There have been some absolutely fantastic projects and events come out of the Postgraduate Community Experience Awards!
If you would like more information on entry criteria and how to apply, visit the ‘Everything You Need to Know’ page.
On the 22nd of March 2022, Master’s student Grace Ingram hosted this ‘fishbowl’ event in partnership with the Postgraduate Network, the BAME Network, and Student Success. Dr Barbara Adewumi acted as moderator, asking a panel of students a series of thought-provoking questions. The audience were invited to watch as the conversation unfolded, and the panel were encouraged to speak freely about their personal experiences. Read all about Mixed Roots here!
PhD Candidate Stephen Morris used his wealth of experience and expertise in cognitive psychology-neuropsychology and meditation to host a series of bi-weekly ‘Compassion Meditation’ sessions. The funding was used to provide essential equipment for the group, and the GRC supported through room bookings and online promotion. The project has now extended and intends to become self-sustaining, supporting inclusive compassion in the University and beyond for years to come.
PhD Candidate Jon Winder was awarded funding for his ‘Critical Excursions’ project, a proposed series of excursions for PhD students into areas of natural beauty surrounding Canterbury.
Responding to concerns about the mental health of PhD candidates with their busy workloads, Jon sought to help his fellow students manage and improve their mental health by immersing them in green and blue spaces off the usual beaten path. The groups took trips to Whitstable, Chilham, Selling, and finally – to sea – commissioning the local ship ‘The Greta’ to take students out on the ocean, bringing students together through manning the ship.
“It was amazing to spend time on the water, experiencing the wind and the waves rather than my laptop keyboard for a day”, Jon said of the experience. He added that “it was also great to meet such a wide range of other PhD students based at Kent and to hear about their research.”
University of Kent PhD Quilt
Commissioned by Laura Thomas-Walters, PhD Candidate
Quilting completed in collaboration with the Canterbury Quilters Society
“I wanted to provide an opportunity for Kent PhD students to explore alternative ways of communicating their research while enhancing their own well-being through mindful creativity. I’ve been quilting for a few years, and create textile portraits of endangered species to help raise awareness and funds for them. Quilting is both a really fun pastime and a fun way of engaging people in my work.
I thought a visual and tactile representation of the breadth of research undertaken at Kent would be a unique form of public engagement. Kent’s PhD Quilt is the first of its kind. Each quilt block was created by a different PhD student, representing the core concept of their PhD. Quilting was done in collaboration with the Canterbury Quilters Society.”
Funding awarded to Katja May, PhD Candidate
Supported by BARC Collective and Decolonise UKC.
Building on significant advances made at the launch of the Kent Law School student project “Decolonising the Curriculum” manifesto which was facilitated by Dr Suhraiya Jivraj, the Graduate School’s Postgraduate Community Experience Awards provided funding for a half-day workshop “Strategising for Anti-Racist Action” on 23 May 2019. It was facilitated by members of Building the Anti-Racist Classroom (BARC) and organised by doctoral researcher in English, Katja May with doctoral researcher in Law, Ahmed Memon. BARC are an international collective of women of colour scholar-activists whose mission is to develop anti-racist pedagogy and practice for higher education. Approximately fifty people were present at the event.
Participants engaged with contemporary concepts and research-led best practice in anti-racist thinking and organising, including reducing white fragility and building resilience for conversations about race, exploring the notion of micro-aggressions, and challenging the student deficit model around attainment gaps in favour of a structural analysis of how white supremacy implicitly and explicitly shapes higher education.
The workshop was centred around an innovative tool, the BARC student journey game (https://barcworkshop.org/resources/student-journey-game/), commissioned by the Reimagining Attainment for All 2 (RAFA2) project of Roehampton University and Queen Mary University of London, and developed in collaboration with QMUL student researchers of colour. Participants had the opportunity to collectively consider how to develop anti-racist actions, and offered a framework for how to evaluate action plans for change based on who they benefit, and to what extent they support and protect students and staff of colour.
Feedback from the workshop highlighted the need for compulsory anti-racist and cultural competency trainings that account for institutional power structures. Participants were also keen to find out more ways to translate learning from the day into their classroom practice.
Commissioned by PhD student Vilius Savickas and Master’s by Research student Hal Dorrington
ReCapture aimed to promote postgraduate research carried out across the University by providing a platform for students to capture and share their research in a public-friendly photographic format. The competition has been a celebration of student research and has been a great networking opportunity between the academic communities of the Canterbury and Medway campuses. It also provided a platform for students to share their research with non-specialist audiences and to the local public.
A total of 16 outstanding images were shortlisted by a panel back in April 2019. These were then presented at a Medway based exhibition throughout May and early June with a final showcase event hosted on Monday 17th June.
Staff, students and members of the public were able to vote for the three best images based on the following criteria:
- Subject content and strength of message, in relation to research.
- The creativity of presentation, visual communication and general appeal of the image.
- The image quality of the photograph.
The winners, who were announced on Monday 17th April were:
1st: We used to grow sugar cane – Bhokraj Gurung
2nd: Hope in time of crisis – Chara Theodoraki
3rd: The hidden world within – Jessica Dolding-Smith
The Marlow Garden Project
The Book Swap and Games Library
Kasia Senyszyn won funding to organise a games library and book swap which is based in Woolf Common Room. You can borrow a book or take a book in exchange for one of your own, or you can take a break and play a game with fellow postgraduates.