by Martin Prießner, PhD student in the Department of Chemistry
On Tuesday the 11th of December the first event of this year’s Cross-CDT event series took place. The Cross-CDT event series aims to strengthen the already established friendships and form new ones between CDT students of different disciplines across the different cohort years. By organising meetings and fun activities with an informal character, the participating students get the opportunity to exchange their PhD experiences and professional and private matters. This enables them to form long-lasting friendships which will hopefully surpass their PhD studies.
On this winter-like evening on the 11th of December a total of 18 CDT students from 4 different CDT programs across two cohort years gathered together in front of the library at Imperial College London.
by Inne Nauwelaers, PhD student at the National Heart and Lung Institute
On Wednesday, 12th of December 2018, students at St. Mary’s School of Medicine building got together for the second building-wide party. Thanks to the financial aid of the Graduate School, we were able to organise a Christmas party, bringing people together from every department at this campus: the School of Public Health, Virology, Respiratory medicine, Infectious Diseases and Paediatrics.
The reason we took the initiative and wanted to bring everyone together, is due to the fact that there is no communal space for people to gather and therefore interaction between departments is often limited.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The second annual Medical Research Council (MRC) London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS) PhD Student Retreat took place on Friday 25 May 2018. Held at the iconic Wellcome Collection in Euston Square, this event offered PhD students from all year groups the chance to engage and socialise with students from outside of their immediate research section.
Building on the success of the inaugural 2017 retreat held at Kew Gardens, this year’s event had a renewed focus on ‘Career Development and Networking’; prompting students to start considering what future avenues they may wish to explore upon completion of their PhD studies.
In this vein, the day began with a Networking Workshop delivered by Katie Dallison from the Imperial Careers Service, which provides students with free help and advice regarding career advancement, like CV checks and interview preparation.
A couple of us postgraduate students came together and decided that it will be a great idea to have a mini-conference-type event within the department that could foster learning and networking. There are immensely valuable resources available within the department, with subject matter experts and we thought it would be great to capitalise on that and get these experts to share their experiences in characterisation techniques with the postgraduates.
Since the purpose of the event was to foster learning and networking, it was necessary to have a social event to it as well. Ultimately, we managed to secure 6 speakers to share on characterisation techniques.