Secure your space: University of Salford Postgraduate Annual Research Conference (SPARC) returns for another year

Categories: Research

Taking place on Wednesday 26 June and Thursday 27 June, the University of Salford Postgraduate Annual Research Conference (SPARC) brings together the postgraduate community to celebrate and showcase their research. The event is free to attend – both in person at the Chapman Building and online - and is open to the University’s colleagues and students, as well as members of the public who would like to find out more about research at Salford.

With over 100 postgraduate researchers coming together to showcase their work, the conference is the biggest event in the University’s Doctoral School calendar. Attendees can hear about the incredible research being conducted by all four schools across the University, with presentations carefully designed to communicate the benefits of their findings to a non-specialist audience.  

In addition to presentations and posters from postgraduate researchers on a diverse range of subjects from cyber security to creative writing, there will also be a Three Minute Thesis final to decide who will be the Salford champion going forward to the national competition. The Three Minute Thesis challenges doctoral candidates to present a compelling spoken presentation on their research topic and its significance in just three minutes. 

The programme for the day also includes a number of keynote speakers and workshops on this year’s theme of sustainability, as well as an exhibition of research images. Plus, the winner of the University’s Supervisor of the Year Award will be announced at the conference.

Two postgraduate researchers smiling and laughing at each other

Professor Katherine Yates, Director of the Doctoral School at the University of Salford, said: “We’re so excited to host the conference for another year, it’s such a key moment in our calendar and there is always such a great atmosphere when we bring our postgraduate researchers together. 

“The event is free and open to all, and the sessions are all designed for a non-specialist audience, so anyone can come along and find out more about the incredible work by our community of postgraduate researchers. 

“If anyone is inspired to pursue their own postgraduate research journey, our team will also be on hand to offer guidance and advice on how to get started.”

The event is taking place as part of the University’s Research and Knowledge Exchange Week. It is possible to access the conference both in-person at the Chapman Building and also online.

Register to secure your spot and to find out more about how to access the conference both in-person and online.

Keynote speakers:

Wednesday 26 June 2024 - Zarina Ahmad

SPARC will kick off with a keynote presentation from ‘Woman’s Hour’s 2020 Our Planet Power List’ member, Zarina Ahmad. Zarina has previously worked for the Council for Ethnic Minority Voluntary Organisations in Scotland, focusing on increasing participation in environmental issues, and is now pursing her own PhD journey researching sustainable behaviours within BAME communities at the University of Manchester. 

Zarina is also a researcher on a Food Justice project ‘Just FACT', an advisor for Women’s Environmental Network, a founder member of ’Climate Sisters' in Glasgow and is the recipient of an Emma Goldman Award for her feminist work on climate justice and inequalities.  

Thursday 27 June 2024 - Dr Graeme Sheriff

On day two ,we will hear from Salford's very own Dr Graeme Sheriff who is co-director of the Sustainable Housing and Urban Studies Unit (SHUSU) and coordinator of the interdisciplinary Healthy Active Cities research group. Graeme works on a range of societal issues including active travel, transport planning, fuel poverty and energy retrofit and green space. He uses qualitative and quantitative methods, including innovative approaches such as social media, oral history and peer-to-peer interviewing.  

Graeme is Chair of the Fuel Poverty Research Network (FPRN) and is passionate about challenging the inequalities faced by vulnerable communities. Don't miss out on hearing more about this important issue. 


  • Mark Wantling from Digital IT will be talking about Cybersecurity and the Dark Web. 

  • PhD candidate, Candace James, is holding a wildflower seed bomb making workshop, in partnership with RHS Worsley who will be providing seed kits. 

  • Visiting academic, Dr Ana Payopayo, is delivering a workshop on research communication using comedy. 

  • The Library is hosting a Zine making workshop using recycled materials.

  • And the conference will end with a falconry display by Gauntlet Birds of Prey.

Parallel sessions:

  • AI and networks
  • Communities and lived experience
  • Construction and engineering
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Health conditions
  • Language and communication
  • Law, order and justice
  • Managing health (one)
  • Managing health (two)
  • Practice based
  • Social media
  • Sustainable industries
  • Telling stories
  • The animal kingdom
  • The natural world
  • Waste and pollution


Photo credit: Kyla Delicana

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.