On 13th June 2006, the Graduate School staged its second Festival of Postgraduate Research, organised jointly by the Student Learning Centre and the Careers Service.
Research postgraduates from across the University’s academic disciplines were invited to apply for a place at the Festival. Students were asked to exhibit their research in a poster presentation format and were judged on their ability to convey the nature of their research, and in particular, its real-world implications. Over a six month period students formulated proposals and undertook training before preparing and presenting their posters.
The research students who took part in the Festival honed their communication and networking skills by interacting with a large range of external representatives from local, regional and national employers, research bodies, community organisations, government departments, and the media. The quality of student participation was excellent and demonstrated the value that research postgraduates can offer employers.
In total, the 2006 Festival showcased 50 research postgraduates, attracted 40 judges (two thirds were representatives from external organisations) and almost 200 visitors (including representatives from the Regional Development Agency, national and international employers, and a range of regional universities). The event’s success in building a dialogue between research students and external organisations is shown through the 120 hours of voluntary time that employers contributed to make the event a success, and in the sponsorship provided to endow prizes for category winners.
Press coverage profiled individual researchers, leading to national and global attention for the Festival, with international coverage including The Times of India, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and United Press International.
Having enjoyed considerable success with its inaugural Festival in 2005, the event was identified as a focus for regional activity through the UK GRAD Midlands Hub. As such, the Hub organised a regional poster competition modelled on the University of Leicester event, and this sparked similar feeder events in twelve of the region’s HEIs.
"The festival provided me with the wonderful opportunity and experience of learning how to confidently speak about my research to a public audience.”
"The reactions I got from the audiences were very inspirational for my research work. Competitions such as this not only boosts up the confidence of the researcher, but it also helps the researcher think of their research in a much more 'public significance' manner.”
"In order to explain to non-experts what exactly my research was, I actually got a clearer picture of what I hoped to achieve".
"It has improved my ability to explain my research to people from various backgrounds and improved my knowledge of other research in the University"
"It was amazing. During the Festival I got two institutions and one individual who gave me their contact details and took mine as well, and one of them has contacted me for collaborative work. It was a really pleasant experience".
“Thanks for organising the whole event. It has really motivated me to carry on with a career in research”.
“An excellent professionally organised event – a credit to the University”
“A fantastic event. Very well organised”
“Most interesting! A dynamic and vigorous display”
Congratulations to the following presenters on their excellent achievements:
Master Prize (sponsored by UK GRAD) was awarded to Megalambal Arumugam for her poster, Maid in (Dis)honour: the wedlock of sex trafficking
Best Presentation: Business, Social Science & Arts (sponsored by Tangible Results Sales & Marketing Services) was awarded to Halla Diyab for her poster, Reading the Minorities in Tennessee Williams' "The Night of the Iguana"
Best Presentation: Medicine & Biological Sciences (sponsored by Adamson Jones) was awarded to Merav Tauber for her poster The Genetics of Aggression
Best Presentation: Science & Engineering (sponsored by Tessella Support Services) was awarded to Ameena Penelope Camps for her poster Carbon Storage - Mapping Offshore Hydrate Stability Zones
Highly Commended were:
Vincent Williams, What Did Dinosaurs Eat?
Alan Hewitt, Measuring Carbon Dioxide from Space
Simon Lawes, Can Novel Coatings Help protect The Environment and Save You Money?
Samir Ounzain, Hitting Heart Disease Where it Hurts!
Emma Angell, Research Ethics Committee Decision-making: consistently inconsistent?
Susan Kurian, Supporting the Maintenance and Evolution of Software for Embedded SystemsUsing Design Patterns and CASE Tools
UK GRAD Midlands Hub Poster Competition
The ten Leicester finalists named above secured places at the regional competition on 3rd July 2006, three of whom were successful in being shortlisted for awards: Merav Tauber, Vincent Williams and Ameena Penelope Camps.