My experience as a 3rd year PhD student at Imperial’s Rising Scientist Day 2024

Blog by Angelos Manolias, Research Postgraduate in the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

In May 2024, I attended the Rising Scientist Day. The day included 2 sessions of poster presentations from 2nd and 3rd year PhDs, a 3-minute thesis presentation competition, talks from Imperial PhD alumni and networking events. In this blogpost I give my opinions on the events of day, highlight the benefits of attending such an event as a PhD student and give a few ideas for improvement in the next years.

Rising scientist day has many benefits for PhD students that attend it. Starting from the poster presentations, this is a great opportunity to gain experience with presenting your research in poster format but also learning what research is going on around the college by postgraduate students. Personally, by presenting my poster I gained experience in designing it in relevant software (a skill that I will need for future conferences), getting feedback on it by my colleagues and supervisors and ultimately presenting it in a wider audience whilst answering their questions. This is particularly useful for people like me who just entered their last year of PhDs and will start presenting in conferences. The 3-minute thesis presentations were very interesting as well, as I had the opportunity to learn about the research of my colleagues across departments in brief talks presented in lay terms. Since I was nominated by my department, I was also able to take part in the competition, which benefitted me by engaging in exciting discussions regarding my project that may help me for the rest of my studies. For the same reasons I enjoyed the networking events during lunch and afternoon coffee. Lastly, the career talks were very interesting to me personally as they came from two Imperial PhD alumni who stayed in academia, which matches my personal career goals. The talks motivated me and gave me some insight into a young researcher’s early career steps, which I found very engaging.

Overall, Rising Scientist Day is a very enjoyable and productive event for postgraduate students that acts as an internal “friendly” conference helping all students to gain experience in presenting their work. Coupled with talks and, potentially in the future, workshops and seminars, this event has the potential to be particularly educational and productive. I would urge all postgraduate students to attend the event at least once during their PhDs!