Category Archives: postgraduate

02Oct/17

GRADnews Autumn Issue – SEPnet’s Graduate School newsletter is out now!

The Autumn 2017 issue of GRADnews provides an update on all that’s been happening within GRADnet over the last few months.

Read about:

  • an interesting measurement conundrum – answers on a postcard please!
  • the first DISCnet (data science) workshop for PGRs as part of the new Centre for Doctoral Training (employers interested in offering placements to data science PGRs should visit this page: http://www.sepnet.ac.uk/research/discnet-overview/ and contact Gill.Prosser@Port.ac.uk)
  • Mark Patton of Oxford Instruments’ perspective on engaging with PGRs this summer as part of the GRADnet summer school.

A copy of the newsletter can be downloaded here: GRADnews Issue 7 Final v3

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

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.

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.

07Aug/17

Southampton Quantum Light and Matter (QLM) Summer School

Registration Now Open!
We look forward to seeing you at the School!

Are you an experimental physicist? Are the lab gremlins getting you down? Does none of your data make sense? You could give up and end it all… but you should come to the QLM Summer School 2017! There are a limited number of places for PGRs from SEPnet institutions.

Now in its third year, the QLM Summer School is a chance to receive practical, hands-on advice to develop new skills, improve your lab productivity and kickstart your future career.  Taking place at Bournemouth University Talbot Campus from the 30th August – 1st September 2017, we are offering a varied selection of talks, workshops and activities to help unleash your full scientific potential whether you’re just starting your PhD and feel completely lost, or approaching the end of your PhD… and feel completely lost!

Accommodation, travel to and from the summer school and meals are provided!

Find out more here.

To Register click on the registration tab or follow the link below:

https://goo.gl/forms/KxLlWmmOrnaErMLY2

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:

 

 

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.

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.

17Jan/17

GRADnet School: Experimental Methods for Condensed Matter 5-7 March 2017

Experimental Methods for Condensed Matter 5-7 March 2017

Who:  This course is for 1st and 2nd Year Physics postgraduate researchers working in experimental condensed matter physics, and theorists wanting to learn what   experimenters can do!

When: Sunday, 5 March to Tuesday, 7 March 2017.  Arrival 12:30 on Sunday, 5 March.

Where:  Old Thorns Manor Hotel, Liphook, Hampshire, GU30 7PE.  All meals and accommodation have been booked and pre-paid by SEPnet.  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 Tuesday evening.

Register here.  Registration deadline 30 January 2017

What:  A 3-day residential workshop that describes the background science, the methodology, the capability and some dos and don’ts of a range of common spectroscopy, microscopy and characterisation techniques.

This residential school has the joint objectives of reinforcing understanding for students already working with some of the methods discussed and showing what other methods might offer. It will include lectures, tutorials, seminars and other activity sessions on:

  • X-ray and neutron scattering
  • Optical spectroscopies.  A discussion of the basics of optical spectroscopy, spectrometers and spectrographs will be followed by examples of their use in characterising materials by photoluminescence, Raman spectroscopy, absorption spectroscopy, etc.
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance. An introduction to how physicists use NMR to measure molecular dynamics and microstructure.
  • Electron and atomic force microscopies and surface analysis techniques. These methods enable the imaging of (i) the topography of materials surfaces, (ii) the microstructure of a material, (iii) the defects, such as dislocations, within a material and (iv) chemical analysis. Two sessions explore how these goals are achieved.

This workshop contributes 16 hours towards physics skills training.

17Oct/16
GRADnet Summer School

‘I Wish I Had Known Earlier’ – GRADnet Student-led Online Learning Proposal Call

Once again GRADnet is offering a scheme in which postgraduate researchers can create online learning modules to share their knowledge and experience with peers in earlier years.  We invite you to participate in this. You will receive a £1,000 bursary for each online module you create. Details of previously created modules are available on the VRE. Log on to http://www.open.ac.uk/students/research/SEPnet/training/student-led-on-line-learning%20modules

Proposals can be to support the development of either technical skills (for example, theoretical methods and tools, or practical physics know-how and skills) or more transferable/genetic skills (for example, Managing your Time, or Presenting at Conferences).  Although we have provided these examples, we expect that you will have a much better idea from your own experience of exactly what you wished you had known when you had started or what you had difficulty getting to grips with. These modules are designed to help those coming behind you avoid the same problems.

You are asked to submit a proposal for an online module, see attached guidelines and form. The proposal should identify the topic, provide an outline of what a module needs to cover and what learning it is intended to deliver. If selected, you will receive mentoring to help you develop a high quality virtual learning package in one of several possible formats (video, website, text etc). This is another skill to add to your portfolio.  Collaborative modules between groups of students are particularly welcomed. This is an excellent opportunity to develop your teaching skills and experience for your CV.

Before you submit your proposal, there will be a chance to discuss your ideas and see what previous students have done on Tuesday, 25 October 2015 at 11:15-12:15 via Skype.  If you wish to participate in this session please email gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk by midday on Friday, 21 October 2016 and I will then send you the SEPnet Skype contact details.

I wish I had known application form and guidance 2016 Final