It’s that time of year again where I find myself planning and prepping for that special day that takes place every year that we all look forward to. Of course you will all know I’m referring to the Annual Research Poster Conference. The conference isn’t until June 12th 2013 however, being our flagship event, it’s large and complex and requires a lot of planning. Applications have been emailed in for the Project Support Assistant (PSA) roles and the next stage is to shortlist these with my colleague, Erika Hawkes. I have completed all of the project plans and will begin to put them into practice with my new A Team of PSAs in January.
What is the Research Poster Conference I hear you ask? Well, it’s a great opportunity for postgraduate researchers (PGRs) to practice talking about their research and to people of all levels, become familiar to a conference environment and generally develop skills. It’s a busy but fun day where PGRs have the chance to be recognised by the University and wider community and celebrate all of their hard work and achievements.
Last year was a great success with over 250 PGRs presenting (the largest number we’ve ever had!) and trying to improve on it will be the challenge for 2013. (Take a look at the photographs from last year) I’ve already planned several changes including reverting back to a simpler judging system. For 2012 my team of PSAs and I experimented with a complex system of judging which ultimately created huge amounts of work for us (and one PSA in particular who probably hasn’t been near a spreadsheet since) and, after reading feedback, seemed to be disliked by some presenters. Another major change for the 2013 event will be, for the first time, a filtering system whereby we will only chose the highest quality applications to go forward to present at the conference. This is due to the increasing number of applicants each year with the Great Hall finally reaching capacity at last year’s event. We’re also looking to invite a greater variety of external guests to add more networking opportunities for our PGRs.
If you are thinking of applying to present (and I think you should!) the applications will open in February. If you are accepted you will be expected to submit your poster by April and then you simply need to attend the conference on June 12th in the Great Hall. Easy! I’m always happy to receive suggestions and particularly of people to invite so please feel free to get in touch any time at firstname.lastname@example.org . If I don’t see you at a TGS Friday before the holidays, enjoy your time off and we will see you in the New Year.
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