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Additional researcher development events

We organise additional events to support the development of postgraduate researchers, postdoctoral researchers, and academics who undertake pedagogic research.

These include, the annual regional ‘Three Minute Thesis Competition’ and the annual regional ‘Three Rivers Learning and Teaching conference’. The learning and teaching conference is recognised by the Higher Education Academy.

Three Minute Thesis Competition

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland. This event challenges research higher degree (PhD, MPhil, DBA and Professional Doctorate) students to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes.

We offer our researchers local, regional and national opportunities to present a Three Minute Thesis each year. We organise a university level competition for our research degree students to develop their presentation skills and take part in a fun event. As a member of the North East Collaboration Group for Researcher Development we co-ordinate a regional Three Minute Thesis competition and take our turn in hosting this event every five years for our research degree students to gain experience competing on a more public platform. As a member of Vitae, we support one student enter the national Vitae Three Minute Thesis competition for this research degree student to compete against hundreds of other researchers from hundreds of universities.

All Sunderland research degree students have the opportunity to enter the local competition to compete against each other. Three of these researchers are invited to enter the regional competition as University of Sunderland representatives to compete against research students from Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, and Teesside Universities. We occasionally invite other Universities to take part as well, including Sheffield University last year. One Sunderland representative from these competitions is offered the opportunity to represent Sunderland at the National Vitae Three Minute Thesis competition. Read about last year’s national competition.

All researchers are offered support in developing their ability to present this ‘elevator pitch presentation’ in the central researcher development programme and feedback on the support as well as the experience has been extremely positive.

Three Rivers Learning and Teaching conference

Now in its 11th year, this annual regional conference builds on the success of previous partnership events held by the region’s Universities in the Three Rivers North East Universities Consortium: Scott Burgess (Northumbria) | Mark Proctor (Sunderland) | Sam Nolan (Durham) | Rosa Spencer (Newcastle) | Richard Sober (Teesside).

This annual North East Regional Learning and Teaching Conference: “Sharing excellence in learning and teaching: supporting students and staff through good practice, innovation, and collaboration” will take place on 6 July 2018 at Newcastle University.

Abstracts for 20 minute paper presentations should be submitted by 21 February 2018 through EasyChair. Submissions are welcome from all staff at participating institutions and joint student/staff submissions are encouraged. Papers should be focused on one of the following areas:

  • Transforming assessment
  • Embedding employability 
  • Student access, retention, attainment and progression in higher education
  • Internationalising higher education
  • Flexible learning
  • Student engagement through partnership
  • Technology enhanced learning
  • Education for Sustainable Development

Typical feedback included:

“The conference was useful – a chance to network and share ideas/learning with colleagues from my own university as well as others – this will impact on my teaching and the work I do supporting other teaching staff.”

“I thought the keynote was excellent - used disciplinary background but also directly considered how what was shared could be applicable to others.”

“it was extremely useful. Listening to the ideas and experiences of other teachers motivates one to think of interesting and innovative ways to engage with students.”

Please read the supporting information before writing your abstract.

We also invite submissions for a ‘Show and Tell’ session. Submissions can be anything you wish to share with a small group of participants on your teaching practices – a research poster or outcomes from pedagogic research, a learning and teaching innovation, a new piece of software for learning and teaching etc. You will have ten minutes to share/discuss your item with the group and the opportunity to share and discuss with at least 3 groups.  Please submit your ‘show and tell’ items through EasyChair and select ‘show and tell submission’ as your theme.

Proposers will be informed of the outcome of the selection process in March 2018. Conference bookings will open in April 2018.

More information

Read more about the Three Rivers Conference.

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