Return of the GRS Conference

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This year saw the welcome return of DSPI’s Graduate Research Student conference, which was held at Wolfson College on 25th May 2018. As students and faculty gathered on a drizzly Friday, Nhat An Trinh, one of the conference organisers, welcomed everyone ‘up north’ (of the city centre!). She particularly thanked faculty members Charlotte Haberstroh and Marek Naczyk for their support of the conference.
As he opened the day, Head of Department Bernhard Ebbinghaus noted that – in light of recent renewed media attention on Oxford’s admission data - ‘graduate studies and the social sciences in particular make a contribution to Oxford’s diversity.’ He reminded our research students that ‘it’s very good… to see how others are doing things, to have this conversation and this dialogue – and not just specialise in your own research… it’s very good to have this kind of diversity and conversation among us.’
And so it proved, as a fascinating day unfolded. Social Policy and Social Intervention doctoral students presented on a broad range of topics from educational reform in Chile to antiretroviral care delivery in South Africa; from failure to respond to pressing elderly-care reform needs in Taiwan to intimate partner violence in Bristol; from influences on poverty in Ukraine to understanding wage inequality.
Some of the presenters are approaching the end of their DPhil, while others are still in their first year. And the students didn’t just present their research and sit down – their contributions were robustly discussed by academics and researchers, and they faced a barrage of searching and informed questions from their peers. The day was rounded off by a panel discussion featuring a cross-section of DSPI alumni and their experiences of developing careers in social policy and intervention. Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing a series of articles spotlighting doctoral research projects from the conference, and some answers to the vital question of ‘what comes after DSPI?’
Many congratulations to the organisers Janina JochimMadison LittleNhat An Trinh and Yuxi Zhang for a beautifully constructed conference, and to all the participants, for a day which showcased the skill, tenacity and creativity with which our students tackle their research.