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Bristol Doctoral College hosts Festival of Postgraduate Research

Professor Guy Orpen speaks at the Festival opening Chris Lucas

A postgraduate explains his research to a visitor Chris Lucas

3 March 2014

On 21 February the Bristol Doctoral College hosted the first Festival of Postgraduate Research, introducing over 350 postgraduate researchers and University staff to some of the doctoral research taking place, and the support and development services available, at Bristol.

Professor Guy Orpen (Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research) and Professor Sally Heslop (Director of the Bristol Doctoral College) started by highlighting the importance of supporting Bristol’s strong research community, and the role of the BDC, and events such as the Festival of Postgraduate Research, in fulfilling this.

Hosting their own mini-marquees in the Wills Memorial Building with displays of their PhD projects were postgraduate researchers from across the University, including representatives from the Graduate School of Arts and Humanities, the Particle Physics and Astrophysics research groups, the Graduate School of Education, the Department of History, the Bristol Chemical Synthesis Centre for Doctoral Training, the Bristol Centre for Complexity Sciences, the Bristol Platelet Group, the Industrial Doctorate Centre in Systems, the Department of Film and Television, and the Department of Theatre.

Thirty research posters entered in the Festival Poster Competition provided a taster of the novel projects being undertaken by doctoral students across all faculties. Taking first place was Michael Dicker from the Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Composites for Innovation and Science (ACCIS CDT) for his poster on ‘Biomimetic Photo-Actuation: Remote Chemical Sensing, Signal Transmission and Control of Composite Hydrogel Actuators’. Runners-up were Sarah Gosling from Archaeology and Anthropology (‘Of Fisherman and Farmers’) and Matthew Such from ACCIS CDT (‘Intelligent Composite Layup by the Application of Tracking and Projection Technologies’).

Support services including Academic Staff Development, the Careers Service, the Centre for Public Engagement, IT Services, the UBU Postgraduate Network, Student Funding, Widening Participation and the International Office were on hand to provide information and respond to PGR queries and concerns. Several services such as Enterprise Education, the University Research Data Service, Library Services, and JustAsk also gave presentations on the support and training available from their teams. Two students who took part in the RENKEI programme spoke about making the most of PGR opportunities, and Dr Anne Lee led a workshop on ‘Getting the best out of your supervision’.

Also on show was work from the Art of Science competition highlighting the creativity of the Medical and Veterinary Sciences research community, and the See No Evil project in which engineering, nanoscience and chemistry concepts were communicated using street art.

Sally Heslop, Director of the Bristol Doctoral College, said: ‘It was fantastic to see so many postgraduate researchers from across the University come together at one event. There was a real buzz during the afternoon, and we look forward to building on the success of this first Festival.’

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