This year's Salford Postgraduate Annual Researcher Conference (SPARC) was held at MediaCityUK, 3 - 4 July 2019, taking on the theme of 'Fake News and Home Truths'.


And the winners were...

Session 1.1 - Stephen Greenhalgh 'Organisational Lean Maturity & Project Performance in the Design & Construction of Highways Projects’

Session 1.2 - Matthew Jones ‘Frankincense extracts can help cure cancer’

Session 1.3 - Kirsten Stoddart ‘Equity on Demand: Women Writing for Television in the Netflix Age’

Session 2.1 - Lonneke Broeks, Anna Borun, & Orla Jackson-Ware ‘The anti-cancer and anti-bacterial effects of frankincense extracts’

Session 2.2 - Emma Barnes ‘Rethinking the Lakota Landscape’

Session 3.1 - Vashti Suwa Gbolagun ‘Tin mining: The story of home, loss and identity. A collection of short stories and poems’

Session 3.2 - Olayinka Abiola Adeboye ‘Privacy Risk Analysis of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles’

Session 3.3 - Philippa Demonte ‘Background music versus foreground dialogue: could manipulations of object-based audio improve speech intelligibility?’

Session 4.1 - Caroline Namukwaya ‘A Pilot Study Exploring the Feasibility of Implementing a Child Development Counselling Program for Caregivers of Children with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) Aged 0–3 Years in Uganda’

Session 4.2 - Faisal Alrehily ‘A comparative study of radiation risk in scoliosis imaging’

Session 5.1 - Louise Mitchell ‘Care Farming and Community Gardening: Improving the health of older people through green infrastructure’

Session 5.2 - Phuong Anh Tran ‘Peeling away the layers of News - Evaluating financial uncertainty’

Session 5.3 - Nehal Saffar ‘Perceptions of Offsite manufacturing in Iraqi construction industry’

Poster 1st prize - Iftikar Ali 'Investigation of Human-Animal Conflicts in North-Eastern Kargil, Ladakh Trans-Himalaya (India), Mitigations and Future Prospective'

Poster Runnerup - Gilbert Yalmi 'The Counterinsurgency Warfare of the Nigerian Military against Boko-Harm Insurgency 1999-2017'

3 Minute ThesisTM Winner - John R. Nuttall 'An Investigation into Cellular Senescence as an aspect of Ageing and the Identification of potential ‘Senolytic’ Agents'

3 Minute ThesisTM Runnerup - Nazemin Gilanliogullari 'Development and Psychometric Testing of a Daily Activity Questionnaire for Stroke Survivors and the Online'


Day 1, Wednesday 3rd July - Nazir Afzal OBE

We are thrilled to announce that our first keynote speaker is former Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West England, Nazir Afzal OBE.

During a 24 year career, Nazir has prosecuted some of the most high profile cases in the country and advised on many others and led nationally on several legal topics including Violence against Women & Girls, child sexual abuse, and honour based violence. He had responsibility for more than 100,000 other prosecutions each year. His prosecutions of the so called Rochdale grooming gang, BBC presenter Stuart Hall and hundreds of others were groundbreaking and drove the work that has changed the landscape of child protection. He is the Chair of Hopwood Hall. He was appointed to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). He is also National Adviser on Gender Based Violence to the Welsh Government. Most recently he joined the advisory board of Google’s Innovation Fund for counter-extremism.

Nazir has received many accolades and in 2005 was awarded an OBE by the Queen for his work with the CPS and involvement with local communities. He has also had the honour of being the only lawyer to ever prosecute a case before the Queen. Nazir was selected for the Asian Power 100 along with the Muslim Power 100 list, recognising him as one of the 100 most influential leading Muslims and Asians in the UK.

“An inspiring figure, forensically intelligent” - The Times

“The authentic voice of British Justice” – The New York Times


Day 2, Thursday 4th July - Prof Ben Light, Associate Dean Research (School of Health & Society)

On day 2 we warmly welcome our very own Prof Ben Light. Ben rejoined the University in 2016 as Professor of Digital Society. Prior to this he held a Research Capacity Building Chair of Digital Media Studies at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. Ben has also worked for the University of Manchester, the NHS Executive and the National Health Service.

Ben's research is concerned with the everyday (non)consumption practices associated with the digital. He also has interests in digital gender and sexuality, digital methods, and digital engagement/evaluation as well as a long standing interest in practices associated with digital dating and hooking up.

He has been involved in the generation of over £1.75M in research funding. Previous research partners include the Imperial War Museum, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the LGBT Foundation. Current partners include Public Health England, Salford City Council, JISC and the BBC.

An entertaining and enlightening speaker, you can find out more about Prof Ben Light at



For any queries, please contact in the first instance. You can also contact Davina Whitnall or Tracy Ireland in the Doctoral school.