Science Festivals

The BUFI Science Festival is an annual competitive event to showcase the science undertaken by BGS sponsored PhD students. The research the students do is of the highest quality but the festival is not just about the science it also gives the students the opportunity to practice their communication skills to a mixed but friendly audience of scientists and non-scientists. The format of the day is conference style poster presentations and each student is expected to have prepared short introductions to their research and be ready to answer lots of questions. Volunteers from BGS science and non-science areas act as judges marking the poster presentations against a set criteria not only for their posters but for how the students engage in face to face communication. Many other BGS staff take time out of their schedules to attend the event and vote for their favourite poster presentation and in 2014 local sixth form students were invited to act as judges too.

Science Festival 2016

BUFI's annual Science Festival for 2016 was held on Friday 17 June for the first time in Scotland on the Heriot-Watt University campus, the new home of BGS Scotland. We had 21 poster presenters and the PhD students had an intense few hours communicating their science to volunteer judges from BGS, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh University and their peers. Our Guest Speaker this year was Professor Paul Younger whose talk, 'Speaking truth to power or untruth to the powerless? Some dilemmas of geoscientific integrity in public engagement', gave a frank and candid insight into what it is like to have your science scrutinised in public and how important truth and integriy are as a scientist.

The Best Overall Poster prize was awarded to Chloe Morris for her interactive poster about modelling the future shape of the Holderness Coast, Humber Estuary and Spurn point.

BUFI is currently supporting 100 PhDs and the posters gave a snapshot of the broad subject areas covered across our BGS Science Areas such as pure geology, palaeontology, remote sensing, pollution, soil science and medical geology. For further details of the students who participated please see the event Brochure. The Science Festival is competitive so congratulations to all our winners who are listed below along with their BGS Science Area and BGS supervisor.

Best Overall Poster Presentation Chloe Morris (Environmental Modelling, Andrew Barkwith)
Runner Up Poster Prize Diana McLaren (Environmental Modelling, Joanna Wragg)
BUFI Students Peer Prize Becky Perkins (Minerals and Waste, Jon Naden)
Highly Commended Prize Robert Sakic Trogrlic (Earth Hazards and Observatories, Melanie Duncan)
Highly Commended Prize Jamie Boyd (Climate and Landscape Change, Jim Riding)
Highly Commended Prize Sarah Donoghue (Environmental Modelling, Fiona Fordyce)

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Science Festival 2015

BUFI's annual Science Festival for 2015 was held on Wednesday 24 June. We had 21 poster presenters in the Exhibition Area of the Conference Suite at our BGS headquarters, Keyworth. Our PhD students had an intense few hours communicating their science to BGS volunteer judges and sixth form pupil judges from South Wolds and Melton Vale Post 16 Centre. Our Guest Speaker this year was Professor Jane Evans, Research Scientist, NERC isotope Geosciences Laboratory. Jane's talk 'Ricahard III – science and the media' gave an insight into what happens when the media get hold of your science story and she humorously highlighted the differences between the science and the headlines used in the press.

BUFI is currently supporting 100 PhDs and the posters gave a snapshot of the broad subject areas covered across our BGS Science Areas such as pure geology, palaeontology, remote sensing, pollution, soil science and medical geology. The event is competitive so congratulations to our winners who are listed below along with their BGS Science Area and BGS supervisor.

Best Overall Poster Presentation Jamie Boyd (Climate and Landscape Change, Jim Riding)
BGS Staff Prize Gavin Sim (Environmental Modelling, Barbara Palumbo-Roe)
BUFI Students Peer Prize Millie Basava-Reddi (Groundwater, Daren Goody)
Sixth Form Students Prize Jack Lacey (Geochemistry, Melanie Leng)
Sixth Form Students Prize Thomas Hearing (Climate and Landscape Change, Phil Wilby)
Highly Commended Prize Philip Hollyman (Geochemistry, Simon Chenery)
Highly Commended Prize Costanza Morino (Earth Hazards and Observatories, Colm Jordan)

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What people said about the BUFI Science Festival 2014

‘The event was excellent and the sort of activity that BGS should definitely carry on doing’.
BGS press officer
‘The diversity of the science the students are undertaking continues to impress’.
BGS Judge
‘What a fantastic opportunity you provided my students. They really took so much from the experience as it was their first contact with any sort of research or academic professionals’.
Sixth form teacher
‘I thought it was great and would live to bring some students again next year’.
Sixth form teacher
‘Thanks for the event it made me want to do research again!’
Sixth form teacher
‘It was a good chance to talk to a whole range of people about my research and challenging to present to different audiences’.
BUFI Student
‘I enjoyed it and learned an awful lot about presenting’.
BUFI student
‘I found the day to be not only interesting but actually quite inspiring – they are a fantastic group of students and the work they’re undertaking seems to be excellent, the students were so enthusiastic and keen to talk about their research which makes the whole process much more enjoyable’.
NERC representative
‘The festival was very useful for meeting other students in a similar situation, for networking and also to gather additional knowledge and motivation by attending the seminars/workshops over the following days’.
BUFI student

Science Festival 2014

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BUFI’s annual Science Festival for 2014 was held on Monday 16th June. We had an amazing 24 poster presentations on the day which is nearly a third of all our current projects so the Exhibition Space at Keyworth was very busy. Our guest speaker this year was Professor Iain Stewart who gave an inspiring and humorous talk about communicating science Between a Rock and a Hard Place. The students’ communication skills were further challenged this year as we welcomed Year 12 (lower sixth form) students from South Wolds http://www.southwolds.co.uk/ , Keyworth and Melton Vale Post 16 Centre http://www.mv16.org.uk/ , Melton Mowbray to participate and act as judges – we hope that the event has helped to inspire them for future science adventures and look forward to seeing them again next year.

The posters highlight the breadth and depth of research currently being supported by BUFI: from fracking to fossils, carbon capture to climate change, minerals in diets to monitoring of landslides, public perceptions to pollution, and vision beneath our feet and uncertainty in 3D models. Research spans geological time with projects investigating Pre Cambrian fossils to Holocene peats and geographically our students are researching all over the UK, around the world and even on Mars! No field trips to that last location! Well done to the three students from Cambridge who made it to the event despite the car they were travelling in breaking down, just shows that with all the best planning stuff just happens! It didn’t deter Jenny Roberts though who went on to win the Peer’s Prize.

The competition was tough this year which resulted in two extra Highly Commended prizes being awarded. Well done to the winners who are listed below along with their BGS Science Area and BGS supervisor.

Best Overall Poster Presentation: Leah Nolan (Geochemistry laboratories, Mel Leng)

BGS Staff Prize: Sarah Smith (Geochemistry laboratories, Jo Wragg)

BUFI Students Peer Prize: Jenny Roberts (Climate and landscape change, Sev Kender)

Sixth Form Students Prize: Jack Lacey (Geochemistry laboratories, Mel Leng)

Highly Commended Prizes: Ceri Davies (Groundwater, Daren Gooddy), Charlotte Kenchington (Geology & regional geophysics, Phil Wilby), Edward Joy (Geochemistry laboratories, Louise Ander)

BUFI Science Festival 2014 | Brochure & Programme

BUFI Science Festival... by Jack Lacey

Melton Vale Post 16

Science Festival 2013

The annual BUFI Science Festival was held at the BGS Keyworth headquarters on 9 April 2013. The event gives the PhD researchers we sponsor the opportunity to present their science to a range of stakeholders and interact with researchers from outside of their area of expertise. Though the work they do is of the highest quality, the festival is not just about the science it is also about communicating their research to non-specialists. Over 20 students presented their science to an audience of peers, scientists and non-scientists in the form of poster presentations. Each student needed to prepare a verbal introduction to their research and be prepared to be quizzed by a range of stakeholders about their research.

Induction Day January 2013

We held an Induction Day at our BGS, Keyworth headquarters on 14 January 2013 for students who had recently started their PhD studies. Students were welcomed and given a tour of the BGS Keyworth facilities including several laboratories, the library and the 3D visualisation suite. Students had the opportunity to talk with a current BUFI student who shared her experiences so far of collaborating with BGS.

Science Festival winners 2013:

Best overall poster: Jon Stone

BGS Staff prize: Rosalind Hen-Jones

Peer Prize: Jack Lacey

Highly Commended: Sven Konitzer and Verity Flett

Science Festival 2012

Science Festival winners 2012:

Best overall poster: Dan Parvaz

BGS Staff prize: Anna Hicks

Peer Prize: Nyree Hill

Best Press release: Anna Bowley

Highly commended:

Contacts for further information

Jon Naden
BGS University Funding Initiative
British Geological Survey
Keyworth
Nottingham
NG12 5GG
E-mail: BUFI
Telephone: 0115 936 3100
Fax: 0115 936 3200
Twitter: @DocBGS