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Inaugural Sêr Cymru Postgraduate Conference - Post Event Summary

Conference brings together Sêr Cymru PhD Students to network, discuss and present research work at Swansea University's Great Hall.  







Swansea University, through the National Research Network (NRN)Engineering, hosted the Inaugural Sêr Cymru PhD Conference on behalf of the 3 National Research Networks: Engineering, Life Sciences and Low Carbon and Environment. The event was held at Swansea University, Great Hall, Bay Campus, on Thursday 15th September 2016.  The 1-day event specifically sought to provide opportunities for the PhD students from the 3 networks to network, present their research through posters sessions, integrate and feel part of the wider NRN community. Participants also had the chance to meet senior academics from other networks.

Not only did the PhD Conference foster students’ professional and academic development, it also helped participants build a network with other PhD students and explore cross-theme opportunities. The conference provided PhD students at various stages of their study, the opportunity to submit a paper, providing a platform for them to present their research and ideas to peers, guests and senior academics.

The conference opening address was delivered by Prof Julie Williams, Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales. Prof Williams delivered an inspirational presentation and provided key facts on how Welsh research features in the world.  We are well placed and proud of the research work coming out from the Welsh universities.

Each NRN director delivered a brief presentation on their own networks giving an overview of how each network operates, the approach used and focus. Prof Huw Summers focused on how the NRN Engineering is founded on this strong engineering ingenuity and the benefits of being a Pan-Wales initiative. Prof David Thomas, NRN Low Carbon and Environment focused on how the Low Carbon and environment network works with its thematic clusters. Dr Andre Brancale, NRN Life Science gave an overview of the structure of the Life Sciences Network and its work on the innovation and translation of new therapeutics for unmet medical and veterinary need. 

The keynote speakers were Dr James Law, University of Sheffield who delivered an interesting presentation on Robotics and Prof Steve Kelly, Swansea University who shared his research work and findings on Cytochrome P450. The main purpose of these sessions was for participants to witness research developments and findings brought by experienced academics in their respective fields.

The Sêr Cymru PhD conference also provided various opportunities for students to expose their research through poster sessions and poster winner’s presentations. Posters were judged by an academic panel with members from the 3 NRNs. 9 posters winners delivered a presentation on their research and received an award prize.

The afternoon provided a real experience for the PhD students in terms of engagement during ‘evaluating a scientific poster’ session. Students were placed in groups whereby they discussed criteria and judged 74 posters. 4 poster winners, based on the student’s criteria, received a prize.

A cheese and wine reception concluded the day where opportunities for a social networking were provided.

While the reception marked the end of the official Inaugural Sêr Cymru PhD Conference, further activities to form a PhD community will be discussed post Conference.

The Sêr Cymru Inaugural Conference will offer a great platform for the next conference to be hosted in 2017 by Cardiff University (NRN Life Science)

Due to funding provided by Sêr Cymru programme through the Welsh Government and HEFCW, there was no fee for attending the Inaugural Sêr Cymru PhD Conference.




‘...built a sense of belonging and proudness.’

‘...judging posters made you think about what other people would be interested in seeing from a research poster.’

‘...I met new people and had the opportunity to speak with colleagues based in other universities.’

‘...Being able to talk to other PhD students gave me insights into other people’s work.’

‘...A fantastic and very enjoyable event. Thanks for organising such an amazing day!’ 

-  Testimonials from PhD students as well others who attended the conference



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