In their effort to establish an Early Career Research (ECR) community for all malaria researchers based at London research institutes, PhD students organized a launch event at the Crick Institute to bring everyone together. Research assistants, research technicians, PhD students and junior postdocs who work under either computational or laboratory settings were encouraged to interact with researchers outside their own social/departmental circles and suggest their ideas about the future of this network. None missed the chance to also show-off their ‘Knowles-it-all’ expertise on a malaria-based pub quiz, while enjoying nibbles and drinks.
Over 50 people from four different London-based institutes registered for the event, with a turnout of 30.
Usually a medical tool used to check your ear canal, Otoscope is now also the name of a project led by PhD students at the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS).
Learning how to surf the wave of podcast popularity, the students are producing interview-style episodes with the aim of discussing complex medical science topics in a way that is informative to other students who may not be familiar with biomedical jargon.
This activity, now sponsored by the Imperial Graduate School, is currently under preparation and the first episodes are expected to be released later this year.
Recorded at The Pod in White City Place, the podcast is bringing together in the studio experts on different fields of biomedical research with PhD students to discuss topics such as precision medicine, ageing as a drug target or how genes affect behaviour.
On a brisk Wednesday at the end of September we launched our programme to encourage sustainable practices within the MRC LMS at the “GreeningLMS launch event”. The main aims of our event were to give LMS members the opportunity to get to know the team and find out about its initiatives. This event also allowed important informal chats inspiring new ideas and collaborations! The suggestion box was full of lots of exciting thoughts of how the GreeningLMS and LMS staff members can come together to create the most impact. It was a fantastic event with a great turnout including all LMS Imperial students on the 6th floor of the CRB building, Hammersmith Campus.
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.
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.
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.
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.