Category Archives: uncategorised

2016 Jack Dangermond Young Scholar Award

Enter the 2016 Jack Dangermond Young Scholar Award and win a trip to the Esri UC in San Diego 

Are you an undergraduate, postgraduate or early-career researcher? If you use the ArcGIS platform for teaching or research you could win a free trip to the Esri User Conference in San Diego this June! All you need to do is create a story map that shows how you use ArcGIS and how it enables your teaching or research.
The deadline for entries is 22 April 2016.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!
Click here to find out more details and how to enter.

DARG Postgraduate Workshop – 25th May 2016

The Developing Areas Research Group of the RGS-IBG are holding a one day event to explore the application of academic research and research skills to different sectors beyond academia. The event will be held at Senate House, London on 25th May 2016 and will include speakers from public, private and non-profit sectors.

The day will include panel discussions on the relevance of research for impact, policy and programming with a focus on how the skills you have learned during your PhD can be adapted to these areas.

Additionally, there will be expert speakers presenting on how to effectively communicate your PhD research outside of academia.

To book and to see updates on the confirmed speakers, please see the Eventbrite page here.

Midterm Conference 2016

by Maddy Thompson (Newcastle University), PGF Mid-Term Local Organising Committee

On 17-18 March Newcastle University hosted the annual RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference. The event welcomed over 110 geographers and like-minded postgraduates from 39 different institutions, from as far afield as New South Wales, Australia.

With 27 paper sessions, and 11 posters this is probably one of the largest postgraduate geography conferences ever held in the UK, and the largest convened by the Postgraduate Forum. Papers and posters covered diverse themes from all corners of geography, and it was great to get a glimpse of the new and innovative research which will be at the forefront of the discipline in the next few years. The sessions highlighted the inherently interdisciplinary nature of geography, whilst also emphasising the importance of geographers in helping to tackle the world’s problems from a spatial perspective.

We discussed the social impacts of the last World Cup; globalisation; austerity; migration and xenophobia; FGM; education; biosecurity; sustainability; energy conflicts and activism in the Global South; disasters and vulnerability; commuting and clean transport; climate change; food banks; adolescent drug use; apprenticeships; health care; financialisation processes; place branding; housing issues; public sector innovation; and gentrification.

We also learnt about advertising practices; tourist experiences; Cecil Rhodes’ visions of Empire; how to best maintain historical building stones; and even sustainable cheese! We had a jam-packed session on methodological approaches, as well as an interesting insight into the future of mobile digital mapping.

Masters student James Todd from Durham University won the poster competition with his fascinating poster entitled ‘Atmospheres of safety: ‘Safe spaces’ as experienced by trans youth’. This was followed by runner-up Cornelia von Diepen, a PhD candidate from the University of Portsmouth who is researching smoking behaviours of adolescents in Wales.

We listened to a thought-provoking keynote from Newcastle’s Professor Anoop Nayak who discussed his current research on race and ethnicity. Dr Erin McClymont came from Durham University to share her personal stories of career development, and offered a stark reminder on the need for a feminist sensibility as she discussed her recent work in securing Athena SWAN status. Finally, Professor Peter Hopkins (Newcastle University) offered insights into the publishing process in geography drawing on his experiences as Managing Editor of Gender, Place & Culture.

Training workshops aimed at developing postgraduate skills were delivered by Dr Alison William, Professor Peter Hopkins and Dr Robin Humphrey (all Newcastle University) and Professor Cheryl McEwan (Durham University).

The conference was also a great opportunity for networking, and social events were held in the Town Wall, the Copthorne Hotel, and less formally in the Northern Stage. One of the highlights of the conference was definitely seeing 50 geographers showing off their moves to the Macarena.

Overall, the event was a huge success and the feedback has been exceptionally positive. The organisers at Newcastle would like to thank everyone for coming and making this such a fantastic event. It was also a great experience to present and chair in such a friendly and relaxed atmosphere – it made me realise that although we only meet together twice a year in such large numbers, that there is a strong community of postgraduate geographers, and not just a network.

We also have a special section of our ‘PhD Life Blog’ dedicated to the conference. These can be read here.

Postgraduate Forum Logo Competition

The Postgraduate Forum of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is pleased to announce a postgraduate open competition to design a new logo. The logo will appear on our website (, social media and publicity materials. The winner of the competition will receive a years RGS-IBG Postgraduate Fellowship.

We are asking for entries to provide both a colour and black & white electronic version for reproduction. The following restrictions apply to its design:

  • It should not infringe on any copyright;
  • It should be square (ideally for use on Twitter);
  • It should be designed for reproduction against a white background;
  • It should be designed for reproduction at 150 × 150 pixels and 300 × 300 pixels, but be reasonably legible at 48 × 48 pixels; 77 × 77 pixels; and 88 × 88 pixels.

Entries should be submitted to Greg Thomas by email ( by 15th August 2016.

Postgraduate Forum Committee Positions 2016/2017

The Postgraduate Forum of the RGS-IBG is inviting expressions of interest for members to sit on our committee for the year 2016/2017. Positions will be formally elected at the PGF lunchtime meeting at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference on 2nd September 2016. The following committee positions are available for election:

  1. Secretary;
  2. RGS-IBG Annual Conference Sessions Coordinator;
  3. PGF-ACTS Coordinator;
  4. Midterm Conference Host;
  5. Social Media Officer;
  6. Website Officer.

If you would like to be considered for any of these positions, or would like more information, please get in touch with Greg Thomas (, current Chairman of the Postgraduate Forum.

Postgraduate Forum Chairperson 2016/2017 Elections

Following the Annual General Meeting of the Postgraduate Forum at the Midterm Conference in Newcastle University, the following members have been nominated for the position of Chairperson of the Postgraduate Forum.

  1. Phil Emmerson, University of Birmingham.
  2. Maddy Thompson, Newcastle University.

Full candidate biographies and manifestos can be seen here, voting is now open and can be done here.

The online vote is now open and will close at 5pm Monday 18th April 2016. Results will be declared on Tuesday 19th April 2016.

To vote for your chosen candidate please click here.

All Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Postgraduate Fellows, and members of the Postgraduate Forum are eligible to vote.

The Chairperson of the Postgraduate Forum connects the geography postgraduate community to the RGS-IBG, giving postgraduates a voice at the highest levels within the Society.

RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Chairperson Elections 2016

Notice is hereby given of the election of Chairperson for the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Postgraduate Forum.

The following members have been nominated for the election of the position of Chairperson for the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Postgraduate Forum.

  1. Phil Emmerson, University of Birmingham.
  2. Maddy Thompson, Newcastle University.

Full candidate biographies and manifestos can be seen here.

The election process will formally begin at the Annual General Meeting of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Postgraduate Forum at the Postgraduate Forum Midterm Conference, to be held at Newcastle University at 5pm on Friday 18th March 2016.

An online vote will open following the Annual General Meeting, and will remain open until 5pm Monday 18th April 2016. Results will be declared on Tuesday 19th April 2016.

All Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Postgraduate Fellows, and members of the Postgraduate Forum will be eligible to vote.

Greg Thomas, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Postgraduate Forum Chairperson 2015/2016

CFP (RGS-IBG 2016): Open discussion session: Doing food research: method, transdisciplinarity and reflexivity

Convenors: Charlotte Spring & Rebecca StClair (Salford University)
Session sponsored by the Food Geographies Working Group

Call for contributions:

Food researchers grapple with big questions: climate change, systems complexity, power and justice, where the macro often collapses into the micro. The researcher’s role (or search for one) blurs into the research context, where reflexive awareness can shed light on the importance of interpersonal relationships, emotion and registers of identity/difference/privilege in negotiating ‘the field’. This can be especially the case for those aiming at participatory, action-focussed work that considers the ethics of engagement and impact, and the politics of knowledge beyond ‘policy relevance’.

Furthermore, the multi-disciplinary backgrounds of many food geographers bring a wealth of methodological tools to the discipline. The process of ‘borrowing’ methodological tools and adapting them to fit a particular research purpose deserves its own consideration and a discussion of the potential merits and pitfalls of a transdisciplinary approach. How does one learn the craft of research in fast-changing, uncertain times?

The (incomplete) turn towards reflexivity, complexity and transdisciplinarity has opened up a rich seam of reflection for academic method and theory. This session will provide a safe and gentle space for such reflection. We invite proposals for short (approx 5 min) spoken contributions (especially from postgraduates), to begin the session and stimulate questioning and discussion of the ‘doing’ of research: these could include insights from fieldwork, approaches to analysis and writing, uses of technology, experiences of collaboration, participatory/action research, institutional challenges, ethical quandaries and so on…we hope the session’s broad focus will appeal to researchers in the many fields food connects with.

Please send an outline of your proposed contribution to Charlotte Spring (  or Rebecca StClair ( by 16th February 2016.

Valuing Nature Business Impact School

The Valuing Nature Programme is running a three-day Business Impact School to provide early career researchers with an opportunity to gain insight into producing research with business impact.

Apply now through the Business Impact School Application Form

The Natural Environment Research Council is funding this School to help develop a Valuing Nature research community with a broader understanding of how to translate research into private sector decision making and innovation.

Business participants include Willis, Nestle, United Utilities, National Grid, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Aldersgate Group, Intelligent Health and Satellite Communications Catapult. The Business Impact School programmewill offer plenty of opportunity to interact with speakers, including a ‘hands-on’ session on designing research for business impact.

The Valuing Nature Programme is offering fully-funded places (school, travel, accommodation, meals, field trip) for around 25 early stage researchers. To be eligible, applicants must be registered for a PhD at the closing date for applications (5 February, 2016) or employed as a post-doc researcher and awarded a PhD on or after 1 January 2014. The School is open only to applicants registered or employed at UK universities or research bodies eligible for UK Research Council funding.

Full details are available on the Valuing Nature Programme website. The deadline for applications is the 5 February, 2016.