By Charlotte Dodson, Research Fellow at Imperial College London
“Do we know what’s happening about REF yet?” asked one of the participants at the departmental Principal Investigator (PI) meeting last term. There was a gentle shaking of heads around the table and we moved on. Shortly afterwards I knew the answer: the Stern Review (a UK Government-commissioned independent review into how Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 should be improved for next time) made its recommendations. There is now a consultation by HEFCE and its equivalents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on how best to implement these in REF 2021. Continue reading →
By Daniela Lobo, PhD Student, University of Warwick
Shortly after I started my PhD, someone told me that I would be able to explain my project to any audience if I could explain it to a 13-year-old. Children can act very similarly to scientists – they are often curious, stubborn and inquisitive. Children ask you the awkward questions. Children won’t easily drop the “why?” until things make sense to them.
I am based in the Biophysical Chemistry group at the University of Warwick – among other things, we are interested on the chemical and optical properties of a virus and how to design and modify it to explore certain cardiovascular phenomena or how to use it as a new platform for pathogen detection. Sometimes I find it difficult to explain my project to other scientists and I often find it necessary to draw or move my hands around to do so – explaining it to a child via a computer could prove to be an extremely difficult task for me. Continue reading →
By Lucy Sharples, Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), University of Sheffield
The 1st of July 2016 marked yet another successful Open day at the Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), University of Sheffield. The main research focus at this world-leading centre of neuroscience is motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
As a new PhD student here, I participated in a fantastic opportunity to reveal the behind the scenes of laboratory research to the general public including patients and carers. After a selection of talks about ongoing projects and recent discoveries, the guests were taken round the labs on a series of workstations to gain some hands on experience. Continue reading →
I remember my first exposure to bioengineering vividly. My love for science started in primary school, when I received a gift subscription to weekly science magazine. One Saturday afternoon I sprawled out on my parents’ living room carpet to read an issue about ‘wacky inventions’. I could not believe my eyes when I turned the page to find a mouse with an ear on his back—a human shaped ear!
While many of these tissue engineering and 3D printing applications seem to be the stuff of science fiction; the innovative medical devices and education approaches are real. I am fortunate to be spending this academic year researching biomedical solutions to clinical problems under the mentorship of Dr David Zopf.
By Dr Aoife Kiely, Research Associate at the UCL Institute of Neurology
The morning of the Parliamentary Links Day I woke up nervous. I’m not generally a ‘business formal’ style of scientist so the imposter syndrome fear of standing out, or going wrong loomed large. However, any nerves were dwarfed by my excitement to take part in the event and meet other delegates and find out what plans politicians had to support UK science post-Brexit. Continue reading →