Research events

The UCM Festival of Research is back!

Our next Festival of Research theme of 'Sustainability' will take place on Friday 18th September 2020.

Organised by Research Vannin, UCM’s hub to support and develop the conduct and value of research on the Isle of Man, although this year’s festival is downsized due to the challenges of recent months, it will still contain fascinating presentations and academic discussions AND Flo the Coffee Van and Taste Africa will be on hand at the Nunnery entrance ALL DAY to provide tasty meals and cakes.

The event will focus on supporting UCM’s new and returning undergraduate and postgraduate students on their research journeys and diverse areas of academic exploration. The unifying concept for this year’s research festival is ‘Sustainable’, meaning both to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, and to be able to uphold or defend.

Schedule for the day:


Settle in, walk the grounds, have a coffee,


10.00 -10.40

KEYNOTE:                                           Dr Rachel Glover, UCM Hon Fellow

                                                             COVID-19: the evolution of a pandemic

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19 disease, in December 2019 and its widespread transmission has fundamentally changed the world we live in. The genome of the virus isolated from the first patient in Wuhan was sequenced rapidly, which identified SARS-CoV-2 as a new coronavirus and enabled the development of diagnostic tests.

Over the past 12 years the genome sequencing of viruses has enabled the detection and surveillance of pathogens and they can be tracked by the accumulation of random mutations during transmission from person to person. Since the first cases in Wuhan the viral genomes of isolates of SARS-CoV-2 around the world have been sequenced and the infection tracked from country-to-country and cluster-to-cluster. This talk will give an overview of the viral genome sequencing and it’s relation to the Isle of Man. 


Sarah Mercer

Island Utopias

Every day, we are all faced with a changing world: new pressures and opportunities emerging, old ones fading away. Climate change and the recent pandemic, to the emergence of the internet and digital economy, things are not as they were. The question is: where are they going? Sarah Mercer of Culture Vannin has been conducting an innovative study of people’s ideas of the future: what they hope for and what they fear. Her project, called ‘Island Utopias’, has explored this subject through interviews with people all over the island, encouraging them to articulate their re-imagined, ideal Isle of Man. These ideas have then been interpreted by Manx artists to create a multi-media collaborative vision of our Island Utopias. Sarah is joined by doctoral researcher and social theorist, Matthew Warren, to look at what utopian thinking can offer researchers and society, the future of this strand of research on the Island, and how attention to it can bring us closer to a better future.




Dr Amy Monroe

Contagious Altruism

Amy is a Manx researcher who recently completed her PhD at Brunel University London, studying evolutionary moral psychology.  Her research looks at contagious altruism - a phenomenon in which people feel motivated to do nice things for other people just because they have seen third parties behaving kindly to others.  Specifically, Amy's research looks at how our brains might have evolved specific cognitive mechanisms in order to produce this phenomenon.  Her results suggest that moral elevation (an emotion which seems to mediate altruistic contagion) may have been designed by natural selection to interface with our welfare trade-off ratio generator - the part of our brains' computational architecture that governs how far we are willing to go to help other people.   


Lonan Challis Research Assistant, Hospice Isle of Man

Listening to Action: Community Involvement in Strategy Development

Hospice Isle of Man is a cherished part of the island’s community, offering a broad range of services to those in need. Recently, Hospice Isle of Man have conducted a series of community engagement programmes, named “Listening Events”, across the island, developing their strategy to encourage locals to offer their views on the future of palliative and end of life care.

Following the completion of her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health, Lonan joined the Scholl Academic Centre team to pursue her research career.



 Dr Christa McCartney

Business for good is good for business – building heart, eye, hand and head into business and business education.

Positive economic growth through engaging with social and climate awareness is now an accessible reality. Explore the recent, global, sea-change in business and business school paradigms and the practical ways this movement has grown to profit everybody.

Dr Christa McCartney is a lecturer in business at UCM, specialising in ethics and CSR. Her research interests are social paradigm shifts, critical pedagogy and sustainable business.


Lunch BREAK – pizza’s

13.30 –14.30

Lecture Theatre

The 2020 UCM Dissertation Showcase

All UCM final year degree and master’s students are required to complete a major research/dissertation project, which can be about business, IT, history, health or art; the findings of some of these projects will already be making a real difference to those sectors. 

In the 2020 UCM Dissertation Showcase, seven graduates will have seven minutes each to share their research in a short, engaging and clear presentation. 

14.30 –15.30



Starting your Research – the most important thing to do when starting your research is to establish your ‘research question’ and ‘literature review

 Your research question is your lighthousehow to formulate a research question       

A clear research question is essential to guide your research paper, it pinpoints exactly what you want to find out and gives your work a clear purpose and focus. We will work through the steps needed to ensure your question becomes a lighthouse for your research.

Locating Literature - how to write a Literature Review        

A literature search is likely to be one of the first tasks you undertake in research. This session will discuss the approaches used in literature searches, and some of the tools available to undertake them.

*Ed Wilkinson is an academic librarian at Middlesex university providing research support to students from undergraduate to doctoral level.


Drinks & Nibbles: Flo the Coffee Van and Taste Africa will be on hand at the Nunnery entrance ALL DAY to provide tasty meals and cakes.


Other research events

On 19th July 2019, we launched the first-ever Festival of Research aimed at attracting researchers in all discipline areas across the island with the aim of promoting research on the Isle of Man. Festival of Research 2019 roundup.

Throughout the year we will be organising various research-related events, please look out for these events on this website.

Study Skills for Masters