Around 80 postgraduate students are gathering in Loughborough today to kick-off a two-day conference, in which they will test new ideas and strengthen their theories.
The Mid-Term Conference, organised each year by the Society’s Postgraduate Forum, gives budding researchers the opportunity to present papers in a supportive environment. And this year’s conference has been extended to make way for more sessions.
Six of the Society’s Postgraduate Fellows have spent months planning this conference for their peers. “It’s great to see so many geographers coming together to discuss their ideas and present their work,” said Stacey Balsdon, Chair of the Postgraduate Forum. “For many delegates, this is the first academic conference of their careers, so we have focussed on to making it as supportive and engaging as possible.”
Dr Hilary Geoghegan, lecturer in human geography, opened the conference with a speech in which she urged delegates to befriend and learn from their colleagues, no matter what their research interests.
“We are all part of the discipline of geography,” she said. “Find and hold on to your passion for geography, engage with others within and beyond academia, be enthusiastic about your research and think creatively about what it is to be an early-career geographer in the 21st century.”
The Mid-Term Conference is often a testing ground for the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, which is held each August and is set to attract a record number of delegates this year.
“The Annual International Conference is one of the friendliest conferences and really welcomes postgraduates,” Hilary says. “Some of the very best presentations are given by postgraduate students, who have the time, fresh-thinking and enthusiasm to present fascinating, envelope-pushing papers.”
Indeed, the Society has hundreds of Postgraduate Fellows, who tap into and contribute to the thriving geographical community in a number of ways – attending research group events, editing the Geography Directions website and even sitting on Council.
You can follow the Mid-Term Conference as it unfolds today and tomorrow via the Twitter hashtag #PGFmidterm