Two pints of lager and a talk about your PhD please

PhD students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are being invited to explain their research over a pint in the pub.

Giving a presentation in this informal setting can help you get your teeth into public speaking, boost language skills and could even help with your Viva, say previous speakers. Plus you'll receive a free drink or two for your efforts!

The PubhD event involves three students from any academic discipline giving a 10-minute talk, followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session, at 'pub level': using clear language anyone could understand, making complex research accessible to a wider audience.

Pub Phd main

Speakers on the theme of rare diseases are being sought for 1 March, and all subsequent sessions - which are held at Leicester's Duffy's Bar on the first Tuesday of the month - can be on any topic.

DMU PhD student Claire Sedgwick recommends it: She said: "I gave a brief overview of my research and talked specifically about the progress of feminism from the 1960s to the present. Most researchers are used to speaking to an audience quite similar to themselves - it's quite a challenge to explain it in a different way.

"It's fun to do and it's also fun to listen to others and hear about research different to yours. It made me think about how I communicate research to people not in my field. It also made me deal with questions that were quite challenging, so it was good to get used to defending my research."


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Fellow DMU PhD student Kylie Baldwin, who spoke about her study into egg freezing, thinks it's particularly helpful for early years PhD students. She said: "It's a nice opportunity in an informal setting and a good practice patch to have experience of people asking questions and responding to them.

"I got chatting to a lecturer and he suggested something that might come up in a Viva, so it's also good for networking. It makes you think about appropriate language and not use terms that people who haven't studied your subject wouldn't understand."

The events have been organised for the past year by Katie Dexter, who is studying for a physics PhD at the University of Leicester. She said: "Participants get to practise their public speaking to people who aren't specialists. It is a different skill and very handy, for example when you go to a grant meeting and need to explain your research so they understand.

"We ask audience members to donate £1, so the bigger audience the more drinks the speakers get."

Anyone interested in taking part should email, contact Katie via Twitter @PubhDLeicester or visit

Posted on Wednesday 10th February 2016

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