Leave your comfort zones behind you! Postgraduate ‘Beyond Boundaries 2011 – Transition’ Conference
Now in its fifth year, the latest Beyond Boundaries (BB) conference brought together Bangor postgraduate students from across disciplines for a fascinating and valuable experience of engagement with non specialists. Organised by the Research Students’ Forum (RSF) and supported by the Academic Development Unit and Vice-Chancellor’s office, BB again provided that rare but essential opportunity to go beyond the actual ‘nose to screen’ research and share our experiences.
With a conference theme of ‘transition’, the paper selection committee received almost twice as many abstracts as presentation places, enabling them to select high quality papers for the three sessions: ‘Families in transition’, ‘Transitional experiences, transitional methods’ and ‘Gender, class and identities in transition’.
This year’s Best Paper Award (of £50 cash), voted for by conference delegates, went to Wulf Livingstone (School of Social Sciences). His paper ‘Random Control Trial to Biographical Narratives – Design and Methodological Transition’ highlighted how, to make real progress in much research, it is necessary to leave our comfort zones and explore literature and experiences outside our own disciplines: precisely the message of BB conferences.
As in 2010, the day of presentations (Friday 21st) was preceded on the Thursday by workshops aimed at assisting researchers to manage the often difficult transitions involved in research. Topics included ‘Presentations - The transition from research idea to the real world’ - Penny Dowdney (RIO – Research and Innovation Office), ‘Reiki Healing’ - Keith Beasley (STARS – School of Theology & religious Studies), ‘Tibetan Yoga’ - Dusana Dorjee (Tibetan Yoga Centre & School of Psychology) and ‘Mindfulness’ - Mariel Jones (Centre for Mindfulness). With attendance well up on the previous year, such topics are increasingly appreciated by the postgraduate community.
As inspirational and thought-provoking relief in between the two conference days, BUTT (Bangor University Transcending Thought) had organised a guest lecture: ‘2012, The Confluence of Two Rivers: Shamanism and Science’, with Professor Nick Clements. An appreciative audience very much warmed to Nick and his ‘Transitional’ topic.
Besides this annual conference, the RSF provides essential support for postgraduate students through social events and representation on University bodies. All (research) postgraduates automatically belong to the group. To suggest activities, offer your help or if you have any queries, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Report by RSF Chair, Keith Beasley
Publication date: 28 January 2011