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A first for Wales’ postgraduate research community

29 October 2019

Doctoral candidates from across Wales have joined their academic and practitioner peers at the first Welsh Postgraduate Research Conference (WPGRC) in Business, Management and Economics at Cardiff Business School on Wednesday 19 June 2019.

The one-day conference, jointly funded by Cardiff Business School and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Wales Doctoral Training Partnership brought together PhD students from Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor Universities to explore the latest developments in Business, Management and Economic research.

58 PhD students, from all stages of their study, showcased research in a variety of sessions including 43 paper presentations and 15 poster exhibits on Economics, Accounting and Finance, Marketing, Logistics and Operations, Management, Employment and Organisation disciplines.

Cohort development

The sessions, grouped by theme rather than discipline, stimulated interdisciplinary exchange and enabled research community-building across the three Welsh institutions. The event provided an opportunity for the 120 staff and students in attendance to seek feedback and share ideas with academics, business practitioners and their postgraduate peers in a collaborative and friendly atmosphere.

David James, founding Director of the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), said: “This event was an excellent example of how the dedicated DTP funding for cohort development can be used to great effect...”

David James Pic

“It brought together doctoral students and staff from across the Business, Management and Economics pathways and provided a lively forum for sharing substantive and methodological challenges and achievements and also for considering research/industry relationships.”

Professor David James, Professor of Sociology of Education

“I am grateful to the key staff for making it happen, and especially Nicole Koenig-Lewis who leads the Business & Management Pathway.”

University-industry partnerships

Professor Rick Delbridge delivers closing lecture

Professor Rick Delbridge, Dean for Research, Innovation and Enterprise at Cardiff University, brought formal proceedings to a close as he chaired the conference’s plenary session.

The session, entitled: Beyond the Ivory Tower, connected academics from Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor together with practitioners from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Centrica to discuss research impact and university-industry partnerships.

The roundtable discussion was a chance for Professors David James, David Blackaby and Louise Hassan to reflect upon successful collaborative projects facilitated by the ESRC and offer advice to the postgraduate research community on how to build pathways to impact across Business, Management and Economics disciplines.

Peter Fullerton, Deputy Director, Planning and Resources at the ONS, and Belinda Finch, Chief Information Officer at Centrica, shared what they look for when collaborating with academic partners. Among other things, they reflected on the implications of data-rich environments and the idea of a connected economy as distinguishing features of university-industry collaboration.

Panel of industry and academic experts: (L-R) Peter Fullerton, David Blackaby, David James, Belinda Finch and Louise Hassan

The conference concluded with a dinner in the Jury’s Inn, Cardiff with live music and the award ceremony.

Prizes for best paper presentations went to:

  • Georgina Smith, from Bangor Business School, who presented a paper entitled Exploring the action-inaction asymmetry in the theory of planned behaviour framework.
  • James Davies, from Cardiff Business School, who presented a paper onLabour Entry and Skill Formation in UK Television.
  • Samuel Mann, from Swansea School of Management, who presented a paper on Sexual orientation and earnings; the role of industrial sorting and occupational attainment.

The prize for best poster presentation was awarded to Muhao Du, from Cardiff Business School, who exhibited a Study of the Management of Expatriates in Chinese Multi-national Corporations Operating Overseas.

Vibrancy, diversity and professionalism

Professor Luigi De Luca, Associate Dean for Doctoral Studies at Cardiff Business School, said: “The conference was a great occasion and a perfect opportunity for students from across ESRC Wales’ DTP to gain valuable experience in presenting research, chairing sessions and, of course, connect with peers, external practitioners and academic staff...”

Luigi De Luca

“This type of skill development and enhanced communication is testament to the vibrancy, diversity and professionalism of our community of postgraduate research students in Cardiff, but also, across our disciplines and pathway institutions.”

Professor Luigi De Luca, Associate Dean for Doctoral Studies, Professor of Marketing and Innovation

“On behalf of everyone at Cardiff Business School, I’d like to thank all participants for contributing to the conference. Let’s hope that it’s the first of many more to come!”

The event was organised by Cardiff Business School’s Postgraduate Research Team: Professor Luigi De Luca, Dr Nicole Koenig-Lewis, Dr Kate Daunt, Lydia Taylor, Sol Alim and Beverly Francis. It took place in the School’s Postgraduate Teaching Centre.

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