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Doctoral Research Conference 2014 – University of Reading

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  • Celebrating excellence

    A hub for world-class research

Doctoral Research Conference 2014

Celebrating excellence in doctoral research


Audience at the Conference - Palmer Building

On Tuesday 1 July 2014 the Graduate School welcomed over 300 doctoral researchers and staff from across the University to its annual Doctoral Research Conference. Building on the success of last year's inaugural conference, this year saw the inclusion of the Research Image Competition to the conference programme, in addition to the PhD Researcher of the Year Award, Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition 2018 and the Research Poster Competition 2018.  

After a welcome from Professor Dianne Berry OBE, Dean of Postgraduate Studies, the afternoon began with presentations by two of the PhD Researcher of the Year finalists: Rosalind Fallaize (Faculty of Life Sciences) and Birte Julia Gippert (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science). All four PhD Researcher of the Year finalists had been nominated by their Faculty as outstanding third year PhD researchers, and all had established themselves within the wider research community of their respective subject areas. Each delivered a short presentation on their doctoral research, as well as reflecting on their time at Reading and how they had developed as researchers during the course of their studies.

Following on from these presentations was the first group of finalists for the Three Minute Thesis Competition. There were 16 finalists for this year's competition, which highlights the strength and diversity of research taking place at Reading; talks ranged from low cost housing in the Sudan to poverty in late fourteenth-century England.

During the refreshment break, conference delegates were able to view both the Research Poster Competition display and the Research Image Competition finalists. The Research Poster Competition featured 30 posters and first prize was awarded to Jacob Bishop from the School of Agriculture, Policy & Development. Jacob's poster was entitled 'Pollinators: a buffer against climate-drive yield loss? '. Eight images had been shortlisted for the Research Image Competition and first prize was awarded to Tom Webb from the Department of Meteorology with his entry 'There's something in the air'. Tom also won the People's Choice Award, voted for by conference delegates. The conference resumed with the second group of Three Minute Thesis finalists and this was followed by presentations by the two remaining PhD Researcher of the Year finalists: Samuel Groth (Faculty of Science) and Dimitra Kavarnou (Henley Business School). Whilst the Three Minute Thesis Competition judging panel selected their winner, Charlotte Hill (School of Pharmacy) provided an engaging interlude with her presentation 'How cannabis can treat the epileptic brain' which won the recent Reading Science SLAM.

The conference concluded with the prize-giving ceremony. The Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell, presented Birte Julia Gippert with the PhD Researcher of the Year Award for 2014. (See right.) Birte's research investigates the reasons why local police officers comply with international peacebuilding operations' police reforms; this is based on her fieldwork undertaken in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. After careful deliberation, the judges awarded first prize in the Three Minute Thesis Competition to Sarah Mitchell from Marketing and Reputation in the Henley Business School. Sarah's talk was entitled 'Exploring the role of brand in volunteer choice of charity'. Second place went to Sammie Buzzard (Meteorology) with her talk: 'A slippery situation: Modelling Antarctic ice shelf surface melt.' As with the Research Image Competition, this year conference delegates could vote for the People's Choice Award in the Three Minute Thesis Competition. This went to Shamala Sundaray (Psychology) whose talk was entitled 'Last scence: sans communication?'

The event concluded with a drinks reception in the Palmer Foyer.

The Graduate School congratulates all competition winners and finalists and would like to thank all those doctoral researchers and staff whose participation on the day made the conference such a great success.

PhD Researcher of the Year 2014 Faculty winners

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science Birte Julia Gippert (PhD in Politics) overall winner
Henley Business School Dimitra Kavarnou (PhD in Real Estate and Planning)
Faculty of Life Sciences Rosalind Fallaize (PhD in Food and Nutritional Science)
Faculty of Science Samuel Groth (PhD in Mathematics)


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