Category Archives: GRADnet

14Aug/17

GRADnet Training Programme for 2017-18 Announced

Outline of 2017-18 Training Programme

GRADnet is pleased to announce its programme of physics postgraduate researcher training for the next academic year. We have developed yet another comprehensive programme for 2017/18 comprising a mix of academic physics workshops and student-led conferences; residential schools with real life industrial content, leadership and professional skills training; targeted professional skills modules and more peer-learning opportunities.

This year, GRADnet is focussing on the following residential workshops in the following research themes of its partner physics departments. For 2017/18 we are offering:

For some of these events we will return to the Old Thorns Manor Hotel which offers impressive leisure facilities in the middle of our region.

For Second Year PGRs

The whole programme kicks off with “Moving Forward for Second Years” training on 18th October in central London. The training day includes the following workshops:

  • Creating impact
  • How to write a successful fellowship application
  • Research data management
  • Unconscious bias
  • Writing better software for research

For First Year PGRs

For the second year running there will be a GRADnet Induction Day on 25th October in central London. The Induction will include a choice of workshops for new PhD students:

  • Introduction to LaTeX
  • Python for beginners and more advanced users
  • Introduction to MATlab
  • Getting your research published
  • Organising meetings and conferences

Induction Day 2016

For all PGRs

The Winter School in 2018 at Cumberland Lodge (14-16 February) focuses entirely on the 2003 NASA Columbia disaster:  a popular case-study element of last year’s school. It takes students through exercises in leadership and team-working, skills rated highly by employers.

The 2018 Summer School at Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex (2-5 July) explores suggestions to “What can I do with my PhD?”– this is a mix of employer-led workshops and consultancy challenges.

There will be a student-led conference covering Advances in High Energy Physics and Cosmology and From Micrometres to Megaparsecs. There will be cross-over lectures which are relevant to students of both particle physics and astronomy at the University of Southampton on 21-23 March 2018 and a one-day workshop on Science Communications Skills on 24th April 2018.

The programme for the year can be downloaded here: GRADnet Brochure 2017-18 Final

For more information on these courses and to register, logon to the GRADnet VRE.

07Aug/17

Moving Forward for 2nd Year PGRs 18 October 2017

GRADnet Moving Forward for 2nd Year PGR Students

Who:  2nd Year Physics PhD students. All SEPnet Departments expect all students to attend.

When:  18 October 2017, 10.30-16.30

Where:  Park Crescent Conference Centre, 229 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5PN.

Deadline to register is 11 October 2017.

Numbers: This event is strongly recommended by all SEPnet partner Departments.  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.

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

  • Creating impact: 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Unconscious Bias:  Almost no-one thinks that they are unconsciously biased. Yet white males and many non-white students perform less well in their degrees than white females – it could be due to bias in assessment systems – while females rarely get to the top of their profession – is this bias in the promotion systems? Something is going wrong if we don’t appoint and promote the best person for the job.
  • Writing better software for research: Whether you have 10 lines of shell script, 100 lines of R, or 10,000 lines of C, the quality of your research, and reproducibility of your results, depends upon the quality of your code. In this course, Mike Jackson from the EPCC (formerly Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre) explores the qualities of good code, discusses blockers, and presents practical tools and techniques that help you to write better code, in less time, and with less effort.

Travel expenses and refreshments are covered by SEPnet.

To Register sign on to the VRE and look here.

10Jul/17

GRADnet Summer School at NPL 3-6 July 2017

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL GRADNET SUMMER SCHOOL AT NPL!!!

The fourth GRADnet Summer school took place on 3-6 July 2017 at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, Middlesex. The school comprised a broad menu of workshops and challenges led by different employers designed to offer students an insight into opportunities beyond their PhD.  A consultancy challenge took place on the last day and students worked in teams to create solutions using the skills they have learnt in their PhD.

AN EMPLOYER-LED PROGRAMME: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Fourth State Medicine; IBM; Magnox; National Physical Laboratory; Oxford Instruments; RBA Acoustics; Things We Don’t Know; Surrey Satellite Technology Limited and WP Thompson.

SPEAKERS: Dr Paul Stevenson, Reader, University of Surrey; Jane Burston, Head of Climate and Environment, NPL and Dr Michael de Podesta, Principal Research Scientist, NPL.

Thank you to NPL staff in particular Richard Burguete and Gill Coggins from the Postgraduate Institute, Dr Julie Reeves, University of Southampton, Dr Laura Christie, Royal Holloway, University of London and Kay Pearson, SEPnet Employer Liaison Officer, University of Surrey and last but not least, Cristobel Soares-Smith, GRADnet Network Administrator for making this such a successful event!

WHAT THE STUDENTS SAID:

  • “This was a fantastic opportunity to work on a real problem. Getting to talk to a real employer about their project of choice and thinking how to solve this problem was very valuable.”
  • The most valuable thing they would take away from this year’s summer school was “knowledge and the value of careers outside the PhD. The number of interesting fields is limitless”.
  • “This has been a very good summer school, pitched at the appropriate level and a good base to meet fellow students!”.

WINNERS OF THE CONSULTANCY CHALLENGE: 

Centre for Integrated Photonics (Huawei)

Team 1:  William Evans, University of Sussex, Timothy Eales, University of Surrey, Tong Liu, Queen Mary University of London and Erika Cortese, University of Southampton with Michael Roberts, Research and Collaboration Manager, Centre for Integrated Photonics (Huawei).

Fourth State Medicine:

Team 2:  Miroslav Mlejnek, University of Sussex, Katie Ley, Laila Gurgi, University of Surrey and Giulio Violino, University of Hertfordshire with Tom Harle, Chief Technology Officer, Fourth State Medicine.

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd:

Team 3:  Joseph Allen, University of Surrey, Sam Rowley, James Richings and Azaria Coupe, University of Southampton.

People’s Choice: Nicola Abraham, University of Sussex, Filippo Contenta, Tom Coates, University of Surrey and Kerri Loughney, St Mary’s Twickenham with Peter Shaw, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited.

Congratulations to all the winners!

The Students also had great fun building water rockets after the barbecue:

Photographs from the Summer School are available here:

 

 

03Jul/17

SEPnet students learn what it really means to be an entrepreneur!

SEPnet students recently came together to participate in two days of intensive entrepreneurship training as part of our annual GRADnet Enterprising Ideas competition.

Elaine Hickmott, who developed the programme, explains how ‘by mixing the problem-solving and analytical skills developed as a physicist with an understanding of business and industry’, graduates can truly position themselves for success. She adds ‘this may translate into the ability to secure more funding as an academic, being the best physicist you can be, starting your own company or building a rewarding industrial career.’

Ricky D’Costa, a physics student at Surrey, shared his views about the training: ‘I have learnt that being an entrepreneur is not always about financial profit. People can become social entrepreneurs to help society and, whatever profit they make, they can use it to develop their business further. I have learnt to think from other people’s perspective – how they feel, think and process information. If ideas are criticised too early, people might be discouraged from sharing their thoughts. The most important aspect for me was understanding the four stages of innovation: Dreamer, Realist, Critic and Implementer. I am now keen to take my business idea further!’

24May/17
GRADnet

Deadline 2nd June: GRADnet Summer School, 3-6 July, NPL

The GRADnet Summer School is to take place from the 3rd to 6th July 2017 at the National Physical Laboratory, Teddington. The deadline for registration is June 2nd 2017.

Who:  This school is for physics, and physics related,   post-graduate researchers.

When:  3-6 July 2017

Where:  National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 0LW Free to attend. Accommodation is provided at the Travelodge in Teddington and rooms are en suite twin-bedded rooms (2 people sharing).  Travel expenses to and from the venue can be claimed through SEPnet.

Register here.  Registration deadline 3 June 2017.

What:  A 4-day residential school that explores the wide range of opportunities open to PhD physicists.  This intensive school comprises a broad menu of workshops and challenges led by different employers designed to offer students an insight into opportunities beyond their PhD. A consultancy challenge runs throughout the 4 days. High-tech companies come with real problems and invite students, working in teams, to create solutions using the skills they have learnt in their PhD.

Other companies come and offer workshops designed to show what life in a given industry sector type is like and what kind of work is involved.The whole event is threaded through with short sessions led by expert speakers looking at some of the issues that confront those working in science: Outreach, Impact, IPR, Ethics and the like.

Employers participating include:  Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Fourth State Medicine; IBM; National Physical Laboratory; Oxford Instruments; RBA Acoustics; Things We Don’t Know; Surrey Satellite Technology Limited and WP Thompson.

This workshop contributes 16 hours towards physics skills training and 8 hours towards professional skills training.

2016 Summer School

Group Photo from the 2016 GRADnet Summer School at Herstmonceux

17May/17

Call for Proposals: Student Led Conferences 2018

Student-led Conference April/March 2018 at a SEPnet Institution to be confirmed

 Following very successful events in 2015/6 and 2016/7, GRADnet is once again offering PhD students the opportunity to organise and run two-day residential workshops or mini-conferences on a Physics topic of their choosing.  Student organisers will be expected to encourage the active participation of their peers in giving talks and / or poster presentations. In addition organisers will be able to invite external speakers to attend should they wish.

We anticipate that three workshops on different topics will be organised in the following areas:

  • astrophysics / astronomy
  • particle / nuclear physics
  • condensed matter / atomic physics
  • quantum technology
  • theoretical physics
  • or  any other area of physics with sufficient critical mass across the SEPnet partners to run a successful workshop.

Moreover inter-disciplinary bids on themes merging any of the above physics areas are also welcome.

A budget of up to £4500 will be available to each workshop that can be used to:

  • Support the attendance (travel, accommodation and food) of SEPnet students (15-30)
  • Invite and support the participation of high profile presenters
  • Cover any other reasonable expenses.

The three selected workshops will run in parallel on dates in April/March (to be confirmed) sharing, catering and residential facilities at a SEPnet Institution.

There will be an introductory session targeted at those considering making a bid for a conference via video conference on Tuesday, 23rd May 2017 at 11-12. The purpose of this session will be to:

  • Explain details of the scheme in greater depth;
  • Offer students the opportunity to ask questions;
  • Offer students potentially interested in organising a workshop the opportunity to network and develop their workshop ideas.

Please e-mail gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk if you wish to join the introductory session on the 23rd May.

To make a bid:  Fill in the attached form with all the relevant details and return to gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk by 9 June 2017.

2017 conference on Functional Scanning Probe Microscopy Techniques

Regards
Cristobel
Cristobel Soares-Smith
SEPnet Graduate Network Administrator
01483 682270
26Apr/17

Registration Extended – GRADnet Enterprising Ideas Competition

Investing In Your Research, Your Skills and Your Future

To give more time for students around SEPnet to form teams, we are extending the time for them to register for the Enterprising Ideas competition. We’d also like to dispel some misconceptions about what the programme is about and Elaine Hickmott, who is organising the programme for GRADnet, has written an article articulating the goals and purpose of what the training involves and how it helps Physics  students in their future careers.

Which SEPnet university team has the greatest entrepreneurial spirit?     

The 2017 GRADnet Enterprising Ideas Competition is now open!

Are you interested in developing your entrepreneurial skills?

Are you a SEPnet PGR or a physics undergraduate

Put forward a team for a chance to win £100 for each member!

What it is

SEPnet is organising its 2nd annual enterprising ideas competition to help you develop your entrepreneurship skills.

SEPnet PGRs and physics undergraduates in their penultimate year are invited to put forward teams to compete to be the most entrepreneurial in SEPnet.

Why you should be interested

Business and research increasingly need graduates who bring fresh ideas, innovative thinking and who have great team working skills. Physicists have the research skills and technical knowledge to inform policy, improve society and create exciting new products. Highly developed entrepreneurial skills and an enquiring mind are key to building a knowledge-based economy and can give you the edge when applying for research or graduate jobs or studentships.

Whatever career you pursue, whether in research or business, the skills you gain by participating in this competition will be of great value. By the end of the programme you will have:

  • gained a fresh perspective on how your skills and knowledge can be applied
  • understood more about entrepreneurship and what it means to have an entrepreneurial mindset
  • developed real insights into business, innovation, enterprise and team working
  • participate in multiple activities based on real life experiences and scenarios.

The programme is NOT about turning you into entrepreneurs or seeking new business opportunities but to expose you to the world of business and the impact of innovation on business.

You do not need to have a business idea or experience beforehand to take part!

How it works

If you are a PGR or an undergraduate you will need to confirm your interest in participating by 31 March 2017.  Places are limited on a first come, first served basis.

Forming teams:

  • these should be 3 – 6 people
  • may include PGR only, UG only or be a mixture of PGRs and UGs and may also be formed between SEPnet universities
  • if you do not have a team but would be interested in joining one, let us know and we will put you in touch with others

2-day training course:

  • designated member(s) of the team will attend two days of FREE residential training on 28 and 29 June which will contribute to professional development and build skills to help with the challenge. Training will include varied insights into entrepreneurship; what it really means and why it is important, team work and idea generation together with business, enterprise and communication skills.

Please note:

  • there is a maximum of twenty team spaces available, we are seeking ideally at least one team per institution; however, if an institution doesn’t put a team forward that space can be used by another partner
  • undergraduates on a summer placement should agree with their employer to take 2 days out to attend training

Video:

Teams will be required to produce and submit an initial short video by end of September outlining your idea.

Support:

Teams will be introduced to local entrepreneurial experts at your university to support development of your idea. Ongoing entrepreneurship materials giving hints and tips will also be provided.

Teams will receive feedback from a variety of experts and tips on how take your idea forward.

Key dates:

26 May 2017 Confirm your teams by e-mailing Cristobel Soares-Smith, gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk

28 & 29 June 2017  Entrepreneurship residential training for designated team member(s)

September 2017 Submit short video outlining your idea

January 2018 Proposals with market research and business case to be submitted

February 2018 Presentations to a panel of entrepreneurs and business people

Further information:

25Apr/17

New On-line Learning Modules produced by GRADnet PGRs

Two new on-line learning modules have been created by GRADnet PGR students: Shaun Geaney of RHUL and Justyn Campbell-White of the University of Kent. This brings the total number of modules now available to fourteen. These were all created by GRADnet PGRs in response to the phrase “I wish I’d known that when I started my PhD”. The new modules are:

Designed to help new PhD students embarking on their research, the presentation style of the courses is very varied. Clean code is about creating organised, readable and terse programming code and  is delivered as an online presentation. The Virtual Observatory Tools is a video which will show you how to use the Virtual Observatory (VO) tools: Aladin, Simbad, Vizier, and Topcat.

The creators of these and the other modules received prizes. If any PGRs across SEPnet have any ideas for additional training modules, please contact gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk

Note: you will need to sign on to the GRADnet VRE to access these modules. If you are having problems logging on you can find help here.

29Mar/17
GRADnet

GRADnet Summer School, 3-6 July, National Physical Laboratory

The GRADnet Summer School is to take place from the 3rd to 6th July 2017 at the National Physical Laboratory, Teddington.

Who:  This school is for physics, and physics related,   post-graduate researchers.

When:  3-6 July 2017

Where:  National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 0LW Free to attend. Accommodation is provided at the Travelodge in Teddington and rooms are en suite twin-bedded rooms (2 people sharing).  Travel expenses to and from the venue can be claimed through SEPnet.

Register here.  Registration deadline 3 June 2017.

What:  A 4-day residential school that explores the wide range of opportunities open to PhD physicists.  This intensive school comprises a broad menu of workshops and challenges led by different employers designed to offer students an insight into opportunities beyond their PhD. A consultancy challenge runs throughout the 4 days. High-tech companies come with real problems and invite students, working in teams, to create solutions using the skills they have learnt in their PhD.

Other companies come and offer workshops designed to show what life in a given industry sector type is like and what kind of work is involved.The whole event is threaded through with short sessions led by expert speakers looking at some of the issues that confront those working in science: Outreach, Impact, IPR, Ethics and the like.

Employers participating include:  Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Fourth State Medicine; IBM; National Physical Laboratory; Oxford Instruments; RBA Acoustics; Things We Don’t Know; Surrey Satellite Technology Limited and WP Thompson.

This workshop contributes 16 hours towards physics skills training and 8 hours towards professional skills training.

2016 Summer School

Group Photo from the 2016 GRADnet Summer School at Herstmonceux

28Feb/17

GRADnet Quantum Technologies School 24-26 April 2017

Who:  This school is for physics PhD and post-doctoral researchers working in the area of quantum technologies.

When: 24-26 April 2017 (Arrival 11.30)

Where:  Old Thorns Manor Hotel, Liphook, Hampshire, GU30 7PE.  Free to attend. Accommodation is provided at the Old Thorns and rooms are en suite twin-bedded rooms (2 people sharing).   Travel expenses to and from the venue can be claimed through SEPnet.  A shuttle taxi service will be provided from Liphook station to Old Thorns on Monday morning and Wednesday evening.

Registration:

PGRs and Postdocs from the SEPnet institutions should register via the VRE here.  Registration deadline 20 March 2017.

If you are a from a non-SEPnet institution you can register your interest to gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk

What:  A 3-day residential workshop led by senior researchers in the SEPnet region comprising lectures, tutorials, seminars and other activities. This school aims to expose PhD students interested in applications of physics which directly rely on the properties of quantum mechanics to perform a function beyond current technological capability.

Sometimes such a device is described as a “machine” whose dynamical degrees of freedom obey Schrodinger’s equations, thereby employing the principles of superposition and entanglement to achieve its task.

The School will be taught by senior researchers from within SEPnet and by invited speakers from beyond. A total of six sessions are planned that will span different directions in which quantum technology is progressing, including:

  • Quantum computation
  • Quantum simulation
  • Quantum sensing / metrology
  • Quantum communications.

In addition, the School will explore key enabling technologies.

Speakers: Erika Andersson, Heriot-Watt University, Sugato Bose, University College London, Andreas Freise, University of Birmingham,Eran Ginossar, University of Surrey, Jaewoo Joo, University of Surrey, Richard Josza, University of Cambridge, Pieter Kok, University of Sheffield, Stefan Kuhr, University of Strathclyde, Tobias Lindstrom, NPL, John Morton, University College London, Yuri Ovchinnikov, NPL, Diego Porras, University of Sussex, Alessandro Rossi, University of Cambridge, Tim Spiller, University of York and Seb Weidt, University of Sussex.

Organisers: Dr Eran Ginossar (Surrey), Prof Winfried Hensinger (Sussex), Dr Elinor Irish (Southampton), Dr Silvia Bergamini (Open University), Dr Tobias Lindstrom (National Physical Laboratory).

This workshop contributes 20 hours towards physics skills training.