The Sixth Annual Postgraduate Criminology Conference 2014

In August 2014, Claire de Motte hosted the Sixth Annual Postgraduate Criminology Conference, which coincided with the 20-year anniversary of the BA (Hons) Criminology course at Nottingham Trent University.

Police crime scene investigation

In August 2014, Claire de Motte hosted the Sixth Annual Postgraduate Criminology Conference, which coincided with the 20-year anniversary of the BA (Hons) Criminology course at Nottingham Trent University.

The two-day event took place on 27 and 28 August and welcomed postgraduate students, from all universities, who had a particular interest in criminology. The conference was held in order for students to engage in discussion on emerging research interests in criminology. It provided an excellent opportunity for doctoral students to showcase their research thus far, and engage with fellow students and academics in their field.

As in previous years, the conference ran themed panel sessions of student papers. Panel sessions included Prisons, Police and Offender Management; Managing Sexual and Violent Crime; Criminal Justice and the Hidden Victim; and Crime and Older People. Plenary speeches took place from keynotes speakers including Dr Nic Groombridge (St Mary's University), and Dr Neil Chakraborti and Dr Lisa Smith (University of Leicester), who all presented their current research projects as well as engaging in a Q&A session.

The conference was also joined by ex-prisoner and prison campaigner, Ben Gunn. He reminded delegates that academic research is not about studying the world but trying to change it, and encouraged PhD students to ensure that their research has an impact.

The hosting of this conference was awarded to NTU from the University of Oxford, who hosted the inaugural conference in 2009. Previous hosts include the University of Cambridge in 2010, the University of Edinburgh in 2011, and the University of Sheffield in 2012.

Claire De Motte attended the fifth postgraduate criminology conference at the University of Oxford, at a time when she was struggling for motivation during her own PhD research. However, after hearing from other criminology PhD researchers, meeting fellow students and receiving positive feedback on her work, she left the event feeling inspired and was encouraged to continue with her PhD.

She commented: "Last year's event reminded me that my research was worthwhile and that it would be making an 'original contribution'.

"That is why I felt so passionate about hosting this year's conference at NTU, as I wanted to instil some confidence and motivation back into postgraduate researchers who may be feeling disheartened."

Claire also had some advice for anyone studying a PhD. She said: "At times, the PhD can be a really difficult process, both emotionally and intellectually, and I feel that at times you can lose sight of the original reasons for wanting to pursue a doctorate.

"For me, I think that's why Ben Gunn's final plenary was really significant. He has been positively affected by PhD research and has experienced the difference that good quality postgrad work can make. Ben really emphasised that a PhD is more than just about the 'Dr' title. PhD research can make a difference to individual lives and society, and that should be the only motivation that researchers need."

Feedback from delegates has been extremely positive, with compliments paid to the organisation of the event and to NTU for providing a relaxed atmosphere and allowing PhD students to present their research and preliminary findings to an empathetic audience.

Next year's conference will be held at Queen's University, Belfast.

The Sixth Annual Postgraduate Criminology Conference 2014

Published on 3 October 2014
  • Category: Press office; School of Social Sciences

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