My Research in a Photograph

This competition gives Postgraduate Researchers the chance to tell people about their research through an eye-catching image and an associated, plain English narrative. 

The prizes will comprise a contribution to a development activity of the winners choice 

1st prize £300, 2nd Prize £250, 3rd Prize £150.

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Voting will close on Tuesday 15th June. 

1. Where have all the rockstars gone?
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My photograph was taken whilst at a Manchester Students’ Union venue, showing a mass of students but no rockstars on the stage. My research explores perceived changing student behaviours and seeks to identify any impact this may have on academic identity. 
During a pilot study, one academic reflected upon how they used to feel like a rockstar on graduation day, with students and their families wanting them to stand in their photographs. At the most recent graduation ceremony however, when waved over to join a student’s family, they weren’t asked to stand in the photograph, but instead asked to take it. The rockstar feeling was gone. 
Any changes to academic identity implied in my research findings could suggest future tensions in student-academic relationships – academic identities and the lure of academia may change as a result, with a new and different developing Higher Education landscape for the future. 

By Angela Lawrence

2. Children and the future of thinking
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The photograph shows the coming together of the heart and the mind to show the link between metacognition (thinking about thinking) and well-being. My research is about looking at how the journey to problem solving and not the solution itself is what is crucial to improving children’s well-being. Well-being has always been an important area of research and in these changing and challenging times it is even more important for us to investigate this area in order to help children and give them the brightest future we can!

By Christine Shepherd

3. Capturing Reflection
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The photo for me brings to life how we can reflect on our identities shape and change them and be anything we want to be! In a similar sense educators can shape their practice to deliver different forms of teaching .  Digital technology is changing educator’s perception of both teaching and learning. It’s a disruptor! Reflective practice allows educators to view the image of their professional and personal selves by  analysing their experiences so that they may improve their use and knowledge of digital methods in their teaching. My research aims to explore reflective practice of educators in higher education and the way their identities are shaped in response to the increased use of digital tools as a medium for teaching.

By Dawn Weaver

4.Interactive Virtual Museums to Immerse and Engage
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With a rise in Virtual Reality applications making their way into museums, displays have still been limited in what a visitor can experience and gain from the technology implemented. This research aims to explore the intersections of Virtual Reality and haptic technology to develop a greater understanding of a ceramic’s history. This research digitally reconstructs a collection of ceramics bequeathed by Ernest Thornhill in 1944 to North Staffordshire Technical College (now Staffordshire University). The Thornhill Experience has been developed to engage the viewer beyond traditional viewing formats to question the foundations of interpretation and how this is reflected within museums. The aim of this research is to aid collection interpretation and increase public engagement with museum collections which are often neglected by a contemporary audience. Through an amalgamation of sensory experiences, it aims to deconstruct cultural information into a range of related narratives and enhance public learning through an alternative exhibition experience

By Emma Fallows

5.Unidentified human remains: Returning their names
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The Kathimerini newspaper is the most widely read newspaper in Greece. This edition featured my appeal for help in identifying an unidentified man whose body washed ashore the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, England, in February 1979. Despite the passage of time, the man has never been identified. He was found wearing a ring, thought to be a wedding ring, inscribed in Greek with ‘Georgio and Katrina 1956’.
Investigations into long-term missing persons cases can span many years or even several decades. Tragically, some of those who are missing will have died and for whatever reason, remain undiscovered or unidentified. There is an absence of studies concerning those who remain unidentified after death and the effective cross-matching of missing persons reports and unidentified bodies. My PhD research will bridge this gap, providing the first ever critical review into the cross-matching of unidentified bodies and missing persons reports in England and Wales.  

By Emma Tilley

6.The Sonic Landscape of Documentary
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This picture represents different “memory triggers” of the initial stage of my PhD research project entitled “Re-Sounding the Screen: The Poetics and Politics of Acoustic Territory in Contemporary Documentary Form”.
My practice-based research aims to better understand the politics and poetics of “acoustic territory” in contemporary Documentary Films, exploring how sound might be refocused as a foregrounded storytelling aspect with a potential trigger for sensory knowledge.
These subjects will be examined from the perspective of ‘listening out’ for other people’s listening, the vibratory landscape, and my acts of listening. This will be achieved by utilizing ‘sound ethnographic’ as methods of research applied in documentary films, such as field recording techniques, sound design, audio testimony, and interviews with documentary filmmakers. The result will provide a diverse body of work that seeks to critique, reflect, and re-imagine modes of documentation, production, and subjectivity in documentaries.

By Francisco Mazza Filho

7.Trees suffer too
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To provide economic, environmental and social benefits, forests need to be managed sustainably, so as to balance all the benefits and keep them healthy.  An individual tree in a forest, exhibiting signs of stress, may not be a problem if the forest is made up of mixed species, as only one tree, or one tree species might be affected.  However if the forest is a monoculture, this one tree could be the start of something which could spread and decimate large numbers of trees.   Temperature fluctuations on the surface of leaves may be an early sign of tree stress.  By using deep learning to fuse data frames from LiDAR and thermal sensors on a drone, then applying a neural network to the fused data, small temperature fluctuations could be detected.  Intervention at this early stage could identify stressed trees and the stress could be investigated and mitigated. 

By Helen O’Brien Quinn

8. Religion and Physical Activity/Exercise
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Religion plays a crucial role in healthy lifestyle behaviours; therefore, churches are seen as potential venues for health promotions such as physical activity (PA) or exercise. The picture illustrates the practice or blend between ones’ religion and being physically fit.  
Furthermore, Clergies and other faith leaders are very influential to churches involvement in health promotion programs such as exercise interventions. As such, there role can strengthen the evidence linking religiosity with positive lifestyle behaviour.  
Continual efforts are made to improve levels of physical activity within England and Wales, exacerbated by Covid19. However, one of the things that is yet to be explored comprehensively at the level of policy, is how religion or religious organisations could affect an increase in PA in England and Wales. Therefore, exploring faith-based PA interventions could have significant implications relative to public policy.  

By Hezron Ottey

9.Sexual fantasies: The unspoken conversation
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Most people will have sexual fantasies at some point in their lives (Lehmiller, 2018). Whilst most people said they wanted to try their favourite fantasy, only one third of people had. This suggests that many people feel uncomfortable telling their partner about their fantasies. The chosen image clearly represents this internal struggle. The white tape over the man’s mouth represents barriers which may stop someone from sharing their fantasies, such as social norms, stigma or personality. My research looks at why so many people do not tell their partner about their sexual fantasies? What factors may prevent someone from telling their partner? Once we understand why people struggle to tell their partner about their fantasies, we can help them to feel more comfortable in doing so. The aim of my research is to remove this tape and encourage people to find their sexual voice.

By Matthew Liam Kimberley

10. Take a minute with nature
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The World Health Organisation identifies that the environments in which we live and interact with are important factors in our health and wellbeing. Natural environments (areas of vegetation and waterways) can support our health and wellbeing through reducing stress, improving mood, and renewing our physical, psychological, and social reserves when they become depleted. A variety of different types of nature experiences such as viewing, sitting, or taking part in physical activity in natural environments can assist with reducing stress, improving mood, and renewing our reserves, thus benefiting health and wellbeing.
The focus of this PhD is to develop previous research by exploring the therapeutic role of natural environments for people with chronic pain. Specifically, this research will explore if natural environments (i.e., areas of vegetation and waterways) and specific nature experiences (e.g., viewing nature) can be an additional way to support health and wellbeing for people with chronic pain conditions.

By Patricia Darcy

11.Creative Digital Engineering
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From digital concepts to physical testing, students collaborated on a complex project to design and engineer a small prototype racing car. Exploiting software and technology to mirror product lifecycle development that are essential to engineering and manufacturing operations of the 21st century. 
Digital engineering solutions integrate data, workflows, business systems, and people in a value chain to manage product lifecycles which have significantly changed the way company’s work through seamless collaboration. Collaborative digital engineering processes and technologies are demanding new skills to meet 21st century engineering; modern multi-disciplined, creative thinking engineers of the future. 
My research explores to what extent higher education meets the challenges of the digital transformation for modern engineering practice. Proposing a learning framework in which collaborative digital engineering technologies provide a synoptic context to underpin the creation of new engineering undergraduate curricula, centred around team projects and problem-based learning. 

By Peter Jones

12. Safety net around our “safe” havens! 
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The cybercriminals have always preyed on the innocent and the gullible. Covid-19 pandemic seems to have come as a boon for the bad guys as we now see a lot of fraud calls, mails, spoofing/phishing activities. Due to the trying times, the people end up getting scammed by identity thefts, ransomwares and many other varieties of cyberattacks. Consequently, for individuals who are attacked it impacts their livelihood and state of mind. Whereas for coporations, attacks of this kind causes immense financial and reputation loss which at times amounts to shutting down of businesses. 
As part of my research I am looking to develop intelligent models which can identify attacks in real time and help respond to attacks instantly. These systems would be trained in such a way that it can identify anomalies and therefore would safeguard individuals and corporations from drastic losses. 

By Sheetal Dash 

13.The Accuracy of Violence: Bloodstain Patterns
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The sub-discipline of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis within the forensic sciences seeks to tell the story of what happened during a violent crime.  This analysis is rooted in fluid dynamics, physics, mathematics, and several other natural sciences that allow examiners to determine the nature of causation of bloodstain patterns at crime scenes.  Within this photograph, the observer is able to view the natural forces of surface tension and cohesion of a drop of blood.  These two forces predicate an analyst’s ability to reconstruct in three-dimensional space from which the blood droplet originated.  The focus of this research is to examine the range of accuracy within various terrains and environmental conditions of that area of origin determination.  Seeking to better understand blood’s relationship with these variables and the accuracy of an analyst’s reconstruction of the violence.  
By Zack Kowalske

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