Welcome from the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU)

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?

CEP Ultimate Team Building Experience

In search of an activity to build bonds and healthy competition between the PhD cohort at the CEP, we found the Ultimate Team Building Experience as the best option. It offered a novel way to explore the City of London helping our first year students to get a taste of what this city has to offer whilst getting to know their peers in an unconventional way. Following up the activity with a lunch discussion helped the students to get familiarized with other research topics and get a sense of the wide variety of topics our department holds. We would definitely recommend this activity to other departments and would love to turn this into an every-year activity.

CSM Summer Social, Research Community Fund

The CSM Summer Social BBQ that took place on the Friday 8th of June in Prince’s Garden was a real success. About 70 persons came along that afternoon, from 12.30 pm to late at night. The aim of this informal lunch was to give a chance for the PhD students to catch up with their peers, discuss some of their research projects with more expert persons, or even to find career advices.

To facilitate the discussion, each PhD students had to chose three subjects that he felt like he needed help with. On the other hand, each staff had chosen three subjects in which they could give advices to PhD students.

Infectious Diseases and Immunity “The Bench and Beyond” Career Talks and Summer Party!

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.

Interdepartmental Laser Tag

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.

Cross-CDT Trip 2019 & World Cup Dinner

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.

Workshop on Advanced Topics in Complex Networks

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!

NHLI Careers Panel

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 Summer Party

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.

MetID workshop

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.