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SPARC 2017: call for submissions now open!

SPARC (Salford Postgraduate Annual Research Conference) is taking place from the 27 - 29 June 2017.

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 focus of this year’s conference is on the University’s 50th Anniversary celebrations with the strapline ‘Retrospect and Prospects’, so we particularly welcome proposals around the theme of looking both forward and back. 


27th June, Prof David Brettle

Prof David BrettleWe are delighted to announce that Professor David Brettle will be the keynote speaker for day one of SPARC. David studied here at Salford as an undergraduate - gaining his Bsc in Computational Physics - before undergoing his postgraduate research at Leeds University, where his thesis title was 'Assessment of inherent ability to detect clinical abnormalities in images'. He is now President of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, Head of Medical Physics and Engineering at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, and an Honorary Professor of Health Sciences at Salford. In addition, David is a successful inventor in the area of medical imaging and radiation protection.



28th June, Geoff Thompson MBE

On day two we will be joined by internationally recognised speaker Geoff Thompson MBE. Geoff is a five times World United Karate Organisation champion and holder of over 50 national and international titles. In 1988, he was a participant in the government's review of sport in the inner cities following the urban riots that swept through the UK. 

Geoff is the founder and executive chairman of the Youth Charter, and has spent 15 years developing policies and innovative approaches looking at the role of sport, art and cultural activities and their social impact in addressing anti-social youth behaviour, child obesity, weapon and gang culture. He is ideally placed to demonstrate how government, businesses and other organisations can maximise their effectiveness in realising the potential of young people and the wider community. Geoff's role at the University of Salford within the Industrial Collaboration Zone for Sport will help shape the University's future.

29th June, Dr Kirsty Fairclough

For day three Salford's very own Dr Kirsty Fairclough will deliver SPARC 2017's final 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.

SPARC is free to attend and is open to Salford PGR students in all subject areas.

You are invited to participate by presenting in one of the following formats:

  • Oral presentation: we welcome presentations in either a traditional OR Pecha Kucha format.
    Pecha Kucha is a fast paced presentation format, ideal for communicating the key message of your research to audiences from other disciplines. This involves 20 slides of 20 seconds each, which advance automatically while you talk (6 min 40 in total).
    If you prefer not to use the 20 slides x 20 seconds format, you can do a more conventional presentation lasting the same amount of time (max 7 minutes) instead.
  • Interactive presentation: we welcome proposals for demonstrations, performances, screenings or workshops. Please email us at to discuss specific requirements. 
  • Poster - A0 or A1 poster which communicates research ideas visually. These will be displayed throughout the conference and there will be a dedicated poster session for you to talk about your poster to other conference delegates.

There are detailed guidelines for presenters on the website, along with resources and templates to help you plan your presentation.  There will also be dedicated training sessions on conference presenting available through the SPoRT programme (

Before submitting, you MUST discuss your abstract submission with your supervisor and check that s/he is happy for it to be published in the SPARC 17 Book of Abstracts.

Please use this template and email your 250 word abstract to by 5pm on Wednesday 19th April 2017, copying in your supervisor.

In your accompanying email, please state your preferred presentation format and your current year of study.

Key Dates

Wednesday 19 April 2017:  deadline for abstract submission

Friday 12 May 2017: all presenters notified

Friday 26 May 2017: conference programme finalised

Tuesday 27 – Thursday 29 June 2017: Conference


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