Author: Graduate School

The Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) competition: developing skills for enterprise

By Katherine Davis, PhD student in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology (DIDE)

During the 2020/21 academic year, I took part in the Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) competition, which aims to raise awareness about how ideas can be commercialised. In the competition, teams of postgraduate students, technicians, or early career academics prepare a business plan for a hypothetical company and pitch to win prizes. In this blog, I will briefly explain how I got into the YES competition, how I found taking part in the competition, and my advice for people considering competing.

Getting into the YES competition

In the summer of 2020, I saw a post about forming a team for the YES competition on my department’s Teams channel.

Science Writing Competition 2022 – joint 3rd Place

by Teodora Rînciog, MSc Student, Centre for Environmental Policy

Hyenas – misunderstood villains?

Hideous creatures with a demon-like laugh, hyenas definitely meet all the criteria for a classic cartoon villain. I certainly thought so when I was a child, as did all of my childhood friends. None of us even thought twice about this judgement, even into our adulthoods. But, was this fair?

Why do we hate hyenas?

 Since the premiere of the exceeding-popular cartoon “The Lion King” in 1994, hyenas were globally established as the silly enemies of the noble lion. Considering the unpleasant appearance of hyenas, the young audience didn’t find this hard to believe.

Science Writing Competition – People’s Choice Award Winner

by Soteroulla Ellina, PhD Student, Department of Brain Sciences

Lab grown heart cells: Keeping the beat up

– Sorry, I am running late at the lab so I will have to raincheck today’s meeting…

This is probably something I have said more times than I wanted… Sometimes in confidence that the other person would understand and sometimes- especially with someone that I haven’t known for long, in a more apologetic way, hoping that they would not judge me. Good for me, this time, my friend belonged in the first category- he has known me for more than 15 years- so we quickly rescheduled.

Science Writing Competition – Joint 2nd Place

by Adwoa Sarfo-Bonsu, MSc student, Department of Metabolism, Digestion & Reproduction

The more, the merrier: Cells have social lives too

There are certain processes that occur inside us that can only happen effectively when our cells are in close contact with each other. Our cells are ALWAYS communicating. Sometimes they check in on each other to make sure everyone is alright (tissue homeostasis), other times they might even team up together to fight an infection (immune response), and sometimes cells come together to make a whole new embryo (fertilisation).

To achieve all these things and many more, cells need to be able to constantly send and receive messages and instructions to each other.

Science Writing Competition 2022 – Joint 2nd Place

by Nicola Robson, MSc student, Department of Life Sciences

The Fossil Gallery

My life in this museum may Seem rather dull to you, 100 years stuck on a wall Sounds tiring, it’s true.

But if you knew my story, you Would soon begin to see That epochs pass like seconds When you’re as old as me.

I watch you humans flit about Like ants, from my display, And I confess, I do enjoy To people-watch all day.

And so I’m quite content here, in The Fossil Gallery – yet I often reminisce about My old life in the sea.

My ancestors were lizards Slinking through the sun-kissed sand, ‘Till one day they decided They were not content on land.

Science Writing Competition 2022 – 1st Place

by Thea Mainprize, PhD Student, Department of Life Sciences

The Trial of the Red Gazelle

The thylacine, aurochs and countless more, What is another knocking at Heaven’s door? One more quietly met their maker, The red gazelle (Eudorcas rufina). Bright rufous pelts – such beauty, such grace! But all we know about are skin and face, No genetic studies, no records in the wild, Only two specimens worldwide on file.

Three, there once were, shot 19th century, Allegedly Algerian – though this is speculatory, Upon inspection, an imposter! Begone! One red-fronted gazelle (Eudorcas rufifrons). With the IUCN denouncing its legitimacy1, The red gazelle faded into obscurity, A true species, or all imposters?