Making research accessible to the non-specialist

Sharon Parkinson shares her thoughts on being part of the judging panel at the 8th Annual University of Leeds Postgraduate Research Conference, highlighting the role impact and potential impact plays in the nomination process for the Postgraduate Researcher of the Year Award.

I recently had the privilege of being on the judging panel for the 8th Annual University of Leeds Postgraduate Research Conference. Every year, each Faculty Director of Postgraduate Research Studies provides nominations for the Postgraduate Researcher of the Year Award taking into account the following criteria:

  • Ability to communicate research to the non-specialist research audience in terms of, for example, application of findings for economic, social or cultural benefit; the significance of the contribution/potential contribution of the research to the academic subject area
  • Impact/potential impact of the research in terms of, for example, application of findings for economic or social benefit; the significance of the contribution/potential contribution of the research to the academic subject area.

This year, there were eight nominees; and each one delivered a ten-minute presentation of their research, followed by questions from the panel. The presentations included research on: Bankers’ remuneration in the UK and China; pitting corrosion in low carbon steel; the involvement of ANO1 in pain signalling and more.

After adding up the points and deep discussion, the judges agreed on a winner – Floriane Gidel from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences won the prize for her research on ‘Variational water-wave models and pyramidal freak waves; with implications for global shipping’. Floriane’s ability to present the research in an accessible and interesting way to the non-specialist, and to make clear the impact of her work on saving lives (two large ships sink in the world’s oceans every week!), was a vote-clincher.

It was a fantastic day and a great opportunity for new researchers to showcase their work and for the university to celebrate the quality and diversity of the research being undertaken within its walls.

Article Details

Sharon Parkinson,
Senior Journals Publisher, Emerald Publishing

Date Published:

December 12th, 2017

Would you like to contribute to our Real Impact blog? Find out how.

Recent News & Blogs

- Discover impact news from across the globe

Collaborating for Social Impact

Tanja Collavo - Librarians

To solve global challenges, the input of everyone and every sector is needed. However, collaborations for knowledge exchange between researchers and non-academic organizations are still relatively limited and, even when they take place, are not always successful. What is wrong and what can be done? We asked this question to early career researchers, employees of

Read Article

When two worlds collide: Aid Agencies, Academia and Reflective Practitioners

Terry Gibson - Education, Global Events, Science/Sociology

Over a year on from the safeguarding and abuse scandals that rocked Oxfam, Save the Children, Medecins sans Frontieres and revealed challenges across the whole Aid Agency sector, and despite their intention in an open letter of  ‘continuing to deliver vital aid but also changing fundamentally.’ the UK International development committee finds too little has

Read Article

The Rise of the Radical Right: Reflections on the Role of Academics in Tracking Emerging Developments

Dr William Allchorn - Policy

In recent years radical right actors – which encompasses nativist, authoritarian and populist political movements; both in the global north and parts of the south – are never too far from the headlines. Whether it is the atrocities that took place in Christchurch in March or the hype surrounding Matteo Salvini’s recently announced grouping in

Read Article

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website.
You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in .

Emerald Publishing Logo

Privacy Overview

This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful.

You can adjust all of your cookie settings by navigating the tabs below.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

Strictly Necessary Cookies should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings and ensure that the website works correctly, for example logging into the website.

If you disable these cookies, we will not be able to save your preferences and you may not be able to log in to the website. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.

3rd Party Cookies

This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages.

Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.

Privacy and information

You can find further information about our privacy and cookie policy in our Privacy and information section

To enjoy the full experience of our website please .