I have started this year by winning the Best Poster prize at the IDIMC 2016. Six months later, I find myself being awarded of two more prizes! I don’t want to be over optimistic, but we are only half through the year…
In May, some of my colleagues and myself have organised the School of Computer PhD Conference, giving the opportunity to most of the PhD students to communicate about their research. The 1st year had the constraint to present their research in a ‘1 min. madness’ format, the 2nd year had to keep the rhythm to present theirs in a 20×20 presentation (20 sec./slide), and the 3d year through a more conventional 10 min. presentation.
As I’m in my 2nd year, I was in the group of the 20×20 presentations. Needless to say that I had no idea how I would manage to limit my speech and my slides in such a limited time (the slides run automatically, so after 20 seconds, you don’t have the choice to proceed with the next one). The 20×20 presentations are actually known as Pecha Kucha, (a Japanese term meaning chit-chat), which have first become popular in the creative fields, until its popularity extended to the academic world. The point is to present a topic in very short time (6.6 min.) based mainly on images (as there is no time to read a text).
To say the truth, I was quite reluctant to present my research in such a way. Not so much because of the constraint to use that many pictures (which I usually appreciate), but more because of the limited time that was imposed on us. Moreover, this format fits well to people who are at ease with storytelling and speaking in front of an audience…so if that’s not your case (…), the exercise can be even more challenging. Not impossible though. The proof is that I’ve unexpectedly won the 3d prize of the best 20×20 presentation! Not bad for the non-native English speaker that I am after all.
This prize has been won alongside my colleagues John Mowbray (2nd best prize of the 20×20 presentation), Frances Ryan (1st prize of the 3d year presentations), and our 1st year colleague Lyndsey Jenkins for the 2nd prize of best poster.
In June, my supervisor wisely invited me to present once again my academic poster at the Edinburgh University Research day. As I thought it would be a nice opportunity to discuss my research with fellow researchers, I brought it without being aware that the posters were also awarded besides the numerous presentations that we had the chance to enjoy during the day. To my surprise, I heard my name being called during the Prize ceremony, for having won the best poster Principal’s Research Excellence Awards 2016!
I’ve been told that I have implicitly become an academic poster advisors (!) …a status that I’m very glad to endorse if I can be of any help to any colleague who might need some advice in that matter.
In six months, I have won three prizes, two for my poster, and one for the presentation of my research. This is certainly not an outcome I had forecasted when the year 2016 started. I can only be thankful for receiving such recognition for my work, as it contributes to be more trustful on my abilities to progress with my PhD.
This gain of trust, is the real priceless prize of all.