The second edition of the British Isles Graduate Workshop took place on Jersey Island between the 14th and the 20th July. The mission of the workshop was to bring together a group of around thirty international graduate students with experienced researchers, to participate in a five-day mathematically intense exploration of a focused topic in an area of current research. The informal environment and the joyful and collaborative atmosphere was the key of its success.
A challenging project
Three years ago, Andrea, one of the organisers of BIGW, was just returning to London from an exciting conference, and was sharing his enthusiasm for it.
by Ute Thiermann, GSU President 2018/19
I am delighted to welcome you to Imperial College! Let me introduce you to the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU). We are the representative body defending your interests as a post-graduate student in major decisions taken by the College. Beyond that, we work towards building a thriving post-graduate community that spans faculties and where students effectively communicate in an interdisciplinary way. Our committee is comprised by motivated post-graduate students like yourself, who have been appointed in university-wide elections and volunteer to make your experience at Imperial as fulfilling and enjoyable as possible.
So, what are we up to for this coming year 2018/19?
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.
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!
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.
A Traditional Scottish Affair!
ESE PhD’s visit a Scottish Ceilidh Dance for Burns Night
The Graduate Society of the Earth Science & Engineering Department organised a trip to the most famous Ceilidh House in London – Cecil Sharp House – in order to celebrate Burns Night. The evening began with students mingling at Imperial College, giving us the chance to unwind after a hard week at work. We then donned our dancing shoes and headed up to Cecil Sharp House in North London for a wonderful evening filled of traditional Scottish dancing.
For those unfamiliar with Ceilidh dancing, this involves a speaker or “caller” who outlines the dance steps for each dance, some with English roots, some more Irish or Scottish but most involving a fair amount of twirling, promenading and galloping!
by Rosie Dutt, MRes student in the Department of Chemistry
Within academia, each individual is working diligently towards their research aims. It is fair to say there have been many nights where some may be working tirelessly to fix a programming code, whilst others ponder over why their reaction series has not worked. Eventually, we reach the end of our research once our scientific questions have been fully explored, with the aim of a publication into a prestigious scientific journal. However, this results in our work being read by our peers within the field, and on some occasions, by individuals with allied interests into the research area – but seldom by the general public.
by Martin Prießner, PhD researcher in the Department of Chemistry
On the 3rd of March was the first official Reunion of the Cross-CDT Cohort 2016/17 after the winter break. For this occasion, 15 CDT students from 3 different CDT programmes (CDT Neurotechnology, CDT HiPEDs, CDT Mathematics of Planet Earth) came together to experience an enjoyable night at the famous Karaoke Bar “The Star of Kings” close to St. Pancras Station.
The evening started with a cosy dinner where everyone could catch up what has happened for each of the different PhD students after they have successfully finished their MRes in autumn the year before.
The Flowers Building Wine and Cheese Party was hosted on the 11th January by the CMBI Postgraduate Student Committee (CPG) and was funded by the Graduate School’s Research Community Fund. As well as washing away some post-holiday January blues this event provided an excellent opportunity for postgraduates both old and new to become fully engaged within the CMBI community. Around 40 postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers from the Departments of Medicine and Life Sciences attended and mingled in this informal setting.
The evening was guest hosted by James, an experienced wine expert previously of the Humble Grape wine bars, who guided us through comparisons of Old-World and New-World whites and reds and provided much highly appreciated wine trivia.
by Anwar Sayed, PhD student in the Department of Medicine
The Department of Medicine celebrated another successful Rising Scientist Day event following on from last year’s success. Rising Scientist Day is aimed at all PhD research students within the Department of Medicine. The event was held at the Wolfson Education Suite with 57 posters submitted and displayed both in the Café Area and the break-out space.
Following the poster presentation sessions and refreshments, everyone went up to Lecture Theatre II for the welcome by Professor Kevin Murphy, Director of Postgraduate Studies (Research). Then the 3 minute thesis presentations began. There were presentations from 12 PhD Students representing the Sections of Virology, Brain Sciences, Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Immunology, Genomics, Microbiology, Haematology and Experimental Medicine.