Popular science books to get you through 2021

With another lockdown underway many of us have much less time in our labs than we would wish and it looks as though this could continue for some time! So, to help take people’s minds off of all the doom and gloom we’ve put together this list of popular science books for some escapism (or not, topic dependent, we take no responsibility if the escapism isn’t sufficient!). Whether you’re looking to read more in your own field or something totally new, I’m sure there’s something for everyone here. Please try and support your local bookstore where you can!

Read morePopular science books to get you through 2021

LAMP COVID testing York-Deadline: ASAP

University of York logo

An internship the new LAMP testing facility at the University of York is available for BBSRC White Rose DTP students. The placement will be 3 days a week for 12 weeks with a flexible start date.

What you will do

This internship will enable you to play a key part in the national effort in fighting Covid-19 by directly supporting the NHS in delivering a scaled-up and rapid testing service. The skills you will gain will look great on your CV: you will gain insight into the how clinical labs and industry interact to set up and deliver a critical service. Aspects of the placement may include logistics, administration, public engagement, as well as undertaking lab techniques. Although the post may have highly repetitive elements, the attention to detail throughout this placement will be critical.

What you will gain

Reproducibility in science is of central importance for medical research, and this experience will demonstrate your competence when applying for future positions. In addition, an opportunity to apply for and gain competency certification from GENQA  and Joint Covid-19 Certificate of Completion from IBMS upon application and completing a competency based assessment.

How to apply

To apply, please email Sophie Thompson m.s.thompson@york.ac.uk with your name, your supervisors’ names, and what year you are currently. Indicate the dates you are available to start and any other details you think are relevant. Please copy Phil Lang phil.lang@york.ac.uk  and your supervisors.

CambioScience – Deadline: rolling applications

CambioScience logo

Remote-working opportunity – Flexible deadline

Overview of CamBioScience

CamBioScience is the life sciences brand within OBRIZUM X, a division of the OBRIZUM GROUP LTD. CamBioScience is a premium global provider of education and educational technology founded in Cambridge by life science researchers from the University of Cambridge, UK. Working with world-leading experts we provide intensive training courses and conferences in a broad spectrum of emerging and established life science technologies for academic and industry professionals. In-Person courses and conferences take place in various locations around the world including the United Kingdom, Austria, South Korea, and China.

Contact

Michelle Ware

email: michelle@cambioscience.com

Tel: 07791481346

OBRIZUM GROUP LTD.

Unit 3 Duke’s Court

54-62 Newmarket Road,

Cambridge, UK

CB5 8DZ

Project Outline

Interns will be involved in self-guided training course development.  Activities will include:

– Collating and arranging content for on-demand digital courses through our e-learning platform OBRIZUM®

– Writing material for the website, for marketing purposes and for social media

– Provide support with the promotion of the courses

– Designing questions for the course exams

– Hosting webinars

Essential Skills

 – Scientific background

– Highly Organised

– Excellent communication skills, both verbally and written

– Excellent project management skills

– Ability to work in a team

Skills Developed

The student will gain a greater understanding for how scientific events are be run. By the end of their internship, they will be confident with all aspects of organising a technical life-sciences course. Key skills developed include: sales, marketing, organisation, time-keeping and project management.

How to apply

The starts dates available are flexible.  Each placement will be 3 months (12 weeks).  There is no deadline for applications.  To apply, please  send a CV and covering letter to:  michelle@cambioscience.com

Until further notice, internships will take place remotely from home, with regular calls with the team.

Sense About Science – Deadline: 31 Jan21

Sense about Science logo
Closing date: 5pm, Sunday 31st January 2021
At Sense about Science, we have new opportunities available for internships from Easter 2021 onwards. Our internships are currently running on a work-from-home basis in accordance with government guidelines, and this is likely to remain the case at least until Easter. We will review the situation thereafter as government advice changes. I would be grateful if you could advertise our internship opportunities to your early career cohorts via your normal channels and media.

Background 

Sense about Science is an independent campaigning charity that champions the public interest in sound science and ensures evidence is recognised in public life and policymaking. We challenge misrepresentation of science and evidence, advocate openness and honesty about research, and strive to open up socially or scientifically difficult issues where evidence is neglected, conflicting or misunderstood.

Description of the internship

An internship at Sense about Science is a very rewarding experience, as no two days are the same. It is a fulfilling way to work across communications, policy and public engagement and develop key professional skills and contacts that will serve you well in your future. Depending on the timing of your placement, you’ll be able to work on a number of projects and programmes:
  • Voice of Young Science: The opportunity to contribute to the organisation of a Voice of Young Science (VoYS) workshop and help to facilitate the event on the day. VoYS is a unique and dynamic network of early career researchers across Europe committed to playing an active role in public discussions about science. By responding to public misconceptions about science and evidence and engaging with the media, policymakers and the public, this active community of 3,000+ researchers is changing the way the public and the media view science and scientists. Members are trained to promote scientific questioning in society and take responsibility for improving the quality of discussion about research findings. Our Standing up for Science workshops equip researchers to engage with the public, journalists and policymakers – helping them to ask useful questions and put research findings and real-world events in context. Organising a workshop will give you the opportunity to develop organisational and communication skills and learn about effective public, policy and media engagement.
  • Evidence Week in Parliament: Evidence Week is our flagship policy event where we bring together MPs, researchers and community groups to discuss the case that evidence matters to people. They share knowledge and insights that will help politicians to scrutinise evidence. The week involves events and briefings, as well as evidence stands that parliamentarians can visit. This is an amazing opportunity for anyone interested in evidence-based policymaking, as you will have the inside track into the organisation of Evidence Week. You will have opportunities to engage directly with MPs and policy advisers. In 2020, this event is going ahead as an online event in November. In 2021, you will work closely with the policy manager to organise Evidence Week, with the senior communications officer to deliver the communications programme around Evidence Week, and with the team to effectively deliver the events in the summer. It is an opportunity to develop organisational and communication skills.
  • John Maddox Prize: The John Maddox Prize recognises the work of individuals who promote science and evidence, advancing the public discussion around difficult topics despite challenges or hostility. The prize is a joint initiative of Sense about Science and the leading international scientific journal Nature. The prize has been awarded annually since 2012 to researchers who have shown great courage and integrity in standing up for science and scientific reasoning against fierce opposition and hostility. Each year there is one winner, and an additional prize for an early career researcher. You will contribute towards compiling nominations and working with the team to shortlist nominations, ready for the judging to take place in the autumn. It is an opportunity to learn organisational and evaluation skills, and get to know the work of some amazing researchers around the world who are striving to stand up for science and evidence.

Essential skills

  • Ability to identify and use initiative to solve problems
  • Ability to organise and prioritise work
  • A flair for clear, engaging writing
  • Friendly manner
  • Candidates should be familiar with and share the Sense about Science ethos regarding the public interest in sound science and evidence

Other details and how to apply

We typically have at least two interns in our London office. Our standard offer is three months (a good fit for PIPS), but we are occasionally able to be flexible down to a minimum of two months.
Work-from-home arrangements will remain in place until government advice changes, and we can provide a laptop if you need one.
To apply, send your CV and a cover letter outlining how your skills match the requirements to Dr Hamid Khan, Senior Partnerships Coordinator: hamid@senseaboutscience.org
Closing date: 5pm, 31 January 2021

Contact

Dr Hamid Khan
Senior partnerships coordinator
email: hamid@senseaboutscience.org

www.senseaboutscience.org | @senseaboutsci | Facebook

2 Stephen St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1AN | +44 (0)20 7490 9590  

Singer Instruments – rolling deadline

Singer are now looking to fulfill placements for 3 month periods from May 2020 onwards.

Note: There is a rolling deadline for applications.  However, certain times of year are more competitive than others, and early application is suggested to avoid disappointment.

Project summary

The Research team aims to use Science! to achieve “A Responsibility to Science”. This means actively enquiring, and devising experiments that prove that our equipment facilitates, automates and accelerates scientific research – more so these experiments should be rigorous enough to reveal truth, free from investigator bias.

Project outline

Singer Instruments is a fast paced SME environment. As such projects are subject to change as
required by business need. Generally speaking, each project includes:

  • Working with a robotic instrument to test its capabilities and investigate its restrictions.
    Previous examples involve producing bioart with colony pickers, investigating the use of
    fluorescent strains, and testing new detection algorithms.
  • Collaborating with Engineering and Software on numerous projects, gaining and consulting
    with expertise. This has involved; coming up with hardware and software solutions to
    problems, QC of brand new software packages and production spec machines and also
    affecting the look, feel and function of new products.
  • A desk based research piece. This is usually heavily tied to new product development, and hence tends to be the most secretive. Previous examples have included market research, as well as investigating how scientists perform work, and how this may change in the future.

Essential skills

  • An independent working style.
  • A robust approach to reporting.
  • Flexibility to sudden project changes based on business need.
  • Adherence to non-disclosure agreements, as projects can include valuable prototypes and intellectual property.
  • It should be noted that no knowledge of engineering, software development or marketing is required. However, if the student does have an appropriate background, and wishes to investigate these skills further, cross departmental projects can be arranged.

Skills that will be developed

  • Project Management
  • Working heavily with robotic laboratory equipment, from early development prototypes to market ready instruments.
  • Cross departmental communication (Software, Engineering, Marketing)
  • Industry research processes.

Number of Placements Offered

Singer Instruments has a rolling intake of internships. It is usual for the Research team to have one intern at any one time. However this is subject to change based on project requirements. A
maximum of 2 internships could be offered simultaneously within the Research team.

Possible Timeframe

A three month block is the usual placement mode, flexibility can be considered in special
cases. Certain times of year are more competitive than others, and early application is
suggested to avoid disappointment.

Note: Certain times of year are more competitive than others, and early application is suggested to avoid disappointment.

Lead Contact

Dr. Oliver Jack Severn


Email: Oliver@singerinstruments.com


Tel:(0) 1984 640226

How to apply

Please apply through the Singer website at: www.singerinstruments.com/jobs/

CambioScience – educational technology – rolling deadline

Brand new PIPS opportunity – offered for the first time in Jan 2020! 

Overview of CambioScience

CamBioScience is a brand of the OBRIZUM GROUP LTD, an educational technology company founded in Cambridge, UK, by life science researchers from the University of Cambridge.  The Courses & Conferences Department works with world-leading experts to provide intensive training courses and conferences in breakthrough life science technologies for academic and industry professionals.  CamBioScience offers both in-person and online training courses.  In 4 years, 800 scientists have been trained from over 80 leading academic and industrial institutions from more than 30 countries worldwide.

Project outline 

The intern will be required to help with the day-to-day logistics for upcoming courses. The internship will be flexible depending on the needs of the department at the time and interests of the intern.  Activities can include:

  • Designing social media campaigns
  • Provide support for setting up course practical sessions
  • Provide support during the delivery of a course
  • Put together content for department collaterals
  • Organise contact databases
  • Involvement in the sales of course registrations

The intern will also have the opportunity to be involved in the design of a new scientific course alongside the Head of Courses & Conferences.

Essential skills required 

  • Scientific background
  • Highly Organised
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbally and written
  • Excellent project management skills
  • Ability to work in a team

Skills you will develop

You will gain a greater understanding for how scientific events are run. By the end of the internship, you will be confident with all aspects of organising a technical life-sciences course. Key skills to be developed include organisation, sales, marketing, problem-solving and project management.

Placement location

CambioScience

OBRIZUM GROUP LTD

Unit 3 Duke’s Court
54-62 Newmarket Road,
Cambridge, UK
CB5 8DZ

When

The placement will be for a block of three months (12 weeks).  The start date is flexible.

Contact

For informal enquiries, contact Michelle Ware, Head of Courses and Conferences

T: +44(0)7791481346
T: +44(0)1223 470647 (UK, Headquarters)
E: michelle@cambioscience.com

How to apply

There is a rolling deadline.  If you are interested, apply by sending a CV and cover letter to: michelle@cambioscience.com 

TTP plc – Rolling deadline

The space to invent.

Background

TTP is an independent technology company where scientists and engineers collaborate to invent, design and develop new products and technologies.

Working across a wide spectrum of industries, we create breakthrough solutions that bring strong commercial value to clients and the benefits of technology to all.

Website: https://www.ttp.com/

Internship description

We are always happy to hear from PhD students and Post-Doc researchers who are looking to undertake an internship.

As a technology consultancy, we work across a wide range of industries, from healthcare, to industrial technology, to aerospace & defence (to name just a few). An internship here will see you working within one of these sectors, putting your technical and research skills to work within a commercially focused context. Whilst you can expect to develop your existing skill-sets, you will find yourself growing in new ways: interacting with clients, seeing how business operates and being a valuable contributing member to multi-disciplinary teams. This is the opportunity for you to see how your academic knowledge and skill-sets could be used within an industry setting.

As a postgraduate student/researcher, your placement will be shaped around a project – this could be an internal TTP project, or one of our current external client-focused projects – and the process of concluding what this should be is very much a two-way one. We are interested to hear what your interests and skill-sets are, and this will form part of a conversation throughout the application process so that we can determine what project(s) may be a good fit. Of course, once here, there is scope for engaging in work occurring throughout TTP and having as varied an experience as possible – in fact, such collaboration and involvement is very much encouraged.

Requirements

We would be able to accommodate internships for individuals who are, broadly, within the following disciplines: Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical/Electronics, Software, Aerospace), Physics, Mathematics, Biology/Life Sciences.

As a consultancy, we can’t always be sure exactly what we’ll be working on 6 months down the line, and for that reason, we can’t guarantee we will always be able to accommodate you as an intern. However, at a minimum, we will always consider your application and investigate the possibility. We are open to applications year-round and the dates of any placement can be discussed on an individual basis; in general we do, however, have a slight preference for postgraduate internships to occur outside of the busy summer months (July-August) when we host a high number of undergraduates.

Benefits

TTP is an employee-owned business operating from pleasant surroundings on our own Science Park in Melbourn, South Cambridgeshire. Our working culture encourages entrepreneurship, shared ideas and technical collaboration, while providing you the freedom to do your best work. Employee benefits include:

  • 25 days’ annual holiday, plus bank holidays (annual leave is pro on a pro rata basis if here for less than a year)
  • Discounts and memberships to local sports facilities and the theatre
  • Private Medical Insurance (depending on length of internship)
  • Cycle to Work scheme (depending on length of internship)

Contact

Rebecca Bradley I University Interactions & Outreach Liaison

Email: Rebecca.Bradley@ttp.com

Tel: +44 1763 262626

Feel free to contact Rebecca with any queries or for an informal discussion in advance of applying.

How to apply

There is a rolling deadline therefore you can apply anytime.  However, please do not delay, as there will be lots of competition for these placements.  Application is via an on-line form.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

TU Delft – Science Communication & Research Data Management – Deadline: flexible

Exciting BBSRC PIP opportunities are now available at TU Delft (Netherlands) – For students that are looking for placements in science communication and research data management.

Remote working: Both these internships can be offered for someone willing to work remotely.  (Re-location to the Netherlands for the internship period is not necessary).

Upcoming internship projects @ TU Delft:

1.   FAIR Support Team – case study development

Funders and policy makes increasingly require researchers to make their data and research code FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable. Most researchers, however, do not know how to do it or where to get started. Therefore, in September 2020 TU Delft is launching its FAIR Support Team pilot. The FAIR Support Team is a pool of Data Managers and Research Software Engineers available ‘for hire’ (at no cost) by researchers to help them make their work more FAIR.

The purpose of this internship is to develop case studies which will help to evaluate the pilot. You will interview researchers who receive support of the FAIR Support Team, as well as Team members, who are providing this support. Subsequently, based on the interviews, you will develop case studies. The case studies will be published on the website advertising the service, as well as dedicated blog posts on the Open Working blog.

The intern will also have an opportunity to present their work at meetings and conferences, and, if there is interest, to summarise their work in a peer-reviewed publication.

This internship will help develop various interpersonal skills, such as networking, communication, writing, presentation, talking & listening; as well as an opportunity to better understand how a large, research-intensive organisation works.

2.   Top 10 FAIR things – community building and writing sprints

Funders and policy makes increasingly require researchers to make their data and research code FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable. Most researchers, however, do not know how to do it or where to get started. Therefore, TU Delft would like to help research communities develop short, disciplinary guidelines on how to make things FAIR in the format of ‘10 FAIR Things’.

The purpose of the internship is to help research communities develop such guidelines. To do this, you will work with Data Champions community of TU Delft, the University of Cambridge, EPFL and the University of Melbourne to decide on three priority disciplines where such guidelines are most needed. Subsequently, you will organise writing sprints during which these guidelines will be produced. The guidelines will be offered for publication to the Carpentry organisation and for endorsement by the Research Data Alliance (international organisations for global cooperation on data and code management practices).

The intern will also have an opportunity to present their work at meetings and conferences, and, if there is interest, to summarise their work in a peer-reviewed publication.

This internship will help develop various interpersonal skills, such as networking, communication, organisation, presentation, leadership skills; as well as an opportunity to develop international networks and collaborations.

For more information

BBSRC student Clare Constance, who undertook her PIP at TU Delft last summer, is more than happy to chat with students about these opportunities and her personal experience of working with the team 🙂 (constance.clare1@nottingham.ac.uk).

Deadline and how to apply

To apply, contact Marta Teperek at m.teperek@tudelft.nl

Closing dates – The projects are flexible with no immediate deadlines.  Students can negotiate a start date and organise remote working arrangements with Marta.

Oxford University Innovation Licensing & Ventures – Deadline: open call

Oxford University Innovation new logo

Oxford University Innovation (OUI) is the technology transfer company of Oxford University.

Oxford University Innovation has created a new and exciting internship opportunity. Interns in our Licensing & Ventures Group will work alongside members of the core team in the management of projects, assisting with other activities in the Licensing & Ventures Group and enabling the transfer of as much technology as possible from Oxford University.  For further information: 

Click here to download PDF, including video links

How to apply

This is an open call with no specific deadline.  If you are interested, please send a CV with accompanying letter stating relevant experience and interests to Brendan.Ludden@innovation.ox.ac.uk.  During the significant disruption caused by COVID-19, the current programme is expected to be largely home-based and will be subject to UK government guidance on safe working practices.

 

#thescienceofcooking – How to make the best roast potatoes!

It’s time to hang up your lab coats and don the festive jumpers! Christmas is just around the corner and for many of you, it will be a very different, smaller occasion this year. Whether it is now your responsibility to cook a big roast dinner, you’d like to try something new in the kitchen or you simply want to find out why  roast potatoes are so great – this blog post will be for you!

This week our guest writer, festive foodie Scientist and 1st year WRDTP student, Emma White is ready to give you the low down on some of the science behind cooking those delicious crispy Roasties.

Crispy roast potatoes are among the UK’s favourite traditional foods.

Read more#thescienceofcooking – How to make the best roast potatoes!

Exploring the science behind everyday plants- Norway Pine

It’s that time of year again! Many of you are probably putting up Christmas trees this weekend- some real, some fake. If you’re using a real tree there’s a good chance it could be an immature Norway spruce, Picea abies. This is the same species of tree used for the Rockefeller Christmas tree each year but yours probably isn’t 75 ft tall!

The less than amused owl found in the 2020 Rockfeller Christmas tree

Read moreExploring the science behind everyday plants- Norway Pine

Life after the thesis! An interview with WRDTP alumni Dr. Naomi Cox

This year, Naomi completed her PhD at the University of Sheffield. Her project focused on rice leaf development, looking in to when the leaf pattern is set, and how the final mature leaf develops from undifferentiated cells. After being awarded her PhD in August, Naomi is now working as a trainee clinical bioinformatician at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr. Naomi Cox

Read moreLife after the thesis! An interview with WRDTP alumni Dr. Naomi Cox

Ioannis Tsagakis – FEBS Press

Ioannis Tsagakis immersed himself into the life of a scientific editor by undertaking an editorial internship at FEBS Press in his third year of PhD. The timing coincided with COVID-19 lockdown hence the internship was completed ‘virtually’ from Leeds, instead of the Cambridge office.

Read moreIoannis Tsagakis – FEBS Press

Lizzy Parker – Hope for the Future

Lizzy Parker at Hope for the Future webinar

Lizzy Parker is a PhD student at the University of Sheffield who spent 6 months working part-time at ​Hope for the Future​. ​Hope for the Future is a national climate communication charity which works to equip communities, groups and individuals across the country to help communicate the urgency of climate change with their local politicians. Keep reading to find out more about what Lizzy’s role involved and why she chose to do this particular placement!

Read moreLizzy Parker – Hope for the Future

UK-Canada Globalink doctoral exchange scheme – Deadline: 15 Dec20

UKRI banner

The deadline was originally 8th December but has been extended to 15 December 2020 16:00 UK time

Now open for the third call for applications from UKRI-funded doctoral students, the scheme will support travel, living and research costs for the students in their chosen field of study.

A new and exciting opportunity for UKRI and Canadian doctoral students to participate in a UK-Canada research exchange scheme.

UKRI has partnered with Mitacs, a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 20 years, to deliver the £2.5 million programme.

Supported by UKRI and Mitacs, up to 200 UK doctoral candidates will have the opportunity to develop into global citizens, with international competencies, during 12-week research placements in Canadian universities. A similar number of Canadian students will visit UK universities.

The scheme supports the UK government’s target of 2.4% GDP spend in research and development by 2027, helping the UK make the most of its world-class research, supporting its researchers to stay at the cutting edge, forge international collaborations, and encourage global talent to work in the UK.

As a collaborative scheme between the UK and Canada, an equal number of Canadian doctoral students will have the opportunity to undertake research placements at UK universities.

Click here to find out more.

How to apply

If you are interested in this scheme, do not waste any time in applying.  There is a lot of paperwork involved and you will need to seek the help of your PIPS contact to access Je-S.

Deadline: 15th December 2020 16:00 UK time

Are you a writing snacker or a binger?

The second virtual DTP skills session was aimed at helping students cultivate writing habits to make writing enjoyable and more productive. In this interactive writing workshop under the guidance of Dr Jenny Rivas Perez, students reflected on writing goals and exchanged advice on overcoming writing barriers.

Research in the 1990s categorised academics as snackers or bingers, based on those who were writing often and those who only wrote when there was an impending deadline, cramming all writing in a couple of days. Exploring this concept further, students in the DTP skills session discussed the benefits and drawbacks of writing and not writing. Highlights from this discussion included “a better understanding of the topic” and “helping pick out knowledge gaps” as benefits of writing. Surprisingly, there are benefits to not writing, such as “having a moment of reflection” or “stepping away from writing to be in the lab or going about your daily activities”. However, prolonged writing inactivity can have drawbacks too since “it can be really hard to fill the gap(s) of not writing”. For instance, having to refer to potentially five lab books when writing your thesis can be a big time-sink. Conversely, allocating time to write a summary of your daily endeavours is essentially writing to yourself in the future, making information readily available.

“Until you start writing about what you think you know, you don’t realise the gaps in your logic” suggested Dr Jenny Rivas Perez

Read moreAre you a writing snacker or a binger?

Exploring the science behind everyday plants- Nutmeg

What do the classic european winter dishes of cauliflower cheese and mince pies have in common with traditional indonesian semur? The answer- nutmeg.

Nutmeg is the seed of the tree Myristica fragrans, with its close relative, Mace, being the seed covering. These days it is cultivated around the world in tropical regions but it originates from the Banda Islands of Maluku. In the Middle Ages it was traded across to Europe by the Arabs but, in 1511, the Portuguese annexed the islands. This was the start of the enslavement and murder of the Bandanese and over 100 years of bloody battles with the Dutch and English.

Map of the Banda islands and their location in Indonesia.

Read moreExploring the science behind everyday plants- Nutmeg

Get to know … your WRDTP Comms Team: Rhianna Rowland

Hi, my name is Rhianna and I’m a 4th year PhD student at the University of York. I work at YSBL focussing on human lysosomal enzymes which breakdown various glycoconjugates within our bodies. Inherited deficiencies in these enzymes leads to range of metabolic diseases called lysosomal storage disorders. My project aims to structurally characterise these enzymes and aid in the development of chemical probes, inhibitors and chaperones for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Coming from a Masters year in analytical chemistry, this project has been a real challenge. Working with membrane-associated proteins, delving into insect-baculoviral expression systems and the dark art of protein crystallography has all been new to me, but I chose this project because I felt it would allow me to explore protein chemistry/structural biology with real-life applications in human health and disease.

Why did you join the DTP Communications team?

I enjoy scientific writing and saw this as a great opportunity to improve my writing skills whilst further engaging with the White Rose DTP and its students. I hope to learn more about the exceptional research conducted by White Rose students and to share/showcase this with other students in the DTP through blogs and the use of social media. I also see this is a chance to share non-scientific content which I hope students (including myself!) will find helpful in coping with PhD life and maintaining a healthy wellbeing.

Read moreGet to know … your WRDTP Comms Team: Rhianna Rowland

Academy of Medical Sciences – Deadline: 22 Nov20

The Academy of Medical Sciences Grants and Programmes internship scheme is open for applications for internships in 2021.

Applications are welcomed for 3 month internships between January-December 2021. The scheme is open to BBSRC-funded PhD students through the PIPS scheme.

The scheme is designed to give students first-hand experience of the research funding and career development sectors, and to build valuable networks with the UK’s most eminent medical scientists and senior science and health stakeholders. There is a case study of a recent intern here that gives some examples of the kinds of projects that interns in our team will be involved with.

We expect the internships to be full-time positions for the full three-month period.  However, in exceptional circumstances, the Academy will consider requests for a reduced duration.  Due to the ongoing pandemic, we expect internships beginning in January 2021 will be supervised remotely. Place of work for internships from April 2021 onwards will depend on the Academy’s policy in response to the pandemic, however we will discuss with interns the feasibility of any travel, either to the Academy offices or elsewhere in the UK for internship activities, in light of government guidelines and personal circumstances.

More details can be found at https://acmedsci.ac.uk/about/administration/internship-schemes

The deadline for applications is 22 November 2020.

Contact for any queries:

Dr Kim Hutchings
International Grants Manager
The Academy of Medical Sciences
41 Portland Place
London W1B 1QH

+44 (0)20 3141 3234

Please note my working days are Tues-Fri

Sport, psychology, and animal video clips with PIPS

BBSRC DTP PhD student Matthew Chadwick undertook a PIPS with the Human Performance Service in the Sport and Exercise Sciences Department of the University of Leeds, providing technical consultation and training to research teams. In case you wanted additional reasons to watch those cat videos on the internet, keep reading.

Read moreSport, psychology, and animal video clips with PIPS

Get to know… your WRDTP student reps: Alex Scott

It’s time to meet our second rep from the University of York – Alex Scott. He also did his undergraduate degree in York – however, that was an integrated masters in physics, not biology! With only 10 weeks of wet lab experience before starting his PhD, every day has come with new challenges and an awful lot of learning.

Alex Scott

Alex has just now, in October, entered third year – how time flies!

Get to know… your WRDTP comms team – Rachel Greenhill

I’m Rachel, a PhD student at Sheffield and one of your 2020 comms committee members for the BBSRC White Rose DTP. I joined the committee primarily to help gain more experience in social media management and develop my writing skills but I have really enjoyed the insights I’ve gained into other people’s work and really enjoy highlighting all your achievements!

Rachel Greenhill

Prior to joining UoS, I worked for 5 years as a Genomics Scientist at Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre (TARRC), developing molecular markers for Hevea brasiliensis (natural rubber) clonal variety confirmation to aid in field misidentification in Malaysia. This role really highlighted to me the fundamental necessity for global crop improvement efforts to meet food security targets, and directed me down my career path.

The focus of my PhD project is primarily to look into what underpins the virulence of Striga asiatica, a parasitic plant which devastates cereal crop yields in Central and Eastern Africa. I’ve found my research focus in the crop improvement/food sustainability field, and is something I’m very passionate about!

Alongside working with plants in my academic life, I also have an allotment which keeps me very busy on the weekends. I also enjoy running and somehow completed my 4th half marathon in the brilliant Sheffield half in 2019.

I’m looking forward to bringing lots of plant-focused content to the DTP blog, twitter and more in the future!

Exploring the science behind everyday plants – Maple

It’s spooky season! Whether you call it Autumn or Fall one of the most spectacular plants at this time of year is the Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum). It’s native to Canada and the far north of the United States but is sometimes cultivated abroad.

Maple forest in Minnesota in autumn.

Read moreExploring the science behind everyday plants – Maple

Get to know.. your WRDTP student reps – Molly Patterson

Our next WRDTP student rep profile is here… This week we are introducing you to Molly Patterson, a freshly minted DTP rep with a passion for the very relevant as of recent topic of virology!

Molly joined the DTP in 2018 at the University of Leeds after her integrated masters at Leeds. Remaining at the Mcdonald lab, she resumes addressing central questions in the field of virology and cancer. Read about her recent publication here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32555725/

Check out our Q&A session in full!

Read moreGet to know.. your WRDTP student reps – Molly Patterson

ABPI – Exam digitalisation – Deadline: 28 Oct 2020

Logo for the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)

Background information

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) delivers the professional ABPI Medical Representatives Exam, taken by those who call upon doctors, dentists, and other UK prescribers and/or promote medicines based on their therapeutic properties. ​This includes representatives from virtually all pharmaceutical companies with UK operations.

When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, paper-based exams that were held monthly at venues across the country were cancelled and the ABPI have since been working on a project to move all examinations online.

Integrity of the Exam is crucial to building and maintaining the trust and reputation of the UK pharmaceutical industry.

Please note: since the COVID pandemic reached the UK, the ABPI has successfully undertaken virtual onboarding of a number of interns.

Project offered

Following on from previous successful PIPS internships for other projects, we are once again, seeking a PIPS student to apply their scientific and project management experience in an examinations and education context.

This project seeks to contribute to the development of the online ABPI Medical Representatives. The output of the project will be the successful delivery of the newly formatted exam which will be important in maintaining integrity of the industry as the world continues to virtually evolve.

The applicant will be expected to support the ABPI Education and Examinations Executive with development of the exam, liaising with internal teams, external providers, and the ABPI Exam Governance and Exam Steering Groups. Alongside this role, there may be the opportunity for the applicant to contribute to updating and/or incorporating new material to the exam, and development of new qualifications.

The project will also include scope to improve ABPI’s engagement with member pharmaceutical companies from the Research, Medical and Innovation team in other formats such as written communication. The applicant will have the opportunity to help develop better communications on research, medical & innovation topics.

The successful applicant can expect to have a supervisor who would meet regularly for virtual guidance and support at the current time, with potential face to face meetings depending on Government guidance in relation to COVID and company policy.

How to apply

Interested students should email Andrew Croydon​ – contact details below –  in the first instance, or they can apply directly to Andrew with a CV and covering letter.

Final application deadline: by close of business Wednesday 28th October 2020.

Note: ABPI has successfully virtually onboarded a few interns since lockdown and Andrew is happy to answer any questions specifically relating to this aspect of internships.

Contact

Andrew Croydon

Skills & Education Policy and Examinations Director

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

Direct: +44 (0)2077471436

Email: ACroydon@abpi.org.uk

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Click here for the forthcoming ABPI Events

ABPI – Research, medical and innovation (RM&I) member engagement – Deadline: 28 Oct 2020

Logo for the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)

Background information

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) exists to make the UK the best place in the world to research, develop and use new medicines. Representing small, medium, and large pharmaceutical companies, the ABPI is a large trade association that greatly values engagement and high levels of member satisfaction.

By representing members and gathering their insight and experiences, the ABPI tells the story of how they change the lives of millions of people every day.

Please note: since the COVID pandemic reached the UK, the ABPI has successfully undertaken virtual onboarding of a number of interns.

Project offered

Following on from previous successful PIPS internships for similar projects, we are once again, seeking a PIPS student to apply their scientific and project management experience in a policy context.

This project seeks to improve ABPI engagement with member pharmaceutical companies as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. The output of the project will be the set-up and delivery of the ABPI Research, Medical and Innovation (RM&I) member webinars and virtual networking events (with support and input from the RM&I and Events Teams). These will cover a range of research, medical and innovation topics.

The applicant will be expected to liaise with ABPI colleagues, member companies, and external stakeholders to deliver successful events with high levels of engagement. The applicant will also be expected to analyse feedback on events and suggest areas for improvement for future events.

The project will also include scope to improve ABPI’s engagement with member pharmaceutical companies from the Research, Medical and Innovation team in other formats such as written communication. The applicant will have the opportunity to help develop better communications on research, medical & innovation topics.

The successful applicant can expect to have a supervisor who would meet regularly for virtual guidance and support at the current time, with potential face to face meetings depending on Government guidance in relation to COVID and company policy.

How to apply

Interested students should email Andrew Croydon​ – contact details below –  in the first instance, or they can apply directly to Andrew with a CV and covering letter.

Final application deadline: by close of business Wednesday 28th October 2020.

Note: ABPI has successfully virtually onboarded a few interns since lockdown and Andrew is happy to answer any questions specifically relating to this aspect of internships.

Contact

Andrew Croydon

Skills & Education Policy and Examinations Director

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

Direct: +44 (0)2077471436

Email: ACroydon@abpi.org.uk

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7th Floor Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QT

Website | Twitter LinkedIn | YouTube

Click here for the forthcoming ABPI Events

ABPI – Appropriate prescribing, ethics and the code – Deadline: 28 Oct 2020

Logo for the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)

Background information

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) is a UK trade association representing small, medium, and large pharmaceutical companies who invest in discovering future medicines. The ABPI’s Research, Medical and Innovation Team (RM&I) operates four strategic leadership groups (SLGs) that support and contribute to the ABPI’s mission to make the UK the best place in the world to research, develop and use the medicines of the future.

The ABPI Appropriate Prescribing, Ethics and the Code (APEC) SLG comprises senior medical directors from member companies. APEC’s purpose is to provide medical leadership, lead appropriate prescribing policies, champion the ABPI Code of Practice, improve patient and public involvement in research, research transparency, and support medical education activities. APEC have been involved in the ABPI’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic which has strongly emphasised the importance of the group and its remit.

Please note: since the covid pandemic reached the UK, the ABPI has successfully undertaken virtual onboarding of a number of interns.

Project offered

Following on from previous successful PIPS internships, we are seeking a PIPS student to apply their scientific and project management experience in a policy context.

This project seeks to work closely with senior members of pharmaceutical companies to contribute to ABPI policy positions relating to ethical aspects of developing medicines and companies obligations supporting the appropriate prescribing of medicines. This includes work to support future development of the ABPI Code of Practice.

The applicant will be expected to co-ordinate activities, organise and attend meetings, and integrate insights from stakeholders and ABPI members into policy papers.

The successful applicant can expect to have a supervisor who would meet regularly for virtual guidance and support at the current time, with potential face to face meetings depending on Government guidance in relation to COVID and company policy.

How to apply

Interested students should email Andrew Croydon​ – contact details below –  in the first instance, or they can apply directly to Andrew with a CV and covering letter.

Final application deadline: by close of business Wednesday 28th October 2020.

Note: ABPI has successfully virtually onboarded a few interns since lockdown and Andrew is happy to answer any questions specifically relating to this aspect of internships.

Contact

Andrew Croydon

Skills & Education Policy and Examinations Director

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

Direct: +44 (0)2077471436

Email: ACroydon@abpi.org.uk

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7th Floor Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QT

Website | Twitter LinkedIn | YouTube

Click here for the forthcoming ABPI Events

ABPI Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products and Cell & Gene Therapies Project – Deadline: 28 Oct 2020

Logo for the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)

Background information

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) is a UK trade association representing small, medium, and large pharmaceutical companies who invest in discovering future medicines. The ABPI exists to make the UK the best place in the world to research, develop and use new medicines.

In 2020 the ABPI has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, the NHS, regulators, and academic partners on how ABPI member companies can best support the UK Government.

One ongoing avenue is participation in the Government’s COVID Therapeutics Taskforce whereby knowledge on therapeutic targets and early drug candidates is crucial to understanding the fast-moving landscape and developing policy.

Project offered

Following on from previous successful PIPS internships, we are seeking a PIPS student to apply their scientific and project management experience in a policy context.

This project seeks to analyse the Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) and Cell & Gene therapies landscape by undertaking desk-based research and extracting and interpreting information from a wide range of data sources.

The output of the project will be to create an ongoing report, with the potential for publication by the ABPI, and a slide set which can be used in presentations to showcase the global effort in this area and to input to AAC (Accelerated Access Collaborative) workstreams in due course.

The successful applicant can expect to have a supervisor who would meet regularly for virtual guidance and support at the current time, with potential face-to-face meetings depending on Government guidance and company policy.

Please note: since the covid pandemic reached the UK, the ABPI has successfully undertaken virtual onboarding of a number of interns.

How to apply

Interested students should email Andrew Croydon​ – contact details below –  in the first instance, or they can apply directly to Andrew with a CV and covering letter.

Final application deadline: by close of business Wednesday 28th October 2020.

Note: ABPI has successfully virtually onboarded a few interns since lockdown and Andrew is happy to answer any questions specifically relating to this aspect of internships.

Contact

Andrew Croydon

Skills & Education Policy and Examinations Director

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

Direct: +44 (0)2077471436

Email: ACroydon@abpi.org.uk

A company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales number 09826787 | Our ​Privacy policy

7th Floor Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QT

Website | Twitter LinkedIn | YouTube

Click here for the forthcoming ABPI Events

Well-being during COVID-19 lockdown

Earlier last month we released a Twitter thread listing various tips on how to keep sane during the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down! You can catch it again here in the form of a blog post.

Maintaining the work-life balance at the office from home

Follow some of our tips to avoid this ‘charged’ state!

It’s easy to get trapped in the mentality of working more than usual even at home, because now you are literally at work all the time! However, setting time aside for picking up old hobbies previously pushed aside and working towards something can be scheduled for. That piano piece you thought was too difficult, that yoga pose you could not hold, or that video game that has been gathering dust are all great starting places.

Read moreWell-being during COVID-19 lockdown

Exploring the science behind everyday plants- Heather

If you’ve been to the moors recently (or been lucky enough to take a holiday to Scotland) you’ve probably noticed that the heather is in full bloom!

Once considered an indicator of the harshest type of rural poverty, Calluna vulgaris was made popular by Queen Victoria’s love of the Scottish Highlands. In Scotland, white heather is considered to bring good luck (rather like four leaf clovers for the Irish) so several white flowering cultivators have been developed, although wild heather is most commonly a light purple.

Heather plants on the North York Moors exhibiting their characteristic colouring

Queen Victoria on a pony in Scotland
Queen Victoria on a pony in Scotland.

Growth conditions:

It is the only species in the genus Calluna and generally considered one of the toughest plants going, surviving severe exposure, temperatures below -20 °C and burning. However it requires acidic soils (pH 4.5-6.0) to grow and so often doesn’t do well in cultivation. The pH of the soil a plant grows in is important because it affects a wide range of factors, including which bacteria are present and the availability of certain nutrients such as nitrogen. Some soils can also change their structure in different pH’s; a classic example is clay, which is granular and perfectly suited to many crops in the pH range of 5.5-7.0 but at either extreme becomes very sticky and tends to suffocate roots.

The curious properties of heather honey:

As well as being beautiful, heather is a fantastic source of nectar for honey bees. The honey produced by them was once dismissed as unwholesome by the Greek physician, Dioscurides but today it is very popular. It shares an interesting characteristic with tomato ketchup- both are thixotropic fluids. This means that they decrease in viscosity with time for a constant applied shear stress and then gradually return to the original state when the stress is removed. The honey is jelly like until it is stirred and will return to a jelly when the stirring stops, as you can imagine, this makes it very difficult to extract from the honeycomb!

The structure of callunene
The structure of callunene- a potent inhibitor of the C. bombi parasite in wild bumblebees.

The heather has another surprise in its nectar, one that could be vital in helping to save wild bee colonies. It has recently been found that a chemical called callunene (present in the nectar) can help to treat a common gut parasite, Crithidia bombi, and help protect the bees from catching it in the first place, by preventing flagellar anchoring to the ileum epithelium. Boosting heathland conservation would increase bees’ access to heather, hopefully improving the health of wild colonies. It is also possible that this might be the compound which is responsible for heather’s use in herbal medicine to treat urinary tract infections, although this has yet to be investigated.

Can I make alcohol from it? The important questions in life:

Something you may not have associated this plant with immediately is beer. However heather has been used as a bittering herb (alongside myrtle and broom) in Scottish beer since at least 1769 when Thomas Pennet wrote in A tour in Scotland that on the island of Islay “ale is frequently mixed with the young tops of heath…” Brewing history in Scotland dates back 5,000 yrs so it’s safe to assume this tradition is likely a lot older than Pennet’s book. Beer produced with this mix of herbs is called gruit beer and it can still be found today, although hop beers have largely replaced it because hops tend to be cheaper and do a better job of preserving the beer.  February 1st is the official International Gruit Day in case you can find some to try!

AMRC Peer Review Audit Intern – Deadline: 18 Sep 2020

AMRC banner

Title: Peer review audit intern

Renumeration: Travel costs

Placement: Mid October 2020 – mid Jan 2021 (3 months in total)

Location: remote working / working from home

 About AMRC

Over 30 years ago a diverse group of medical research charities formed the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) to unite the sector and provide it with a leading voice. Since then our membership has grown to over 150 charities across the UK and we continue to lead and support charities to deliver high-quality research that saves and improves lives.

We equip our member charities with regular guidance and training, and provide quality standards to help our member charities maximise the impact of their investment. We play a vital role in influencing the research environment from forging partnerships, to voicing our member charities’ concerns and ideas to policy makers, to developing position statements. Find out more about our work at www.amrc.org.uk.

AMRC peer review audit

In order to gain and maintain AMRC membership, and the hallmark of quality that it affords, charities must fund research in an open and transparent way that includes a robust peer review process. Their ability to do this is assessed during the application process as well as during a full peer review audit that takes place every five years. Any organisation which no longer complies is demitted.

By adhering to AMRC’s five principles of peer review – accountability, balance, independence, rotation and impartiality, charities can support the best research and the best researchers. This, in turn, can help charities maximise the impact of their funding to deliver changes that really matter to their supporters and stakeholders, so that patients benefit from the fruits of research.

With this hallmark of quality, AMRC charities that award funding in an open competition are able to utilise the Charity Research Support Fund in funding research in universities and receive funding support with some of the costs associated with clinical research in the NHS.

The AMRC will be conducting the peer review audit in late 2020. In the spirit of our principles, the audit is assessed by the Peer Review Audit Committee, a panel of expert reviewers who provide advice to the AMRC on the quality of peer review processes in all member charities and that is led by an independent and high-profile Chair.

The outcomes of the audit will be communicated to our members and wider stakeholders. AMRC will use the insights gathered from the audit to consider whether our guidance on our five principles of peer review should be amended.

As the current uncertainty in the UK leads to more challenges for research funders, AMRC wants to ensure that the best research is funded in the best way by making our quality standards for funding as up to date and robust for the future as possible.

About the role

This is a fantastic opportunity to gain exposure to the health and medical research charity sector.

Part of a small but passionate, innovative and influential team, you will play an essential role helping the AMRC deliver its 2020 Peer Review audit. You will report to AMRC’s Research Policy Manager but will have to develop strong relationships across the organisation and research leadership within the member charities.

You will be involved in:

  • Ensuring AMRC members are supported and able to complete the audit survey.
  • Collating the information from our members to enable independent assessment of their peer review process in making research funding decisions by the Peer Review Audit Committee (PRAC).
  • Supporting the PRAC members and the Chair in the assessment of our members adherence to the peer review principles in their research funding decisions. The PRAC will recommend whether a charity passes, passes with minor issues or fails the audit. Charities that fail the audit are demitted from the membership of AMRC.
  • Giving consideration to the need to revise AMRC guidance on the principles for decision making about research funding. Medical research charities are increasing funding innovative research in new and different ways, particularly in areas of data and digital innovation. Mechanisms such as sandpits are used by charities to encourage collaborative research projects. You will consider what changes to guidance, if any, AMRC could make.
  • Designing communications plans to promote and celebrate completion of the audit, recognising the high standards our members meet.
  • Other activities you could be involved in including: policy analysis of emerging issues; political and policy stakeholder mapping; attending meetings alongside AMRC staff, on a range of issues; supporting AMRC’s social media through blogs and Twitter, etc.

About you

You have:

  • first degree/masters/PhD in a relevant discipline (or equivalent)
  • an eye for detail
  • good time management skills
  • the ability to prioritise competing demands
  • MS Office (including Excel) skills
  • a positive attitude to work
  • excellent interpersonal and communication skills

You are:

  • well organised
  • open to learning and new ways of working
  • not afraid to ask questions
  • able to work independently and proactively
  • willing to work flexibly when required
  • able to thrive in a busy environment with lots of challenges

Why intern with us?

  • You will quickly gain a bird’s eye view of the UK medical research landscape
  • You will learn and use a variety of different concrete and applicable skills
  • You will get valuable insights into research policy, management and communications
  • You will be part of a small, friendly team of approximately 14 people
  • You will begin to build a network and make connections within the sector

 Skills developed

  • Organisation, time management and prioritising
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Working across organisational boundaries
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Learning and new ways of working
  • Project management

 How to apply

Please send your CV and a one-page covering letter to Dr Mehwaesh Islam at m.islam@amrc.org.uk

Deadline: no later than Friday 18th September 2020.

In your application, be sure to tell us:

  1. What interests you most about working with AMRC?
  2. What transferable skills can you offer in relation to the role? Do you have examples of previous administrative and data handling experience?
  3. What you would like to achieve from this internship?

Promising applicants will be invited to a virtual interview to take place either w/c 21st or 28th September 2020.

Royal Society of Biology – Deadline: 10 Sep20

The RSB has one internship position available for current PhD students who are funded by AHRCBBSRCEPSRCESRCMRC, and NERC.

The successful applicant will spend three months working at the RSB in 2021. Start and end dates can be negotiated as appropriate.

What does a policy internship at the RSB involve?

An internship with the Society will involve the combination of a specific project to be substantially delivered within the period of the placement, along with involvement in ongoing projects and activities of the RSB team. This may involve background research and working with our staff team and members to generate a response to a government or Parliamentary consultation, or the development of one of our Policy Lates events, for example.

Find out more here: https://www.rsb.org.uk/policy/policy-resources/policy-internships

How to apply

To apply in 2020 for internships in 2021, go to the UKRI Policy Internships Scheme webpage.

Deadline

Deadline to apply: 10 September 2020

UKRI Policy Internships – Deadline: 10 Sep20

The research councils organise the Policy Internships Scheme for current research council-funded doctoral students to work for three months in a highly influential policy organisation on one or more policy topics relevant to both the student and the host. The student will be expected to produce at least one briefing paper, participate in a policy inquiry and/or organise a policy event, or equivalent piece of work.

We’ve had great feedback from PGRs who have taken advantage of this scheme, and would really encourage eligible students to check it out.

Internships are available with a number of parliamentary departments, government departments and non-governmental bodies, learned societies and other organisations.  Click the link below for a full list of host partners for the 2020/21 competition round, as well as information about how to apply:

More info and how to apply

Deadline for applications: 16:00 on 10 September 2020

3-Minute Thesis – Alex Setchfield and Katie West

Two of our DTP students – Katie West and Alex Setchfield – took part in the University of York 2020 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition and presented their work in the final round on Wednesday 10th June 2020. We talked to Katie and Alex about the whole process – from their motivation to take part, through the preparation they did, to their reflections on the process! We would like to say a very big ‘well done’ to Katie and Alex on making it to the final of the competition, especially with the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic! Read their full interview to find out more about their experience and the invaluable advice they have for anyone who wants to try taking part in 3MT in the future, as well as a link where you can watch the event in full.

3-Minute Thesis logo

Read more3-Minute Thesis – Alex Setchfield and Katie West

Exploring the science behind everyday plants: Roses

For the first in my blog series: Exploring the science behind everyday plants, it seems appropriate to cover Roses. 

The name “Rose” refers to over 300 species of plant in the genus Rosa. They can range from miniature garden roses to climbers that can reach well over 7 M height but one thing they all have in common is the showy flowers they produce. 

Rose colours:

The  colour of these flowers was used as a sort of language in Victorian England, each symbolising something different. White was for innocence and young love (hence why white roses are common in bridal bouquets), red was for romantic love, yellow was for jealousy and pink was for friendship. Of course, there are thousands of cultivators with mixed colours these days so, in theory, you could send a very nuanced message if you wanted to! 

White rose from York Museum Gardens
A white rose from York Museum Gardens.

Read moreExploring the science behind everyday plants: Roses

Get to know… your WRDTP Comms Team: Zoe Ingold

Hiya! My name is Zoe and I’m a new member of the comms team from York. I work across YSBL and CNAP studying C-C bond forming enzymes derived from plants. I’m using x-ray crystallography to determine their structures and trying to elucidate their mechanisms in order to modify them to use substrates of industrial importance. Long term this will hopefully lead to greener processes for fine chemicals production.

Why did you join the DTP comms team?

I’ve been doing SciComm since first year of undergrad when I volunteered at the RSC stand for the York Festival of Ideas however, due to corona, all in-person SciComm has been cancelled for the foreseeable future. I saw this time as a good opportunity to develop my writing skills, so I’ve been using twitter to post about the chemistry and cultural importance of a new plant each day (who doesn’t love plants!). Writing for the White Rose blog allows me to explore this in more depth as well as write about other areas of the PhD experience.

Tell us some non-work related things about you!

I love food! York has an amazing food scene and whenever some place new opens up I try to visit. During lockdown I’ve learned how to make pastel de nata from scratch and I’m trying to grow some of my own fruit and veg too. At the start of my PhD some of my friends took my bouldering and I’m really looking forward to the climbing gym re-opening. I also train horses and go out to explore the Yorkshire area whenever I can.

Get to know… your WRDTP Comms Team: Maria Nikolova

My name’s Maria Nikolova and I’m a second year PhD student at the University of Leeds. I am the Comms Team group lead and most of the Tweets you see will be from me. Who knew a lifetime of endless scrolling through social media and subsconsciously absorbing what content gets the most attention will be useful!

Maria Nikolova intro
Like Ioannis, I also prefer spending my holidays by the beach because of where I come from (in my case, that’s a city called Burgas in Bulgaria).

My research focuses on the structural and functional investigation of PACE transporters. They are a family of multidrug efflux pumps that can transport a number of biocides out of bacteria and facilitate resistance. I chose this project because protein biochemistry was my favourite part of the integrated masters I did at the University of York (I just need a post-doc in Sheffield to complete my White Rose collection) and I think antimicrobial resistance is the most urgent global health threat we are facing. I also wanted a challenging project and membrane proteins fit neatly into that category so I can’t complain when it’s hard now (although I still do). It has been a steep learning curve but a rewarding experience and I feel like I have already learned a lot. Now I just need my structure!

I have recently got into cycling as it’s such a great way to get active and explore the green spaces around my plain old terraced house (I have not enjoyed spending a lot of time indoors…) and I get some satisfaction out of getting there all on my own. I may have got a little too into tracking my rides on Strava… Just another social media obsession to add to my list. I also love meeting up with friends in my spare time and getting involved in science communication projects. It’s no surprise then that I’m involved in organising Pint of Science for the second year running as it combines two of my favourite activities! I joined the DTP Comms Team because I see great potential in using our social media and website to showcase and amplify all the great achievements of our students and also provide a platform for students to share what they’re passionate about. I’m also quite excited about connecting with and sharing ideas with our cohort so it’s been great fun for me really. I hope everyone enjoys our posts and our DMs and emails are always open for new suggestions!

Tips on giving a conference talk from Oli Herd

Oli Herd is a final year PhD student at the University of York characterising haematopoietic and immunological changes using a mouse model of chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) under the supervision of Ian Hitchcock and Paul Genever. In December 2019 he presented a talk at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida (USA) on his research in defining changes in haematopoietic stem cell populations and the bone marrow microenvironment during ITP progression. We asked Oli for his top tips for preparing to give a talk at a conference, read below for a first-hand account of his experience!

Oli Herd at ASH
Here is a picture of Oli presenting his talk!

Read moreTips on giving a conference talk from Oli Herd

Sense about Science communications intern-Deadline: 6 Aug20

Sense about Science logo

This internship is offered on a remote-working basis initially.

Background

Sense about Science is an independent campaigning charity that champions the public interest in sound science and ensures evidence is recognised in public life and policymaking. We challenge misrepresentation of science and evidence, advocate openness and honesty about research, and strive to open up socially or scientifically difficult issues where evidence is neglected, conflicting or misunderstood. We’re proud that we’ve been able to continue to support and engage ECRs with online training and resources during the lockdown, and there has been an incredible call for their contribution. ECRs have been glad to have the stimulation of developing skills and confidence with us at a time when so much else is uncertain.

Useful links

2 Stephen St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1AN | +44 (0)20 7490 9590 

When

The internship dates would be Monday 7 September to Friday 4 December 2020, but with remote working there’s of course some flexibility in this if required.

Where

Initially remote-working.

Office-based if and when feasible: 2 Stephen St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1AN | +44 (0)20 7490 9590 

The opportunity

We have an opportunity for a communications internship from September to December 2020, working remotely at first. Working with the senior communications officer, the intern will assist with communications planning and execution across various channels including social media, newsletters and in the press. We will have a number of high-profile events and campaigns taking place and it is crucial that we can successfully communicate our messages about the importance of standing up for science and evidence-based policy to a wide range of audiences. We are looking for an intern with some experience of, or who would be willing to learn about, writing for social media and communication of complex ideas in a clear, engaging way.

Essential skills

  • Ability to identify and use initiative to solve problems
  • Ability to organise and prioritise work
  • A flair for clear, engaging writing
  • Friendly manner
  • Candidates should be familiar with and share the Sense about Science ethos regarding the public interest in sound science and evidence

How to apply

Candidates can apply by submitting their CV and cover letter to Dr Hamid Khan

by Wednesday 6 August 2020.

Contact

Dr Hamid Khan

Email: hamid@senseaboutscience.org

Tel: +44 (0)20 7490 9590 

Senior partnerships coordinator

Sense about Science
Because evidence matters

Marcus Holt – FindAUniversity

Marcus Holt at PIPS

Marcus Holt is a final year PhD student at the University of Leeds, who did his PIPS with the internet-based company FindAUniversity. The company is geared towards students looking for a postgraduate course. He told us what was involved in his role within the Content team (part of which was carried out remotely due to COVID-19) and gave us some great insight into what he took away from his PIPS experience!

 

Read moreMarcus Holt – FindAUniversity

Get to know… your WRDTP student reps: Evie Farnham

It’s time to introduce our first student rep from the University of York! Evie is currently in the second year of her PhD. She also did her undergraduate at York, with a year working in the agriculture industry in Gloucestershire. Her PhD allows her to combine her interests in crop protection, microbial evolution and genetics into one project. Evie thinks time has really flown by and she can’t believe she’s already halfway through her PhD!

Evie Farnham

Read on to find out how Evie’s interest in crop protection has evolved to bring her to her current project and what it entails, what she loves doing in her spare time and one of the misfortunes she’s had during a late night in the lab (don’t worry, it has a happy ending)!

Read moreGet to know… your WRDTP student reps: Evie Farnham

Get to know… your WRDTP Comms Team: Ioannis Tsagakis

Mandatory photo by my (fabric!) poster at #EESNoncoding 2019 in Heidelberg, Germany!

Hi there, my name is Ioannis and I am a 3rd year PhD student working across FBS and FMH on RNA Biology. More specifically, my project aims to understand how long non-protein coding RNAs can co-evolve with their protein binding partners across placental mammals with divergent early pregnancy events. To this end, I use biochemical pull-down methods and primary cell culture to identify the protein interactome of the XIST RNA in humans, cows and pigs.

Why did you join the DTP Communications team?

Joining the DTP Communications team made sense because I am interested in scientific communication and have realised social media provides a new platform to interact with wider networks of scientists. Being an active Twitter user, I frequently post cutting-edge scientific research, conference meeting opportunities as well as my thoughts about all things science. I am also keen to learn about all the latest research which makes me the person having a lot of questions in seminars (not always asking them though).

Enough about work, tell us something about you!

In my spare time, I like to play basketball, cook or explore new places in Leeds for food and/or music. It was clear from the beginning of my PhD, I was pro-pun and would get every chance to come up with science-themed jokes (even if they weren’t that good – groan!). Being native Greek but having spent 10 years in the UK, I now more than ever prefer my holidays by a sandy beach over a mountain hike. A saying that has stuck with me is that…

“There is no such thing as I can’t do, there is only I don’t want to”.

Luke Fountain – Growing skills during lockdown

This week’s blog post comes from Luke Fountain, a second year WRDTP PhD student (and a UK student space ambassador!) at the University of Sheffield.

Over the past few months of lockdown, like many of us, Luke has been trying to find new ways to stay productive while access to university sites has been restricted. Here Luke shares with you what he has been up to, from building hydroponics set ups from home to attending live Q&As with Astronauts!

Hopefully Luke’s experiences will inspire you to get creative as we slowly find our way back into a new normality.

Read moreLuke Fountain – Growing skills during lockdown