Monthly Archives: March 2024


Outreach & Public Engagement Workshop at RAS 20 March 2024

GRADnet’s in-person workshop, Developing Knowledge and Skills in Public Engagement, was delivered on the 20th March 2024 at the Royal Astronomical Society. The workshop was led and facilitated by SEPnet Director of Outreach and Public Engagement, Laura Meade, and SEPnet Outreach and Public Engagement Officers, Nuala O’Flynn (University of Hertfordshire), Dr Darren Baskill (University of Sussex), and Dr Eliza Hunt (Queen Mary University of London).

The interactive workshop was attended by enthusiastic postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers and aimed to ignite their passion for public engagement and act as a catalyst for fostering meaningful connections between researchers and the wider community. 

Throughout the afternoon, participants were encouraged to discuss their own research, and worked in groups to plan out the beginnings of a public engagement project linked to their work. The afternoon included:

  • An introduction to public engagement: defining and discussing what meaningful public engagement is, showcasing a range of public engagement projects that have been developed at SEPnet universities, and signposting where to find more examples.
  • Exploring why and how we engage with different audiences: considering different groups of people, what their interests are, and how to link this to your research.
  • Tips on logistical aspects of planning an activity: signposting to grant schemes, budgeting advice, and guidance on the best times of year to engage with different groups of people.
  • Evaluation advice: thinking about how to measure the impact of your activities, and the different purposes and motivations behind reporting.

Thank you to the Outreach team for delivering this useful and insightful workshop on behalf of GRADnet.



Congratulations to Prize Winners at Student-led Conferences!

The GRADnet Student-led Conferences took place on Wednesday, 13 March 2024 at One Park Crescent, London W1.  Prizes were awarded to the following PhD students:

GRADnet Student-led Conference:  Physics is You – Prize Winners:

Best best lightning talk:  Lucy Haddad, PhD Student at Queen Mary, University of London

Best presentation:  Noah Chulu Chinn, PhD Student at UCL.

GRADnet Student-led Conference:  Quantum Futures – Prize Winners:

Petros Zantis, PhD Student at University of Sussex won “Clarity of presentation”.

Anna Migo, PhD Student at University of Sussex won “Most ready for industry”.

Maria Violaris, PhD Student at University of Oxford won “Most creative presentation”.

See here for further details about both conferences.

Congratulations to all the prize winners and well done!


GRADnet Student-led Conferences 13 March 2024

The GRADnet Student-led Conferences was attended by over 50 delegates on 13 March in London W1.  This was a great opportunity for PhD students to present their research to their peers as they don’t get to present externally that often and to network. This is the 7th year that GRADnet has organised a student-led conference.

This year’s parallel conferences were: Quantum Futures: the second quantum revolution and how it will impact research and industry led by PhD Student Joe Aziz at RHUL and Physics is YOU! Celebrating diversity and discussing challenges in physics led by PhD Student Akeem Hart at QMUL and his organising team; Margaret-Ann Withington and Kymani Armstrong-Williams (Queen Mary University of London) Jess Lock (University of Sussex) Mattia Emma and Leah Wolf (Royal Holloway, University of London).

Thank you to our external speakers:   Mr Christopher Bishop, The Quantum Tech Podcast; Dr Marco Ghibaudi, Riverlane; Harriet van der Vliet, Oxford Instruments; Dr Clara Barker, Oxford University, Dr Luke Davis, UCL and Dr Nicolas Bonne, University of Portsmouth.

Delegates said: “it was a great atmosphere to give one’s first presentation”; “the external speakers’ talks were really interesting and useful” and “it’s one of the best events like this they had been to!”

Well done Joe, Akeem, Margaret-Ann, Kymani, Jess, Mattia and Leah for making this year’s event such a success!