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.
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.
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.
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.
On the morning of Friday June 14, unusually, we found ourselves amidst the Liverpool Street commuters’ rush as we headed into the heart of the financial district for the 2019 LMS PhD Student Retreat. Our destination was the imposing figure of the Gherkin. Going up to just beneath the top of the building, we took a few minutes to marvel at the panoramic views before the retreat’s ‘entrepreneurship’ theme was brought sharply into focus.
“What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?” Ben Mumby-Croft asked, as we began the morning workshop. Ben is director of the Imperial Enterprise Lab, which works to help students at Imperial College London innovate and launch new ideas for the market.
The 3rd Symposium: Sustainable Development in Latin America, organised by the Latin American Society of Imperial College London (Lat-Imperial), took place on the 20th and 21st of May 2019 at the Skempton Building. This symposium aimed to present Imperial and UK/Europe based research that directly impacts the sustainable development and future of the Latin America (LATAM) Region. Researchers from several nationalities with interest in Latin America presented their work, selected after a rigorous peer-review process, on topics such as the role of natural resources, climate change policy, waste management and innovation, water use and urban planning, energy transition and bioinformatics for a sustainable future of the LATAM Region.
I’m very grateful to Imperial College Graduate School for offering me a scholarship to attend the “Life Beyond the PhD” conference at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor. About 60 PhD students and early career researchers from 35 universities across the UK attended. I was honoured that I was representing Imperial College. Their research was not only in science but also in other fields such as history, art, sociology etc. It was great to meet people from so many different disciplines in such a relaxing and glamorous place situated in the heart of Windsor Great Park.
- On the first day, we were given an extensive tour of the lodge.
With the Christmas break a distant memory and work-weary lab members itching for a break, re-energisation of the work place was desperately in order. And how better to achieve this than with ping pong, pizza and (substantial quantities of) alcohol? Generous funding was granted from the Research Community Fund, allowing PhD students and early career post-docs from the Section of Investigative Medicine and Section of Cell Biology and Functional Genomics to attend an inter-lab social at Bounce Ping Pong on 12th April 2019. Due to popular demand, a round robin competition was held across the two hired tables, with members from different sections paired into doubles teams.
The first Crystal Maze event connecting PhD students from the department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, took place on Friday 5th of April. The goal of this unforgettable experience was to mix students from different groups and foster new collaborations within the EEE department.
The evening started with a drinks hangout at union bar where the attendants got to know about each other before the team building event. The Crystal Maze Experience was a truly interactive, frenetic and funny team challenge. Expertly guided by the Maze Master, the two teams of students journeyed through four different adventure zones: Aztec, Industrial, Futuristic and Medieval.
As we get closer and closer to graduation, we look forward to taking a step into the real world and work either for corporations or starting our own venture in order to reach our potential. Judging by the society we live in, connections have a great impact on our future. Events managed and produced by the GSU give such opportunities to students, allowing them to expand their horizons. One such event was the GSU connect 2019 initiative.
The event offered students the opportunity to enjoy the cross disciplinary collaboration with other students, allowing for students to benefit from different skills and expertise.