This week I took part in the university’s 11th Annual Festival of Post Graduate Research. This is an event when 50 PhD students present their work to the public by producing posters. We’re judged by a wide range of invited judges and each student has about 4 judges attend their poster. I have to say it was a long, intense day but a really valuable one. The day started with the opportunity to see everyone else’s posters, and we were able to nominate our favourite for the peer review prize. After an opening speech from the VC, we stood to attention at our posters while the judges began perusing. Mine were all very friendly, which is always appreciated, and afterwards I had some judges who weren’t my judges come to my poster out of genuine interest. At 11am the event was opened up to everyone so academics, university staff, students and members of the public were able to come and see a selection of the research undertaken by PhD students at Leicester.
Our brief for the day was to present our work in a clear and understandable way, and I really hope I managed to achieve this. The impression I got from my judges was that they weren’t completely baffled by what I was saying so hopefully I was doing something right 🙂 .
Overall we stood by our posters from 10:20am-1pm which is quite a long time when you’re constantly thinking about how best to phrase and present your work to the public. The day was definitely a challenge! After lunch the prizes were presented for the overall winner as well as winners from each of the colleges. While I wasn’t lucky enough to win anything my colleague Shane put on a great show for bacterial genetics taking home the prize our college. Not only does this mean people found his microbiology work interesting, it means he did so well that he beat all the medical/cancer/heart disease people! This is amazing, as this work is very human based so people are naturally interested in it and drawn to it. You can check out all the winners here, congratulations to everyone, the competition was tough!
If you’re a PhD student at Leicester I would definitely recommend applying to take part in the festival. It’s a completely different experience to a conference poster and your audience is so much broader. It’s also a great way to meet and connect with other PhD students, by presenting at the festival I got to meet Katie who’s the organiser of PubhD Leicester (check them out here). I’ve spoken to her a little on twitter but after meeting in person we’ve now locked down a date for me to go and speak at one of their up-coming events 🙂 .