Salford Postgraduate Annual Research Conference

SPARC is a forum for developing research, offering a space for postgraduate researchers from all disciplines come together and exchange ideas. It is a fantastic opportunity to engage with Salford’s PGR community while also helping you to develop confidence and presentation skills and get feedback on your research.

SPARC 2016

SPARC 2016 will take place on the 15-16 June, at MediaCityUK. More details to be announced soon - watch this space!

SPARC 2015

The 2015 conference took place from the 26 – 28 May 2015 at MediaCityUK. Over 250 staff and students attended and 130 students presented their research. On day 3 of the conference, SPARC joined forces the College of Science and Technology’s Dean’s Research Showcase, and SPARC’s poster presenters were joined by an additional 90 PhD students from CST in a shared poster session.

Keynotes and panel discussion

The conference was opened by the PVC (Research) Prof Nigel Mellors, and the first keynote was by Prof Louise Ackers (NMWSWSS), whose research on evidence based policy in global health provided an engaging example of impact. Her talk also reflected on methodological issues, critiquing an increasing fetishism of metrics in our lives, arguing instead for the value of multi method approaches to research design.

Prof Andy Miah opened the second day of the conference with a discussion of how to be a successful social media academic, in which he made a convincing argument that social media can cut out much of the ‘leg work’ of academic research and enable more effective practice, as well as providing a starting point for impact.

Watch the film of Andy Miah on ‘What it Takes to be a Social Media Academic’ here.

A panel discussion on the subject of post PhD careers brought together four Salford PGR alumni who are now working in academic and research roles in Higher Education and the third sector.


The following students won prizes for their abstracts/presentations:

• Three Minute Thesis Competition, first prize and people’s choice prize: Sean Hill (CSE), “Immersive Virtual Reality Design System”. Watch Sean's presentation here.
• Three Minute Thesis runner up award: Dilla Davis (NMSWSS), “Lifestyle self-management experiences of South Asians”
• Best abstract tailored for a non-specialist audience: Alex Wilson (CSE) “Perception of Quality in Music Production”

Abstracts, Photos and Films of student presentations

The SPARC Book of Abstracts 2015 is available to download through the University's Institutional Repository here.

Over 200 photos of the event are available on our Flickr site here. Thanks to Gary Duncan, our conference photographer.

Some poster presenters made short films bringing their posters to life, using the Green Screen Studio at MediaCity. See Peter Shum from ELS talking about his research here. More will be made available on this site once the editing is completed.

Links to films of the 3MT presentations will also be added to this page.

Many thanks to all the PGRs and staff who took part in SPARC 15!

We welcome any feedback and suggestions for future conferences. Please contact Victoria Sheppard in the Quality Enhancement Office if you have any suggestions or if you would like to be part of a committee for the next SPARC.