Third Economics White Rose Doctoral Training Conference, University of Sheffield, 4 April 2014

by Hanan Naser (Economics Pathway, University of Sheffield),  ecp10hsn@sheffield.ac.uk 

Hosted by the University of Sheffield, the third White Rose Social Science Doctoral Training Centre Economics conference was held on 4 April 2014. This collaborative event was organised by a hard-working committee including Konstantinos Georgalos (University of York), Hanan Naser (University of Sheffield), Jing Chen (University of Leeds), and Arne Risa Hole (University of Sheffield; Chair).

The main objectives of this event were to allow PhD students from the three universities (Leeds, York, and Sheffield) to organise and present at their own Economics conference, and to provide the opportunity for students to present and talk to each other about their work, as well as the opportunity to interact with academic staff.

dtcmatter4Among 28 speakers, the topics presented on the day were diversified to cover the main interests in both macroeconomic and microeconomics issues like investigating the relationship between exchange rate volatility and stock returns, the impact of oil price volatility on the UK firms, housing pricing, wage inequalities and neighbourhood effects and educational attainment. This variegation builds on a core of economic theory and econometric methods, and equips students to conduct frontier research in their PhD journey.

From the PhD students’ perspective, feedback was extremely encouraging. Almost all participants rated the conference overall as very good or excellent with positive impact on their studies. For example, a 3rd year Sheffield PhD student, Fatema Alaali, said “the conference is beneficial as it combines PhD students from three different universities, which enriches our knowledge. Exchanging results, discussing and raising comments were valuable and added to my research.”

2nd year Sheffield PhD student Bo Tang said “the conference offered a great opportunity for all PhD students from the three partner universities. We not only presented and defended our research work, but received more direct comments and suggestions from participants. This was fundamentally different from any other international conference, because most of the participants were experts in economics, and more importantly they unreservedly put forward constructive criticisms to help the presenters advance in the research training process. I personally liked the conference very much.”

3rd year Sheffield PhD student Javiera F Farias adds “it is a well organised event, which gives the opportunity of gaining many skills for all PhD students, however; giving more attention to 1st year students posters might be taken into account for the coming conference, as I think they did not get enough attention at lunch time”.

After all, it seems that these kinds of events do not only attract academic staff, students also pay high attention in preparing, presenting and discussing their research issues to maximize the benefits of interaction with economists and PhD students.