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Celebrating PGR success at the Postgraduate Researcher’s Conference

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This year’s Postgraduate Researcher’s Conference (held on Thursday 17 June 2021) focused on ‘Researching with Impact’ and gave attendees the opportunity to hear top-tips for academic writing from Professor Inger Mewburn, take part in discussions around career opportunities and attend interactive workshops. It was also a time to celebrate with the 3 Minute Thesis winners and the Manchester Doctoral College (MDC) Excellence Award winners.

The conference

The conference’s Keynote Speaker, Professor Inger Mewburn, discussed academic writing after COVID-19, and shared personal tips and techniques for writing and overcoming writers block, and hosted an engaging in-depth Q&A with attendees. A great take-away from the session is that “no sentence should be more than 50 words, including numbers and references”.

During the Postgraduate Researchers Pathways Panel session, University of Manchester alumni talked about their different career paths and the variety of options available to PhD graduates. The panel shared advice, and top tips included:

  • Talk to as many people as possible about different career options
  • Do as much research as possible about potential careers
  • Be comfortable with moving (locations and areas of work) until you find the right job for you
  • Look at multiple places for roles, including Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook groups.
  • Showcase your transferrable skills in a clear way to non-academics and highlight the skills used in your PhD

A range of interactive workshops looked at increasing your online presence and use of social media, building leadership skills, as well as tips for impactful communication and developing personal effectiveness.

Celebrating our PGR Community

Attendees also watched the winning Three Minute Thesis competition videos and our first-place winner will now compete in the Vitae national competition. Congratulations to all 3 winners:

  • 1st place: Nadine Mirza – Ensuring accurate dementia tests for everyone
  • 2nd place: Lorena Zuzic – Viruses and their Protein Pockets
  • 3rd place: Matthew Kibble – 3D Bioprinting the Intervertebral Disc

The conference also celebrated the achievements of our PGR community. Professor Melissa Westwood, Associate Vice President Research, announced this year’s Manchester Doctoral College (MDC) Excellence Award winners.

Best Contribution to PGR Environment:

  • Nicholas Matthews, Faculty of Humanities

Best Contribution to Society:

  • Jason Chu, Faculty of Biology, Medicine & Health

Best Contribution to Internationalisation:

  • Elisa Manase Pallangyo, Faculty of Science & Engineering

Best Outstanding Output:

  • Helena O’Flynn, Faculty of Biology, Medicine & Health
  • Sidra Abbas Dar, Faculty of Science & Engineering

Supervisor of the Year:

  • Dr Halina Dobrzynski, Faculty of Biology, Medicine & Health
  • Dr Jenna Mittelmeie, Faculty of Humanities
  • Callum Kidd, Faculty of Science & Engineering

Supporting your development

Postgraduate Researchers can access a range of resources and training available via their Faculty teams.

Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health


Faculty of Humanities


Faculty of Science and Engineering


My Research Essentials