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Bristol welcomes new postgraduate research students with first inauguration event

Postgraduate students at the inauguration event

14 February 2017

The University held its first-ever inauguration event for new postgraduate researchers on 6 February.

The event, organised by the Bristol Doctoral College, officially welcomed postgraduate research students who started their research degrees in the 2016/17 academic year.

Two hundred students from the six University faculties attended the event. Supervisors and research staff also attended to help welcome the students into Bristol’s rich and diverse research community.

Attendees were invited to take part in activities including a ‘Researcher inauguration challenge’ and share their aspirations on a ‘Research tree’. Students were asked to describe their research in three words and share what they were most excited about. Answers ranged from 'making a contribution to my field', and 'working with a vibrant community' to 'fulfilling a 15-year-old wish to be a doctor!'.

There were short speeches from Leanne Melbourne, a fourth-year PhD student, and Dr Samantha Matthews who won a Teaching Excellence Award last year for Best Research Supervision.

Lea Hampton-O’Neil, a PhD student in the Biomedical Sciences Faculty and originally from France, said: 'I truly enjoyed the event as I felt it brought together a very diverse PhD cohort and really made it a community, with similar experiences and fears they can share. In particular, I really loved receiving the Bristol scarf as it made me feel a part of the University, and I wear it with pride.'

Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President, who led the celebratory toast, said: 'Bristol’s outstanding research profile is underpinned by the contribution of our postgraduate researchers. This event – the first of its kind at the University – enabled them to look ahead, as they start this journey together, in anticipation of all that they will achieve.'  

Further information

The Bristol Doctoral College champions and enhances the experience of postgraduate research students at the University of Bristol. Its Research Without Borders festival will be held in May, and applications are currently open for postgraduate researchers to showcase their work as part of the University-wide research showcase.

For more information, visit

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