Festival of Postgraduate Research 2018

PGR festival banner 7 June Huxley

We are thrilled to announce that our second Festival of Postgraduate Research takes place on Thursday 7 June at Huxley.

Book your free place on Eventbrite now! 

Festival events and competitions

Opposites Attract Collaboration Challenge
Find out more about Opposites Attract
Register for Opposites Attract by Weds 4 April
Prize for the winning team: £500

Three Minute Thesis
Workshop: Thursday 1 March
Workshop: Tuesday 8 May
Find out more about 3MT at Brighton
Register for our university 3MT competition by Friday 18 May 2018
1st prize: £400

Research Poster Competition
Workshop: Wednesday 18 April
Find out more about the research poster competition
Register for, and submit to, our research poster competition by Thursday 24 May 2018
1st prize: £400

Research Photo Competition
Find out more about the research photo competition
Register for, and submit to, our research photo competition by Thursday 24 May 2018
1st prize: £150

Bake your Thesis Competition
Find out more about Bake your Thesis
Register for our Bake your Thesis competition by Thursday 31 May 2018
1st prize: the glory of being crowned Brighton’s Bake your Thesis champion (and a trophy)!

Doctoral Inaugural Lectures and panel discussion: details coming soon.

A drinks reception and prize-giving event will close the afternoon.

And if that weren’t enough, the fabulous duo behind our student-led initiative, PhD Student Hub, have organised a social evening to take place in a Brighton pub (Lord Nelson on Trafalgar St, near the train station) directly afterwards. Many thanks to Abby Barras and Kristin O’Donnell for arranging this.

Meeting unknown gods (or presenting at an international conference for the first time)

Gemma Williams, first year Linguistics PhD student based in the School of Humanities, recently presented at an international conference for the first time — just a few short weeks after delivering her first-ever conference presentation in the UK.

Below, Gemma shares her personal experience (and some beautiful Andalusian photos) of how she approached this exciting and somewhat daunting event in Seville.

Meeting unknown gods

Gemma Williams

The week preceding my trip to Seville was one full of intense angst and apprehension. Gemma of the past had thought it a good idea to submit an abstract to present at the 8th International Symposium on Intercultural, Cognitive and Social Pragmatics (EPICS VIII), if only as a helpful exercise in ordering my ideas as concisely as possible, with little expectation of being accepted. Gemma of the present was freaking out.

I’d had the pleasure of attending my first academic conference — ‘Beyond Meaning’, co-organised by my supervisor Tim Wharton — purely as a consumer of knowledge, in Athens the previous summer so I had some idea of what to expect in terms of conference mechanics, but as the date approached my nerve gradually evaporated as the reality of standing before experts in the field and touting my fledgling ideas loomed increasingly. Something about deciding to put myself among these knowledge-shapers suddenly seemed incredibly ‘bold’, though perhaps, I tried to reassure myself, this thinking was simply a result of good old Imposter Syndrome. In order to quell the fear a little, I gave myself a mind-trick. I would see it all as a symbolic act. My talk would be my offering at the feet of unseen knowledge-keepers, and the room a temple of knowledge. Clearly bonkers, but somehow this felt less frightening than facing a room of potentially hostile, and certainly very clever humans.

I arrived the evening before the conference began, and took myself out for a romantic stroll in large central park, packed with parrots mimicking the traffic crossing signal and a meal of tapas and beer, kept company by my book (note to solo travellers, always have a good book). People were out late, the rain spell rolled elsewhere to allow a warm sunny evening to break through and it was true! Seville does smell of oranges. I was enjoying myself. How did this happen? (Draw your own conclusions as to whether a pre-conference beer is advisable.)

The venue for the conference was the old 18th Century Royal Tobacco Factory in the centre of Seville, now part of the university, and allowed my temple fantasy to run wild. The high, ornate brick building threaded through with open courtyards and fountains provided a most exquisite backdrop to all the coffee-break chats and encounters that really make a conference. I was happy to see some familiar faces from the conference I’d attended last year, and most people I spoke to seemed to know my supervisor in one way or another. I found myself out for dinner the first night with a lovely bunch of individuals from different countries and specialisms, several of whom will be at the next conference I plan to attend too. People were friendly, supportive when they heard I was giving my first talk, and open to conversation. The impression I came away with was one of a network of warm, intelligent and curious people that wasn’t in anyway clique-y.

Gemma presenting
Photo credit: Ryoko Sasamoto

When I came to my talk itself, I can’t say I fully tricked myself out of the nerves. My advice would be, if you too are prone to anxiety, don’t drink the free and delicious conference coffee on the day of your talk. The audience wasn’t huge, but not too small — just the right number really, to allow for a convivial Q & A session post-talk. Unlike in my fearful imaginings, the questions and feedback that came were both insightful and encouraging. I found myself really enjoying the back-and-forth, and being able to enthuse about something I’m passionate about with others with knowledge and experience in the field. One audience member asked some particularly helpful questions which I took in the same relaxed way as the whole questions session had gone, only later realising that she was in fact one of the plenary speakers and someone who’s work I’d read and admired! Unknown gods indeed.

Seville photo gallery

To find our more about Gemma and her work, you can visit her new blog (which includes a recording of Gemma’s presentation) and follow her on Twitter.

Win a fully-funded conference place at Cumberland Lodge!

Flyer for Life Beyond the PhD conference at Cumberland Lodge
(Click image to enlarge)

Life Beyond the PhD – Monday 13th to Friday 17th August 2018

Are you a late-stage doctoral student at the University of Brighton? Would you like to win a fully-funded place to attend Cumberland Lodge’s eleventh annual ‘Life Beyond the PhD’ conference this August?

Cumberland Lodge is an educational charity with a superb residential conference centre on the Berkshire/Surrey border. Their annual conference is designed to help doctoral students from any discipline prepare for their future, and to show that PhDs have value both inside and outside academia.

In 2016, one of our Doctoral students, Uschi Klein, won a place to attend this annual conference and found the experience highly rewarding. You can read Uschi’s thoughts and check out her fabulous photos in her blog post.

To apply for a fully-funded place at this year’s conference, please submit a short statement (300 words maximum) describing your ambitions beyond your PhD and what you would hope to gain from attending ‘Life Beyond the PhD’ to L.Slater@brighton.ac.uk by 12pm (midday) Friday 25 May, 2018.

For full competition and further conference details, please see our PDF document.

​The Postgraduate Research Forum

Flyer for PGR Forum 2 May

Postgraduate Research Forum, Weds 2 May, 12-1.45pm, Pavilion Parade G7

The PGR Forum is a new series of open meetings for all doctoral students at the University of Brighton.

On Wednesday 2 May, our first meeting, the senior management teams of the Doctoral College (Dr Mark Erickson and Dr Ross English) and Research and Enterprise (Prof Tara Dean and Prof Andrew Church) will be present, giving you an opportunity to discuss with them issues that matter to you.

These are informal meetings with no set agendas so any issue can be raised on the day. However, you are also welcome to submit points in advance if you prefer. To do so, please email DoctoralCollege@brighton.ac.uk.

The first meeting will take place at Grand Parade campus and meetings at other campuses will be confirmed shortly.

Lunch will be provided. Vegetarian food will be available but if you have other dietary requirements, please specify in the ‘additional details’ field when booking your place. (Deadline for submitting dietary requirements: Thursday 26 April.)

Places are limited to 60 and booking is essential.

Book your place on PhD Manager (log in required).