On Friday 4th September, we held a 5 Minute Thesis competition for doctoral students, where speakers explained their research to a non-specialist audience within just five minutes. We applied for funding from the Researcher Led Initiative run by the Sussex Doctoral School and were awarded £750 to run this competition.
We aimed to make the event interdisciplinary with the title “Cognition in brains, animals and machines.” Despite initial fears about attracting enough people to fill the schedule, when the event came we had a full afternoon with speakers from a wide range of fascinating topics from Neuroscience, Informatics and Psychology.
The audience voted for the speakers using a ten point system, which we (naturally) performed a range of descriptive statistics on afterwards to decide the winners. We had a great afternoon with plenty of sandwiches and a wine reception to follow. Thank you so much to everyone who took part and provided such a broad variety of topics.
This event was an extension of the Doctoral Research and Development (DReaDed) seminar series, set up by Sam Berens and Sarah Fielding-Smith as a way of bringing together the doctoral students in the School of Psychology. Successes are frequent in Psychology, but doing a PhD can be hard and sometimes lonely, too. With this seminar series, they aimed to create informal events, run at the end of a Friday and followed by a trip to the pub, where everyone could come together and feel comfortable discussing wins and losses. We will not be running the DREADed seminar series this year due to the time commitments of being third years, but please do get in contact if you are interested in taking over.
We both learned a lot from putting on the event, promoting, organising and writing an application for funding. The application process for the Researcher Led Initiative is relatively straightforward and we encourage other people to apply too. The next call is Friday 13th November 2015, and we would be happy to help out applicants.
Congratulations to Sam Berens, Kate Doran and Jonathan Robertson for their winning talks.
Marie Rogers and Anne Templeton