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BGRS Conference 2020 - A Celebration of 100 years of the Birkbeck PhD: Past, Present and Future

Venue: Birkbeck Clore Management Centre

No booking required


As a result of the coronavirus pandemiwe have had to postpone the BGRS Conference which will no longer take place on 22-23 April. However, we do intend to find an alternative date for the event later in the year and will confirm this once available.


BIRKBECK STUDENTS: Please enter your student number in the 'Affiliation' section of the registration form when booking your place.



We are pleased to announce that registration for the BGRS Conference on 22-23 April is open. Register now to be kept informed of the developing programme for this exciting event, which will bring together doctoral researchers from across the research student community at Birkbeck. The conference will include the following - further details to be announced over the coming weeks. Information about the conference is also availabe on the BGRS blog.


DAY 1: WEDNESDAY 22 APRIL (18.00 – 21.00)


  • A history of the Birkbeck PhD

Joanna Bourke is Professor of History in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, where she has taught since 1992. She is a Fellow of the British Academy. Joanna will speak about the history of the first doctoral research at Birkbeck.

  • Highlighted current doctoral research at Birkbeck

Some of our current PhD students will present their winning Birkbeck 3 Minute Thesis talks.

  • The future of PhDs in the UK

Dr Stephen Hill, Director of Research at Research England, will speak about the the future of PhDs in the UK.

Paulette Williams, Founder & Managing Director of Leading Routes, will talk about the ‘Broken Pipeline’ report into representation and diversity at PhD level study, and the implications for doctoral research and beyond.

  • Drinks Reception

 Talks will be followed by a drinks reception to celebrate the opening night of the conference.


DAY 2: THURSDAY 23 APRIL (09.30 – 19.00)

On the second day you will be able to attend a range of panels and other sessions organised by the conference steering group, which is made up of current PhD students. Sessions will involve Birkbeck staff, alumni and current research students.


  • Methods and Disciplines (10.00 - 13.00)

As part of the conference we are opening a call for current PhD students to contribute – we are looking for volunteers to describe their research focus and methodological approach, with an aim of exposing the range of approaches available, and facilitating discussion on the ways that methodology could be viewed from an interdisciplinary perspective. If you are willing to give a talk please complete this brief form by 24 March. We will endeavour to provide as many opportunities to present as we can but please note we may need to select speakers in order to represent the range of methods.

  • Research impact (14.00 - 16.00)
  • The PhD and Beyond (16.00 - 17.30)


This second day will close with a drinks reception and the results of a Poster Competition which will provide a fantastic opportunity to share research interests and successes of current doctoral students from across the College. 

If you would like to take part please complete this brief form by 31 March. All those who enter will be able to claim back up to £30 for poster printing costs from the BGRS.

The following prizes will be awarded:

  • £300 for the winner
  • 3 x runners up prizes of £100 each

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