On the 30th April 2024, Digital Futures hosted their second PhD Network of the year at the Emmeline Suit in the Christabel Pankhurst Building. The purpose of the event was to develop and bring together a network of PhD students conducting research related to digital topics within The University of Manchester through Digital Futures. Through this, Digital Futures can assist students in cultivating interdisciplinary, cross-faculty relationships that can lead to new perspectives on their research.

The event itself featured lightning talks from UoM PhD Students as well as introductory talks from other research platforms and services from across the University. After attendees arrived and picked up a free hot beverage and snack, they were were welcomed by Kitty Lo, Communications and Engagement Coordinator for Digital Futures. Kitty provided the attendees with a short introduction to Digital Futures as well as a summary of the PhD Network and its purpose.

Kitty Lo welcomes attendees to the PhD Network event.

After this, the network was kicked off with the first lightning talk of the day, provided by Homa Molavi. Homa gave us a brief overview on her PhD research project 'Uncovering Hidden Behavioural Patterns Impacting Organisational Governance and Policy Making: The Contribution of Machine Learning'. To find out more, watch the short presentation here:

Homa gives her presentation.

Once the first talk was wrapped up, Faisal Bala was up next with his talk 'Understanding stress in plants from response to slow changing light'. Watch Faisal's presentation here:

Faisal discusses his research project.

Up next, the Pure team were invited to the stage to introduce the services Pure can provide to benefit UoM researchers. Pure is the University’s Current Research Information System (CRIS), which allows researchers to record, share and promote their research here at the University. There is a wide range of information one can add to their Pure account, including details of publications, conferences attended, placements undertaken, presentations and talks given, as well as ample free-text space where information can be added about the area of research and details of qualifications and career to date. This research profile can then be showcased on the University’s Research Explorer portal. If you are interested in learning more about how Pure can assist PhD students, follow this link here.

The Pure team give their presentation.

Watch the Pure team's presentation below:

The Policy@Manchester team were next and explained how their platform can assist researchers in increasing their research impact by influencing or working with policy makers. discuss the training, resources, and opportunities available to academics and early career researchers across The University of Manchester to help increase confidence in policy engagement and to encourage early thinking around policy and policy outcomes connected to individual research areas. Find out more about Policy@Manchester through the link here.

Policy@Manchester explain their platform to the attendees.

Watch the Policy@Manchester team's presentation here:

To round off the guest speaker talks, Translation Manchester took the stage to introduce their platform. Translation Manchester was established in May 2018 to help overcome the obstacles to conducting translational research in Greater Manchester, by bringing together a network of support, facilities and expertise to make the pathway to translation quicker and easier. Part of their role is to help identify the potential of a project to be translated. They support projects at all points along the translational pathway, from discovery-based research projects to clinical trials.

The team from Translation Manchester giver their talk.

Translation Manchester help investigators translate their research into healthcare outcomes by providing pump-priming funding and by forging new and productive connections between academic researchers and the clinical workforce, as well as industry. They also develop, facilitate and deliver training in translational research skills. Please see their website for more information and subscribe to their newsletter.

Watch the Translation Manchester team's presentation here:

After a successful round of insightful and engaging talks, the event moved on onto the World Cafe Workshop section. This workshop allowed attendees to discuss how their research can be benefitted from interdisciplinary collaboration as well as how Digital Futures can support this process. See the Workshop World Cafe questions from the event below:

The World Cafe Workshop

Once groups had shared their insights from the prompts above, the workshop was wrapped up and the networking session followed. This signalled the end of another highly sucessful and enlightening PhD Network.

Attendees network at the event.

Find more details about The Digital Futures PhD Network and view our previous event activity here.

The University of Manchester's wider Digital Futures network is highly interdisciplinary and operates across the whole range of the University’s digital research - connect with us and keep in touch: