Postgraduate Research Posters and Poster Prize

The British Society of Criminology (BSC) Postgraduate (PG) Committee and colleagues responded to feedback regarding calls for a research poster exhibition for postgraduate students to be displayed at the BSC PG conference. It was also agreed to award a prize (book tokens) to the winning entry, which would be judging by the BSC PG Committee and an external reviewer.

For the conference at the University of Portsmouth 2012, the research posters abstracts were judged by the host university as to their suitability for entry onto the poster exhibition and prize. Many of the posters were also presented as papers at the BSC PG Conference. The posters were displayed in the conference venue and were available for delegates = to view.

The judges were myself, as Chair of the PG Committee, a colleague and fellow BSC member at the conference as an ‘external reviewer’ and also from Charlotte Harris, BSC Executive Director, whose role was to ratify our decision.

We agreed the key criteria as:

  • Visual impact and creative use of poster space
  • Content – clear indication of the research question/conclusions from data (depending on the stage of the research)
  • Research topic – originality of the research and contribution to the field.

The posters were scored on each criteria and the judging team reviewed the top three posters after this scoring process, as the marks were close and we wanted to feel we had firm agreement on the winning entry and how it distinguished itself from the other posters. Charlotte Harris then reviewed the top three and we agreed on the winner.

Myself and the other reviewers were impressed with the entries and remarked how well delegates had embraced this forum for displaying their research and presenting findings. The staff at the University of Portsmouth who helped organise the postgraduate conference provided a very good space to display and promote the poster exhibition and the entries included some of their own research students’ work, one of whom was in the top three.

The winning entry by Linda Asquith (University of Huddersfield), entitled ‘Playing the Game: Life After Genocide’, illustrates the beginnings of Linda’s research analysis for her PhD, which focuses on survivors of genocide who have migrated to the UK and explores the strategies that they have used to rebuild their lives. It accompanied a verbal presentation given at the conference. Linda’s poster presented the research in the form of a ‘snakes and ladders’ layout to demonstrate the stages and challenge, which victims of genocide arriving in the UK need to go through to survive and build a new life. The poster was innovative in its design whilst the content clearly highlighted the challenges and difficulties faced by victims of genocide and how the state aims to support them. This was judged to be a significant contribution to research, looking at a particularly vulnerable group and to be a particularly effective way for Linda to present her research findings.

The poster prize was kindly provided by Sage Publishers, in the form of a £75 book voucher.

We look forward to having a similar exhibition and prize awarded at future conferences, the next one being at the University of Wolverhampton, in July 2013.

Susie Atherton
Chair, British Society of Criminology Postgraduate Committee