City Graduate School
  1. City Graduate School
  2. Researcher development
  3. Report on Spring Graduate School 2013/4
  1. Researcher development
City Graduate School

Report on Spring Graduate School 2013/14

The City Graduate School hosted its first ever Spring Graduate School, targeted at doctoral students registered across the University and at different stages in their research study, in March 2014. The aim of the Easter Graduate School was to help researchers develop key transferable skills and strengthen the University's research student community.

Activities were held over a week and comprised the first ever Entrepreneurial Doctoral Boot Camp, the 4th Annual Postgraduate Research Symposium and the 3 Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®), again the first time that the event had been held at the University. Of the activities Professor Ken Grattan, Dean of the City Graduate School, says

This has been a great opportunity to present a range of activities over a single week to help develop the sort of skills research students need in order to make the best impression to potential future employers. In addition, it has been really enjoyable to see our students working together across the usual disciplinary boundaries and to show their talents and demonstrate new abilities

Entrepreneurial Boot Camp

Research students from disciplines as diverse as Finance, Cultural Policy and Management, Biomedical, Electronic and Hydraulic Engineering, Computing and Law participated in the week-long programme, involving an intensive 2-day set of activities, 2 days of researching and preparing a business plan and a final ½ day competitive pitch. The event was organized in partnership with the Enterprise Office, led by Ben Mumby-Croft, and external facilitators. Miodrag Vidakovic, from the Sensors and Photonics Research Group, and Rob Schumacher, from the Cass Business School, won the top prize of £1000 and entry into the final of the University-wide City Spark Competition.

Participants said that the event helped them to understand that entrepreneurship was not "dependent exclusively on great ideas", that they left the competition with an "increased business awareness and presentational skills" and that they welcomed the opportunity to "connect with other participants and learn from them as well".

Postgraduate Research Symposium

The 4th annual research symposium, organised by colleagues in LEaD in partnership with the Graduate School, ran its most successful event to date with nearly 100 doctoral students and staff in attendance. The focus of the symposium was on the methodologies and tools adopted by our research students and the benefits and limitations in adopting those methodologies.

Mawla Gadala winner of the paper presentation, photographed, said "…the symposium offered me a professional, yet homely conference environment, which helped me develop my presentation skills, organize my work, and most importantly illicit constructive feedback from fellow peers and research professionals before presenting internationally. Presenting at the symposium also opened a new opportunity for collaboration with staff in a different department who expressed interest in my work."

3 Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®)

Finally, the Graduate School hosted its first ever 3 Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®) during the Easter Graduate School week. The Competition was developed by the University of Queensland in 2008 and since its adoption by numerous Universities has developed in to an international competition. Competitors are required to present their thesis using one slide in three minutes using non-technical language to a non-specialist audience.

Alex Kachkaev from the giCentre was awarded first prize for his presentation on "Leisure routing for pedestrians based on the wisdom of the crowd" and will be participating in the UK Semi Finals on 14th July 2014 at York University with a chance to participate in the National Finals at Manchester University on 9th September 2014.

We are planning our activities for our next Graduate School in 2014/15 now and welcome ideas from staff and students for future activities that you would like to suggest we host.