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York students in international conference

Posted on 6 June 2016

PhD students from York, Bielefeld, and Lund share findings and contest their work

York PhD candidates have taken part in a lively conference in Bielefeld, which involved students from different academic cultures, and different disciplines.

Seven panels of students from York, Bielefeld (Germany), and Lund (Sweden) gave 10-minute presentations, and then faced tough questioning from the other attendees on their approach and methodology. They also took part in a concluding roundtable on publishing and employability.

The event built on strong existing links between the Department of History at York and the other universities. This includes a PhD Desk exchange with Lund, which is due to be extended to Bielefeld from 2017, as well as study abroad opportunities for undergraduates.

Six students from York took part, Devin Dattan, Frances Maguire, Florence Mok, Harriet Neal, Yiyun Ding, and Claire Benson. They were supported by three members of academic staff, David Clayton, Simon Ditchfield, and Lawrence Black.

Feedback from the York participants included:

  • “We were required to justify our research topic and methods, which was a useful and crucial practice, especially when many of us would like to stay in academia in the future.” Florence Mok.
  •  “The most important benefit was having the chance to exchange research ideas with international students.” Yiyun Ding.
  •  “I got a lot out of trying to communicate my research to non-specialists. Also, watching a lot of presentations made me aware of different styles of presenting and what I think would work best for me in the future.” Harriet Neal.

Following the success this year, the conference will be repeated in Lund next year and in York in 2018.