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Current Graduate Students


Peer-to-peer presentations were piloted during the 2016-17 academic year and the student participant feedback indicated that it was worth embedding this activity into the first year PhD student experience in the Department.  To do this, the cohort will be divided into five groups of 10-15 first year PhD students, made up of MT 2017-18 plus LT 2017-18 (following their arrival) deliberately taken from all RIGs.  The ET 2016-17 intake will be invited to join the December presentation groups during the 2017-18 academic year.  MPhil students will be invited to join and distributed among the groups according to RIG (to get the best mixture possible).


P2P presentation weeks will be outside undergraduate term time: in the 2017-18 academic year, they are scheduled broadly as follows:

  • w/c Monday 4th and 11th December 2017
  • w/c Monday 16th and 23rd April 2018

About three weeks before they begin, first year students (for whom this is a compulsory activity) and those MPhil students who choose to participate will be sent a link to a Doodle poll containing all the dates and times upon which the presentations will happen.  Anybody who is restricted to certain days and times will need to fill this out; those with no restrictions need not fill out the poll and will simply be assigned a date/time to take part.

Students will end up in groups of around 10-15 people: around half of each group will be asked to present in December and the other half in April, often in a different group.

However, students will need to plan to attend both their December and April sessions, presenting in one of them and being part of the audience in the other, i.e. it is not required that everybody presents at both sessions (December and April), just the one you are allocated (December or April).  You can also swap with somebody else in your group if that works out better for two of you. 

The Talks

The talks that students prepare for these sessions will vary greatly in content: students presenting in December are unlikely to have a great deal of results and even those presenting in April will often not have a lot of their science working.  In the context of these presentations, this is absolutely fine: the point of doing this is not to impress peers with your results (although if you have them, you will of course) but rather to embrace the opportunity to present in a general way (because it is mixed-RIG, this aspect is very important) to scientists at the same stage in their careers and to learn from the experience, both by receiving feedback from those who hear you speak and seeing other styles of presenting that you may wish to adopt yourself.  In terms of practicalities:

    1. P2P presentations will generally be held over lunch time: lunch will be included where this is the case.
    2. Presenters will be given a 15 minute slot each (10 for the talk, 5 for questions).
    3. Students should give an overview of their research area and project aims for a non-specialist audience.
    4. Chairpersons will be volunteers who put themselves forward beforehand: a Chairperson will not present during the session that they Chair, i.e. December Chairs will present in April and vice versa.
    5. There will be a 'Best Talk' prize for each group, voted for by the participants and presented by the Head of Department or Deputy at the graduate student & postdoc Christmas/Easter networking events, once the Peer-to-peer presenting sessions are all complete. 

    For examples of talks from last year (the presentations which were voted as being the best from each group), please take a look in Moodle in the 'Peer-to-peer Presentations: Examples' folder.

    Feedback Mechanisms

    1. Feedback is provided by the participants to the presenter in written form (each member of the audience fills in a feedback sheet during each talk, which is given to the presenter at the end).
    2. Each participant will have a sheet upon which they score various aspects of each talk.  The scores will then form the basis for their decision of which was the best presentation and which one they vote for as the prize-winner.
    3. Feedback on the sessions will be requested from all participants, in order to ensure that the most effective model is being used for this activity. 

    Organising Committee 2016-17

    Thanks to Bee Fonseka (PhD student, Stuart Clarke Group), Yuchen Hu (MPhil student, Elliott Group) and Tianheng Zhao (PhD student, Vignolini Group) for their excellent ideas and assistance in the organisation of this new activity in the First Year Training Calendar.  If you have ideas as to how to run these sessions better in future, please email Deborah Longbottom.

    Session Chairs 2016-17

    In December, we welcomed in Daniel Anton-Garcia (Reisner), Peter Curran (Spring), Sanesh Mistry (Gaunt), William Whitehurst (Gaunt) and Tianheng Zhao (Vignolini) as our session Chairs; in the Easter sessions our volunteers were Virgil Andrei (Reisner), Bethany Connolly (Wheatley), Elaine Fowler (Spring), Josephine Gaynord (Spring), Areeb Mahtey (Balasubramanian) and Eszter Pós (Althorpe).  Many thanks to all of them for doing such a great job of making these sessions work so well.  If you would like to act as session Chair in the 2017-18 P2P Presentation sessions, please email Deborah Longbottom.

    Best Presenters 2016-17

    Although there were winners voted by each group as having done the very best presentations, the voting was distributed each time between many presenters, indicating the very high standard of the presentations being given by our first year cohort.  Nevertheless, there were winners in each group and they were:

    December: Virgil Andrei (Reisner), Hugh Burton (Thom), Keishi Kohara (Gaunt), Areeb Mahtey (Balasubramanian) and Charlie Readman (Scherman).

    March/April: Bethan Connolly (Wheatley), Nils Floden (Gaunt), William Golding (Phipps), Sanesh Mistry (Gaunt), Simon Ramirez-Hinestrosa (Frenkel) and William Whitehurst (Gaunt).

    Congratulations everybody and many thanks to all participants for the useful feedback on the sessions generally.