Category Archives: Uncategorized

28Mar/18

Organise your own 2-day Residential Physics Conference or Workshop 2019 – Apply for GRADnet Funding

Student-led Conference April 2019 at a SEPnet Institution to be confirmed

Following very successful events in 2015/6, 2016/7 and 2017/18,  GRADnet is once again offering SEPnet 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 two 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 two selected workshops will run in parallel on dates in April 2019 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, 15 May 2018 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 15th May.

To make a bid:  Fill in the form here: Student Led Workshops Call 2018 Final with all the relevant details and return to gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk by 8 June 2018.

02Mar/18

SEPnet Summer Placements 2018 now open for applications!

Over 80 SEPnet summer placements are being advertised to eligible SEPnet students from the beginning of March. The projects offered are varied, challenging and exciting and are already attracting lots of interest from students.

2nd and 3rd (non-final) year physics student at SEPnet partner universities are eligible to apply. Some placements are also open to SEPnet PhD students.

Students should contact their SEPnet Employer Engagement Officer or email summerplacements@sepnet.ac.uk to find out more. Click here for more information.

20Feb/18

RHUL team win “Enterprising Ideas” competition 2018!

Over the past months seven SEPnet teams have been taking part in the Enterprising Ideas Competition designed to develop entrepreneurship skills.  PGRs and physics undergraduates were invited in January 2017 to put forward teams to compete to be the most entrepreneurial in SEPnet.

Three teams, Kent, RHUL and Southampton made it to the final on the 15 February 2018 at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor. The winning team was announced at a “Physics Means Business” networking event at the GRADnet Winter School.

Congratulations to the RHUL team who won £100 each!

L-R: Phil Edwards, Weald Technology, Simon Bland, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Bob Pickles, Canon (UK) Ltd, Rupert Mellor, Alex Waterworth,  Albert Baker, Stephanie Bennett, Nathan Eng, Thomas Vaughan and Elaine Hickmott, Elaine Hickmott Enterprises.

Business and research increasingly need graduates who bring fresh ideas, innovative thinking and who have great team-working skills. 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.

This GRADnet training has given participants an opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on how skills and knowledge can be applied; to understand more about entrepreneurship and what it means to have an entrepreneurial mind-set and develop real insights into business, innovation and team working.

Thank you to Elaine Hickmott, Development Director, EH Enterprises, Learning and development for scientists and engineers, who ran the 2-day entrepreneurship training for UGs and PGRs in June 2017 and the competition, and Cristobel Soares-Smith, Graduate Network Administrator, for coordinating and organising both events.

See here for Elaine Hickmott’s Blog.

21Dec/17

SEPnet Summer Placements 2018 – Do you have a project/work experience for a physics undergraduate?

SEPnet organises an annual placement scheme for physics students at the above universities and is seeking 8-week plus projects in industry or research in areas such as data analysis, mathematical modelling, product design and testing or science communication.

Who can apply?
The scheme is aimed at any organisations interested in recruiting physics graduates, or who can offer valuable business experience, including large companies, SMEs, start-ups, research institutions, charities and NGOs.

Benefits to employers
• Early access to bright, numerate students with excellent problem-solving and IT skills
• Enables you to carry out projects you would not normally have time for
• Provides a fresh perspective on your business challenges
• All advertising, administration and placement support is handled by SEPnet
• Some funding is available for SMEs
• Read our short case studies http://www.sepnet.ac.uk/students-employers/careers-information/summer-placement-scheme/case-studies/

What employers have said:
‘Very satisfied with the whole process, organised and straightforward, with good students.’
‘We took SEPnet students for the second year running and have been very impressed with the calibre, their capabilities and the general high standard. For your records we have just made a permanent job offer to one of the students…’.

For more information:
Visit http://www.sepnet.ac.uk/students-employers/information-for-employers/ for further information and to register your placement project, or projects, online by Friday 9 February. Email veronica.benson@sepnet.ac.uk

08Dec/17

SEPnet Sharing Good Practice in HE STEM Equality & Diversity

SEPnet organised a one-day workshop for Equality & Diversity and Project Juno champions to share good practice in addressing barriers to female progression in STEM on 4 December.

Paul Walton of University of York highlighted the barriers people put up to progressing gender equality and what solutions are available to deal with them. Averil Macdonald, Diversity Lead for SEPnet, looked at attracting students, recruiting staff and how to reach a wider pool of candidates through the use of inclusive language in marketing.  Sally Jordan of The Open University focused on learning gain, attainment gaps and student diversity while Peter Main of Kings College London described how to implement an effective fully transparent workload allocation model and led discussion on whether the long hours’ culture could be overcome.  Finally, Tracey Berry of Royal Holloway provided top tips on how to submit effective Athena SWAN and Project Juno Applications.

You can sign up to the SEPnet Diversity JISCMAIL group to share ideas, information and news related to equality and diversity. Email Cristobel Soares-Smith at c.soares-smith@surrey.ac.uk if you wish to join this group.

28Nov/17

SEPnet & University of Hertfordshire Degree Apprenticeship Consultation

Wednesday 6 December 12.00 – 15.00
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

This half-day meeting, including lunch, will:
• explore the demand for physics-related apprenticeships by developing an understanding of the skills and workforce needs in industry
• identify the potential for university physics departments to support the development of new degree apprenticeships or implement existing standards.
• generate ideas for possible collaboration on degree apprenticeship development, involving the Institute for Physics and SEPnet member departments.

AUDIENCE
Employers of physics graduates, relevant professional bodies, sector skills councils, local enterprise partnerships, HE physics academics.

To join this meeting and for further details, contact: employerengagement@sepnet.ac.uk

20Nov/17

Female physics students take control of their careers

On Wednesday 15 November the IOP held its annual event focusing on promoting career opportunities for female physicists. ‘Taking Control of your Career as a Female Physicist’, organised in partnership with SEPnet, set out to communicate the range of career opportunities for female physicists and provide a platform for attendees to discuss career-related issues in a supportive environment.

Panellists from industry and academia shared their experiences and provided tips and advice on their career journey and the resilience needed to carve out a successful career path. The attendees commented on what inspirational role models the panellists were and on how motivated and well informed they felt about their career options.

One student commented “(i)t is really hard to meet female physicists outside academia so this is why I attended this event and I feel inspired and supported. It’s also proven to be a great networking opportunity”. Panellist, Rikki Douglas of Ultra Electronics said “(i)t is refreshing to see so many committed career-minded female physicists in one place.”

10Nov/17

IOP/SEPnet Joint PhD Careers Event Makes PGRs Aware of Their Many Options

On 8 November the Institute of Physics and SEPnet co-hosted a careers and speed networking event for post graduate researchers chaired by Mark Telling, Senior Research Scientist at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and IOP Vice President (membership).

Students had the opportunity to interact with physicists in business and research institutions including representatives from Diamond Light Source; IBM; ICG Portsmouth; MP Capital; NPL; Rank Group; Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd to learn about different career pathways open to individuals with a PhD in physics.

Mark Telling described how ‘this event not only promotes possible academic career opportunities but also provides a much needed platform for those sectors which depend on physics, and skilled physicists, but for whom career openings may not be immediately visible.’

The event was a great success with one Surrey PGR student summing up the event by saying ‘it was great to have panellists from all different walks of life and who have taken totally different career paths – it really helped put into perspective the plurality of options that are available to us as physics students.”

Veronica Benson, SEPnet Employer Liaison Director added that ‘collaborating with the IOP on this event has certainly enabled us to offer a richer experience to our postgraduate researchers.’ The IOP and SEPnet look forward to collaborating on similar events in the future.

02Nov/17

Degree Apprenticeship Consultation for SEPnet Partners, Employers and Physics Academics

Degree Apprenticeship Consultation
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
Wednesday 6 December 12.00 – 15.00

A half-day meeting has been organised between University of Hertfordshire and SEPnet to:
• explore the demand for physics-related apprenticeships by developing an understanding of the skills and workforce needs in industry
• identify the potential for university physics departments to support the development of new degree apprenticeships or implement existing standards.
• generate ideas for possible collaboration on degree apprenticeship development, involving the Institute for Physics and SEPnet member departments.

This event is for all employers of physics graduates, relevant professional bodies, sector skills councils, local enterprise partnerships, HE physics academics.

For further details email: employerengagement@sepnet.ac.uk

26Oct/17

HE STEM Equality and Diversity – the Impact of the TEF and REF: What are the risks of not engaging?

A SEPnet Workshop – Monday 4 December 2017, 10.00 – 16.00, Queen Mary University of London

SEPnet is organising a one-day workshop to share good practice in addressing barriers to female progression in STEM and supporting under-represented groups with particular focus on the impact of the REF and TEF.

Successful REF and TEF submissions will increasingly depend on HEIs demonstrating evidence of robust diversity policies and practices. Presenters will provide an overview of progress to date highlighting examples of successful initiatives. Short case studies will be followed by group discussion to understand what key actions HE staff, responsible for diversity, can take to bring about real change.

Programme and speakers:
• Gender equality in an academic department – lessons learnt – Paul Walton, University of York

• Widening Participation, the TEF and REF – recruitment and marketing – Averil Macdonald, Diversity Lead, SEPnet

• Learning gain, attainment gaps and student diversity – Sally Jordan, Open University

• Contracts, work allocation and the long hours’ culture – Peter Main, Kings College London

• Athena SWAN and Project Juno Applications – top tips and pitfalls – Tracey Berry, Royal Holloway University of London

• TEF/REF – what are the risks of not engaging? – panel discussion

This event is aimed at HE STEM staff responsible for diversity and inclusion including Athena SWAN, Project Juno and diversity champions, HR managers and academics.

Refreshments will be provided. The workshop is FREE to attend, places are limited. Contact veronica.benson@sepnet.ac.uk to book your place.