The second annual Medical Research Council (MRC) London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS) PhD Student Retreat took place on Friday 25 May 2018. Held at the iconic Wellcome Collection in Euston Square, this event offered PhD students from all year groups the chance to engage and socialise with students from outside of their immediate research section.
Building on the success of the inaugural 2017 retreat held at Kew Gardens, this year’s event had a renewed focus on ‘Career Development and Networking’; prompting students to start considering what future avenues they may wish to explore upon completion of their PhD studies.
In this vein, the day began with a Networking Workshop delivered by Katie Dallison from the Imperial Careers Service, which provides students with free help and advice regarding career advancement, like CV checks and interview preparation.
By Sophie Spitters, PhD Student, Department of Medicine
The Imperial College London Graduate School organised their annual Summer Showcase on Friday July 13th. The showcase aims to celebrate research undertaken by PhD students at Imperial and invites staff, students and visitors to find out more about their work via a poster and a research as art exhibition. I joined the research as art exhibition, showcasing my NIHR CLAHRC NWL research, and won second prize! First prize was won by Iman Ibrahim, who demonstrated what it takes to get clean drinking water to our taps in her mandala called ‘the ripple effect’.
By Shiladitya Ghosh, 2nd Year PhD Student, Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London
In the modern day, students (especially PhD students) tend to have a crippling fear of committing to future plans because – “what if I end up needing those extra days to finish this report or do repeats for my experiments?” As the 2018 edition of the Imperial – Tsinghua Global Fellows Programme (GFP) on Climate Change and Energy drew near, I too had misgivings. Who was going to write my reports for me?!
However, a change in setting and scenery helps to calm and settle the mind – and I experienced this upon landing in Beijing in the sweltering 36°C early morning sun.
A couple of us postgraduate students came together and decided that it will be a great idea to have a mini-conference-type event within the department that could foster learning and networking. There are immensely valuable resources available within the department, with subject matter experts and we thought it would be great to capitalise on that and get these experts to share their experiences in characterisation techniques with the postgraduates.
Since the purpose of the event was to foster learning and networking, it was necessary to have a social event to it as well. Ultimately, we managed to secure 6 speakers to share on characterisation techniques.
A Traditional Scottish Affair!
ESE PhD’s visit a Scottish Ceilidh Dance for Burns Night
The Graduate Society of the Earth Science & Engineering Department organised a trip to the most famous Ceilidh House in London – Cecil Sharp House – in order to celebrate Burns Night. The evening began with students mingling at Imperial College, giving us the chance to unwind after a hard week at work. We then donned our dancing shoes and headed up to Cecil Sharp House in North London for a wonderful evening filled of traditional Scottish dancing.
For those unfamiliar with Ceilidh dancing, this involves a speaker or “caller” who outlines the dance steps for each dance, some with English roots, some more Irish or Scottish but most involving a fair amount of twirling, promenading and galloping!
by Rosie Dutt, MRes student in the Department of Chemistry
Within academia, each individual is working diligently towards their research aims. It is fair to say there have been many nights where some may be working tirelessly to fix a programming code, whilst others ponder over why their reaction series has not worked. Eventually, we reach the end of our research once our scientific questions have been fully explored, with the aim of a publication into a prestigious scientific journal. However, this results in our work being read by our peers within the field, and on some occasions, by individuals with allied interests into the research area – but seldom by the general public.
by Martin Prießner, PhD researcher in the Department of Chemistry
On the 3rd of March was the first official Reunion of the Cross-CDT Cohort 2016/17 after the winter break. For this occasion, 15 CDT students from 3 different CDT programmes (CDT Neurotechnology, CDT HiPEDs, CDT Mathematics of Planet Earth) came together to experience an enjoyable night at the famous Karaoke Bar “The Star of Kings” close to St. Pancras Station.
The evening started with a cosy dinner where everyone could catch up what has happened for each of the different PhD students after they have successfully finished their MRes in autumn the year before.
The Flowers Building Wine and Cheese Party was hosted on the 11th January by the CMBI Postgraduate Student Committee (CPG) and was funded by the Graduate School’s Research Community Fund. As well as washing away some post-holiday January blues this event provided an excellent opportunity for postgraduates both old and new to become fully engaged within the CMBI community. Around 40 postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers from the Departments of Medicine and Life Sciences attended and mingled in this informal setting.
The evening was guest hosted by James, an experienced wine expert previously of the Humble Grape wine bars, who guided us through comparisons of Old-World and New-World whites and reds and provided much highly appreciated wine trivia.
by Adrian Brown, Investigative Medicine
We originally decided to organise a social event to try and help our fellow colleagues beat the January blues! Once we had a spare moment, and to stop the students going on a New Year’s strike, we decided to organise an after-work bowling event. We invited students from Investigative Medicine and the Division of Brain Sciences to attend the inter-group networking event on Friday 12th January 2018. We were very fortunate and extremely grateful as this event was funded by the Graduate School. Attendees were randomly divided into teams across the three bowling alleys hired and participated in some friendly competition to find the top scoring team and player.
by Charishma Ratnam, PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales, Australia
It is becoming a household statistic: by 2050, 66% of the world’s population will live in cities. This statistic holds much value for me as I pursue my research on migration (specifically in regard to refugees and asylum seekers) and how migrants settle in places. When I was given the opportunity to apply for the Global Fellows Programme: Cities of the Future with this year’s focus on health and well-being, this statistic resonated with me even more. The current state and future of our big cities has become contentious, and the programme was able to offer a space for interdisciplinary discussions to take place.