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Celebrating our Manchester-Melbourne research collaboration

17 Feb 2023

The inaugural Cookson Scholars Conference took place virtually on 8 and 9 February 2023

Organising Committee

The conference brought together postgraduate researchers, supervisors and colleagues from the Dual Award PhD Programme between our University and the University of Melbourne to share, and celebrate, the breadth and depth of the research currently being undertaken by the multidisciplinary, international collaboration between our two institutions.

17 presenters shared their research on a wide variety of topics from the fight against drug resistant bacteria to hygienic citizenship in everyday uneven urban contexts, demonstrating the high standard of postgraduate research the programme is helping to produce, and all thesis presentations that took place over the two days were highly engaging and insightful. The judging panel members had the difficult task of identifying the best presentations amongst a consistently high-quality series of talks.

Professor Stephen Flint, Associate Vice-President for Internationalisation, said: "The first Cookson Scholars conference was really excellent. I was impressed by the powerful mix of excellent research projects that are tackling important issues for society and the planet, coupled with the clarity and poise of the presenters.

"There is no doubt that this pioneering programme will deliver world class results and true global citizens, as it heads into a cohort of over 50 scholars."

The winners were announced as:

  • Hannah Ryan (Melbourne-based) - Fishing for proteins to find answers for new tuberculosis treatments (Supervisors: Professor Craig Hutton and Professor David Leys)
  • Judy Too (Manchester-based) - The 4Es of carbon-neutral buildings: A standardised approach (Supervisors: Dr Felix Hui and Dr Obuks Ejohwomu)

They will receive $500 and £350 respectively - congratulations on their achievements.

Judy Too, Manchester award recipient, said: "The inaugural Cookson Scholars' Conference was truly impressive, with an abundance of informative and thought-provoking sessions. What set this conference apart from others was the unique experience of having presentations delivered by colleagues from different schools, departments, and research areas. This diversity provided an enriching opportunity to learn from a broad range of researchers. I left the conference feeling energized and motivated, having gained invaluable insights and takeaways that I intend to incorporate into my work going forward.

"The social event in Melbourne was a perfect extension of the two-day event! It was a great opportunity to connect with the Programme Coordinators, colleagues, and supervisors in a more relaxed setting, over food and drinks. The atmosphere was lively and friendly, and we were able to make some new connections and exchange deep conversations.

"Overall, the Organising Committee did an excellent job of creating a valuable experience for us, and it was evident that a lot of effort had gone into planning the event. I am grateful for the connections I have made and the knowledge I have gained, and I look forward to attending future events!"

The Dr Isabel Clifton Cookson Dual Award Programme was established in 2019 and has so far provided funding for 30 supervisory teams and 39 candidates across all faculties, in areas such as Neurology, Post-Colonialism and Urbanisation. We look forward to hosting next year’s conference and highlighting more of the research taking place on the Dual Award.