What is the NSPPS and why should you get involved?

Alan Kennedy, a postgraduate researcher from the School of Geographical Sciences, writes about why he enjoys attending the Natural Systems and Processes Poster Session (NSPPS) year after year, and why current students should consider signing up. Already know you want to take part? Apply here!

The NSPPS is, it appears, now quite an establishment in Bristol: 2016 will be the event’s ninth year. What is it, and what has secured its place in the University of Bristol calendar for all these years?

Well, as the name suggests, it is an academic poster session welcoming pretty much anything relating to the science of the natural world. It turns out this description covers a lot of science, with representatives from Earth Sciences, Geographical Sciences, Physics, Life Sciences, Engineering, Chemistry and Mathematics. It’s a fascinating melting pot of ideas with some quirky and abstract topics on show, but each being a tiny, crucial cogwheel in the Earth’s system. The range of topics can show off the University’s diverse scientific community, spark collaborations and simply baffle all at the same time.

Besides the ‘boring’ scientific part of the event, NSPPS is a great occasion. Set in the Wills Memorial Building Great Hall, there is a plentiful stock of free food and drink and the social side of the event is great. Often the people carrying out the research are even more colourful than the science itself (especially after some free drinks). The social side also ensures the whole event is very relaxed, making it a great opportunity to get some practice and early feedback on your poster and presentation skills before taking on external conferences. Maybe you’re thinking of going to EGU in April? Then this is the perfect warm up. Added to that, there is healthy competition with entrants battling it out for a series of prizes from staff and student votes for the best posters. They’re proper prizes too (I can verify, last year I won an Acer tablet for the staff vote), so it’s definitely worth entering!

So here’s why NSPPS is still live and kicking after 9 years: diverse science, diverse people, laid back atmosphere, prizes and (of course) free food and drink.

Where? Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building.

When? 2-5pm, Monday 7th March.

Deadlines: Abstract submissions by midnight, Friday 29th February. Apply now! https://tiny.cc/nspps

Three Minute Thesis (3MT)

3MT Finalists abbrev

‘To pee or not to pee’, was the subject of the winning presentation at the University of Bristol’s inaugural
Three Minute Thesis competition – a global academic competition designed to improve participants’ presentation and communication skills and raise awareness of their research area, as it challenges postgraduate researchers to present their 80,000-word theses in just three minutes.

Dominika Bijos was named the winner in a close-fought affair as 10 finalists took to the stage in the Anson Rooms, in front of a packed audience.

This was Bristol’s first foray into the 3MT competition and we would like to know what you thought worked, what didn’t work, and what we could improve upon for next year.

Festival of Postgraduate Research

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The Festival of Postgraduate Research took place on Friday 21st February 2014 and included stands run by postgraduate researchers and University services alongside a range of research posters, breakout presentations and workshops.

As we consider what went well and what we could improve for next year, we would welcome your feedback. If you attended or took part in the Festival let us know what you think we should repeat again next year, or what you feel we could do differently. If you chose not to attend, we would be interested to hear your thoughts on what would make it more appealing to you.