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SPARC 2018: Call for papers now open!

SPARC (Salford Postgraduate Annual Research Conference) is taking place 4 - 5 July 2018 at MediaCityUK and will form part of a wider ‘Festival of Research’ event taking place throughout June and July on campus. The conference 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. The theme for SPARC 2018 will be ‘Collaboration and Internationalisation’ and we invite you to present your research as a short oral presentation or poster at the conference. 

The process:
Your abstract must be no more than 250 words and aimed at a non-specialist audience. It must also fall into one or more of the following conference themes:

  • Industry 4.0
  • Ageing and bio-health
  • Energy, housing & infrastructure
  • Environmental Quality
  • Resilience & Leadership

It is up to you as the author to adapt your abstract and craft it to relate to one or more of the themes. This can be achieved by considering:

  • your target audience,
  • possible applications or implications of your research,
  • why the public should know about the research you are doing
  • or how your research ‘fits’ into the broader landscape of your field.

You must ensure that your abstract is suitable for a non-expert aged 14-16 years old (lay abstract). This will often mean writing your abstract differently to what you have been used to. Many academic conferences now also request a lay abstract and SPARC is a perfect opportunity to practice and refine this type of writing skill.

Your abstract may also be related to one or more of the University strategic Industrial Collaboration Zone that make up the following sub themes:

  • Inclusivity
  • Co-created
  • Active and collaborative
  • Real-world and experiential
  • Digital fluency
  • Learner autonomy
  • Authenticity
  • Ethical behaviour
  • Research-informed curriculum
  • Path to professionalism

Please note: abstracts that exceed 250 words will be returned to be re-written and submitted.

To submit your abstract complete the online form at

Deadline for submission is 12pm on 9th April 2018.

March Call for papers/abstracts.
12pm Midday, Monday 9th April 2018

Deadline for paper/abstract submissions (Please note the deadline is absolute, you should plan around any bank holidays and vacation periods).

Week commencing 15th May 2018 Confirmation of acceptance and final schedule communication.
4pm, 4th June 2018 Submission of final PowerPoint presentations and posters for printing (Please note: you must submit presentations and posters one month in advance, you will not be permitted to bring these on the day. The time frame is to confirm your supervisor has approved content, produce publications and printing. If you fail to meet the June deadline, you will be withdrawn from presenting at SPARC.
4pm, 4th June 2018 Last call for PGR chairs.
Week commencing 18th June 2018 PGR Chair training.
Week commencing 25th June 2018 Practice presentation training available.
4th & 5th July SPARC – all PGRs are expected to attend.
Week commencing 9th July 2018 Communication on how to collect posters and follow up resources distribution.


4 July 2018, Ali Nowroozi (Masumi Headwear)

Ali Nowroozi is a Salford Business School graduate, an entrepreneur and founder of his own company Avakino Limited – Masumi Headwear. Ali's company designs, makes and distributes headwear for people with hair loss: you can find out more about them at After only 6 months in
trade, they already supply many hospitals - including The Christie Hospital
Manchester - along with 40 salons in the UK, and their distribution network covers  in New York, Spain, France, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden and Finland. Masumi Headware are also an exclusive designer and supplier to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Ali is working in partnership with Salford on our ICZ agenda and is delighted to be gicing the keynote address on day one of SPARC "I owe a lot to my university for what they have done for me, and I am so happy that I can now give something back in return. Salford University for me is like a small, friendly, community which is able to create and lead you to worldwide opportunities."

5 July 2018, Dr Kirsty Fairclough (University of Salford)

Salford's very own Dr Kirsty Fairclough (Associate Dean Research, School of Arts & Media) will deliver SPARC 2018's second keynote speech. Kirsty has published widely on popular culture and representations of women and is the co-editor of The Music Documentary: Acid Rock to Electropop, (Routledge), The Arena Concert: Music, Media and Mass Entertainment (Bloomsbury) and Music/Video: Forms, Aesthetics, Media. New York, (Bloomsbury) and author of the forthcoming Beyoncé: Celebrity Feminism and Popular Culture. (I.B Tauris). Her work has been published in Senses of Cinema, Feminist Media Studies, SERIES and Celebrity Studies journals. She has made several television and radio appearances and lectured internationally on popular culture and feminism, notably at The Royal College of Music, Stockholm, The University of Copenhagen, Columbia College Chicago, Middle Tennessee State University, Unisinos, Brazil and Bucknell University, Pennsylvania.

Kirsty has significant experience in international partnership development, particularly in North America and is the founder of the Salford Popular Culture Conference series with international partner universities, including I’ll See You Again in 25 Years. Twin Peaks and Generations of Cult Television. University of Salford (May 2015), Mad Men: The Conference, Middle Tennessee State University, (May 2016) and Purple Reign: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Life and Legacy of Prince held at the University of Salford in May 2017.


For any queries, please contact in the first instance. You can also contact Davina Whitnall or Tracy Ireland in Research & Knowledge Exchange.