Our postgraduate representatives for the GHWRG, Gareth Griffith (University of Bristol) and Cornelia Van Diepen (University of Portsmouth) attended the RGS Postgraduate Mid-Term Conference in Cardiff. They had this to say about the event:
The RGS Mid-Term was great. It was an excellent coming together of a great number of enthusiastic and friendly early-career researchers eager to connect with each other and find out about each others’ work. The atmosphere of the conference is especially good for those new to post-graduate academia, being populated mostly by PhD and Masters students presenting findings from their projects. It didn’t necessitate findings to be of use, however, several fascinating and hugely beneficial presentations put forward the initial plans and ideas of the project that the student was yet to embark upon. This allowed them to receive relevant advice, ideas and contact info for interested peers.
Gareth explaining mental health through emojis (Photo: @Kim 24501)
The health geographies session was a great opportunity to connect and discuss our work with others in the field and showcased a wide range of topics, perspectives and methodologies which highlighted exciting and diverse research emerging in and around the geographies of health and wellbeing, including:
Farouk Umar (University of Sheffield) on healthcare in Kano (Photo: @PGF_RGSIBG)
Phil Emmerson (University of Birmingham) discussing laughter with care (Photo: @PGF_RGSIBG)
The keynote speakers were great, and the presenters friendly and welcoming, as were the informal networking meetings for the research groups which presented a great opportunity, again, for early career researchers to meet peers in their field. The delegates all engaged really positively with the work presented, although I’m generalising from the sessions I attended – and feedback was constructive, informative and helpful. Given the audience I actually edited my presentation the night before to take out some of the hard line quantitative visuals, and add some more relatable non-technical language, as an experiment to see if I could pull it off. It went down really well, and provided confidence for me going forward with presenting that kind of stuff. I’d really recommend being ambitious or trying something different with the presentations, as it is rare to get such a friendly and forgiving audience to trial ideas in front of!
On top of this, there are really helpful workshops run for early career researchers, including publishing, writing and data scrutiny courses. In fact, the only criticism of the whole would be the usual one with conferences, that because there are so many interesting sessions concurrently – you might not see all that you intended. I returned home with an interest and increased knowledge in topics including but not limited to: Guerilla Geographies, Community Housing Projects, Street Children, Zimbabwean food culture and British Somali FGM attitudes. Moreover, all the people who talked about these topics were chatty and willing to put up with my initial ignorance of their topic.
If it wasn’t already transparent – I’d definitely recommend the Midterm to any early career researcher looking to get a feel of the academic scope of geographical research, as well as scoring some presentation practice and meeting some wicked people along the way. GHWRG looks forward to seeing you there next year!