Three Minute Thesis Final and University Graduate School Awards Winners

University Graduate School Awards 2015 Winners

The annual University Graduate School Awards were given an extra helping of excitement and competition this year, when they also hosted the University of Birmingham Three Minute Thesis competition live final. The event saw the traditional announcement of the Excellence in Supervision and Michael K. O'Rourke prize for best PhD publication alongside the announcement of our Three Minute Thesis Champion. 

Congratulations to all of those who were short listed for awards, or competed in the Three Minute Thesis final. The full details of the winners are given below.

Three Minute Thesis live final winner

Three Minute Thesis was first developed by the University of Queensland and is now an international presentation competition. Researchers are asked to present their thesis to a non-specialist audience, in an interesting and engaging way with a very strict time limit - go one second over and you are disqualified! Of the 9 finalists that made it through the heats, Rosalind Davies from the School of Chemical Engineering was voted as winner by both the judges and the audience vote. Nina Vyas from the School of Dentistry and Anna Pickin, from Cancer Sciences were the judges and people's choice runners up respectively. Rosalind now goes on to represent the University of Birmingham in the 2015 national semi-finals. 

Images of Research winners

The winners at the Images of Research exhibition 2015 were invited to receive their certificates to mark their achievements. Images of Research depict an entire research project in a single image, and a People's Choice (as voted by members of the public at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery) and an overall winner (as voted by a panel of judges) were announced. The winners were:

  • Overall winner - Mohammed Reza Zolfaghari, Birmingham Metro Extension, Track Instalment
  • People's choice winner - Hannah Clancy, Historical Re-evaluations

Award for Excellence in Doctoral Research Supervision

These awards recognise the significant contribution made by academic supervisors to the successful completion of high-class doctoral research at the University. Winning researchers receive £1000 towards their research. The winners are:

  • Dr Deryn Guest (College of Arts and Law)
  • Professor Sergey Shpectorov (College of Engineering and Physical Sciences)
  • Dr Kimberley Quinn (College of Life and Environmental Sciences)
  • Dr Melissa Grant (College of Medical and Dental Sciences)
  • Dr Siddhartha Bandyopadyay (College of Social Sciences) 


The Michael K. O'Rourke prize for best PhD publication

This is a prestigious award for postgraduate researchers who have made an outstanding contribution in terms of a publication during the course of their research. Each College winner receives £400, or in the case of a joint winner the prize is shared. This year's winners are:

  • College of Arts and Law - Toby Betenson, “Evaluative Claims within the Problem of Evil” Religious Studies, 2014 
  • College of Engineering and Physical Sciences - Matthew R. Berwick “De Novo Design of Ln(III) Coiled Coils for Imaging Applications” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2014 
  • College of Life and Environmental Sciences - Elise Facer-Childs. “The impact of circadian phenotype and time since awakening on diurnal performance in athletes” Current Biology, 2015
  • College of Medical and Dental Sciences - Sara Priego Moreno “Polyubiquitylation drives replisome disassembly at the termination of DNA replication” Science  2014 
  • College of Social Sciences joint winner - Christopher Damm “A mid-term review of third sector involvement in the Work Programme” Voluntary Sector Review 
  • College of Social Sciences joint winner - Charles Rahal “StatFact: An Eviews Addin for Static Factor Extraction and IPC Computation”, with a guide in Computational Economics (2015, forthcoming)


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