Category Archives: postgraduate

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


                            
11Oct/16

SEPnet PhD Scholarships: PhD Grand Challenges 2017

SEPnet PhD Scholarships: PhD Grand Challenges 2017

Take nine world-class University Physics Departments.  Bring together their research, knowledge and resources.  The result is SEPnet.

SEPnet offers PhD programmes focused on the future of physics with scholarships to match.  You will optimise the opportunity to enter your preferred field of research with your single application considered by nine universities: Hertfordshire, Kent, the OU, Portsmouth, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, Southampton, Surrey and Sussex. Our partners offer over 100 PhD projects every year. These projects and SEPnet Scholarships are available in the following areas of research:

  • Astrophysics
  • Atmospheric and Climate physics
  • Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
  • Medical and Bio- Physics
  • Nuclear Physics:
  • Particle Physics
  • Physics Education
  • Quantum Technology and Condensed Matter
  • Space and Planetary Sciences
  • Theoretical Physics

Scholarships come with additional research training support from SEPnet of up to £500 per year which may be used for travel to conferences or overseas experiments.

The SEPnet Graduate Network (GRADnet)

GRADnet provides an extensive regional training programme for postgraduate researchers including physics training and professional skills development. For more information visit: http://www.sepnet.ac.uk/study/phd-opportunities/

GRADnet runs Graduate Schools for Physics PhD students at employers in the region. This video, produced by our students, gives a flavour of what to expect:

How to Apply:

Applicants are invited to submit their current C.V. and a short statement of their research interests (max. 200 words) to Cristobel Soares-Smith, SEPnet Graduate Network Administrator, gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk by 15 February 2017.  Selected candidates will be invited to attend an Open Day on 22 February 2017 at the Royal Astronomical Society in London in order to meet potential supervisors and learn more about GRADnet.

Closing Date:  15 February 2017

Note that you are also able apply directly to any SEPnet University separately through their standard procedures. If your application is accepted by a particular University after the closing date above, it may not be considered for this GRADnet scholarship award. The SEPnet route should be considered as a distinct path. We will endeavour to make your application available to be considered for all relevant specific awards outside this SEPnet scheme but cannot guarantee that we are aware of all advertised posts from individual supervisors.

We expect awards to be made before the end of April.

03Oct/16

GRADnet Induction 2016 for our new PGRs

GRADnet is pleased to announce the Induction event for Physics PGRs from across SEPnet.

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

When:  26 October 2016, 10:15-16:00

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

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.

Register here.  Or with your local GRADnet administrator. Deadline to register is 19 October 2016. Please ensure you have your VRE account activated.

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 from five short workshops designed to get you started in key areas of activity.

  • LaTeX. LaTeX is a document preparation system widely used by physical scientists for the creation of scientific papers, reports and theses, indeed many key journals require paper submission in LaTeX. You will learn to create a simple document covering the key components — title, abstract, sections, tables, equations, figures, and references.
  • MATLAB. Matlab is a high-level technical computing language and interactive environment for algorithm development, data analysis and visualization, and numerical computation.  MATLAB can solve technical computing problems faster and more easily than with traditional programming languages, such as C, C++, and FORTRAN.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Meetings and conferences.  A major part of many students’ PhD is organising meetings; meetings with supervisors, collaborators, sponsors and broader workshops and conferences.  This is a practical workshop designed to help you organise conferences, meetings and events from start to finish, without compromising your research.
03Oct/16

Effective Physics Researcher 1 & 29 November 2016

GRADnet is offering a two day course for recent Physics PhD researchers in the SEPnet region.

Who:  This course is for 1st and 2nd Year Physics PhD researchers.

When:   Tuesday, 1 and 29 November 2016

Where:  The Open University, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden, NW1 8NF, Room 1

Register here.  Registration deadline 25 October 2016.

What:  An interactive two-day course designed to develop the skills necessary for you to start your PhD research off on the right foot.  Throughout the two days you will participate in activities and discussions that help you develop plans and strategies which will enable you to succeed now and that will provide you with a solid foundation for the future after your doctorate.

Attendance is required on Day 1 and Day 2.  Day 2 is on 29 November 2016 at the OU in Camden and will cover activities with employers.

Day One: Starting Strong

A varied series of interactive sessions that explore;

  •  What is an effective researcher
  •  Different research approaches
  •  Critical thinking and reading
  •  Understanding expectations and supervisors
  •  Your path to completion
  •  Research project planning
  •  What you need to know
  •  Your next 100 days!

Day Two: Succeeding Now and in the Future

  •  Building your resources
  •  What will this doctorate do for me?
  •  The academic horizon
  •  Employer panel: What do employers want from physics doctoral graduates?
  •  Researcher spotlight: Presenting your research plans
06Sep/16

GRADnet Planetary Science School 14-15 November 2016

Planetary Science School 14-15 November 2016

GRADnet is pleased to announce a two day workshop for postgraduate researchers engaged in the diverse areas of Planetary Science at the SEPnet members.

Who:  Physics postgraduate researchers in planetary science.

When:  14-15 November 2016

Where:  National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 0LW Accommodation is pre-booked and paid by SEPnet at the Travelodge in Teddington.  Travel expenses to and from the venue can be claimed through SEPnet.

Register here.  Registration deadline 14 October 2016. You will need to be logged onto the GRADnet VRE to register.

What:  A 2-day residential workshop led by senior researchers in the SEPnet region comprising lectures, tutorials, seminars and other activities. The workshop comprises four sessions exploring difference aspects of planetary science through a mix of lectures, seminars and tutorials. There will be a poster opportunity for students to present their own plans and research.

Measuring geology on distant worlds

Led by researchers from the Open University, this session explores how rocks and minerals that form distant worlds are formed, destroyed, and rebuilt during geologic processes.  The contrasting examples of Mercury and Mars will be described.

Planetary magnetospheres

Led by researchers from the University of Southampton, this session explores how solar system bodies interact with the solar wind, the extension of the Sun’s outer atmosphere that flows outward through the solar system.

Asteroids and Comets

Led by researchers from the University of Kent, this session focuses on the exploration of asteroids and comets that recently achieved fame through Rosetta’s Philae probe first-ever landing on a comet; 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

Deep space communication and navigation

Getting probes to distant worlds and getting quality data back is a key aspect of any mission in planetary science.  Led by researchers at NPL this session discusses the technical and intellectual challenges involved.

31Aug/16

Connecting Industry and Researchers in Physics – A SEPnet Event – Wednesday 19 October 2016 – 17.00-20.00, University of Hertfordshire

Connecting Industry and Researchers in Physics,

Wednesday, 19 October 2016, University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire Sports Village, Hatfield.

SEPnet’s Graduate Network (GRADnet) is organising its 6th networking evening to facilitate greater collaboration and links between industry and physics postgraduate research students (PGRs) and researchers.

Who should attend

  • SEPnet PGR students who want to meet businesses and employers from physics-related industries to find out about career opportunities, make contacts and explore research and business ideas.
  • SEPnet partner researchers who want to build links with industry to explore how their research can create impact.
  • Businesses and employers in physics-related industries interested in recruiting physics graduates.

During the evening

  • Hear from panellists about the benefits of knowledge exchange and what physics postgraduates and postdocs can offer industry
  • Participate in a speed networking session
  • Build ongoing relationships between industry and researchers through placements, mentoring or research collaboration
  • Find out about work experience and mentoring opportunities;
  • Develop your networking and communication skills.
  • Refreshments will be provided.

How to register    This event is FREE to attend.  Places are limited so please book early by clicking on the following link:http://bit.ly/1R9GsmA.  (PGR students are requested to attend a networking workshop at 16.00). Registration deadline: 14/10/2016

Banners    If you would like to bring a banner for display let us know and we will reserve you a space.

For enquiries, contact gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk

THIS EVENT IS SUPPORTED BY THE INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS

 

 

30Aug/16

GRADnews Issue 5 – Summer 2016 Issue available

The Summer 2016 issue of GRADnews has been sent off for printing. It will be distributed to all PGRs and staff across the SEPnet members over the next two weeks. Watch out for it in your mailslots or in your PGR student common rooms/areas. If there’s one in your mailslot, then it’s for you!

This issue concentrates on the GRADnet Training programme as we reach the third year of its delivery. It summarises some of the recent programme, such as the Online Learning modules produced by PGRs keen to pass on their knowledge to newer students; the recent Summer School held at Hertmonceux; the Entrepreneurship Challenge; the SEPnet Scholar scheme; and, looking forward, the Student led conferences planned for 2017; the training programme and the forthcoming Big Data workshop.

As always, please ensure you have a functioning VRE account so you can fully participate in the programme. If you need help, please look here: http://www.sepnet.ac.uk/sepnet-graduate-network/gradnets-virtual-research-environment/frequently-asked-questions-faqs-gradnet-vre/ 

You can download a copy of the newsletter here: 63890 GRADnews Issue 5 PROOF1

30Aug/16

GRADnet VRE – Make sure your account is working

With the start of the new academic year upon us and the GRADnet training programme being launched for the coming year, we must ensure that all PGR students in SEPnet have ensured they have functioning logins for the GRADnet Virtual Research Environment.Your login (also called an OUCU) is of the form AB12345 where AB is normally your two initials.

It is vital that all students are able to login to the VRE and regularly check it for information and enrolment on GRADnet offerings. We have implemented a system for enrolling on GRADnet offerings via the VRE and for most offerings enrolment will only be possible via the VRE.

This same system on the VRE allows you to find and search for courses, workshops, residential schools etc that you may be interested in attending or required to attend. It is important that you are able to access it and to ensure you are able to use it. These can be found under the Training tab when logged onto the VRE and the GRADnet Event Catalogue and Registrations entry on that page.

The VRE is accessible via www.sepnet.ac.uk/vre . It can also be found via the SEPnet website (www.sepnet.ac.uk) under the “SEPnet Graduate Network” menu: SEPnet Graduate Network -> GRADnet’s Virtual Research Environment.

A set of FAQs concerning the VRE and how to register or reset accounts are available here.

For:

  • New Students (or unregistered current students): you will need to register and can do so on www.sepnet.ac.uk/vre At busy times this process may take up to 5 days, if you have not received account details within 5 days please contact your local GRADnet administration contact.
    • Herts: Kathy Head
    • Kent: Helen West
    • The OU: Georgina Ayre
    • Portsmouth: Emma Bain
    • QMUL: Karen Wilkinson
    • RHUL: Carmella Froggatt
    • Southampton: Ceris French
    • Surrey: Joanna Moore
    • Sussex: Rebecca Foster
  • If you have an existing account but have forgotten the password you can reset your password by calling the OU’s Student Computing and Distribution Helpdesk on 01908 653972 and ask for your “visitor SAMS password” to be reset. You will need to know your username (OUCU) and may be asked to confirm your date of birth. If you are unable to call the helpdesk then you can email ou-scdhd@open.ac.uk but please note that it can take longer to reset your password by email. DO NOT use the “password reset” link on the OU sign on screen. 
  • If you have forgotten your username (OUCU) then please contact the GRADnet administrator at your university. Before doing so please check historical emails and other sources that may include your OUCU.
  • Expired access: in some instances it is possible that access has expired (depending on when the account was created and last accessed). If you are using your username and password and unable to log in or not seeing what you expect then you should email vre-webmaster@open.ac.uk  to investigate. This process will always take longer to investigate than a password reset so if there is any chance that you are using the wrong password then you should take the password reset option first.
  • Non-SEPnet accounts: some students have created accounts from the main OU website. If this is the case then you won’t have a username made up of your initials followed by some numbers. Depending on the information that you provide it can take a while to get to investigate these so it would be important to include this in any communication so that you can be instructed to register using the SEPnet VRE registration.

Having validated that your account works and that you can sign in, please ensure that you keep your account information with you so that it does not become necessary to reset the passwords because of infrequent use. Web-browsers often enable the automatic storage of passwords and account details and help make logging in much easier but you may find this gets lost in some circumstances.

As we anticipate that the new cohort of students joining this term will be registering for the VRE over the next few weeks we would urge you to act now.

15Aug/16

GRADnet 2016/17 Training Programme announced

Outline of 2016-17 Training Programme

GRADnet is pleased to announce its programme of Physics PGR training for the coming academic year. We have developed our biggest programme yet for 2016/17 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 more strongly on residential workshops in the big research themes of its partner Physics Departments. For 2016/17 we are offering:

For some of these events we will return to the Old Thorns Country Club which offers impressive facilities in the middle of our region. Others will be held at NPL.

 

Teamwork: the marshmallow challenge at the 2016 GRADnet Winter School

Teamwork: the marshmallow challenge at the 2016 GRADnet Winter School

For First Year PGRs

The whole programme kicks off with an Induction Day on 26th October in central London. New this year, Induction  will include a choice of workshops for new PhD students:

  • Introduction to LaTeX
  • Introduction to Python
  • Introduction to MATlab
  • Getting your research published and
  • Organising meetings and conferences.

For all PGRS

The Winter School in 2017 (Feb  13-15) 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 2017 Summer School (July 3-6) follows the established pattern of  “What can I do with my PhD?”– a mix of employer workshops and consultancy challenges. In 2017 it will be hosted once more by NPL.

There will be a Student led conference covering Astronomy and Scanning Probe Microscopy Techniques at the University of Southampton on March 30-31 2017; a Professional Skills Day on May 18th; a module on Public Engagement on February 21st; and Effective Researcher, kicking it off, on Nov 1st and  29th 2016.

The programme for the year can be downloaded here: GRADnet Brochure 2016-17 Final

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