Conference season is upon us. If you’re lucky enough to be able to find the funds to attend, it’s important you make the most of this opportunity. There are lots of useful guides out there which will help you plan for a conference experience. See for example this useful guide from Berkeley University, California. http://advisingmatters.berkeley.edu/getting-most-out-professional-conference
One of the tips is to participate by asking speakers questions. Rather than putting them on the spot, your questions can make a speaker feel their topic was interesting and can also help develop their ideas.
The United Kingdom Radiological Congress (UKRC) was held in Liverpool in June and as usual several staff and students from the Directorate of Radiography presented posters and papers.
PhD students find international conferences, such as UKRC, to be useful for sharing their work and getting feedback. Feedback is particularly important as questions raised by delegates on PhD research gives our students a chance to explain and defend their work, which is a good preparatory exercise for their final viva. Also, questions and suggestions are extremely helpful as the information can be fed into the thesis at various stages of its development, thereby allowing a better quality output to be achieved.
This year four of our full time PhD students attended UKRC. Sam Bird, a 3rd year UK PhD student presented an oral paper – Women’s perspectives of Co-Design – towards an improved experience of Mammography.
Mohammed Benhalim, a PhD student from Libya, presented a poster on CT brain dose.
Maily Alrowily, a PhD student from Saudia Arabia, presented a poster on fixed and automatic tube current and image quality in abdominal CT; also he co-authored a poster on the effects of collimation on radiation dose reduction.
Raed Ali, a PhD student from Iraq presented a poster about radiation risk from breast mammography cancer screening.
All four students found delegate questions challenging and important for their work. So next time you are at a conference don’t hold back. Remember, the purpose of a conference is just that – to ‘confer’.
Call to action: Do you participate at conferences? Are you comfortable to ask questions? If not, why do you think this might be?