Category: Socialising

How to email your Professor

I came across this blogpost yesterday with useful advice on how to communicate with professors and lecturers by email. Although it comes from Wellesley College which, being a US liberal arts college for women only, is a rather different institution to Imperial College, much of the advice is relevant and helpful.

It is clear from my email inbox that many students already have a clear idea of how to write a polite and effective email message, but I’ve also seen examples from students who are not so sure how to go about the task.

To the points of technique and etiquette mentioned in the blogpost, I would like to add the suggestion that students try to keep to a minimum the number of times that they email staff at weekends or during holidays, out of consideration for the fact that staff are entitled to a break from their teaching duties from time to time.

Final Year Lab Project Poster Session

There was definitely a buzz in the room as the final year lab project students gathered to present and assess their mini-posters.

Not only was there a tremendous variety of project work on display…

…but there was also a great range of styles. Some more successful that others? That was for the students to decide; each had 5 posters to assess and there will be £20 Amazon vouchers for the best ones.

Hopefully all the final years in attendance saw something to take their fancy — or perhaps even to stimulate a new idea.

I was so excited my hands were shaking.

Tricky Questions

On each of the past two Mondays I have shared a drink and a bit of chat with the freshers on the Biochemistry and Biology courses. Both were rather enjoyable occasions.

But in both cases I came across questions that I couldn’t answer, though I have since looked up the the information I didn’t have to hand.

While explaining my research on RNA viruses to some of the biochemistry students the conversation wandered to the subject of ‘flu viruses and vaccines. I mentioned that ‘flu vaccine preparations are generated by infecting chicken eggs. One student asked me if fertilised or unfertilised eggs were used.


Many thanks to the Imperial College BiochemSoc for arranging a very pleasant BBQ for the freshers yesterday.

The organisers were understandably flustered by the failure of Asda to meet their promised delivery time (I wouldn’t like to be reading the students’ feedback on that one…), but although the food was late the mood remained buoyant as students and several members of staff chatted amiably in Princes Gardens.

Most people I talked to seemed to have enjoyed their first week at university — some rather too much! — and to be looking forward to getting stuck into the course. I hope that’s true for everyone.