studies.

The first of these retreats will take place from 09:30-17:30 GMT on Monday 18 October. This timing is meant to accommodate a variety of schedules and hopefully time zones. Our desire is to be as inclusive as possible and appeal to people’s different needs. The deadline to participate to this retreat is Friday 15th.

The second retreat will be on December 8th, same time (details to follow to both GenSeM and MITRA members)

Our goal is to provide a dedicated time for writing but also deepen the roots of our wider community of researchers working in migration research. Research has shown that structured writing retreats are essential to develop our writing skills. There is empirical evidence that they can help us manage our work-life balance better because they increase our productivity, while reducing stress and anxiety levels. Writing retreats can also provide a creative, caring and motivational space for us to take our writing responsibilities seriously and find space for them in our careers. Together we can learn new strategies and work together to set up structures that will make room for us to develop our writing skills.

 Here are some tips that we will be applying at our one-day online writing retreats. We hope you can also adapt and implement these in your own personal writing time:

  • Structured writing sessions, with planned breaks and writing blocks;
  • Writing with somebody: it is important to share goals, create a sense of accountability and to feel accompanied;
  • Prepare. Read about the writing process, not only about what you need to write about. Here are some good reads: Grant & Knowles, 2000; Murray & Newton, 2009; Grant, 2006; Moore, 2003 among many others.


To sign up send an email with your name replying to the email invitation you will receive from your PhD/ECR reps. Please feel free to contact us for more information.


Marianela, Nicola, Bianca and Naiara




Grant, B., & Knowles, S., 2000. Flights of imagination: Academic writers be(com)ing writers, International Journal for Academic Development, 5(1), 6–19.

Grant, B., 2006. Writing in the company of other women: Exceeding the boundaries, Studies in Higher Education, 31(4), 483–495.

Moore, S., 2003. Writers’ retreats for academics: Exploring and increasing the motivation to write. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 27(3), 333–342.

Murray, R., & Newton, M., 2009. Writing retreat as structured intervention: margin or mainstream?, Higher Education Research & Development, 28:5, 541-553.

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