2014: Loughborough University

The Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference at Loughborough University 

By Will Andrews, Aberystwyth University Will_Andrews_Bio_image

The 2014 Postgraduate Forum Postgraduate Mid-Term conference, was held on the 14th and 15th of April at Loughborough University.

 

MidTerm1

Over 90 PhD delegates registered for the 2 day event, with the majority taking this friendly environment as an opportunity to present their PhD research at a conference for the first time. This years conference included: keynotes from Dr. Hilary Geoghegan and Professor John Anderson; a wine reception and conference dinner at the Ramada Hotel;, workshop sessions; and a variety of presentations and poster sessions.

 

Conference Presentations & Poster Session
There were sixteen presentation sessions and a poster session over the two days covering everything from Climate & the Cryosphere to Geographies of the Life Course, providing a range of presentations reflective of the dynamic nature of our discipline. I personally found the presentation sessions to be incredibly helpful both in terms of building confidence and in developing PhD related ideas.

Keynote Presentations

On the first day of the conference Dr Hilary Geoghegan, University of Reading, gave a keynote presentation on being an early-career geographer.

As part of Dr. Hilary Geoghegan keynote she got us out of the lecture theatre and into the reception hall.  We all lined up and were asked to very briefly talk about our PhD research - 2 sentences MAX.  It was great to see the variety of research being undertaking and see how everyone unites under the discipline of Geography
As part of Dr. Hilary Geoghegan keynote she got us out of the lecture theatre and into the reception hall. We all lined up and were asked to very briefly talk about our PhD research – 2 sentences MAX.
It was great to see the variety of research being undertaking and see how everyone unites under the discipline of Geography

This was particularly salient as it helped to frame the next stage for those of us who intend on pursuing an academic career post-PhD. The transformative experience of the PhD and the importance of being enthusiastic, engaged and enchanted by a research project which results in an original contribution to knowledge.

Professor N. John Anderson’s keynote on the second day of the conference helped to show the unique ability of geography as a discipline to unite interesting research in physical geography and to intertwine and embed this within a study of people, the world and human society.

Group Photo Time!
Group Photo Time!

 Workshop Sessions

Beyond the presentation sessions of the conference the workshops offered a chance to think through key issues and themes that postgraduate geographers encounter, they provided new ideas and also a space to discuss these with other geographers. The workshops ran on the second day of the conference and covered publishing, funding and innovative methodologies. These areas of the research process which are key to postgraduate students were particularly helpful for those wishing to gain a better understanding of the academic publishing and funding processes and a chance to ask any questions with regards to these. The innovative methods workshop was also an incredibly useful introduction to newly developing research methods which was beneficial to those students in the fieldwork planning stages of their PhD.

The uniting theme of all three sessions was that they afforded postgraduates a space to interact with other postgraduates and to discuss issues specific to their needs, something which is a key tenet of the RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum.

To see some more photos from the day check out:

https://storify.com/RGS_IBG/mid-term-conference-2014

Or the twitter hashtag #PGFmidterm