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

29Sep/17

IOP/SEPnet Joint Career Panel Event for PGRs

Wednesday 8 November 2017, 16:30-20:30 Hallam Conference Centre, London W1

A special joint IOP SEPnet careers event for early career researchers to help, inspire and motivate you to explore the careers options open to you in a welcoming and friendly environment.

You will meet a panel of physics PhD graduates pursuing careers in diverse areas in and outside academia.

Organisations include Adaptix; Diamond Light Source; IBM; Institute for Cosmology & Gravitation, University of Portsmouth; MP Capital; National Physical Laboratory; STFC ; Rutherford Appleton Laboratory; Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd; UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and WP Thompson.

Vishanti Fox, IOP Careers and CPD Manager, will offer advice on CV writing.

Places are limited. This event is free to attend.

Travel expenses will be reimbursed by SEPnet through GRADnet PGR Administrators.
Register at http://bit.ly/2wFp084

29Sep/17

SEPnet Outreach is looking for an Evaluator for Connect Physics

SEPnet is looking for an evaluator for Connect Physics, our new workshops looking to raise the number of Year 8 students considering physics as a pathway to their future. There has been some formative evaluation and initial testing on the workshops but we would like the evaluator to join us for this final phase of testing and summative evaluation.

Details for the project can be found here.

The evaluation brief can be found here.

SEPnet Outreach will accept proposals up to £7,000 which should include any travel expenses and VAT if applicable. Any proposed budgets above this amount should be justified within the proposal. Deadline for proposals is Monday 16 October 2017.

Contact
Please contact Dominic Galliano on 0207 882 5063 /  07702 363 731 or outreach@sepnet.ac.uk if you would like any further information.

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

13Jul/17

GRADnet Introduction to Data Intensive Science Workshop 18-20 September 2017

GRADnet Introduction to Data Intensive Science Workshop 18-20 September 2017 – Registration now open.

Who: All DISCnet CDT students. Any GRADnet PhD student with an interest in data intensive science techniques.

What: A 3-day workshop that introduces the CDT and data intensive science and will comprise lectures, tutorials, and examples of the benefits of data intensive science techniques as applied to current research projects and induction into the DISCnet Centre for Doctoral Training: What is DISCnet? What kind of training is offered? What industry placements are available? This session gives an overview of the centre and provides information on how you can get involved.

  • Lunch and networking reception on 18th September: This is a great networking opportunity. DISCnet students, GRADnet students, supervisory teams, and the DISCnet coordinators will get to know each other in an informal setting.
  • Examples in data intensive science: How does data science give the edge in your PhD? Current PhD students from several SEPnet universities will demonstrate how data intensive science techniques have helped shape their PhD research. Topics will range from astronomical surveys, to numerical simulations and particle physics accelerator data.
  • Tools for data intensive science in particle physics and astronomy: This session will introduce you to important packages and tools that are in use in the various research fields. We will provide help installing software and guide you through the first steps.

When18th – 20th September 2017

Register here.  Registration deadline 16 August 2017

Where: Old Thorns Manor Hotel, Liphook, Hampshire

Requirements: A laptop computer is essential for this workshop.

Numbers: 30-35 delegates

The Data Intensive Science Centre in SEPnet (DISCnet) is a new STFC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training.

Eventbrite - GRADnet Introduction to Data Intensive Science Workshop 18-20 September 2017

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!’