SPARC 2016 Logo


Salford Postgraduate Annual Research Conference


SPARC is a forum for developing research, offering a space for postgraduate researchers from all disciplines to exchange ideas. Taking part will enable you to actively engage with Salford’s PGR community, while also developing confidence and presentation skills at the same time. 


SPARC 2016

14 – 15 June

The focus of the 2016 conference was researchers as agents of change. During the two-day event at MediaCityUK, 130 postgraduates presented their research to audiences outside of their disciplines. There were several sessions of seven-minute (fast-paced, PechaKucha style) presentations, demonstrations, performances, posters and a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.

Keynote speakers, Prof Phil Brown (NMSWSS), and Prof Simon Chadwick (SBS) set the tone of the conference, providing thought-provoking discussions of the responsibilities of research, its potential to effect social change, and the importance of reaching audiences outside of academia.

Prizes were awarded for the most engaging presentations, which successfully communicated key messages of research to a non-specialist audience. There were 16 prize winners in all (see below), with Amazon vouchers awarded for best posters, 3MT and several ‘best presenter in session’ awards. The 3MT winner, Gary Kerr (School of Environment and Life Sciences), will now take part in the national semi-final 3MT for a chance to compete in the UK final to be held in  September.

Prof Yiu Lam, Director of Postgraduate Research, said: “Postgraduate research is a fundamental part of a university’s research culture, so I am very pleased to see the high number of contributions and participations in this year’s Salford Postgraduate Annual Research Conference. With a variety of oral and poster presentations, and interactive sessions that were introduced this year, the conference provided exciting opportunities for our researchers to engage with each other. I am particularly impressed with the enthusiasm and openness of our postgraduates in engaging others from different disciplines, and the reception of keynotes that were focused on non-discipline specific research engagement and communication. This bodes well for the future of our research, which is more and more defined by global challenges that cross many discipline boundaries. The tagline of this year’s conference was Researchers as Agents of Change. From the quality of the presentations and the enthusiasm of the participants, I am sure that our postgraduate researchers will indeed play an important part in delivering the changes that will define our future.”

Planning for SPARC 2017 is already under way. We are committed to building on the success on SPARC 2016 to deliver an even bigger and better SPARC 2017.

You can access the full programme here.

You can access a SPARC 16 photo album on our 
Salford PGRs Flickr account here. Thanks to our photographer Gaz Duncan.


Poster Films

Some poster presenters made 60 second films about their research using the Green Screen TV Studios at MediaCityUK. Click on the links below to view them. 

Abdullah Al-Ani (HS)

Ahmed Fakhrudeen (CSE)

Diana-Madalina Stan (ELS)

HIsham Alshaheen (CSE)

Rawan Abdeen (HS)

Richa Yadav (A&M)


Three Minute Thesis Competition

Click on the links to see the films of 3MT presenters

Gary Kerr, 'The Role of Science Festivals in Society' (3MT winner) (ELS)

Sue Bellass, Intergenerational Experiences of Young Onset Dementia: a Qualitative Longitudinal Study (NMSWSS)

Diana-Madalina Stan, Investigating autophagy alterations in Alzheimer's disease patient derived post-mortem brain tissue  (ELS)

Henrike Greuel, Anterior knee pain - a lack of understanding is always painful (HS)

Prize Winners

Three Minute Thesis (voted by judges Janet Morana, R&E, and Sean Hill, CSE)

1st prize - Gary Kerr (ELS)
Runner up – Nadine Munro (SBS)

Poster Competition (voted by all delegates)
1st prize – Hussain Ghulam (HS)
Runner up – Diana-Madalina Stan (ELS)

‘Best presentation in session’ prizes  (voted by PGR judges)

Session A: Health and Wellbeing: Patient Experience 1 – Eleanora Costamagna (HS)
Session B: Accounting and Finance – Muhammad Abdullah (SBS)
Session D: Organisations and Management – Opeoluwa Aiyenitaju (SBS)
Session E: Engineering and Environment: Monitoring – Ross Fawkes (ELS)
Session G: Digital and Creative: Communication – Gary Kerr (ELS)
Session H: Health and Wellbeing: Services and Management – Claire Edge (HS)
Session I: Wellbeing and Society – Eileen Cunningham (NMSWSS)
Session J: Health and Life Sciences; Engineering – Khamis Alkarawi (CSE)
Session L: Health and wellbeing: Patient Experience 2 – Dilla Davis (NMSWSS)
Session M: Engineering and Environment – Zaid Nassrullah (CSE)

Best overall interactive presentation (Sessions C, F and K): Manoli Moriaty and Adam Hart (joint)(A&M)









For any queries, please contact in the first instance.

You can also contact Victoria Sheppard or Tracy Ireland in Research & Enterprise.

Images from the top: Prof Phil Brown; participants in Jenny Willett's interactive performance; Prof Simon Chadwick; Diana-Madalina Stan; Mohammad Kassim. Photos courtesy of Tracy Ireland and Gary Duncan.