17th – 21st MAY

Graduate School Festival 2021 – Special Edition of the GS Newsletter


Dear Doctoral Researchers

The Festival will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase the wonderful work that you are doing on your projects and will be a celebration of your achievements after what has been such a challenging year.  Please do get involved! The Festival’s success depends on you!

Best wishes

Leigh & Richard


What is the Graduate School Festival?

A week-long online Festival and celebration bringing together a number of events and activities showcasing the brilliant work you and your fellow doctoral researchers are doing to the wider University community of students and colleagues, and to the wider world.


When is it taking place?

Monday 17th May 2021 to Friday 21st May 2021


What will be happening during the Festival?

A wide range of events, activities, talks, competitions, panels, including:

An opening workshop from Hugh Kearns

An In Conversation event with Dr Orna Rosenfeld

The final of the Graduate School 3 Minute Thesis Competition

Galleries & Live Q&As focused on doctoral student projects

Film Screenings, Social Media Events, Student Podcasting

The Great Graduate School Bake-Off Competition!


It’s all about you!

The Festival is all about showcasing your doctoral student experience and your projects.  The Festival’s success depends on your involvement.  There will be many ways to be involved in the Festival, but at this stage we have 4 exciting events that we would like you to sign up for:


The Student Twitter Takeover

**Calling all members of Westminster’s PhD Community**

We’d like to encourage all PhD students to participate in the Student Twitter Takeover happening during the upcoming Graduate School Festival. This will be a great opportunity to showcase your research to colleagues, peers, the wider Westminster community and beyond! To participate simply complete these short questions which will be turned into a small infographic and tweeted out throughout the Graduate School Festival via the GS’s Twitter account. Let’s show the Twittersphere what Westminster is all about!

You do not need a personal twitter account to take part – the tweets will be sent throughout the week from the GS Twitter Account.


Student Panel – The doctoral experience of students from backgrounds underrepresented in doctoral education.

As part of the Festival, we are organising a panel and a series of recorded interviews on the experience of those who have come to doctoral work from backgrounds which are underrepresented in the academy and in particular underrepresented in doctoral education. We would like to record a series of short interviews with research students about their experiences.

We would like to have interviewees and panel members who, for example, are the first in their family to go to university, who are people of colour, who have come to higher education later in their lives, who are differently abled.

We are also planning a live panel during the week of the Festival focused on the experiences of research students from underrepresented backgrounds — to celebrate their achievements and to act as a guide for others from such backgrounds who are thinking of doing a PhD.

If you would like to be involved in either the recordings or the panel, do get in touch with us. The recordings will be done through March and April, and the panel will be during the week beginning 17 May. Please do email us before 15 March.

Leigh Wilson (

Anna Doering (


Student Film Screenings

Would you like to screen your film in the Graduate School Festival?

This would be an opportunity to have your work seen across a wide audience and to get feedback from a diverse range of viewers.  Your film may be work in progress, completed or somewhere in between and all three stages are welcome for this festival.  We welcome films that will be shown continuously throughout the week and those that will be live events on specific days only.  Together with this, you might want to take part in a personal Q&A about your work and be interviewed by another PhD student – you can organise this yourself or we can help to facilitate this for you.  Films from across the whole university are welcomed and even if film forms only one part of your PhD research, this can still be an opportunity for you to both show it and discuss it.

We look forward to hearing from you.

If you have any questions, then email Dr Margherita Sprio


Student Podcasts

As part of the inaugural Graduate School Festival, we will be developing a podcast series featuring conversations between doctoral researchers across different disciplines. We are aiming to release 3-4 episodes before the Festival begins, so that audiences can listen to them across the week of Festival and beyond. If you are interested in meeting other PhD students from across the university, introducing them and our audience to your research and your life as a PhD student, and if you want to take part in some informal and informed conversation, we’d like to hear from you! For more information or to register your interest, please contact Dr Helen Glew at


GS Festival Website

We are in the process of building a dedicated website for the GS Festival which will launch imminently!

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