University of Northampton Annual Research Conference 2021

This year’s Annual Research Conference will be held online on Wednesday 16 June to Friday 18 June. You’ll find a brochure listing sessions and presentations with links here. The brochure contains all aspects of the conference, including Collaborate links, dates, times, abstracts and much more! Please use the links provided in the brochure to access sessions (note: they will not open until 30 minutes before the allotted time).

Images of Research 2021 winner – Jonathan Francis

Congratulations to Jonathan Francis, our Judges’ Choice Images of Research 2021 winner! Jonathan’s image will be showcased in Graduate School publications.

Well done to Adnan Haq and Bethany McTrustery, who received highly commended mentions for their submissions by our judges, Drs Cathy Smith and Craig Staff. Many congratulations too, to our People’s Choice winner, Chin Guan Lim for ‘Is your business pennywise or pound foolish?’ We had 420 votes in total for the People’s Choice.

The recording and presentation slides, along with the full brochure of entries can be found in RES001>left hand menu>competitions>Images of Research 2021. Thank you to everyone who participated with their excellent submissions in this year’s competition.

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Update on IT from the Graduate School

Dear PGRs and supervisors

You will be aware that the university is experiencing disruption with its IT systems. This may continue for a few days, so here is some information about how it affects PGRs in particular.

Graduate school staff have some access to email and NILE, but cannot access Gateway or any of the student records systems. We are also aware that your access to systems may be affected, as it appears to affect users in different ways. Therefore please note the following:

  • Workshops scheduled for this week (w/c 22/3/21) will be postponed.
  • The announcement of the winner of Images of Research will be postponed until everyone can join in the celebrations.
  • Vivas will go ahead provided all participants have access.
  • Thesis submission and resubmission may be disrupted, so if you are affected please contact Laura.
  • Gateway appears to be inaccessible, so any delays in using the system for time-sensitive tasks will be taken into account.
  • Online supervision can take place where both PGR and supervisor/s have access, but may need to be postponed if not.

We will do our best to keep you updated, given the issues with email. This message will also be posted on the Research Support Hub with links from social media.

Best wishes


Call for papers and submissions – UoN Annual Research Conference 2021

Wednesday 16th – Friday 18th June 2021

Hosted by The Graduate School

The University of Northampton’s Annual Research Conference provides an ideal opportunity for all researchers to present their research and to discuss and share good practice with others in a supportive environment. We hope to have the opportunity to offer both face-to-face and synchronous live streaming on Wednesday 16th (subject to university guidelines on returning to campus and social distancing), with online sessions only running on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th June.

Building on last year’s successful online conference, we are offering a variety of exciting ways to present your research and we are looking for researchers who are keen to submit one, or all, of the following:

  • Research paper (open to all researchers): presentations should be 15 minutes long, with time allocated for questions after each presentation. [Please note that if we are over-subscribed for submissions and a single researcher submits multiple entries we will, where appropriate, ask the researcher to reduce the number of presentations as required]. Presentations will be placed in themed sessions once all entries are received.

There are plenty of other ways for PGRs to become involved too:

  • Research poster (open to PGRs only): exhibit a poster (landscape only) that explains your research to a mixed audience of non-subject specialists. A digital copy will be required for submission. You will find the guidelines for posters on the Research Support Hub.
  • Three Minute Thesis© – 3MT (open to PGRs only): join the worldwide competition and outline your thesis in a three-minute presentation and one slide! See the guidelines on the Research Support Hub for further information.

Please check your eligibility to participate in each part of the conference (i.e. for PGR only competitions). If you wish to submit in one, or all, of these formats, please complete a separate form for each entry using this link:, You will be asked to provide an abstract of 50-150 words for each poster or paper application (abstract not required for 3MT, but a title of your proposed presentation is needed).

The closing date for entry forms for individual research papers, posters and 3MT submissions is: Monday 26th April 2021. Once you have entered, the deadline for the submission of your poster or 3MT slide is Wednesday 2nd June 2021, by email to Linda Maguire.

  • Themed sessions only: Research Institutes, centres or groups who would like to propose a themed session/roundtable within the Conference programme should email Linda Maguire directly by Wednesday 7th April 2021.

Please note that ‘Bake Your Research’ has been postponed due to social distancing concerns – we aim to host this competition at the start of the new academic year.

If you do not wish to present, but would like to help at the Conference, for example as a session Chair, then please get in touch with Linda.

Note: Publications and conference proceedings are not usually organised as part of internal university conferences. Our Conference is an excellent opportunity for you to showcase your research and to support our research community. We would strongly encourage you to become involved!

Any questions regarding submissions or the Conference in general should be directed to:

Annual Research Conference 2021 – Three Minute Thesis competition

16th to 18th June 2021

Online via Collaborate and the Creative Hub, Waterside (subject to campus return and social distancing rules)

To take part, you will be required to outline your thesis in a three-minute presentation and one slide! Rules of entry are as follows:

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

If we cannot hold the first day of the Conference on campus, judging will take place on a remote basis only.

The 3MT competition is open only to PGRs.

Please complete an entry form, including the title of your presentation using this link:

Closing date for entry forms: Monday 26th April 2021.

Once you have entered, please send your single slide to Linda Maguire. The deadline for the submission of your slide is Wednesday 2nd June 2021.

It is anticipated that the winner of 3MT at the Annual Conference will represent UoN at the East Midlands Doctoral Network (EMDoc) 3MT Conference later in the year.

Please view this link for further information on 3MT worldwide:

Please direct any questions to

Annual Research Conference 2021 – Poster Competition Guidelines

Wednesday 16th – Friday 18th June 2021

Online via Collaborate and the Creative Hub, Waterside (subject to a return to campus*)

A digital version of your poster should be submitted, for online and screen presentation*.

· Your poster should be submitted on a single PowerPoint slide for online purposes. A .JPG format should be used for any images.

· Posters must be in a landscape format.

· No additional material may be used or added to the poster (e.g., animations, video links or illustrations requiring 3D glasses are not permitted).

· Name, title of poster and the University logo must be clearly presented on the poster.

· The poster competition is open only to PGRs.

Judging criteria

The poster should be in layperson’s terms, that is, understandable by a member of the general public.

One poster submission per researcher only. To enter, please submit using this link:

If we cannot hold the first day of the Conference on campus, judging will take place on a remote basis only

Closing date for entry forms: Monday 26th April 2021..

Once you have entered, please send your digital poster to Linda Maguire. The deadline for the submission of your poster is Wednesday 2nd June 2021.

Please direct any questions to

Images of Research voting closing 19.03.21

Last chance to vote for the People’s Choice of the Images of Research competition, which closes on Friday 19th March. Please paste the link below into your browser, to view the brochure of the 24 fantastic entries:

Once you have decided on your favourite, please paste this link to the Doodle Poll into your browser to register your vote:

Please note that there is only one entry allowed per person and voting will close on Friday 19th March at 12.00 noon. The winner will be announced on Monday 22nd March, along with the overall winner of the competition, decided by our guest judges, Dr Cathy Smith and Dr Craig Staff.

Images of Research – 2020/21 call closed

The Images of Research competition closed yesterday and we are pleased to have had 24 entries this year.

The submissions will now be collated in preparation for the official opening of the ‘people’s choice’ vote on Monday 22nd February. We are still hopeful that there will be a face-to-face launch with the entries displayed on campus, but we will need to confirm if this is possible, subject to Covid guidelines at that time.

I am delighted that Dr Cathy Smith, Dean of Research and Dr Craig Staff, Reader in Fine Art, have agreed to act as judges for our competition and they will decide our overall winner on Monday 22nd March. The people’s choice winner will also be announced on the same date. The winning image will be used by the Graduate School for the purposes of exhibitions and publications.

COVID-19 update: guidance on planned research and enterprise activities

**Updates: As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, the default institutional expectation remains that research and enterprise activities should proceed in online or virtual formats. It is recognised that exceptions will exist, but until further notice, all face-to-face research/enterprise activities work can only proceed with the approval of the most relevant Dean or Deputy Dean (or for LLS/ILT – Head of LLS), following risk assessment in alignment with current University of Northampton guidelines. As a default position, research/enterprise work will not be allowed to proceed if:

  • alternative, remote research methods could be used which will meet the objectives of the research in an ethical manner;
  • the planned work involves UK or international travel;
  • the planned activity can feasibly be postponed.

Further guidance, plus expectations about risk assessments and new resources for online research methods are outlined below.

Current position

The University of Northampton’s Situation Updates page is the primary source of information and updates for colleagues and researchers at the University of Northampton:

Given the exceptional, unprecedented situation which is ongoing as a result of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, all researchers must reflect on their planned and ongoing activities: this may necessitate pausing, rescheduling or amending activities. Amendments to activities, or proposals for new research/enterprise activities, must be reviewed and approved by the University of Northampton’s Research Ethics Committee or Faculty Ethics Committees.

It is likely that COVID-19 will cause significant disruption for research activities, particularly where:

  • proposed/ongoing research activities require face-to-face contact with participants, particularly those who are at-risk or require self-isolation as per the latest UK Government advice;
  • researchers are themselves at-risk or require self-isolation;
  • proposed research involves UK or international travel;
  • planned research requires visits to settings which are closed or have restricted access as a result of COVID-19.

If you are concerned about the impacts of the current situation on your ongoing/planned research, support is available as follows:

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Additional Student Support and Inclusion Services Team (ASSIST)

ASSIST provides exceptional student-centred support to help students with additional or alternative needs and requirements to develop, progress and achieve their full potential. The team supports students throughout their time at university and can help them develop their skills and confidence to get the most from their student experience.

ASSIST provides support for students with: physical impairments, sensory impairments, mental health difficulties, medical conditions, Autistic spectrum disorders and specific learning difficulties, for example dyslexia. The team’s services are available to all disabled students, including part-time, postgraduate and international students, as well as distance learners and students at partner colleges.

ASSIST offer the same support for all levels of study and they have successfully supported a number of research students and academics completing their PhDs.  Mostly their support comprises 1:1 specialist study skills support. If you need support, in the first instance you are encouraged to submit evidence to the ASSIST team, then register and book an appointment for assessment of needs.

Full information on the service, including drop-in times etc. can also be found on the web page: