Festival Overview

Please note that this event has been postponed. Further details will be announced in due course.

The Doctoral College will host the third annual Festival of PhD Research from 12-14 May 2020.  The Festival will showcase and celebrate PhD research excellence at Ulster.  Each day will include keynote speakers, oral and poster presentations by PhD Researchers, Bake Your PhD and the 3MT Semi-Finals.

12 May 2020

Festival for PhD Researchers from Magee and Coleraine campuses (Coleraine campus*)

14 May 2020

Festival for PhD Researchers from Belfast and Jordanstown campuses (Belfast campus*)

*the location of the Festival will rotate to the other campuses in 2021


What the PhD Researchers say about the Festival:

"I liked the celebration of PhD life at Ulster, I felt proud to be part of it all."

"The variety of research was amazing.  The atmosphere was very friendly."

"Great way to network and learn about other PhD research"

'Brilliant atmosphere - loved the interdisciplinary nature of the event."

"I learned a lot from other PhD Researchers."

"...it gives you a real feeling of 'being at home'."


The Doctoral College will host the third annual Festival of PhD Research on 12 May in Coleraine and 14 May in Belfast.

The Festival programme will include keynote speakers, and, more importantly, presentations and poster exhibitions from our PhD Researchers.  Also included in the programme will be the 3MT® Semi-Finals and a return of the Bake Your PhD competition!  There will be prizes for the Best Presentations and Best Posters.

Our annual Festival creates a platform for you to showcase your work in a supportive and encouraging environment and enables you to find out about the research being undertaken by PhD Researchers in other subject areas. We hope you will take this opportunity to connect with each other and present your work to the wider academic community.

We would strongly encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to take part in the Festival.  You can either present a paper (10 minutes) or submit a poster (with or without a 5 minute presentation).

The deadline for submission is 23 March 2020.

Submit online

12 May 2020: Coleraine campus

Morning Keynote: Dr Steve Joy, Cambridge University

Afternoon Keynote: Dr Sean Crosson, National University Ireland, Galway

14 May 2020: Belfast campus

Morning Keynote: Dr Inger Mewburn, Australian National University (@thesiswhisperer) TBC

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition 2020

The semi-finals of the 3MT will take place during the Festival.  Everyone is welcome!

More details on 3MT at: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/rdp/info/three-minute-thesis

Bake Your PhD

Bake Your PhD will run at both the Coleraine campus on 12 May 2020 and the Belfast campus on 14 May 2020.

Researchers can bake anything (e.g. cake or other baked goods) that visually depicts any aspect of their research (e.g. from the physical samples, findings, methods employed in the project, or the research topic concepts and ideas). Further details to follow in the Weekly Update sent to your Ulster inbox each Wednesday.

Check out our video on Bake Your PhD!

Tips for success

  • Think about the overarching concepts and ideas in your research, can you make an analogy of them with cake?
  • It is not restricted to cake, we will also accept other edible baked goods; biscuits, pies, breads etc
  • Try to incorporate your research into more than just the icing on the cake.
  • While non-edible decorations are allowed, why not try making edible decorations to really impress the judges?!
  • Think about your presentation to the judges. Impress them with a story or maybe incorporate moving parts or a demonstration to your presentation.
  • Remember you don't have to represent all your research in one cake, pick your favourite or most interesting part and have fun with that!

Complete this short Expression of Interest form  if you would like to take part.