Blog posts

Two minutes with… Katia Hougaard (Student Programme Leader – Master’s Programme)

The Graduate School has appointed Student Programme Leaders in order to give doctoral students the opportunity to engage with our Professional Development Programme and shape its design and delivery.

In our new ‘Two Minutes with….’ series we will be introducing you to our current SPLs and finding out their thoughts so far on the role!

Name: Katia Hougaard

Department: Life Sciences

Introduce your research: My PhD project focuses on the innate defence responses of plants against aphids, an economically important insect pest.

Student Programme Leader: The MasterClass workshop series with Dr Helal Ahmed

Why did you choose to apply for this particular SPL role?

Two minutes with… Marie Rider (Student Programme Leader – GTA Programme)

The Graduate School has appointed Student Programme Leaders in order to give doctoral students the opportunity to engage with our Professional Development Programme and shape its design and delivery.

In our new ‘Two Minutes with….’ series we will be introducing you to our current SPLs and finding out their thoughts so far on the role!

Name: Marie Rider

Department: Physics

Introduce your research:  I work in the condensed matter theory group, and I study topological nanophotonics, where we’re working to understand how light interacts with topological materials at the nanoscale.

Student Programme Leader: Graduate Teaching Assistant Programme

Why did you choose to apply for this particular SPL role?

Two minutes with… Daryl Ma (Student Programme Leader – GTA Programme)

The Graduate School has appointed Student Programme Leaders in order to give doctoral students the opportunity to engage with our Professional Development Programme and shape its design and delivery.

In our new ‘Two Minutes with….’ series we will be introducing you to our current SPLs and finding out their thoughts so far on the role!

Name: Daryl Ma

Department: Electrical Engineering

Introduce your research: Designing monolithic wireless electrochemical sensors for biomedical applications for blood or sweat monitoring.

Student Programme Leader: Graduate Teaching Assistant Programme

Why did you choose to apply for this particular SPL role?

I enjoy GTA work as I find teaching quite fun.

CMBI Christmas-Themed Games Night

To celebrate the end of 2019, over 60 students, post-docs and PIs from the CMBI got together for a Christmas-themed games night organised by first year PhD students. This event was an opportunity for people from different departments and spread out throughout the Flowers building to socialise, as well as to allow the first year PhD students to get to know each other and the building.

Despite the students being thrown in the deep end, the event ran smoothly (mostly due to the invaluable help from the Flowers admin team and a last-minute dash to Waitrose). Attendees played party games such as twister, beer pong and table tennis, as well as dancing to a music playlist best described as a Year 6 disco.

Our very merry meeting across the new-found divisions at South Kensington

Following the considerable restructure within the Department of Surgery and Cancer and new-found Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction, in a time where many aspects of PGR life have seemed up in the air, Simone and I (Kate) decided to unite everyone for a single evening.  The aim was to encourage new friendships, to promote collaborative opportunities and reinforce the sense of community across PGR students at South Kensington. For the first time, students, post-docs and supportive PI’s took to a cosy boutique hotel in Hammersmith to meet, eat and be merry!

The evening started with the classic Secret Santa, where our personal Santa Claus facilitated the exchange of gifts.

PhD Business School Research Dinner

On the 4th of December, we, the Business School Research Graduates, shared research interests and a fun time with a Christmas dinner at Coco Momo. We are thankful to the Graduate School’s Research Community Fund to co-sponsor the event together with the Business School’s Student Staff Committee. It was a fantastic event with a large turnout across all departments and year groups.

The Imperial College Business School has a variety of PhD tracks including, amongst others, Management, Finance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Economics, Marketing, and Operations. Consequently, although we pursue a large array of research topics as a PhD cohort, we often are focused on research within our respective departments.

12th-15th September 2019 – Synthetic Biology Snowdonia Retreat

Successful early and late stage PhD assessment submissions mean only one thing… escape from the fast pace of University life is required. In mid-September, a dozen graduate students from the Centre of Synthetic Biology packed their bags and made their way to the beautiful and dramatic mountains of Snowdonia National Park in North Wales for a long weekend away from the city. The purpose of the trip was for the current graduate students to bond over some of the UK’s best hikes, while also spending some quality time with some of the 2019 master’s students before they leave Imperial to do their own thing, ensuring long lasting connections.

Lunchtime Yoga @ White City Campus

On the 22nd of May the first power yoga class for PG students took place at the Molecular Science Research Hub on the newly built White City Campus.

For the first Taster Session a small room was booked, because no one expected a huge demand. Instead nineteen people showed up to the first free yoga class of which quite a few did yoga for the first time!

Figure 1: Our first ever lesson had a great turnout for a tiny room.

At the beginning of the first yoga class the teacher asked everyone to introduce themselves and tell everyone what they are trying to get out of this class.

Year 1 PhD student ESA rehearsal & social

With the help of funding from the Graduate School, we put on a seminar and social event for first year PhD students based at the St Mary’s campus. Given that most first year PhD students have their early stage assessments due in June and July, we wanted to create an event where we could share our research and improve our presentation skills in a relaxed and friendly environment. Additionally, we hoped that the event would help us get to know each other and to develop a supportive network of peers throughout our PhDs.

The first part of the event started in the afternoon and consisted of a seminar hosted by Professor Wendy Barclay.

Summer Derby Day Party

There are many pitfalls that must be navigated as you work towards earning a PhD: one of the biggest is isolation. By its very nature, a PhD requires you to be researching something new and unique and when you’re at your desk trying to work out why the data looks weird, because it always looks weird, it can be easy to forget you’re not alone. That’s why events like the PhD Summer Party are so important. Thanks to the generosity of the Graduate School and the Bioengineering Department, every year, we’re afforded the opportunity to relax, make new friends outside of the lab, and live the student dream of free food and drink.