This year’s Festival of Postgraduate Research was a much anticipated event. Thanks to the pandemic, our doctoral students and supervisors hadn’t been together under one roof since May 2019. So we all had plenty of in-person catching up and celebrating to do!
We were keen to maximise opportunities for our researchers to make connections, feel supported, and take pride in being a key part of the university’s shared research culture.
In the morning, attendees queued up at our ‘photo booth‘ to get a professional portrait photo taken for their Pure research profile. Running parallel to that activity was our Living PhD Library, an event new to the festival and a big hit with contributors and attendees alike. In our Living Library, eight doctoral students took on the role of being a living book. Attendees browsed our Library Catalogue and chose the books they wanted to ‘borrow’. Book topics included research projects, personal perspectives on aspects of research life, and study tips. Our book borrowers then got to spend ten minutes chatting to each of their chosen books. While libraries are generally quiet places, ours was buzzing with the sound of lively conversation. Enormous thanks to our wonderful Living PhD Books: Alan Meggs (HSS), Anne Motan (ATE), Blair Hamilton (SHS), Clive Allanso (SBL), Gulnur Erol (SBL), Natalia Noriega (SAS), Patrick Nyikavaranda (BSMS) and Siju Yusuf (SAM).
Morning attendees also had the opportunity to seek one-to-one advice on their Pure profile text or spend time watching some of the digital storytelling films created by our doctoral students. (If you’re interested in making your own digital story, our next online course runs in July 2022.)
After lunch, following a welcome address from Prof Rusi Jaspal, PVC Research and Knowledge Exchange, our keynote speaker, Prof David Nash, offered excellent advice on communicating your research to non-specialist audiences. If you missed this talk or would like a reminder, you can view the slides here (PDF).
Our Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, now an established festival favourite, saw 13 doctoral students rise brilliantly to the challenge of explaining their research in three minutes, max. This was our biggest 3MT competition to date and a clear demonstration of the broad range of innovative doctoral research being undertaken at Brighton, not to mention the professionalism and dedication of our postgraduate researchers. Topics included blockchain technology in the healthcare sector; monitoring pangolin populations; music festivals for behaviour change; and smart meter technologies. Our judging panel, Prof Rusi Jaspal (Chair), Prof Lesley Murray, Prof Bhavik Patel and Dr Kirsty Smallbone, selected the university winners while audience members voted for their favourite during the mid-afternoon break. (See below for winners.)
For our final session of the afternoon, we welcomed back two recent doctoral graduates, Dr Chinwe Egbunike-Umegbolu and Dr Anne Rathbone, to deliver their inspiring doctoral inaugural lectures. The festival closed with a drinks reception and an announcement of the prize winners in our two competitions: 3MT and our online research photo competition.
Prize winners 2022
Three Minute Thesis
Judges 1st prize: Julia Meister (ATE)
Judges’ runner-up: Angela McBride (BSMS)
People’s choice: Natalia Noriega (SAS)
People’s choice 1st prize: Jo Allen (SBL)
View all submissions to our research photo competition in our online gallery.