Over 100 new PhD students from SEPnet universities attended the GRADnet Induction Day on Wednesday, 26 October 2022 at One Park Crescent in central London.
GRADnet is a SEPnet program that supports postgraduate students from nine universities in the south east of England. Throughout the year there are training events, online workshops and conferences held to improve the students’ professional skills. The first event in the calendar was the Induction Day on October 26th, which was attended by 11 PhD students from Royal Holloway, one of the founding members of SEPnet.
Attendees were introduced to the three strands of SEPnet: Employability, Outreach and GRADnet by Professor Jacob Dunningham, Executive Director of SEPnet. During the event, four workshops were offered to the students:
- DISCnet Taster Session: Introduction to Machine Learning using ATLAS Open Data delivered by Dr Kate Shaw, Lecturer, Dr Thomas Stevenson, Research Fellow and Zoë Earnshaw, Postgraduate Researcher, Physics and Astronomy, School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, University of Sussex;
- Introduction to basic Python & Introduction to Scientific Python delivered by Dr Tim Kinnear, Lecturer in Computational Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Kent;
- How to get your research published delivered by Tom Sharp and Rob Freeman, Institute of Physics;
- Science Communication Skills delivered by Dr Claudia Antolini, SEPnet – The Ogden Trust Senior Officer for Outreach and Public Engagement, Royal Holloway University of London and Nuala O’Flynn, SEPnet/Ogden Physics Outreach and Public Engagement Officer at University of Hertfordshire.
The students also had the opportunity to hear from two Postgraduate Researchers about their summer placements. Tariq Himli, University of Surrey, discussed his 8-week placement at Occuity. He was tasked to set up a Monte-Carlo tolerance analysis tool, which involved interfacing between his own code and software for analysis. Himli described the experience as a nice introduction to industry work and a funded break from his PhD. Laura Fryer, University of Southampton, completed a placement with Openshaw & Co, Patent Attorneys. She researched state of the art technologies, prepared detailed documents of new inventions and drafted responses to letters from the UK patent office. Fryer detailed how it was a good opportunity to experience working in the industry without leaving academia and it broadened her skillset.
SEPnet’s Cristobel Soares was glad to see the event’s return:
“After two years of online delivery due to the pandemic, it was great to be back in person at One Park Crescent and having the opportunity to meet this year’s cohort of SEPnet PhD students face to face. Everyone enjoyed meeting their fellow PGRs and found the workshops really useful.”
Learn more about information about future GRADnet events to benefit from the training opportunities the scheme offers.