Researchers share their passions at poster conference

Posted on Monday 14th July 2014

angelameadowsPsychology postgraduates showcased their work at a research poster conference on 10 June.

The all-day event took place in the Great Hall and allowed researchers to present their findings to judges, other postgraduates and undergraduates. 

The judges were all Birmingham alumni and assessed not only the posters and research but also the way in which they were presented. 

They awarded prizes for most innovative research and best presentation and also recognised the best poster and runner up from each school. 

Melanie West won the Best Presentation Award for a computerised progressive attention training program for older adults. 

Her work has proven successful at improving working memory and attention in children with ADHD. 

Melanie said: "Winning this award is brilliant. It shows the time and effort which has gone in to this project and the passion I have for it, something I am able to translate in a meaningful way for others to appreciate. 

"Both judges and other audience members seemed to appreciate the implications of this work and enthused about its future potential." 

Projects with potential

Each researcher was required to present their work to two separate judges who then used marking criteria to rate each poster and presentation. 

As the judges were not necessarily specialists in the subjects they were assessing it was essential to pitch the presentation at a level that did not assume an in-depth knowledge. 

Runner-up Angela Meadows (pictured) investigated the experiences of weight stigma in overweight people and how this affected their feelings about themselves and engagement in health behaviours. 

She said: “It was an honour to present my poster at this year’s UoB Research Poster Conference. 

"The study response was amazing, if a little distressing. Nearly 400 individuals from around the world responded, and over 99% of them had experienced at least some weight stigma, although overall, women reported more stigmatising experiences than men. 

"Nasty comments from friends, family, even total strangers were the most common form of prejudice, but stigma from healthcare professionals was common, and about one-third had experienced work-related discrimination due to their weight.”

'An issue that affects so many'

Angela's study showed that one in ten people had been physically attacked because of their size and that levels of self-stigma were very high in both women and men. 

She said: "The good news is that emerging evidence suggests that learning to like yourself, whatever your body size, is linked to more health behaviours and better health outcomes.

"The poster was very well received with many people of all sizes coming up and sharing their own experiences or those of friends and family members. One woman even read my poster and then hugged me.

"This is an issue that affects so many of us, whether we are male or female, large or small, and I am very gratified that I was able to present this work to a wider audience."