As part of the initiative commitment to building a researcher network and encouragng new research on higher education, a competition for Early Career Researchers was held as part of the final conference. It was advertised through a variety of researcher networks and noticeboards as well as forming part of the general conference advertisement in the Times Higher or THE. The competition called for entries with ideas to present a poster on an aspect of higher education research which had been, was being or was planned to be undertaken by the Early Career Researcher. 9 applicants were accepted and invited to present their poster at the conference.
All of the posters can be viewed here along with video interviews with 3 of the presenters talking about their research.
At the conference itself,an eminent panel of judges awarded special prizes to the two presenters who were most successful in explaining and communicating their work to a generalist audience. The prize winners were:
Alima Bucciantini, University of Edinburgh: Universities, Exhibitions and Audiences: Measuring Public Response to Exhibitions in Academic Space. (PDF)
Roberta Communian, University of Kent: Higher Education and the Creative Economy (ppt file)
The judges included: Fergus Devitt, Director of Higher Education at the Department for Employment and Learning, NI, Professor Phil Gummett, CEO of the HIgher Education Fundng Council for Wales, Mark Batho, CEO of the Higher Education Funding Council for Scotland, Professor Walter McMahon, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Professor Paul Boyle, CEO of the Economic and Social Research Council