Please note that this information is intended to act as a rough guide, and to offer an idea of what may be expected from the Student Conferences. Each conference will have its own set of guidelines, which will appear on the individual conference webpages once finalised.
Talks will be around 15-20 minutes long. Please be prepared to answer questions from the audience on your research. Remember that the audience will be interdisciplinary therefore your presentation must be understandable to non-specialists.
Postgraduate researchers will be invited to submit an abstract for consideration by the student committee. The deadline for abstracts for conferences is normally announced about two months before each event. Guidelines on content will be provided by the committees but generally speaking your abstract should clearly and concisely provide an overview of your presentation. It is important to remember that you will be communicating your research to non-specialists outside your field and your abstract should reflect this.
An example of a good abstract is shown below:
“Making Jello with Medicines?
Gels are often encountered in our everyday lives; let it be as hair gel or summery strawberry jello. Although being composed predominately of liquid, they appear solid-like. In our research, we have found systems where gels can be formed with fluorinated liquids. These liquids have recently been the focus of much attention as therapeutic molecules (e.g. lung fluid replacements and blood substitutes). Therefore, combining both worlds and designing gels made of fluorinated liquids opens a wide range of perspectives. In this presentation, we will see how these gels are formed and question the mechanisms behind such a phenomenon.”
Remember, Abstracts should be:
- Clear and concise
- Give an overview of your presentation
- The significance of your research to your wider field
- Your main objectives of your project
- The conclusions you might make
At some of the conferences, students will be invited to submit posters. Posters should address four areas: the context/history of your work, what you are doing, why it matters, and where you are going next.
If you haven’t done a poster before, the advantages of doing one are:
- It’s an easier way of presenting research if you’re still early on in your PhD or not keen on giving oral presentations.
- Humanities disciplines are increasingly calling for posters at conferences. This event gives you chance to try your hand at producing one.
- A poster can be re-used at other events.
An example of a ‘good’ humanities poster can be found below.
Example of a Good Humanities Poster (1.9 Mb, 559 downloads)
PREPARING FOR A CONFERENCE
The University Graduate College offers a number of workshops which you may find helpful in preparing for a conference. Please click the links below for more information and dates.
Please note that these workshops are only open to Cardiff University students.
At some of the conferences, cash prizes will be awarded for the best talks and the best posters which will be judged by a panel of postgraduate researchers. You can also be provided with feedback on your presentation if you feel that this would be valuable to you.
Talks and posters will be judged mainly on content/structure/delivery and how accessible you made your research to a non-specialist audience. Talks and posters that are too technical in their nature will not score as highly as those which have been modified to suit a general scientific audience.
FEEDBACK FROM STUDENTS ON PAST CONFERENCES
‘A great opportunity to see a lot of presentation styles, a chance to network with PGRs from other schools and an illuminating insight into current research activity.’
‘It opened up my eyes to the benefits of interdisciplinary communication, gave me some great contacts as well as invaluable experience delivering a paper. It was also nice to meet other students in the same boat.’
‘A chance to engage with PhD students in other disciplines and to gain presenting experience in a friendly environment.’
‘This was an excellent day-thank-you. I really enjoyed finding out about totally different subject areas.’
‘Good opportunity to see what others are doing, share ideas, friendly, positive and supportive for inexperienced presenters.’
‘A great opportunity to network and socialise with other PG researchers from various disciplines, institutions and backgrounds.’
‘An enjoyable conference… There were valuable opportunities to meet PGR students who I would not usually encounter. I was impressed by the range of universities from which delegates came.’