Last Thursday (12th March) I attended the Skills Development Scotland’s Collaborative PhD Programme Launch and Networking Event, which was held in Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel. There, a number of stakeholders representing SDS, ESRC, SGSSS and SKOPE gave talks which focused on the innovative nature of the PhD programme, its purpose and potential benefits to everybody involved, including the Scottish labour market and economy at large.
A key focus of the event was the actual research being carried out by each of the PhD students, including that of my own project. To this end, we each had a poster on display for everybody to peruse in between networking with other delegates and drinking cups of tea. You can see my poster here.
For anybody thinking about undertaking a PhD, poster presentations are a common method of displaying or presenting your work at events and conferences. The poster is a graphic aid which represents your subject, and should act as both a conversation starter and a stand-alone piece for when you aren’t there to discuss it with passers by. Don’t panic if you aren’t a graphics expert though, because there are loads of great resources online which can assist you in the process. Also, seeking advice from colleagues is advisable (my office-mate Frances had some great tips for which I am very grateful). And of course, don’t forget to check out any training events that your institution may be putting on.
I thought the whole event was a great success. It was particularly nice meeting the other students and their supervisors, who are all based at other universities. As well as chatting with some interesting people about my own poster and work, I got to browse everybody else’s and get a flavour of what they are up to. I think these events have the potential to be quite daunting (particularly in the bourgeois settings of the Grand Hotel!), but thankfully the atmosphere was very laid back and welcoming.
On a personal level, I was dead chuffed (as we academics say) to win joint best poster prize on the day. And I even managed to round the occasion off with a swift pint in Central Station (the pub has acquired massive comfy chairs since my last visit), before traversing back to Edinburgh for a couple more with the other PhD students from the School of Computing, in celebration of completing our RD4/5/6 progress reviews. I’ll explain a bit more about those (the reviews, not the drinks) in my next post.