English PhD students win awards at RSSC2021: An International Research Gathering

On 23rd of June 2021, we gathered online to celebrate the research carried out by Middlesex University researchers. 2021 marked the 10th year of the Research Students’ Summer Conference, with 120 presenters from research students and early career researchers from Middlesex overseas campuses, our Partner Institutions and our London campus.

More than 300 attendees and presenters registered for RSSC2021, from 29 countries. 32 prizes were presented by Dr Onatade to the best presentations and posters and the details of winners can be found here.

One of the prize winners for outstanding oral presentation was first year MPhil/PhD in English student Thanh Nguyen for her presentation on the ‘Effects of Metacognitive Reading Strategy Instruction on L2 Reading Comprehension and Motivation: A Meta-Analysis and An Empirical Investigation’. Congratulations also to second year MPhil/PhD in English student Thitinart Khamyod for her presentation: ‘From Verbal to Online Interactions: Requests in One-to-one Facebook Chats in Thai Educational Settings’ and to finalist PhD student Ramona Pistol for her presentation ‘Aesthetic experience in metaphorical comprehension’. Congratulations to all presenters and winners!

25 poster presentations and approximately 90 oral presentations were delivered, across three time slots of 8 parallel sessions each. It was a remarkable demonstration of the diversity of disciplines and the multidisciplinarity or research projects carried out in MDX Research Community: sports science, psychology and psychotherapy, English, performing arts, natural sciences, computer science, business and management, law and criminology, covid-19 related studies, organisational theology and theological studies, design, engineering and mathematics and so much more that can be viewed in the RSSC2021 Programme and Book of Abstracts.    

Our Vice-Chancellor Prof Nic Beech delivered the opening keynote speech, setting out the position of research in the University’s strategy and in the years ahead. MDX professional doctorate alumna Dr Raliat Onatade, Group Chief Pharmacist and Clinical Director for Medicines Optimisation at NHS Barts trust – who played a central role in setting up pharmacy services at the NHS Nightingale – gave the closing address. Raliat was introduced by Prof Hemda Garelick and another engaging conversation followed her inspiring and thought-provoking speech.  She talked about her journey as a researcher: making the transition from being a medical professional to a doctoral student, her approach to translating academic research into effective practice, and giving advice to early career researchers from her experience.

Find more about RSSC2021 here.

Research Students Summer Conference 2021: Call for papers

Research Student Conference Banner
RESEARCH IN A CHANGING WORLD
Middlesex University – 23 June 2021

The Middlesex University Research Students Summer Conference (RSSC) is an annual event for research students here at Middlesex. This year it will be a virtual conference to showcase the research being carried out by research students across the Faculties and our Collaborative Partner Institutions. It is an opportunity to share ideas, create fruitful collaborations and celebrate research.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Research in a Changing World’. We invite students from any discipline to submit abstracts which consider this theme and how it interacts with your research area. Students at any stage of their research are encouraged to submit, and prizes are awarded for the best presentations!

The conference will include the following types of participation. Please indicate in your abstract the method of presentation:

  • Presentation
  • Poster
  • Performance
  • Video screening with commentary

Submission guidelines: https://unihub.mdx.ac.uk/study/types/research-at-middlesex/research-student-conference

Submission is now open and will close at 5pm on Tuesday 6th April 2021.

Key dates

  • Submission of abstract opens: now!
  • Submission of abstract closes: 5pm Tuesday 6th April 2021
  • Confirmation of presentation: May 2021
  • Conference: 23 June 2021

Additional information and updates will be posted on the ‘MDX Research Students’ Facebook page and the Twitter Handle @MUResearchStudy. Tweet about the conference using the hashtag #MDXsummerconf21.

Research Students’ Summer Conference Organising Committee

Looking for inspiration on PhD topics?

If you are looking for inspiration for a PhD topic in English, here’s what our current PhD students are up to.

In a recent round table discussion, our current PhD students discussed with each other their doctoral projects. I was impressed both by the fascinating topics and novel approaches but also by the interesting questions our students asked each other.

Here are the topics of some of our current research candidates in language, linguistics and literature:

  • Kick the bucket1000-59719058_thumbnail-744x635

How can you teach English idioms to learners of English as a foreign language? Salim proposes that this should be done through the medium of learners’ home culture.

  • Do you say ‘napkin’ or ‘serviette’?

Narmina is looking at the factors that affect choices between synonyms.

  • This government is a parasite

Are some metaphors easier to understand than others? Ramona explores the (different) systems through which we process metaphors, employing Relevance Theory.

  • Neoliberalism promises meritocracy, upward social mobility, and individual freedoms. Surely it’s a good thing, then!

Tatjana explores the subversion and containment of neoliberal ideology in Black British fiction from the 80s to present day.

  • Do you change the way you speak when addressing ‘foreigners’?

Kyu looks at how speakers adjust their language when they understand their interlocutor as a member of the same or a different culture, employing approaches from pragmatics.

  • ‘If you spoil Star Wars for  me, I will Imperial March my way over to you.’

Do we employ semantic or pragmatics processes to understand ‘imperial march’ in this tweet? Benoit argues that Construction Grammar and Relevance Theory are in fact complementary perspectives and help us understand the semantics-pragmatic interface.

Can’t wait to see how all these projects evolve!