A doctoral project in 2.5 minutes:
Hekneby Braseth participates in Nord’s PhD Conference

PhD Fellow Ingrid Hekneby Braseth (centre) with PhD Programme Coordinator Anne Marit Valle (right)

Being a PhD fellow comes with many challenges: not only does one have to develop a full and compelling research project, usually with an international component, but one also has many other obligations, including teaching, research group activity, and developing a strong professional network for the next stages of one’s post-PhD career. Time management is really key.

This is why on March 13-14, Nord University hosted a PhD conference for fellows in the PhD in Science of Professions doctoral program. During this action-packed conference, researchers from this degree program gathered in Bodø to learn about each other’s research projects, and to get expert advice on practical matters – everything from “how to get and respond to a review” to “how to thrive as a doctoral writer.” Networking breaks and a conference dinner were also part of the event.

For conference co-organizer Professor Anne Marit Valle, such conferences represent an important opportunity for PhD candidates to gain professional experience: “Being able to present one’s research within a short timeline is central to the researcher’s wok. Not only did candidates present and discuss their research with peers and other participants, but they also had the chance to act as co-chair during the presentations. Having a safe framework makes a positive contribution to the early stages of a researcher’s career.”

English Department colleague and PhD fellow Ingrid Hekneby Braseth participated in the conference, and presented her project, called “Entering the Adventure: Aesthetic Learning Processes in Second Language Acquisition” in the form of a “pitch talk” – two and a half minutes to explain a large-scale project with hundreds of data points! How does one condense all of that information into less than three minutes? Certainly the pressure of presenting a yet-unfinished project for immediate feedback must be intense? We asked Ingrid to reflect on her experience:

1)  How did you feel about presenting your research project to a large group of people? Was it a supportive environment?

Presenting my research project at this PhD conference was a nice experience, especially since this was a supportive environment, where the other participants gave constructive feedback.

2)  What advice do you have for other researchers working on their PhD projects? What did you learn from this conference in particular?

Talk about your project as often as possible and try to explain it as briefly and simply as possible. Making a poster is a great experience, since you have to sum up your entire research project on one page. In a pitch-talk, where you get to present your poster to an audience, you only get to talk for 2 ½ minutes, making it absolutely necessary to find out what is most important to convey about your project.

3)  What is the next step in your research journey?

In April I am going to the Private University of Education, Diocese of Linz in Austria, where I will be working with researchers and lecturers who have similar approaches to research and teaching as myself. I will also be attending different teacher training classes, for example classes which focus on drama and play in teaching, as well as classes where film and fiction are the main focus.

Click on Ingrid’s posters to learn more about her project.

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