ICS Mid-Year HDR Conference and Three Minute Thesis

By ICS HDR representatives, Alejandra Villanueva and Francesca Sidoti

On Wednesday the ICS held its annual Mid-Year Higher Degree Research (HDR) Conference.

What a day, with excellent presentations, a spirit of collegiality and intellectual endeavour, and scones. It was fantastic.

The methods panel, ‘Working in the Gap’, with Vanicka Arora, Anisah Madden and Vanessa Whittington, demonstrated the exciting breadth of research and methods currently being developed and implemented by 1st year PhD students at ICS. From detailed historical work to the analysis of drawings through to arts-based methods; it’s all looking very exciting.

The second panel, on ‘Mobilities’, brought together research on diverse topics such as traffic congestion in Manila (Gina Gatarin), migration agents in Australia (Marina Khan), and the experience of study abroad students in Indonesia (Kate Naidu). This panel truly engaged with the ‘gaps’ of mobility/immobility, and ‘the middle’ in mobilities research.

The final panel was, at different points, funny, challenging and thought-provoking. The panellists on ‘Academic words we hate the most’–Simon Chambers, Alejandra Villanueva, and Kelly Menzel–reminded us of the need to pay attention to the words we use. The day finished with three presentations that argued convincingly that, as academics and people, using the right word in the right way is an urgent and essential task.

All three panels were chaired by students. Huge thanks to Ian Steep, Yinghua Yu, and Jian Lin for their diligent work as discussants and thoughtful responses. Their timekeeping was also top-notch, for which there are no thanks effusive enough.

3MT participants (L-R): Utsab Bhattarai, Hoang Ha, Pryor Placino, and Sajal Roy

The ICS 3MT competition(opens in a new window) was also held on Wednesday. In this competition, participants present their entire thesis in three minutes with only the help of one Powerpoint slide. All four presentations–by Utsab Bhattarai, Hoang Ha, Pryor Placino, and Sajal Roy–were polished and engaging. Special congratulations to Pryor Placino, who won first prize, and to Hoang Ha, who was runner-up and won ‘People’s Choice’. A special thank you to Teresa Swist, for all of her help organising the 3MT, and to the three judges, David Rowe, Flora Zhong, and Emma Power.

We’d also like to thank Megan Watkins, for her unflagging help and support with all things HDR, and Tulika Dubey, Simone Casey, and Elise Blight for their amazing assistance with the organisation. And, of course, the panellists and 3MT participants; every person generously and willingly invested time and energy to this event. It was a collaborative effort from beginning to end.

On a final note, the HDR mid-year conference was our first ‘reduced waste’ event. There was no disposable cups, cutlery, or serving equipment used throughout the event, and a warm and hearty ‘thank you’ to everyone who brought their Keep Cups and entered into the spirit of a more environmentally friendly event. We hope to maintain this approach from here on in, and all suggestions about further improvements are welcomed and appreciated.

1 August, 2018.