Two weeks ago on the 26th June, I took part in the Postgraduate Summer Research Showcase, which is an annual university wide event where PGR students present their research through posters. I’m not sure how, but I managed to win the Best Poster award for Humanities!
I registered for this event in May. At that time, I was preparing for the SEED PGR Conference, and it was compulsory for all first years to submit a poster. Since I was already making a poster, I thought it would be a good idea to reuse it for the showcase and make the most of it. However, since making the poster, I have actually made quite a few changes to my proposed research project, but I still presented my poster at the event anyway! I did explain that there were now changes and the poster wasn’t up to date, and this obviously wasn’t a problem.
On the day, I think there were around 150 posters from all different schools and departments. Most of the posters near me were actually from Science and Engineering. I saw a few people I knew from SEED but I don’t think there were any others from Education! (I was quite surprised by this but after speaking to a few students from Science and Engineering, I learnt that the event was much more encouraged by their schools and they were reminded about it many times.)
I had to stand by my poster for two hours in the morning and wait for two separate judges to come by and speak to me about my poster. During this time, I also got to speak to other people who came by and were interested in my work. This was a great opportunity to practice explaining my research to others, and it was really nice to see that other people found my research interesting!
After the morning session, I was able to walk around and look at the other posters on display and learn about some really interesting research happening across the university! Then later in the day, I attended the awards ceremony for the showcase and also the annual PGR awards. It was fascinating to hear about some of the ground-breaking research which is being conducted by PGRs at Manchester! I think most of us were quite shocked by what some of these people had achieved during their PhDs!
After the PGR awards, the winners of the Best Poster prizes from the showcase were announced. One from each of the three faculties – Medicine, Science, and Humanities. I was super surprised when Steve Jones, who was presenting the award for Humanities, called my name. Especially since I spoke to him just before the ceremony started and he had obviously known I’d won at the time. I had to quickly get up from my chair and have a photo taken which will probably show me looking quite confused!
I really enjoyed this event and the rare opportunity it provided for students across the university to interact and hear about other research. It was also really nice to speak to others about my own research and the event as a whole has really given me a confidence boost. Winning the prize was an unexpected additional bonus, and has also given me more confidence in my work and proves that I can explain what I’m doing. (Although it seems I’m only confident in justifying my work to strangers.)
Also, the prize came with £250! So it’s a great incentive for more students to take part!!
(Link to my poster: https://uompsrs.com/profile?id=9650)