Celebrations of research

Last week Loughborough University London’s doctoral researchers celebrated recent journal publications by two of their own.

Hosting these celebrations has become a tradition among the PhD students, when someone publishes a journal article, a book chapter or a book. This was initiated by the PhD students, in particular Fiona Meeks, however faculty members also attend. 

Justin Tumlinson states why such celebrations are important:

The work of a PhD student is no longer just the author’s but has been imprinted with our collective views and refinements. The culminatory celebrations are, of course, to honour the achievements of one of our own, but are also the flipside of that crucible-like PhD seminar—the reminder that success of one of us is a win for all of us.

PhD students celebrating

Justin, who instituted the weekly PhD seminar series where students present their own research to each other, also said:

Research can be beautifully independent and horribly lonely at times. The essence of research culture is that our intellectual product is better when we do it together—the interchange of ideas and the sharing of the emotional highs and lows that come along the route from inspiration to publication. And it’s just fun—laughing together is really cohesive.

Part of the tradition includes baking a customised cake for the person who recently publishes their research, and they have a toast with some whiskey. 

A personalised cake

Lecturer in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Dr Anna Grosman said:

Celebrating together everyone's success makes stronger bonds within the disparate PhD community and creates better incentives to publish. 

PhD researcher, Fiona Meeks initiated the publication celebrations because talking to other people in the same position positively affects mental health, and celebrating fellow PhD students’ achievements is important. Such events bring people together to give them the opportunity to share their experiences. 

PhD students whose publications have been celebrated, so far, are Sophie Peng, Gori Olusina-Daniel, Lena Langosch, Jennifer Agwunobi, and Dan Read.