Doctoral Research Conference Competitions

On 1 July 2014 the Graduate School will be holding its annual Doctoral Research Conference. The conference is a great opportunity to find out about the diversity of research taking place across the University and to meet with researchers from different Schools and Departments.  It also provides doctoral researchers with a chance to highlight their own work through participating in one (or more!) of the following three conference competitions…


Three Minute Thesis Competition – Deadline 7 March 2014
For many who attended last year’s conference, this event was the highlight. Twelve students from a variety of Schools and Departments presented their doctoral research in three minutes or less, using just one PowerPoint slide.  If you think you can summarize your PhD into an engaging and entertaining three minute talk, then why not enter this year’s competition?  A juding panel will select an overall winner, whilst conference delegates will also be able to vote for the ‘People’s Choice’ winner. Full details and an application form can be found here: If you need some inspiration, why not watch last year’s winning presentation by Jessica Sage (English Literature) at the above web link.


Research Poster Competition – Deadline 14 March 2014
Last year’s competition attracted 27 entrants and this year we hope to receive many more.  Shortlisted entries will be on display in the ground floor of the Palmer building for conference delegates to view and a judging panel comprising University of Reading staff will select an overall winner. For further details go to:


Research Image Competition – Deadline 21 March 2014
In addition to the Poster Competition, this year’s conference will also feature the Research Image Competition, which the Graduate School first held in 2012.  Entrants need to submit an image that reflects their doctoral research work, accompanied by a short abstract. A judging panel will select an overall winner, whilst conference delegates will be able to vote for the ‘People’s Choice’ winner from the shortlisted images on display. For full details and an application form go to:


All the above competitions are open to doctoral researchers from all University of Reading faculties and year groups, including those undertaking professional doctorates. First Prize winners of the conference competitions each receive £100.

Doctoral Researchers who would like to attend the conference can request a place via the RISIS web portal.  Please note that attending the conference counts towards your RRDP training requirement.

The conference also features the four Faculty finalists of the PhD Researcher of the Year Award. Students are nominated for this competition by their School; they cannot directly enter. In 2013 PhD Researcher of the Year was awarded to Katherine Livingstone, from the School of Agriculture, Policy & Development.


blog conference winners
Last year’s Conference competition winners (L-R) Jessica Sage, Jennifer Wickens and Katherine Livingstone with the VC, Sir David Bell; Pro-VC, Professor Christine Williams and Dean for PGR Studies, Professor Dianne Berry.