Life as a Female Pharmacologist in Academia – Prof. Amrita Ahluwalia

The first WISE@QMUL event of 2016 saw vascular pharmacologist and WISE Award holder, Prof. Amrita Ahluwalia, take to the stage at the Charterhouse Square campus. Well-known as an engaging and entertaining speaker, even the change from the usual location at the Mile End campus didn’t deter the crowd.

The tone of the talk was set early on: although Amrita had no doubt that the enjoyment of science experienced by men and women was the same, women, she said, had a trickier time navigating the career progression than men. Addressing this problem is something she has dedicated a lot of her life to.

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What an Early Career scientist needs to know about life in Chemical research or industry

What an Early Career scientist needs to know about life in Chemical research or industry

SCI’s Early Career network is aimed at people in the early stages of their studies or research in university and industry. It is an ideal way to learn about the experiences of others who have embarked on a career path which you may be looking to follow. The network aims to provide insight on steps for career development by providing access to scientific and business knowledge, through people sharing their varied experiences at tailored events, workshops and through case studies.

The case studies showcase our early career scientists who have drawn on experiences to provide a glimpse of what to expect from a scientific career. Read on to find out what steps they took to propel them into their respective areas of work or study, and also how SCI membership could help you build on your scientific career.

They cover a variety of scientific areas, but each one offers up information that you may find useful as you think about venturing into a scientific career, or your next steps to take if you are already working or studying in science.

The case studies are grouped according to their technical areas of interest. Click the link above for more information.

27th Jan 2013: Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable Science Writing Workshop

Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable

OBR’s mission is to engage our academic and industry communities on-campus to foster a conversation about the health care and life sciences industry. OBR seeks to create a global network of academic innovators from across disciplines, to connect them with each other and the industry resources necessary to move ideas forward.

WISE@QMUL is co-hosting the Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable (OBR) London Chapter‘s Science Writing Workshop with Dr Lisa Melton, Senior News Editor at Nature Biotechnology, entitled “Beyond Writing Well: How to Become a Science Communicator”.

There are only 50 places 100 places* for this free evening workshop, and registration is open to all OBR members, not just QMUL research students/staff, so register immediately: http://www.oxbridgebiotech.com/events/beyond-writing-well-become-science-communicator/.

*The first set of tickets sold out so quickly we had to extend our booking to both Blomeley Rooms in order to provide 50 more places. That’s how much we care about you all! :)

You must be an OBR member to attend, so don’t forget to sign up for free membership here: http://www.oxbridgebiotech.com/join.

If you still haven’t clicked the above links, here are three reasons why you really should have by now:
  1. You get to hear from Lisa, an inspiring speaker with a wealth of practical advice to share about science communication.
  2. You may be recruited to be a voluntary author for the OBR Review, a top class biotech blog with over 10,000 views per month.
  3. You can identify your weaknesses in science writing and increase your chances of winning £500 cash in OBR’s 2014 Science Writing Competition.

The workshop will be followed by complimentary drinks and refreshments (sponsored by WISE@QMUL), so that you can mingle with the rest of the participants as well as Lisa, the OBR London Chapter team and the WISE@QMUL committee.

OBR flier: Writing workshop

When: Mon 27th Jan 2014, registration starts 6:30 pm, workshop starts promptly at 7 pm
Where: Blomeley Room 2, G/F, Queen Mary Students’ Union Hub, Mile End Campus, E1 4NT
Map: QMUL Mile End Campus Map (Building 34)

Closest tube stations: Stepney Green/Mile End
Bus routes: 25/205

Detailed directions:
It is extremely important that you read the campus map. The entrance to the QM Students’ Union Hub is NOT on Mile End Rd. Blomeley Room 2 will be clearly signposted once you enter the building.

  • If coming from Stepney Green Station, turn left as you come out of the station. Walk down Mile End Rd, crossing Bancroft Rd before entering the campus via the gates at the Clock Tower. Follow the path to the right of Queens’ Building (big, old building) and at the end of the path turn right and right again. You should now have the Library (you can’t miss this) on your left , and if you now look back towards Mile End Rd, the building straight ahead is the Students’ Union Hub.
  • If coming from Mile End Station, cross Mile End Rd when you come out of the station then turn left. Cross the road towards the overpass and walk down Mile End Rd, passing The New Globe pub and the canal before entering the campus. Walk around the first building on your left as you enter the campus (ArtsOne), and continue walking westwards (away from Mile End Station), passing the Law Building and ArtsTwo on your left and a cemetery on your right (no joke!). You will soon get to a circular building (Ground Café). Follow the path around it and you will see the Students’ Union Hub ahead of you.
  • If taking buses 25 or 205, get off at the stop called “Queen Mary, University of London”, enter the campus via the gates at the Clock Tower and follow the above directions for walking from Stepney Green Station.
  • Email wiseqmul@gmail.com if you need any further instructions.

Travel advice:
The District and Hammersmith & City lines get extremely crowded at rush hour, so please allow yourself 15 minutes more than expected to get to QMUL.

Finally, please sign up for our free membership to receive the latest news on upcoming WISE@QMUL events.

Speaker:

  • Lisa Melton obtained her PhD at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and did her postdoctoral work at the National Institutes for Medical Research, in London where she investigated thymic differentiation. She then took a science writer’s position at the Wellcome Trust and later the Novartis Foundation, contributing to NatureScientific AmericanNew Scientist and the Times among others. She joined Nature Biotechnology in 2008. — Biography from Nature Biotechnology

First female Cambridge Professor in Engineering set to become first female President of Royal Academy of Engineering

Prof Dame Ann Dowling FREng FRS, world-renowned expert in combustion and acoustics, became the first ever female professor in Engineering Department of the University of Cambridge back in 1998. A motivational figure for women in engineering, she was identified last year in the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Power List as one of the 100 most influential women in the country. 

Just last week, the Council of the Royal Academy of Engineering has nominated Dame Ann as its Presidential candidate for election by Fellows at their September 2014 AGM. Upon election by the Fellowship, she will become the Academy’s first female President and serve a term of five years.

“I am honoured to be nominated for election as President of the UK’s national academy of engineering at a crucial time when it is generally acknowledged that many more engineers will be required to help the country benefit from the knowledge economy of the future. The world faces some enormous challenges, including clean energy, resilient infrastructure, water and food supply, and engineers have a crucial role in addressing these issues.”
— Professor Dame Ann Dowling, January 2014

Dame Ann started her career as a pure mathematician, but went on to study her PhD in engineering acoustics to pursue her love of applied mathematics. Her research has helped to develop quieter aircraft and vehicles.

During her interview for The Life Scientific, Dame Ann revealed that she had yearned to fly as a child and that was what encouraged her to become an engineer. A simple dream can be enough to inspire any child to achieve extraordinary things in life; we must take steps towards a society where all children are given the opportunity to follow their dreams, regardless of their gender or background.

For those of you out there who are still hesitant about studying engineering, here’s a little gem from Dame Ann.

“Science has only happened because engineering is enabling it.”
— Professor Dame Ann Dowling, The Life Scientific, August 2012

Dame Ann is encouraging our scientific and engineering researchers to work together for our future generations. Girls and boys, this will be your generation next—what is your dream?

Read the official press release from the Royal Academy of Engineering

Listen to Prof Dame Ann Dowling’s interview with Prof Jim Al-Khalili for The Life Scientific

This article was written by Nishtha Chopra, our new Publicity Officer, and edited by Sybil Wong, Secretary.

23rd Jan 2014: What is the Athena SWAN Charter?

WISE@QMUL presents a lunchtime panel discussion: What is the Athena SWAN Charter?

Athena SWANOur first event of 2014 will focus on the Athena SWAN award scheme and its growing influence on academia. Do you know what level of award your department has achieved, or who the champions are within your department? Do you know how Athena SWAN affects your funding applications?

We begin with an introduction on Athena SWAN from QMUL’s Diversity Manager, Bertille Calinaud, followed by a talk from Professor Richard Pickersgill on the recent Athena SWAN Silver award for our School of Biological and Chemical Sciences. We then welcome our special guest speaker, Professor Tom Welton, Head of Chemistry at Imperial College London, whose department has recently become one of only four departments within the UK to achieve an Athena SWAN Gold award.

Come to find out more about how Athena SWAN can benefit you, and participate in the open-floor panel discussion following the talks.

Join us from 12:30 pm for lunch, with a prompt start at 1 pm for talks. We’ll wind up by 1:45 pm for more coffee and informal networking.

Staff, students or professionals from all organisations, male or female; all are welcome! But please register on Eventbrite first if you are not from QMUL. (QMUL students can register via the CAPD website to gain points using the code: RW211.) Free lunch and coffee provided.

When: Thu 23rd Jan 2014, 12:30–1:45 pm
Where: SEMS Seminar Room, 3/F, Engineering Building, QMUL, Mile End, E1 4NS
Map: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/docs/about/26065.pdf (Building 15)
Nearest tube stations: Stepney Green/Mile End
Bus routes: 25/205
CAPD course code for QMUL students: RW211

Eventbrite - Lunchtime panel discussion: What is the Athena SWAN Charter?

Detailed directions:
Enter the Engineering Building from the main entrance on Mile End Rd, east of Bancroft Rd. Look to the left (west) of the lobby. Take the inconspicuous lift next to the staircase to 3/F. You will see the SEMS Seminar Room as soon as the lift doors open!

Don’t forget to sign up for our free membership to receive the latest news on our upcoming events.

Speakers:

  • Bertille Calinaud is the Diversity Manager for QMUL, and also the project manager for Athena SWAN at QMUL, advising schools on how to advance gender equality for their staff and students. Bertille recently prepared the submission for QMUL to renew its institutional Athena SWAN Bronze award.
  • Professor Richard Pickersgill is Professor of Structural Biology, Head of Chemistry and Biochemistry Division in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences (SBCS). SBCS are the only department within QMUL to have been awarded an Athena SWAN Silver award. Richard is part of the SBCS committee for Athena SWAN.
  • Professor Tom Welton joins us from Imperial College London where he is the Head of the Department of Chemistry and the world’s first Professor of Sustainable Chemistry. Tom’s department has become one of only four across the UK to achieve an Athena SWAN Gold award. This is the first Gold award for Imperial College London, which already has an institutional Silver award.

20th Nov 2013: I want to be an academic—a female perspective

WISE@QMUL presents a lunchtime panel discussion: “I want to be an academic—a female perspective”.

As a PhD student or postdoc, the pathway to a permanent job can often seem long and very difficult.  This is made more discouraging by the fact that only 26.1% of lecturers in STEM subjects are female.

WISE have organised a discussion with four female QMUL academics to talk about their career paths and hopefully pick up some advice and encouragement along the way.  We’ll also be talking about combining careers with families.  Free lunch & tea/coffee, of course!

When: Wed 20th Nov 2013, 12:30-1:30 pm
Where: Matt Spencer Boardroom, 1/F, Student Union HUB, Mile End Campus
Map: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/docs/about/26065.pdf (Building 34)

Hope to see you there!