I am currently entering my third year of my PhD in Applied Linguistics, focusing my research on Academic Medical Language in a non-native English country. As a postgrad in Bham, I am also a co-representative of PG Tips, a student run group for postgraduates in the Department of English. We run weekly Friday Seminars where both faculty and students are given opportunity to present their research. PG Tips also provides opportunities to socialize with weekly meets at Staff House, and outings bowling, mini-golf, BBQs, comedy clubs, dinners, etc. Our student group endeavors to provide social events as well as educational, informative, and highly beneficial seminars/workshops/conferences for the postgraduates..
We are extremely grateful to the University Graduate School Development for the funding they provided for our 14th Annual Birmingham English Language Postgraduate Conference (BELP) 2012 which was hailed a success by presenters and participants alike. The BELP conference was a one full day event, open to both postgraduates in the University of Birmingham and those in other Universities, such as Leicester, Aston, Coventry, Warwick, etc. With opening and closing Plenary Speakers (Dr. Rosamund Moon & Professor Hilary Nesi respectively), 18 Presentations and 6 Academic Poster presentations, the BELP2012 conference was, in the words of Professor Susan Hunston, an “intellectual feast”.
Personally, I greatly benefited from the Conference not just by being the main organizer, but also by meeting students and having an opportunity to hear them present their research, and in other cases, discuss their research during the breaks. The University of Birmingham has a rich and diverse postgraduate research group. The BELP 2012 conference provided forums were networks were developed, friendships formed and like-minded researchers exchanged details to stay in touch and collaborate.
Special thanks must be given to the students who took time to volunteer and assist at the BELP 2012 Conference, namely, Salmah Yaakob, Kok Yueh Lee, Sheng Li, Lee Oakley, Baramee Kheovichai, Susie Li, and a great many others, but most especially, to my PG Tips co-representative and Co-Conference Organizer, Benet Vincent.