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

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!

WISE@QMUL video discussion: “A Chemical Imbalance”

WISE@QMUL members and newcomers gathered for a lunchtime discussion following a viewing of A Chemical Imbalance, a documentary made by the University of Edinburgh to “highlight some of the persistent challenges still faced by women, and to contribute to the wider debate about how we can progress towards equality.”

We were glad to meet so many new faces at our first event of the academic year. Everybody remarked how much they enjoyed the video (and the complimentary lunch, of course!)

Many men as well as ladies attended.

Many men as well as ladies attended.

If you’d like to watch the video again, please visit http://chemicalimbalance.co.uk/project/watch-the-film/.

Joanne moderated the discussion session after the viewing, during which the following comments were made:

  • Women may be more reluctant to “show off” their own achievements, possibly due to implicit social standards on which confidence in men is admired but confidence in women is seen as pushy and aggressive.
  • Gender quotas for promotions are not likely to be a fair or even useful way of dealing with gender imbalances in the senior academic circles. A more important priority is to ensure that the decision-makers are not subconsciously biased towards any one gender.
  • As shown in the (in)famous Yale study, women are just as likely to exhibit negative bias towards women, so there is a need for all of us to evaluate our own habits.
  • In fact, female supervisors may be more likely to be undervalued, even by female subordinates. (Note that there is no data to support this hypothesis!)
  • Although there is a significant tailing off of female participation after postdoctoral fellowships, it should be remembered that male researchers also face the same bottleneck for permanent academic positions.
Joanne moderated the discussion after the video.

Joanne moderated the discussion after the video.

It was a fruitful start to the year and we hope to see as many men and women attending our next panel discussion on 20th November to explore how four female academics at QMUL forged their own career paths.

A final note, if you are interested in suggesting or helping to run future events, please email us to join our organising committee. We really need as much help as possible!

WISE@QMUL panel discussion: What are the challenges facing female postdocs in science and engineering?

On 3rd May 2013, we had a very interesting event to discuss and explore the challenges facing female postdocs in STEM subjects. With demands including running experiments and applying for permanent academic positions, as well as juggling relationships and family life, the choice to work as a female postdoc in STEM is not an easy decision, and often leads to sacrifices for many.

This event aimed to assess these challenges and evaluate how female postdocs can make the most of their experiences and develop their career. We had a range of speakers and a subsequent panel discussion involving:

  • Dr Tracy Bussoli, who works with PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, advising them on career strategies. She completed her PhD in Genetics with the Medical Research Council and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the MRC Institute of Hearing Research, then as a Senior Genetic Counsellor at Guy’s Clinical Genetics Department for 8 years
  • Ros Hannen, who is a current postdoctoral researcher at QMUL
  • Gioia Cherubini, who is a former postdoctoral researcher and is now a Business Development Manager for QMUL

This event proved very interesting for all the attendees, and we extend a big thank you to our guest speakers!

The challenges facing postdocs was of interest to many

Left to right: Ros (speaker), Gioia (speaker), and Joanne (WISE Chair)

28th Feb 2013: Evidence for gender bias in science?

We hear anecdotes about sexism in employment but what’s the evidence for bias against women in science?

Come and hear senior academics and researchers into equality and diversity explain recent research. There’ll be time for a panel discussion and questions from the audience. Men as well as women are welcome. Lunch and coffee provided!

Speakers:

Lucinda Hall graduated in Biology from the University of York in 1978, and gained her PhD from the University of Glasgow in 1981. She joined what was then the London Hospital Medical College in 1986 following four and a half years of post-doctoral research in molecular biology at the University of Geneva. She became Professor of Molecular Microbiology in 2010 and was elected Centre Lead for the Centre for Immunology and Infectious Disease in 2009.

Emily Yarrow is a PhD candidate in The Centre for Equality and Diversity (CRED) and is researching equality and diversity issues in the Research Excellence Framework (REF). Emily has a strong commercial background with experience in finance and business, and she has studied in Edinburgh, Sweden and Newcastle. Emily’s research interests include RAE/REF datasets, equality and diversity, early career academics, and educational inequalities.

When: 28th February 2013, 12-1:30 pm
Where: SEMS Seminar Room, 3/F, Engineering Building, Mile End Campus
Map: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/docs/about/26065.pdf (Building 15)

Related links

6th Dec 2012: Parenting and careers

WISE@QMUL presents our final event of the term a lunchtime panel discussion: “Parenting and Careers”.

Everyone is welcome to this informal networking event exploring how to combine family life with an academic career. There will be plenty of opportunities to question our panel of student and staff parents, as well as short talks from QMUL HR. We’ll finish up with relaxed networking over refreshments.

We welcome men as well as women, and academics from undergraduate level to professors.

When: Thursday 6th December 2012, 12-2 pm
Where: Room UPC (148a), Engineering Building, Mile End Campus
Map: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/docs/about/26065.pdf (Building 15)

To help us get an idea of numbers, please register for this event here (use code: RW204)

Programme:

12.00 Reception
12.30 Sam Holborn (HR Consultant for Science and Engineering)
12.40 Bertille Calinaud (Diversity Specialist)
12.50 Panel chaired by Marina Resmini with QMUL staff: Jeanne Wilson, Jo Cordy, Lourdes Agapito and QMUL students: Colombine Gardair and Sara Heitlinger
13.40-14.00 Networking

Speakers and panellists:

  • Sam Holborn is the HR Consultant for Science and Engineering.  Her role is to offer support and advice to the faculty on HR matters.
  • Bertille Calinaud is the Diversity Specialist for Queen Mary, she also project managed the Athena SWAN programme, which is a Charter to advance women career in sciences and engineering.
  • Marina Resmini is a Reader in organic chemistry in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences.  She has been at QMUL since 1999 when she started as a lecturer.  She works full time and has two young children.
  • Jeanne Wilson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Physics and Astronomy.  She has recently returned from maternity leave after the birth of her second child.
  • Jo Cordy is the Development Adviser for Research Students, based in the Learning Institute.  She runs workshops and events for researchers as well as offering advice and support.  Her son was born at the beginning of March and she has recently returned from maternity leave.
  • Lourdes Agapito is a Reader in Computer Vision at the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science and mother of 3 children aged 4, 6 and 8.
  • Columbine Gardair is in the process of finishing her PhD in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science whilst also teaching Design for Human Interaction module this term.  She has a 2 year old daughter who attends QMUL nursery full time.
  • Sara Heitlinger is an award winning artist, writer and currently PhD student in the Media and Arts Technology programme.  Her research looks at how digital technology can support grassroots urban food growing communities.  She has a two-year-old son, who was born in the first year of the four year PhD programme and helps keep things in perspective.

We hope to see you there!