Skip to navigation Skip to content

Festival of PhD Research:

Showcasing and Celebrating Research Excellence

Monday 8 April 2019, Magee campus
Tuesday 9 April 2019, Coleraine campus
Wednesday 10 April 2019, Jordanstown campus
Thursday 11 April 2019, Belfast campus


  • Festival Overview

    The Doctoral College will host the second annual Festival of PhD Research from 8-11 April 2019 in Magee, Coleraine, Jordanstown and Belfast campuses.

    The Festival will showcase and celebrate PhD research excellence at Ulster under the University's key strategic research themes of: Creativity and Culture, Social Renewal, Sustainability and Healthy Communities.

    Each day of the Festival will begin with a keynote address followed by PhD Researcher Presentation sessions, Poster presentation and a Closing Reception with a Presentation of Prizes recognising the Best Presentation and the Best Poster, at each of the campuses. This year's Festival will also host the very first Best PhD Thesis Award, awarded by Faculty.

    • Monday 8 April 2019, Magee campus
    • Tuesday 9 April 2019, Coleraine campus
    • Wednesday 10 April 2019, Jordanstown campus
    • Thursday 11 April 2019, Belfast campus

    The keynote speakers at each campus are:

    • Magee: Mr Gavin Killeen, Nuprint
    • Coleraine: Professor Cathy Craig, Ulster University and INCISIV
    • Jordanstown: Dr Jennifer Cassidy, Oxford University
    • Belfast: Dr Sandra Johnston, Northumbria University

    All PhD Researchers, Supervisors and colleagues from the wider academic community are warmly invited to attend the Festival.


  • Where and When?

    • Monday 8 April 2019, MU125, Magee campus
    • Tuesday 9 April 2019, Bannview Suite (E206/7), Coleraine campus
    • Wednesday 10 April 2019, Loughview Suite (8H01), Jordanstown campus
    • Thursday 11 April 2019, BA-00-08, Belfast campus
  • Festival Programmes

    The Programmes for each day are below. Each day will begin with a welcome and introduction followed by a Keynote Address. The day will then focus on our PhD Researchers' oral presentations and posters on display. Lunch and coffee breaks will give you time to look at the posters on display and connect with your colleagues. We will finish the day with a closing reception (with wine and buffet) and a presentation of prizes for Best Presentation and Best Poster.  This year's Festival will also host the very first Best PhD Thesis Award, awarded by Faculty.

    The keynote speakers at each campus are:

    • Magee: Mr Gavin Killeen, Nuprint
    • Coleraine: Professor Cathy Craig, Ulster University and INCISIV
    • Jordanstown: Dr Jennifer Cassidy, Oxford University
    • Belfast: Dr Sandra Johnston, Northumbria University

    Full Programme: Magee campus (8 April 2019)

    Full Programme: Coleraine campus (9 April 2019)

    Full Programme: Jordanstown campus (10 April 2019)

    Full Programme: Belfast campus (11 April 2019)

  • Doctoral College

    The Doctoral College at Ulster was established in 2017 to enhance the experience of PhD Researchers across the University.  It aims to attract the highest calibre PhD Researchers, ensure that we deliver consistently excellent training and development opportunities through the Researcher Development Programme and disseminate research findings in appropriate outlets. The Doctoral College website is at: you can find out more.  The Doctoral College manages the administration of the PhD Researchers with the help of our new PhD Manager system:

    Employability and Careers

    Employability and Careers at Ulster University offers full career development support to Postgraduate Research students including one to one support in applying for academic and industry based roles, CV development and interview preparation.  Employability and Careers also contributes to the Researcher Development Programme for PhD Researchers through a series of workshops and webinars to support your career development in a practical way.  You can contact us by emailing or call into the Career Development Centre on each campus to access career development support.

    Library Services 

    The Library plays a key role in supporting your research, but we provide much more than access to paper and electronic books and journals.  We have specialist subject librarians to guide you to the appropriate resources, help you to formulate search strategies and literature reviews, and manage your references efficiently. Our document delivery service supplements the material we don’t have locally. We can help you throughout your research lifecycle, from your first day in Ulster University to publishing as an early career researcher.  Find out more by contacting us at


    All students are members of UUSU, and this includes our PHD Researchers.  Our core aims are to represent, connect and support students and we do this through our academic representation, our sports clubs and societies, volunteering opportunities and offering support through our Advice Bureau. We have specific roles for PhD representation within our democratic structures and specific societies on our campuses for you - however you’re also more than welcome to the other 89 societies and sports clubs that we have!

    Mind Your Mood

    Mind Your Mood is a student led mental health campaign supported by student support. The campaign aims to give students the opportunity to understand mental health issues, promote ways to improve your mental health and break down the stigma surrounding mental health amongst students.

    Chartered Management Institute 

    CMI (Chartered Management Institute) is designed to support your academic studies, employability and future career prospects.  Visit our stand to learn more about CMI, the benefits of membership as well as the process of becoming a Chartered Manager.  Find out how you can enhance your career by getting involved locally.

  • Monday 8 April 2019, 9.00am – 5.30pm, Magee campus (MU125)

    Keynote Speaker: Mr Gavin Killeen, Managing Director of Nuprint

    Managing Director Gavin has been working at Nuprint since 1997 and is a born entrepreneur, passionate about building up businesses and always striving for more. A keen cycler, he loves getting his team involved in activities outside of work, such as the Hard as OAK obstacle course challenge. A true visionary, Gavin is always full of inspirational ideas and likes to encourage and stretch his team to achieve their full potential.

    Tuesday 9 April 2019, 9.15am – 5.30pm, Coleraine campus (Bannview Suite)

    Keynote Speaker: Professor Cathy Craig, Ulster University and Founder/CEO of INCISIV

    Professor Cathy Craig’s research over the last 20 years has allowed her to develop a deep understanding of why we move, how we move and why sometimes we can’t.  As a perception and action psychologist, she was the first to use immersive, interactive virtual reality to develop a deep understanding of decision-making in sport. She has worked with elite athletes but also with older adults and people with Parkinson’s. As CEO and founder of INCISIV, she is translating her scientific know-how into technological solutions that quantify decision-making but also offer new ways to train smarter whilst protecting players from injury.

    Wednesday 10 April 2019, 9.00am – 5.30pm, Jordanstown campus (Loughview Suite)

    Keynote Speaker: Dr Jennifer Cassidy, Oxford University

    Jennifer Cassidy is an Irish author, diplomatic consultant, and international development specialist. She has served as a political attaché to Ireland’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations (New York), the European External Action Service to the Kingdom of Cambodia, and Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade during its 2013 Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Now at Oxford, Jennifer researches and lectures on the very game she once played. Her primary research centres on the themes of Digital Diplomacy; questioning how diplomatic agents use social media platforms during times of political crises, and to what extent their use during a conflict, can be deemed effective within diplomatic crises communication strategies.

    Thursday 11 April 2019, Belfast campus (BA-00-08)

    Keynote Speaker: Dr Sandra Johnston, Northumbria University

    Johnston has presented work internationally since 1992 in a diverse range of contexts and interdisciplinary forms, often with a particular emphasis on projects within ‘contested spaces’. Between 2002/05 as an AHRC Research Fellow based at the University Of Ulster in Belfast, she developed a practice-based investigation into issues of ‘trauma of place’. This research explored how aspects of collective memory connected to specific locations can become altered after violent events, creating layers of stigmatisation, or conversely, commemoration. From 2009/ 2012 this research extended as a PhD project entitled - Beyond Reasonable Doubt: An Investigation of Doubt, Risk and Testimony Through Performance Art Processes in Relation to Systems of Legal Justice.

    Throughout her career Johnston has collaborated extensively with other artists, occasionally through participation in international performance laboratories, and also as a co-founder and committee member of various artist-run collectives in Belfast, namely: CATALYST ARTS, BBEYOND, and AGENCY.