Festival of Postgraduate Research 2019

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Our Festival of Postgraduate Research returns to Huxley on Wednesday 22 May. We very much hope you’ll want to join us in this annual celebration of doctoral research at Brighton.

Book your free place on Eventbrite by Friday 17 May!

Festival events and competitions

Opposites Attract Collaboration Challenge
Find out more and register to participate by Thursday 7 March Monday 11 March
Prize for the winning team: £500

Three Minute Thesis
Find out more and register to participate by Wednesday 1 May
Workshop to support participants: Thursday 28 March
First prize: £400 and entry into the national 3MT competition

Research Poster Competition
Workshop to support participants: Thursday 28 March
IS workshop: Posters and banners with Publisher: Thursday 25 April
More details to follow

Research Photo Competition
More details to follow

Bake your Thesis Competition
More details to follow

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

The University of Brighton has such a wonderful breadth of important, exciting research. Once again, we are delighted to be providing a forum to bring our postgraduate researchers and their supervisors together to showcase and celebrate the work of our students.

This page will be updated regularly in the coming weeks as we build our programme and launch our individual research competitions. In the meantime, why not check out our previous festivals in 2017 and 2018?

Three Minute Thesis 2019

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 An 80,000 word thesis would take 9 hours to present.

Your time limit… 3 minutes.


Call for applications: deadline 12.00 (midday) Wednesday 01 May 2019

When you’re asked to summarise your thesis at your viva, what will you do? Freeze? Burble away? Refer the examiners to the document in front of them? Or think back to the time you participated in 3MT and feel a surge of confidence because you know you’ve got this?

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) offers a unique opportunity to develop skills vital for today’s researcher. The challenge of explaining your thesis to a non-specialist audience in less than three minutes, using only one slide, helps you to identify the essence of your research and highlight why it matters. It’s all too easy to lose sight of this when you’re steeped in the details of your work.

The competition at Brighton is undoubtedly one of the highlights of our annual Festival of Postgraduate Research. In the last couple of years, students from a range of schools have skillfully explained their research and created some nail-biting moments as the clock ticks down.

Interested in participating this year? Sign up for our 3MT workshop (optional) on Thursday 28 March and complete our short 3MT registration form.

The event at Brighton will be held on 22 May, Moulsecoomb. We’ll be awarding £400 to the judges’ prize winner and £200 to the runner up, while £250 goes to the speaker winning the most audience votes.

But it doesn’t end there. Our local event is part of a bigger national competition hosted by Vitae. Brighton’s winner will go on to participate in the UK online semi-final. If they go through to the final, they’ll be competing for a prize of £3K.

Register online by 12pm (midday) on Wednesday 01 May 2019 by clicking the button below.

For a range of tips, guidance and to view 3MT videos, check out our resource pack:

And be sure to familiarise yourself with the competition rules, judging criteria and eligibility criteria.

The UK final takes place on Monday 16 September 2019 in Birmingham. Doctoral candidates who have not yet had their viva at the time of our local competition on Wednesday 22 May will be eligible to participate.

See also:

Watch the 2018 Brighton 3MT final online

Watch the 2017 Brighton 3MT final online

The challenges of part-time doctoral study

Jennie Jones, fourth year doctoral researcher in the School of Education, talks about some of the challenges she has faced as a part-time student and invites other part-time students at the University of Brighton to participate in her study.

Part-time PhD students’ learning journeys in UK universities in changing times: exploring the influences of academic, professional and personal relationships and life events

Jennie Jones

Tower of pebbles hit by wavesMy experience
Being a part-time PhD student can be challenging, particularly in the turbulent times that we are now experiencing in higher education. Like other students, I chose to study part-time because of other important responsibilities in my life including my family and my job. Because part-time PhD students often balance different roles in life, their time spent at university is often limited, and many do not experience a sufficient sense of belonging to a peer community (Gardner and Gopaul, 2012). This is what led me to the idea of a PhD study about the experiences of part-time PhD students and how their lives and learning interact during their doctoral journeys. The findings of this research will help contribute to universities’ understanding of part-time PhD students’ experiences.

I started my doctoral journey under difficult circumstances. My mother had recently passed away and my father was seriously ill. He died a year after I started my PhD. My supervisors, colleagues, family and friends all encouraged me to continue although at times I felt overwhelmed. My PhD has been inspiring and fulfilling, but also emotionally and academically challenging. Stages that I have particularly struggled with have been the ethical review process, deciding on my ontological and epistemological positions and completing the first three chapters of my thesis. During supervision, I have sometimes found constructive criticism challenging.

My supervisors and colleagues, some of whom are also studying for doctorates, have been very supportive and given me good advice throughout my journey. Despite the challenges, I have remained resilient and this is partly because of the support and encouragement I have received from other people around me. I have now passed the equivalent of transfer and this has really helped me to feel more confident about my research.

My research
In interviews I am adopting a Narrative Inquiry methodological approach, which provides deep insights into part-time PhD students’ unique experiences. If you are a part-time PhD student and would be interested in taking part in a narrative interview about your doctoral journey, I would be very happy to hear from you. If you would like to participate, then please read my information sheet for details about what an interview would involve. I hope to hear from you soon.

My email address: jj71@brighton.ac.uk
Tel: 01273 641920