By Grace Birch and Kristin Krohn Huse, PhD students in Infectious Diseases and Immunity
On Thursday June 28th, the postgraduate representatives for the Section of Infectious Diseases and Immunity hosted a series of talks on careers entitled “The Bench and Beyond” followed by a summer party for the entire section, to celebrate the arrival of summer and provide a more laidback opportunity to network between research groups.
After identifying a lack of speakers in careers outside of traditional bench science at other career sessions, speakers with connections to the section from a wide variety of careers were invited to attend. Some of the speakers had previously completed their PhDs or Post Docs in the section of Infectious Diseases and Immunity or currently work within the section.
The first Laser Tag event to connect PhD students from different departments, took place at the brand-new facility “Bunker 51” on Saturday 23rd of June. The aim of this initiative was to mix students with various research interests, to develop our research communities within Imperial and foster collaborations inter-departments.
This Laser Tag event, was an icebreaking way of encouraging PhD attendants to work together in a series of mini games played with guns which fired infrared beams. After the team building event, a picnic hangout with pizzas and drinks in Greenwich Park offered a more relaxed ambiance for students to get to know more about each other and their projects.
On 29th of June 9 CDT PhD students from 2 different CDTs left London for a 3 days trip to the countryside to explore West England.
On Friday morning all of us met at Heathrow airport at the Sixt car rental shop. After everyone arrived and after we got our cars we drove towards Bristol and then turned further left to reach a town called Tauton. There we bought some groceries and continued our journey to finally reached our end destination with was a small farm located between Taunton and Exeter.
Immediately the AirBnB owner welcomed us with her lively 3 dogs Bisket, Douglas and Holly.
A large amount of the research carried out at Imperial College is highly interdisciplinary in nature. The field of Network science is no exception to this. “Network scientists” study the behaviour of complex interconnected systems which are often represented mathematically by graphs or complex networks. Examples of these systems include: social networks, transportation networks, such as the London Underground, and even the vast network of neurons in our own brains. The disadvantage of working in such a multidisciplinary field is that individuals performing similar research can often become scattered across different departments in the college without any idea that others working on similar issues exist!
The National Heart and Lung Institute Postgraduate committee organised a PhD careers panel on the 7th June with great success. The event, which was held at the union bar in South Kensington, was extremely well attended. Students travelled from all the Imperial campuses, which is often a challenge to achieve. Our five panellists were all working in non-academic areas such as industry, medical writing and scientific consulting. Students asked questions about interviews, their day to day life at work and why they chose their career paths.
After the panel session, students had the opportunity to chat one on one with the panellists and ask more specific questions.
St. Mary’s Campus does not really have a common room where students from different research groups get to know each other. Trying to break down the barrier, there was a Christmas party organised for all students working in the Medical School Building. Based on the huge success and numerous thank yous for organising this party, we decided to put together another party. A summer party this time, with the presence of the British summer drink of choice: Pimm’s with fresh fruit.
Besides Pimm’s, we provided prosecco, two kinds of beer, non-alcoholic bubbles and lots of water thanks to the Graduate School Cohort Building Fund, who sponsored this event.
By Erika Dorado and Kiana West, STRATiGRAD PhD programme, Department of Surgery and Cancer
A workshop focused on the identification of metabolites was organised by the STRATiGRAD PhD programme in collaboration with the Centre for Metabolomics and Bioanalysis (CEMBIO). The MetID workshop took place between 12th and 15th June 2018, in Madrid.
The MetID workshop started with oral presentations given by PhD students from both Imperial and CEMBIO. The PhD students had the opportunity to present their research projects in seven minutes to an audience composed of recognised researchers in this field. We had the opportunity to practice our presentation skills and share our research experience by providing concise information about our PhD projects.
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.