All posts by Veronica Benson

06Oct/21

HE STEM Equality, Diversity & Inclusion – Revisiting the leaky pipeline – short-term contracts and career planning

5th Annual SEPnet Workshop – Wednesday 1 December 10.00 – 13.00
Hosted online by University of Sussex

The number of people from under-represented groups reduces at each career stage of the academic career path in physics and other STEM disciplines. This workshop focuses on the postdoctoral phase of an ECR’s career and explores how the typical series of short-term contracts affects their career choices and what can be done in support of ECRs.

While this issue affects all ECRs, the workshop will focus, in particular, on support for ECRs from under-represented groups. This event is aimed at ECR representatives, HE STEM staff responsible for diversity and inclusion including Athena SWAN, Project Juno and diversity champions, HR managers and academics.

PROGRAMME
10.00 Chair’s introduction
Professor Matthias Keller, University of Sussex

10.10 The challenges of an academic career in physics – overcoming the barriers to career progression
Professor Kathy Romer, University of Sussex

10:35 The effect of short-term contracts on career planning and choices: early career researcher perspective
Dr Gregory Ashton, Early Career Researcher, University of Portsmouth

11:00 Challenges and strategies for career management; supporting underrepresented groups and promoting EDI
Rana Marrington, Careers Consultant (Postgraduate & Early Career Researchers), Doctoral College, University of Surrey

11:25 Break

11:35 Short term contracts and career planning – what are the solutions? An HEI perspective
Dr Annika Lohstroh, Staff Tutor, School of Physical Sciences (SPS), The Open University

12:00 Breakout group discussions
12:30 Group feedback and panel discussion
13:00 Close of proceedings

The workshop is FREE to join. Places are limited. Please register for a place below on a first come, first served basis.

Revisiting the leaky pipeline – short-term contracts and career planning Tickets, Wed 1 Dec 2021 at 10:00 | Eventbrite


27Sep/21

SEPnet STUDENTS’ ONLINE EXPO WEDNESDAY 17 NOVEMBER 2021 09.30 – 13.00

The annual Students’ Expo provides an opportunity for students to showcase their work through presentations and posters to over 120 employers, academic tutors and peers. This year over 80 undergraduate students secured industry and research placements and will present their posters at the Expo.

The event will include presentations from students about their projects and you will get a chance to view students’ posters before, during and after the event.

Prizes will be awarded for the best posters based on visual style, scientific content and effective communication.

The event is chaired by Professor Sir William Wakeham and we are delighted that this year’s keynote address will be delivered by Dr Mark Richards – Academic, Entrepreneur, Diversity Champion & DJ.

For further details contact summerplacements@sepnet.ac.uk

27Sep/21

Taking Control of Your Career as a Woman in Physics Wednesday 27 October 2021, 10.00–12.00 IOP and SEPnet joint online career panel

The Institute of Physics and SEPnet are holding an online careers webinar for university physics students (ie undergraduate, postgraduate and postgraduate research), as well as recent physics graduates working in a range of employment sectors.

Our half-day panel and networking event will give you a chance to find out the variety of career options available to physicists. You will hear from a diverse range of women with physics-related backgrounds who will talk about their roles and how they got to where they are. They will provide practical advice and information about the skills and experience you need to progress in your career.

Places are limited. Please book IOP-SEPnet Joint Webinar: Taking control of your career as a woman in physics (iopconferences.org) as soon as possible to guarantee your place!

PANELLISTS

Tracey Berry, Senior Lecturer in Physics, Royal Holloway University of London
Rhiann Canavan, Scientific Project Manager, Crossfield Fusion
Azaria Coupe, Associate Scientist, QinetiQ
Katie Ley, Communications Manager, Sopra Steria
Charlotte Massey, Strategy Development Manager Net-zero Ecosystems, National Physical Laboratory
Heather McAslan, Data Science Lead, InCrowd
Chantal Nobs, Senior Radiometric Researcher, UKAEA
Sam Weston, SEPnet Outreach Officer, University of Surrey

11Dec/20

SEPnet Summer Placements 2021 – Do you have a project/work experience for a physics or maths undergraduate or PhD student?

SEPnet organises over 70 summer placements a year for all 2nd and 3rd year physics, and now maths, students 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.

The scheme is aimed at any organisations interested in recruiting physics or maths 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 the SEPnet team
• Some funding available for SMEs
• Read our short placement case studies here: Placement Case studies – SEPnet.

Register your placement project, or projects, online here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SEPnet_Employer_Registration_2021/ by Friday 12 February. Early projects will be prioritised.

10Dec/20

A fantastic group of panellists and ambassadors joined our recent joint IOP SEPnet Career Panel for Women in Physics

Over 100 students signed up to hear inspiring stories from a diverse range of women who described their varied career journeys and the challenges and triumphs along the way.

These wonderful role models from NPL, Met Office, Nordson, University of Surrey, Micron, Semiconductor, Equiniti, NHS, Venner Shipley, University of Sussex and Reaction Engines shared their tips and advice for how to pursue your career ambitions despite the setbacks and highlighted the importance of supporting each other and building strong networks to sustain you along the way.

Join our SEPnet Careers Forum for Women in Physics to connect with inspiring women in business and research: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12096544/

03Dec/20

SEPnet Diversity Webinar Nurturing community & belonging – particularly during Covid-19

Academics, EDI champions and PGRs joined SEPnet’s recent annual diversity workshop, hosted by University of Kent, to discuss issues including the effect of online/remote learning on widening participating students; links between attainment differentials and student engagement; early career researcher mental health.

Amy Low and Adam Tweed of AbilityNet described how online learning has offered benefits for many disadvantaged students but has highlighted challenges for others. Researchers Diego Bunge and Dan Hartley showed evidence of how early engagement and attendance are key to improving outcomes for BME students and Zoe Ayres stressed the importance of the need for institutions to take more responsibility for improving the culture in academia to support PGRs’ mental health.

Request to join the discussion at (3) SEPnet Equality & Diversity Champions Network | Groups | LinkedIn

03Dec/20

SEPnet Career Development Webinar – Business awareness for physics and maths students – a crash course, Tuesday 15 December 13.00 – 14.00

Now is a great time to focus on identifying your employability skills and developing your knowledge of how businesses work. This session will help you understand more about working in a business environment and how companies operate.

This webinar for physics and maths undergraduate and postgraduate students will cover:
• the bigger picture – a company’s mission and vision – having sight of the end product
• understanding the customer’s needs
• why perfection can be the enemy of good
• what skills companies are really looking for
• the importance of networking.

Presented by Riham Satti, CEO of MeVitae. Riham is a keynote international speaker, business leader and entrepreneur. She co-founded MeVitae in 2014 – a deep tech company aimed at solving the biggest recruitment challenges – removing algorithmic and unconscious biases from the hiring process. Riham has expertise in the business-technology ecosystem, including natural language processing and artificial intelligence. She is a business mentor including the London Business School entrepreneurship course and holds a Master of Research in Clinical Neuroscience from the University of Oxford and a First-Class Honours Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering from Imperial College London.

Places are limited. If you would like to join this Zoom webinar, please register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sepnet-webinar-business-awareness-for-physics-maths-students-tickets-128995407737 as soon as possible and we will send you further details and instructions for how to join the meeting.


20Nov/20

SEPnet Expo Celebrates Students’ Placement Success

62 students showcased their summer placement projects through online presentations and posters to employers, academic tutors and peers at SEPnet’s 12th Expo and the first online.

Students described a range of varied and exciting projects with large and small employers across different industries and research areas including data science, engineering, energy, IT, satellite communication, defence and scientific research.

The event was chaired by Professor Sir William Wakeham and the keynote address was delivered by Dr Bajram Zeqiri, NPL Fellow in Ultrasound at National Physical Laboratory.

The IOP generously provided prizes for the 6 best posters. The winners included:
Katarzyna Nowak of University of Hertfordshire for ‘A bump in the outskirts of the Milky Way’s most massive satellite’ at University of Surrey;

Reiss Pickett, Open University & Megan Stevens, University of Southampton for ‘Classifying Conversations Using Voice To Text Technology’ at Trackback;

Sofia Kalamantianou, Queen Mary University and Dragos Buculei & Billy Vale, University of Surrey for ‘Live Satellite Tracking and Orbit Pass Prediction’ at Lumi Space;

Abigail Hemming, Royal Holloway University for ‘Control and Automation of a Compact Fusion Reactor’ at Crossfield Fusion Ltd;

Tomoyuki Jinno, Royal Holloway University for ‘Named Entity Recognition for Resumes’ at MeVitae and

Sai Pandian, University of Southampton for ‘Machine Learning for Long Term Event Classification’ at AP Sensing.

You can view the gallery of posters here: https://sway.office.com/tvy2DpRlk7DMyeMc

For more information about next year’s summer placement scheme email summerplacements@sepnet.ac.uk

09Nov/20

SEPnet STUDENTS’ EXPO WEBINAR – WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2020, 09.30 – 13.00

The annual Students’ Expo provides an opportunity for summer placement students to showcase their work through presentations and posters to over 120 employers, academic tutors and peers. This will be the 12th Expo and the first online.

This year 62 undergraduate placements took place (compared with 74 last year). This is a tremendous achievement given the unprecedented situation. We are very grateful to all the organisations and supervisors for their flexibility and support and congratulate the students for their resilience and ability to cope with such uncertainty and adapt so quickly to a different way of working. They have demonstrated exactly the sort of skills and attitudes that employers value!  

As always students have had a range of interesting placements, many of them home-based, with a variety of large and small employers across different industries and research areas including data science, engineering, energy, IT, satellite communication, defence and scientific research.

The half-day webinar will include presentations from students about their projects and an online poster gallery where attendees can view students’ posters before, during and after the event. You can view the gallery here: https://sway.office.com/tvy2DpRlk7DMyeMc

The event is chaired by Professor Sir William Wakeham and we are delighted that this year’s keynote address will be delivered by Dr Bajram Zeqiri, NPL Fellow in Ultrasound at National Physical Laboratory.

For more information email summerplacements@sepnet.ac.uk

04Nov/20

Improving our research culture – Research Culture Week, 16-20 November, University of Surrey

Although academic research is an exciting endeavour we are witnessing a growing discontent with the culture within academia, with recent findings (e.g.https://wellcome.org/reports/what-researchers-think-about-research-culture) showing high levels of stress, mental health problems, discrimination, bullying, work pressure and harassment among researchers.

University of Surrey is organising a series of talks from 16-20 November during the Research Culture Week with experts who will address some of the above issues to help improve our research culture in a holistic fashion. There will be two talks per day with outstanding speakers including Angela Saini, Gelong Thubten and Jim Al-Khalili. Find out more on our webpage:
https://surreyreach.github.io/

Registration is free of charge via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/surrey-reach-research-culture-week-tickets-124385021949