Communicating your research

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all doing well and are looking forward to the Easter break. It has been a busy month for all the research students with our first deadline to submit our summary report, approaching. Alongside this, the first year PhDs have started the course Scientific Methods III, where we learn about the importance of academic writing and the best practices to be followed. This got me thinking about writing my next post on how communication of our research is so important and the events and facilities at the university that can help to improve these skills.

When I first started my PhD in September last year, one of my first experiences was the Research Student Symposium which allowed me to explore the kind of research work carried out by the research students in our School. This event occurs around November and involves the second year PhDs from all the research groups showcasing posters presentations of their research work. This is definitely a good place to get a feel for the topics that are being currently explored by students and may help those that are interested in research to pick one that excites them too. It is open to all students and staff enabling everyone to  interact with a lot of people.

[Watch a video of a previous Research Symposium]

To take it a step further, we have a new competition that I am excited to hear about, called Postgraduate Summer Research Showcase to showcase our research on a University-wide level this June. It includes different forms of presenting our research through a poster, picture, video and 3D models. I am particularly interested in making a short video about my research as I have never done it before and felt it would be challenging.

Another fun way for final year PhDs, is to be able to describe their thesis in three minutes. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to compress three to four years’ worth of work in under three minutes. I was delighted to come across a video from my dear friend from the APT group who took part in this competition to share her work.

Farideh Jalali - Three minute thesis
Farideh Jalali – Three minute thesis

Your personal web page is another platform that you can use to your advantage when trying to showcase yourself and your research. I took some time this month to build my first web page. Some of the few people I drew inspiration from, while building my web page were: Michele Filannino and Andrey Karpathy. I found that their web pages showcased the kind of work they had done during their academic careers with links to projects and publications. One of the main thing you do as a PhD student is search the publications and code demos of your researchers and it is usually convenient to understand and follow their work on their personal /academic web pages.  So, I hope that over the next three years, I will able to build a strong profile for myself and have a consolidated place for my research. I also wish that more of us would try to do this as it just takes a couple of days  to plan out the content and build your page from default templates but is of immense help to anyone who would like to understand the content and depth of your research. Some of my good friends took time to make sure their profiles were up and running this month. You can check out their pages (a current APT PhD student link 1 and a recent Masters graduate –link 2)

Also, the University itself provides you with the ability to host your own web page. The links 1 and 2 describe how you can host your own page and provides information about your domain name.
Apart from this, postgraduate researchers have another facility to make their academic page in the research group they belong to. PGR students in the APT research group can host their APT group web page.

Hopefully, this blog motivates you to find the best way for you to share your ideas with everyone.

See you until next time,