Graduate Women Scotland East recently held their annual Research Presentations Day at Discovery Point, Dundee. The organisation promotes the advancement of women and girls at home and worldwide, and hosts this annual event to enhance the skills and confidence of women postgraduate students. Presenters are given 15 minutes to explain their work to a varied and non-specialist audience, followed by five minutes for questions. Dr Susie Schofield from our Centre for Medical Education was honoured to be invited as commentator.
This year saw stiff competition, with 75 abstracts received for the eight coveted presentation slots. TORT PhD student Rania Edris was invited to present her work, and kicked off proceedings with her talk "Do you have happy feet?". Her sub-title "Assessment of the Impact of Loading Pressure on Endothelial Function in Diabetic Foot" gave a more scientific account of her work – the importance of pressure measurements when designing insoles for diabetic patients. Rania expertly held the audience's attention, showing great mastery of her subject and also demonstrating the skills needed for public engagement. Dr Schofield commented, "I noticed several of the audience wiggling their feet, even removing their shoes as they tested their own foot pressure on the floor. Rania’s topic certainly grabbed their attention, right up to showing a picture of Professor Rami Abboud’s foot in the lab. This was a particularly nice touch as it showed the audience how involved our PhD supervisors are, and also encouraged GWS members to join the study."
Giving overall feedback to the audience then individual feedback to the presenters, Dr Schofield remarked on how impressed she was with the enthusiasm and professionalism of the presenters. The eight topics were diverse, covering health and safety, communication and ancestral tourism, with presenters from the Universities of Dundee, Highlands & Islands, Robert Gordon, Aberdeen, Glasgow and St Andrews.