Best part of doing a PhD? Conferences! When you finally manage to do some meaningful research, it’s time to present it to a wider audience. In other words, pack your suitcases and bon voyage! I know that attending conferences might be a bit overwhelming in the beginning, so here are a few tips to make the most of them.
- Find a good conference. If you’re as lucky as I am and have a great supervisor, she or he will suggest interesting events to you. Otherwise you’ll need to do the work yourself. However, at Imperial we’re flooded with e-mails advertising scientific events, there’s also Google and your colleagues who can give you some advice.
I’m sure that your English is fluent enough for you to study in the UK (if you aren’t confident, take a look at my post about studying in English). I’m also sure that you’re able to communicate with international students withouth any problems. But do you understand what locals, i.e. English people really mean? It took me a while (and a few awkward situations), so here are a few surprising things Brits say.
- How are you? You’ll hear this question dozens of times every day. In the beginning I thought: “wow, these Brits are so nice, they really care about me”.
It’s not a secret that grad school might be dangerous for mental health. In recent years people started to talk about it openly, numerous studies on this topic have been done (eg. on suicides or depression). The awareness of mental health is rising, which definitely makes it easier to get help when needed. However, this isn’t the full story.
A few years ago I started to consider a possiblity of pursuing a PhD. So I googled around – big mistake. Phrases such as “grad school mental health” returned thousands of websites suggesting that the coming years will be filled with pain and tears.
While for undergrads university means plenty of tests and homework, PhD students spend long hours marking their work. If you’re the one submitting solutions, these are ten ways to annoy the marker.
- Write your solutions in random places of the page. Don’t waste any space – make sure that this little gap in the middle of question 1 is filled with your answer to question 3.
- Use a pencil or, even better, a red pen. Don’t forget about correction fluid! Surely the instructions to write only in black or blue were just a joke.
- Provide a few answers to the same question, with a comment: “Choose the correct one”.
Soon you’ll be studying in the UK, but English isn’t your native language. If it’s something you’re worried about, this article is for you.
First of all, if you’re able to read this text without major problems (and dictionaries), you should be fine. To study maths or engineering you don’t need tricky sentence constructions or sophisticated vocabulary. Communication is the key! As long as you can read a textbook and take notes during your lecture (not necessarily understand it, because the content might be the obstacle, not the language itself!), you shouldn’t struggle too much. It doesn’t mean you’re not encouraged to improve your language skills!
I’ve been staring at my blog for a while trying to figure out why I haven’t written anything in almost a month and to be honest, I think it’s because there just isn’t anything that exciting going on in my life right now. I am now in the final throes of my Imperial career and all I’m doing is writing my dissertation and trying to find a job! I’m sure nobody really wants to hear about the ins and outs of my trips between my house, the library, my house, sainsburys, the library, my bed, the library etc etc. So instead of boring you, let me give you some insider tips on how to care for the final in your life.
I love food (in case you hadn’t guessed) so I thought I would share my favourite places to eat in London. If you’re up in London for interviews or just getting fed up of the Gloucester Road Nandos and East Side Bar, check out some these fantastic eating establishments!
1. Ottoman. Ottoman is on Fulham Palace Road, so maybe slightly out of the way for anyone in halls, but if you end up living out West at some point, make sure to go to here. Any evening out that begins or ends with someone suggesting ‘Ottoman’s?’ is bound to be a good one and my friend group in particular love it.
No class in the morning at the moment so I sleep in for a bit. I do a bit of lifemin (life admin), checking emails, putting on some laundry etc. I have lunch and then head out to meet my group before our afternoon lectures. We’re working on a presentation where we need to pick one area of neuroscience (which is the course we’re doing at the moment) and then present for 20 minutes to teach the rest of the class something new. We’ve chosen to focus on phantom limb syndrome – a pain syndrome where amputees can still feel sensations, including very real pain, coming from where their limb should be.
Some people go to the gym to blow off steam and relax. Some people go shopping. Some people write or play music. I’m partial to all of those things, but if you know me at all well in real life, you will know that my true passion when it comes to down time and relaxation is cooking.
I have blogged about this before but #newyearnewme and all that so I thought I’d share some wisdom on the food front.
This year I decided to stop eating meat at home and become a social carnivore (that sounds absolutely ridiculous, what have I become).
There is one week left of the holidays (sorry medics, I know you’ve gone back already….) and I am feeling the stress. If you are studying at Imperial then there is no doubt that you had a stellar academic record before you came here. You got all of the A*s and did all of the extracurriculars and all that jazz, which is great, and you probably thought that university wouldn’t be much different. I don’t want to sound too depressing, there are many people in my year who I really admire for their intelligence and their ability to understand difficult concepts and write nuanced essays and hold down positions on various different committees.