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Meet your Postgraduate Summer Research Showcase and MDC award winners 2022

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This year’s Postgraduate Summer Research Showcase took place on Thursday, 16 June 2022. Taking place in Whitworth Hall, the event welcomed over 200 attendees and offered postgraduate researchers the chance to network, showcase and present their research to peers, academic and professional staff.

This annual event provides a forum to enhance the research community across the University and offers opportunities for postgraduate researchers to practise useful skills, such as presenting and communicating ideas.

A prize was given to the best poster in each Faculty. This year’s winners were:

Charlotte Mellor, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health: Investigation of novel interacting partners of the Bcl-2 family in apoptotic priming

Sarah Keirle, Faculty of Humanities: The Animal Voice Within the Compositional Process

Adil Ashraf, Faculty of Science and Engineering: Optimal design of water monitoring networks using artificial intelligence methods

In addition to poster presenters, the showcase featured the “Research in Action” image competition, which was open all postgraduate (taught and research) students. The winning image titled ‘What goes in first: tea or milk? The order of the constituents can alter the product when it comes to tea and language’ was submitted by Núria Barrious-Jurado, Faculty of Humanities.

Manchester Doctoral College (MDC) Excellence Awards 2022

The winners of the Manchester Doctoral College Excellence Awards 2022 were announced in June, these awards are given in recognition of the outstanding achievements of our postgraduate researchers and supervisors

The awards invite supervisors, PGR students and colleagues from all faculties to nominate individuals based on their achievements for their research or their successes and contributions outside of their studies.

This is the ninth year the awards have run and the achievements of the winners have not only made valuable contributions to their own research, but also to the University and wider community.

This year’s winners are:

Best Contribution to PGR Environment – Poppy Budworth, Faculty of Humanities

Since starting her PhD, Poppy has created networks and opportunities for PGRs across Humanities and the North-West Social Science DTP, as well as creating a welcoming workspace for PGRs. Also poppy has supported and represented PGRs from diverse backgrounds, strongly advocating for PGR voices and needs.

Best Contribution to Society – Max Gattie, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Max runs a support group for stammering and organised a three-day stammering conference for 200 people. Additionally members of the British Stammering Association elected Max as a trustee, and in 2020 he held a Christmas Day Zoom call-in for people who stammer who were stranded home alone due to coronavirus restrictions.

Best Contribution to Internationalisation – Chantal Bright, Faculty of Humanities

Chantal Bright is an ecofeminist geographer, who has been granted several research projects to support international fieldwork in Liberia – collaborating with ActionAid and the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. She is the author of Janjay, a children’s book series on water and environment, which has been translated into French by the US State Department.

Best Outstanding Output Award

Christopher Below, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

During his PhD, Chris published a first author paper in Nature Materials, he co-authored a paper in Nature Communication and produced more than 85% of data for a third manuscript. The paper in Nature Materials is a true landmark paper describing a novel fully synthetic scaffold that enables grow of patient derived tumours as a system to faithfully replicate essential features of tumour and microenvironment.

Barbora Cernusakova, Faculty of Humanities

Barbora has published three highly original articles in peer-review journals of high-international standing. This impressive achievement is complemented by Barbora’s success in extending her research into advocacy, campaigns, and human-rights submissions as part of her post at Amnesty International, which she has held throughout her PhD.

Hugo Lefeuvre, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Hugo’s first-author paper was accepted in the Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS 2022) conference, a top-tier and highly prestigious venue in the field of systems software. Additionally the paper was awarded the Distinguished Artifact Award, recognising the soundness of the proposed system’s implementation, and the reproducibility of the research results.

Supervisor of the Year Award

In addition to recognising the achievements of our PGR students, the MDC Excellence awards also recognise supervisors who have created the most supportive, stimulating and inspirational research environment for doctoral students.

Professor Carsten Timmermann, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Professor Timmermann is the head of the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM). During this time he has offered both academic and pastoral support to his students that has earned him a reputation as an exceptionally empathetic and inspiring supervisor. In addition he goes out of his way to champion those under his tutelage, ensuring academic, professional and personal growth of his students.

Prof Francesca Gains, Faculty of Humanities

Francesca is Professor of Public Policy and Academic Co-Director of Policy@Manchester. She is the first woman Head of Department in Politics, which she led between 2015 and 2018. She has received international recognition for her research on gender and public policy and since 2007, Professor Gains has supervised over 16 PhD students.

Dr Lihong Zhang, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Dr Lihong’s approach to PGR supervision is one of creating a learning environment that fosters openness, trust and collaboration amongst PhD students and supervisors. Lihong impresses with his commitment to supporting the professional development of his PGR students.

The University really values the work of our PGR community and is delighted to share the details of their accomplishments and is excited to see how these individuals progress throughout their time at Manchester and in their careers.

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