Helping research reach a broader audience: Wolfson's unique annual research event

“My favourite part of the event was listening to student talks, both as oral and flash poster presentations, and learning about things I have never come across before”, explains WRE Committee Chair, Nancy Karreman.

Wolfson Researh Event 2022 Commitee

The Wolfson Research Event (WRE) is an annual interdisciplinary conference, where post-graduate students from various academic disciplines present their research in the form of oral presentations and poster presentations. The event takes place across two days, and prior to the event itself, participants attend skills workshops in writing abstracts, public speaking, and developing engaging visual materials.

Nancy strongly argues for the necessity of inter-disciplinary events such as the WRE for student development and research visibility. Nancy will be a final year PhD student in Medical Science at the MRC Epidemiology Unit as of January 2023, and her research focus on the framing of UK food policy has made clear to her the importance of intellectual openness and critical reflexivity.

“One of my biggest concerns is how much incredible and potentially impactful research doesn’t make it out into the public eye due to academic insularity and lack of communication,” she elucidates. “One of the biggest advantages to student presenters that the WRE offers is the opportunity (and challenge!) of designing a presentation for a general audience; we don’t generally get asked to do this for other specialist conferences or our own research groups, but it is an incredibly important part of our academic and career development.”

A showcase for graduate student research 

College Fellow Liaison for the 2022 Committee and Academic Skills Librarian, Dr Margaret Westbury, reflects on the unique opportunity that the conference facilitates for early career thinkers and researchers.

“The WRE is Wolfson's annual interdisciplinary showcase of graduate students' research, and it is a great opportunity for students to gain experience with presenting in a supportive and receptive environment. What makes the event different from other academic conferences is that participants are scaffolded throughout the process of submitting abstracts, creating presentations and posters, and presenting their information in an informative and engaging manner.”

“The event is as much about students learning as it is about highlighting their great work,” Westbury continues. “But it is also about celebrating interdisciplinarity and the synergies exposed and created by juxtaposing presentations across an array of subjects."

The 2023 Research Event is due to take place on the 4th and 5th May 2023, and Nancy encourages all current Wolfson post-graduate students to get involved.

The 2023 Committee have just launched their call for abstracts, with a deadline of 5pm on Friday 23 December 2022 (UK time). The previous Wolfson Research Event Program booklet is linked here.