Three-D Issue 27: Postgraduate Network in 2016 and plans ahead

During 2016, the PGN network continued to focus on delivering a targeted programme of events, designed to provide our delegates with an opportunity to network, exchange ideas and seek support while navigating through their post-graduate journey.

In July, our flagship event, the PGN conference was held at the University of Leicester, hosted by the Department of Media and Communication. The conference was themed around ‘New Directions in Media Research’, and focused on discussing some of the varying paths taken by today’s postgraduate researchers concerning methodological, theoretical and empirical research.

18With delegates attending from the UK, China, Kenya, Indonesia and Turkey, the two-day conference provided a mix of content including keynote talks, 32 presentations from Masters, PhD and early career researchers and a number of workshops aimed at providing delegates with advice and support regarding their personal development.

One of the PGN’s continued objectives has been to increase delegate participation at the annual conference by keeping costs to a minimum. Working alongside the University of Leicester, we were pleased to introduce a reduced registration fee of £35 and provide 40 paid for rooms to accommodate presenters and delegates during the conference.

Here is a selection of social media comments (via Twitter, using #MeCCSAPGN2016) made by delegates at the conference, highlighting its positive impact.

  • “Great keynotes, intriguing presentations & workshops at a very well-organized conference. Congrats. Really enjoyed it.
  • “Really enjoyed. Huge thanks to the organisers.
  • “Great time at MeCCSAPGN2016! Met lots of interesting people.”
  • “Another excellent conference over. Was an absolute pleasure, hope to attend again next year!”

Regional Events 

Along with our annual conference, we delivered two regional events concentrating on specialised discussion and practical support on those topics that our delegates had pinpointed as being important to their future development.

Our first event, also held at the University of Leicester, focused on helping delegates understand how to publish their work. Our speakers provided hands-on advice and gave their experience of the process.

Our second event, held in October at Royal Holloway, was a half-day seminar exploring methodological approaches and limitations within political communication research. Speakers provided an understanding of their experience as researchers within varying industries, discussing the future of new media research and political communication.

Journal Publication- Network Knowledge

Alongside our programme of events, we continued to develop and publish the PGN’s essential communication tool – the PGN journal, Network Knowledge.

Through the journal’s diverse and topical content we can offer delegates an opportunity to publish their work and engage with fellow researchers and academics.

The following editions of Network Knowledge were published in 2016:

  • 9.1 MeCCSA-PGN Conference 2015
  • 9.2 Audiences and their Musics: New Approaches
  • 9.3 Make, Mistake, Journey: Practice-led research and ways of learning
  • 9.4 Fortress Europe: Media, Migration and Borders

Future Issues

  • 9.5 Standard Issue (featuring Special Section: Interviews on Neoliberalism, Media and Power)
    – MeCCSA- PGN Conference 2016
    – Gender and the Screenplay: Processes, Practices, and Perspectives.
    – Together While Apart: Mediating Relationships
    – Sex & Sexualities in Popular Culture
    – Ageing in a Network Society

The Year Ahead

In 2017, the PGN executive committee will work towards delivering on two key objectives,

  • 1. Producing an invigorated programme of events that provide relevant, accessible and engaging content.
  • 2. Further expansion of direct communication with our delegates through our journal and social media presence.

Our aim is to increase our reach and further strengthen the existing relationship we have with our delegates.

As part of this, we have started work on the 14th annual conference alongside our hosts LSE/ Goldsmiths. The theme will focus on the breaking of boundaries – disciplinary, pedagogic, hierarchical and economic, bringing together key academics and researchers from these renowned institutions. Our regional events programme will once again be geared around two events, focused on the topic of working in academia versus industry. We have become increasingly aware of the importance of this subject to our delegates (through their constant feedback), and aim to offer discussion and insight with the help of guest speakers including researchers, graduates and industry leaders.

Posted by Einar Thorsen