The Postgraduate Summer Research Showcase (PSRS) is giving researchers the opportunity to develop their media skills (and win £200!) by communicating the story of their research through short films and capturing the essence of their research through images. Alys Kay (Online Development Officer, EPS Graduate and Researcher Development) is running workshops on developing video stories, and there will be competitions for the best short films and images!
What is the PSRS?
The PSRS is a forum for interdisciplinary connection. Each year we hold a showcase event in June. This year we are asking researchers to present their work in posters, images or short films.
Last year’s event was a great success; one of the highlights for me was witnessing the many ways that people found to communicate their research to a wider audience. This year there will be another Poster Exhibition on 5th June 2015 in Whitworth Hall and Christies Bistro, and prizes will be given to the best poster from each faculty!
In the second year of my PhD I went to a gigantic conference in San Francisco, there were 25000 delegates and 20000 abstracts. People came from different backgrounds and specialities; I saw how this could lead to interesting and unexpected connections.
Communicating your research to a non-specialist audience is a really valuable skill. I often talk to people when I’m travelling on the train, and am asked: “So what is your research about?”
It’s challenging finding an idea that they can connect to, but it is satisfying when you feel that you have been able to explain something complicated in a clear way. It’s a lightbulb like moment for me. One of the special features of PSRS is that gives postgraduate researchers a supportive environment to cultivate and practise communicating their research.
What are your top tips for PGRs who want to organise events like the PSRS?
I would advise any PGR to want to organise events like PSRS to develop their own system of time management. If you can manage your time, you can get anything and everything done!
What is the most difficult thing about organising events like this?
Similar to a PhD, organising events like this often means venturing into the unknown. But sometimes if you just go for it with no fear, you never know what can be achieved!
What was the best thing about organising this event last year?
Seeing smiling faces at the final event, listening into interesting conversations, and feeling the buzz in the whole place really makes all the hard work worthwhile and brings a smile to my face!
What motivates you to get involved with this sort of activity?
Ultimately, using my own experiences to help other people develop is my main motivation for getting involved in organising events like this, teaching, and helping with outreach work. To me, interacting with people brings my research and mathematics to life!