All posts by Cristobel Soares-Smith

13Nov/18

GRADnet Winter School 18-20 February 2019: Register Now!

Who: All SEPnet postgraduate researchers who want to develop their leadership and team-building skills

What: This 3-day residential school will focus on the skills required for effective leadership and team-working. Different leadership styles will be presented and discussed. Each student attendee will be given the opportunity to have their preferred team-working style evaluated using the Belbin model.

When: 18-20 February 2019

Where: Cumberland Lodge, The Great Park, Windsor, Berkshire.

Numbers: Circa 25-30 delegates

Core activity:  Columbia’s Final Mission

This multi-media case tracks the Columbia Space Shuttle mission from launch as NASA engineers and leaders sought to understand the nature and threat associated with an anomaly that occurred on launch. Over the course of the mission, managers and engineers at NASA analysed the damage, assessed the risks, and decided what to do. Members of the NASA team had different perspectives, opinions and views about the damage, its effects and therefore the actions that would need to be taken. Leadership, organisational culture, communication, personality characteristics, formal systems and job positions are amongst many complex issues that affected the course of the decision-making process. In the event, at the end of the mission, the shuttle disintegrated as it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, killing the seven astronauts.

Participants will analyse the case using materials supplied by NASA under the guidance of a consultant. As the mission unfolds, they will work in teams, each team taking the role of one of the key NASA managers or engineers. A team experiences only those events and has access only to information that that person had at the time of the mission. This adds a rich dimension to the case experience as participants recognise how perceptions of the same event can vary. With a combination of team working and plenary discussion, key principles and applications of leadership, management.

What students said about this year’s Winter School:

  • No prior knowledge required. Very useful; I hadn’t considered that organisational leadership would be completely different (it required skills and considerations) to small group leadership.  This course opened my eyes to new useful and practical concepts which I didn’t know existed.
  •  I really enjoyed the programme. It was varied and interesting. I liked the mix of presentation and workshop and having networking discussion panels with employers was useful. 
  • The programme was typically very well run and extremely engaging.

Register here. Registration deadline, Monday, 21 January 2019.

This event is free (SEPnet pays for your accommodation and course fees) for SEPnet postgraduate researchers and travel expenses incurred can be claimed from your Physics Department. 

01Nov/18

PhDs welcome opportunity to meet employers who hire physicists!

Over 50 postgraduate researchers, academics and employers attended the IOP/SEPnet Careers Panel event at Hallam Conference Centre in central London.

Dr Elaine Hickmott, EH Enterprises, ran a short workshop called “Connections and Conversations for Career Success – A practical networking masterclass” which students found very “useful”.

Attendees said the event was “a great networking event” and that they “enjoyed it alot”. Several SEPnet students said they planned on attending future GRADnet events to meet more employers.

“I really enjoyed the event, it opened my eyes to some specific career paths that could be available to me at the end of my postgraduate degree. There was a great mix of different sectors that are looking for people with the skillset provided by a physics PhD.” (Surrey PGR)

Employers “found it very interesting and really enjoyed talking with the students”. Thank you to our employer panel members who participated:

Martin Arnold, Part Qualified Patent Attorney, WP Thompson (Intellectual Property), Tracey Berry, Senior Lecturer in Physics, Royal Holloway University of London, Alex Cote, Data Scientist, Rank Group, Claire Elliott, Senior Research Scientist, National Physical Laboratory, Russell Richardson, Director, RBA Acoustics Ltd, Jason Rolles, founder and Managing director, BlueOptima and RedOptima, Rosh Sellahewa, Manager, Deloitte and Sheela Sharma, Director, Stifel, Stock Investment Company.

Thank you to Elaine for chairing the event and Vishanti Fox, Careers & CPD Manager at the IOP for co-hosting this event with SEPnet.

 

 

 

25Oct/18

GRADnet Induction Day: A great success!

Over 120 first year postgraduate researchers attended the GRADnet Induction day on 24 October 2018 in central London. This was a great opportunity for students to meet fellow SEPnet postgraduate researchers from around the region.

Students chose two out of 4 workshops to attend and the feedback was mainly very positive.

Getting your research published presented by Sarah Whitehouse and Tom Sharp: Institute of Physics: “Good session, very informative, with good pacing and tips!”

Python presented by Dr Tim Kinnear and Leon Schoonderwoerd, University of Kent: “Really well presented! Clear to understand and follow for someone who has no knowledge of coding before”

Introduction to research data management presented by Dr Alice Motes, University of Surrey and Dr Juan Bicarregui, Science Technology Facilities Council: Very eye-opening, reminds you of aspects of data-based research that can easily be overlooked. Very interesting to see the solutions and ideas involved in open science.”

Science Communication Skills presented by Dr Martin Archer, QMUL and Cordelia Scott, University of Portsmouth: “Good at introducing ways to get involved in public engagement tips on giving talks. Lots of interaction to give first taste of communication planning and set up.” 

Thank you to all our presenters and to Cristobel Soares-Smith, Graduate Network Administrator for organising this event.

Students at the GRADnet welcome talk.

21Oct/18

Moving forward for 2nd Years 2018 Training Day: Good opportunity to meet up with fellow PGRs!

About 60 SEPnet PGRs attended this training event held on Wednesday, 17 October 2018 to support PGRs in their second year.

Students chose two out of four workshops and student feedback was very positive:

How to write a fellowship application (Workshop lead: Prof Peter McDonald, Surrey): Good workshop, explained the process clearly and ideas for presenting research ideas.

Practical Innovation (Workshop lead: Julia Shalet, Product Doctor):  I would highly recommend the workshop as it gives you a good and realistic view on what to consider when starting a business.

Research Data Management (Workshop lead: Dr Juan Biccaregui, STFC/Dr Alice Motes, Surrey):  Good!  Ideas heard before, but made me think about it and motivated me to improve.

Writing better software for research (Workshop Lead: Claire Hepwood, RHUL): This was extremely useful.  I initially thought it might be basic for me but it taught me lots of practices I never knew about before. 

Thank you to our presenters and to Cristobel Soares-Smith, Graduate Network Administrator, for organising this event.

Professor Sean Ryan, Executive Director, SEPnet, welcomes delegates.

 

 

16Oct/18

The interface between Observation and Theory in Astrophysics: 17-18 January 2019

Registration now open!

Who: SEPnet postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers in astronomy, astrophysics and closely allied fields.

What: A 2-day school led by senior researchers in SEPnet comprising lectures and workshops.

When: 17-18 January 2019

Where: University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield (Accommodation is at the Travelodge Hatfield Central, twin rooms, double occupancy.)

Numbers: circa 30 delegates

The Advanced Physics School on the interface between observation and theory in astrophysics will address how to interpret astronomical observations in the new data-rich era. The sessions will cover theory and modelling relating to a number of current research areas in stellar, Galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, including using simulations and applying statistical tools to link theory and observational data. In particular, the School will address the rapidly developing area of machine learning and its application at the interface between observation and theory in astrophysics.

The School will work its way up through spatial scales from planetary (in the context of exoplanet modelling), black hole, galactic (star formation), extragalactic (with a particular focus on stellar population synthesis models and also AGN), and on to galaxy formation models in cosmological contexts (and the role of cosmological simulations).

With experts from across SEPnet presenting sessions in their areas of expertise, it is intended that the School will benefit students over a wide cross-section of astrophysics. Students will learn not only about the specifics of approaches they may utilise in their current research, but also learn about modelling and simulation techniques being applied in other fields of astrophysics that they may want or need to utilise in their future careers.

Register here. Registration deadline 7 December 2018.

10Oct/18

SEPnet Outreach & Public Engagement: 10th Anniversary Symposium

A celebration and reflection on the 10 years of Outreach and Public Engagement at SEPnet. Throughout the past 10 years, SEPnet has strived to position itself at the forefront of STEM engagement with schools and has more recently begun to start embedding a culture of public engagement with research across the partner universities.

The symposium highlighted the vast array of initiatives that SEPnet has been involved with since its inception with a session from previous SEPnet Directors of Outreach, Charlotte Thorley and Clare Harvey who contemplated the changes they witnessed over the years.

The symposium continued with a talk from Dom Galliano, SEPnet Director of Outreach, about the future of SEPnet schools’ outreach and public engagement with the launch of the new 2018-2023 strategy.

Schools’ outreach will continue to deliver SEPnet’s key messages with the aim of building and maintaining student’s science capital. SEPnet will continue to encourage projects which involve multiple engagements with strategically selected students across the region, helping build longer term partnerships with teachers and schools through activities such as Connect Physics.

Public engagement across SEPnet will now be focused into three themes: local community, research in schools, and consultancy. The symposium saw example projects within SEPnet from these three themes share the good practice and learning that have resulted from their projects.

Martin Archer of Queen Mary University of London discussed his Research in Schools programme which has seen school students across London taking part in research projects and impacting upon students, teachers, and researchers. Vicky Mason, Xanthe Pitt and Nikki Hildesley from the University of Kent and Discovery Planet reviewed the past 4 years of collaboration to bring science activities to underserved audiences in their local community. Nic Bonne and Coleman Krawczyk from the University of Portsmouth shared the exciting new developments that will be taking place within their Tactile Universe project which engages the visually impaired with astronomy research.

In addition to the talk, there was a poster exhibition from all SEPnet partners, highlighting the successes and achievements SEPnet projects have brought across the region. External partners such as STFC, IOP and RAS were also present and contributed with posters and stands.

Many thanks to all of those that attended and to the Wellcome Collection for being wonderful hosts. All the presentations from the day can be found here.

The SEPnet Outreach Team:

Please use the following link and password to access the images from the day:  Link: https://www.paulsteadphoto.co.uk/SEPNET/September-Symposium

Password: SEPN3T

 

 

01Oct/18

Call for abstracts: From Infinity to Zero: the history of the Universe in redshift: 3-5 April 2019

Call for abstracts for Student-led Conferences

Who: Postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers from the SEPnet region with research interests in this year’s conference topics.

What: Two parallel research conferences proposed and organised by students wanting to advance their research and extend their collaborations. The conferences include talks by invited speakers and students as well as poster and recreational sessions.

When: 3-5 April 2019 (Arrival 6pm on 3 April.  Accommodation at Glen Eyre, Highfield Campus.)

Where: University of Southampton, Murray Lecture Building, Highfield Campus.

Numbers: Circa 40-50 delegates

This conference aims to bring together students from all areas of astronomy research. From the study of inflation at Portsmouth to planetary science at the Open University, the GRADnet astronomy groups’ research probes many epochs of the Universe. Students will gain knowledge of a wide range of research techniques applied to phenomena at various redshifts, and see where such techniques may cross over and enhance their own research.

Organisers: Elizabeth Swann, Steve Cunnington, Max Foxley-Marrable, Natalie Hogg, Sam Youles, University of Portsmouth.

The parallel conference is: The Future of Particle Physics in the Post-Higgs Landscape

Abstract deadline 7 December 2018: Submit your abstract here. Once your abstract has been accepted you will be notified by the conference organiser to register for this conference.

Once your abstract has been accepted please register here. Registration deadline: 1 March 2019.

This event is free (SEPnet pays for your accommodation and course fees) for SEPnet postgraduate researchers and travel expenses incurred can be claimed from your Physics Department.

01Oct/18

Call for abstracts: The future of Particle Physics in the Post-Higgs Landscape: 3-5 April 2019

Call for abstracts for Student-led Conferences

Who: Postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers from the SEPnet region with research interests in this year’s conference topics.

What: Two parallel research conferences proposed and organised by students wanting to advance their research and extend their collaborations. The conferences include talks by invited speakers and students as well as poster and recreational sessions.

When: 3-5 April 2019 (Arrival 6pm on 3 April.  Accommodation at Glen Eyre, Highfield Campus.)

Where: University of Southampton, Murray Lecture Building, Highfield Campus

Numbers: Circa 40-50 delegates

Since the discovery of the Higgs boson, there have been no further discoveries at colliders that hint at new physics. This conference will bring together students from experimental and theoretical topics in particle physics to discuss the progression of the field in light of current results. There will be review talks by distinguished academics on the history of the Standard Model and its successes and advice on how to interpret various current and future experimental results. There will be a particular focus on the interplay between theory and experiment and the promotion of interdisciplinary collaboration.

Organisers: James Richings, Azaria Coupe, Sam Rowley, University of Southampton.

The parallel conference is: From Infinity to Zero: The history of the Universe in redshift

Submit your abstract here. Abstract deadline 7 December 2018. Once your abstract has been accepted you will be notified by the conference organiser to register for this conference.

Once your abstract has been accepted register here. Registration deadline: 1 March 2019.

This event is free (SEPnet pays for your accommodation and course fees) for SEPnet postgraduate researchers and travel expenses incurred can be claimed from your Physics Department.

27Sep/18

GRADnet Induction Day for First Years: 24 October 2018

Register now!

Who:  1st Year SEPnet Physics PhD students. All SEPnet departments expect all new students to attend.

When:  24 October 2018, 10:15-16:00

Where:  1 Park Crescent, International Students House, 229 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5PN.

What:  A one day introduction to GRADnet to learn more about opportunities, to meet fellow researchers from across the network and to participate in two out of four short workshops designed to get you started in key areas of activity. Students are to sign up for two workshops on arrival and attend one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

  • Getting your research published:  This workshop will explain the steps necessary to take the results of your research through to a published paper.  Led by “insiders” from IOP Publishing, it will explain what makes a good paper and why some authors succeed while others do not.
  • Python:  Python is a powerful, high-level scripting language that is widely used in scientific research for a huge range of data  analysis and visualisation applications. In this workshop you will learn how to use Python, starting from basic scripts to explore syntax and data types, working up to more complicated ‘real world’ examples.
  • Research Data Management:  Research data management is increasingly important in all fields of research. Presented by Research Council and University experts, this workshop asks what is required for good data management and examines some of the common problems and issues that researchers face.
  • Science Communication Skills:   Want to explore ways of sharing your research with many different audiences? It is now more important than ever to be able to communicate with non-specialist groups. Whether it’s a public talk in a pub, writing in your department blog, doing some stand-up comedy, writing a popular science article or simply standing on a box in a street corner, this session will get you started. As a future researcher you will be expected to engage with many different publics throughout the research process; science communication is an invaluable tool for this process. Outside research the ability to clearly communicate technical details to all sorts of partners will be an asset on any CV.

Numbers: This event is mandatory at all SEPnet partner departments for new PGRs. Circa 100 students are expected to attend.

Students are to sign up for two workshops on arrival and attend one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

See full programme here.

Travel expenses are covered by your department. Transport to the venue can be arranged through your local GRADnet Administrator if there are sufficient numbers.

Register here.  Registration deadline is 17 October 2018.

26Sep/18

GRADnet Moving Forward for 2nd Year Students: 17 October 2018

Register now!

Who:  2nd Year SEPnet Physics PhD students.  This event is strongly recommended by all SEPnet partner Departments. 3rd and 4th year postgraduate researchers and postdoctoral researchers are also welcome to attend.

When:  17 October 2018 10.30-16.30

Where:  One Park Crescent (ISH), 229 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5PN.

What:  A one-day training session, an opportunity to meet fellow researchers from across the network and to participate in two out of four short workshops designed to get you started in key areas of activity.

  • How to write a successful Fellowship Application: This workshop is aimed at those students who are considering an academic career. Most often this starts with a period of postdoctoral study during which the researcher is supported by a Fellowship. The workshop focusses on what is required to prepare a successful research council or similar fellowship application.
  • Practical innovation: Thinking about how to commercialise your research, or an idea, and turn it into an exploitable product or service? Perhaps you are interested in a career in business or knowing how businesses are created. Would you like to start thinking like an entrepreneur, or as someone that wants to change the world through innovation?
  • Research data management: Research data management is increasingly important in all fields of research. Presented by Research Council and University experts, this workshop asks what is required for good data management and examines some of the common problems and issues that researchers face.
  • Understanding software for research: This workshop introduces computing concepts necessary to support your research. You can find out more about the types of national computing facilities available and the programming languages used to produce quality research. The workshop offers a general understanding of computing with an introduction to parallel computing along with practical tools and techniques that will help you write and maintain better code more efficiently.

Students are to sign up for two workshops on arrival and attend one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

For full programme see here.

Travel expenses are covered by your department.  Transport to the venue can be arranged through your local GRADnet Administrator if there are sufficient numbers.

Register here.  Registration deadline 10 October 2018.