Postgraduate training plays an integral part in IFR's culture of encouraging both learning and knowledge transfer across its user communities; we offer PhD students a stimulating 3-4 year 'period of study' which prepares them well for a career within or outside the research community.
Being based on the Norwich Research Park gives students the added advantage of easy access to student life on the University of East Anglia's campus.
All students are required to complete the 'Professional Skills for Research Scientists' training programme, designed and run by the UEA Science Group, as part of their own personal development, to improve their future career prospects, to complement their scientific training and in accordance with the Joint Statement of the Research Councils' / Arts and Humanities Research Board's Skills Training Requirements for Research Students.
As part of their wider skills training, members of IFR’s PhD student cohort organise an annual event to present their science to colleagues across Norwich Research Park. The student committee, supported by Paul Koon, IFR’s PhD student convenor, have to find commercial sponsors, and organise activities including short talks and poster competitions, with a guest speaker.
The 2012 event saw 22 posters displayed and defended, 5 short talks presented, and a fascinating lecture in a key area of IFR scientific interest from Prof. Stella Knight from IFR’s close scientific collaborators at Imperial College, London on ‘Mucosal dendritic cells: shaping immunity in the human gut’. Sponsors were Biolin Scientific and The Biochemical Society.
The audience vote for the best ‘short talks’, and the winner was Sabina Etzold, with Mark Woodcock and Dagmara Dyjach joint runners-up. Posters are judged for their scientific content and, separately, for the way in which they are presented (both in print and orally) on the day. The 3 ‘science’ judges (Vic Morris and Tim Brocklehurst from IFR, and Usha Devi from sponsors, Biolin Scientific) and ‘communication’ judge, IFR’s Head of Communications, Catherine Reynolds shortlisted the posters independently and a high degree of agreement saw Danni Folkard win the first part of the competition, with Lee Kellingray 2nd and Helen Brown 3rd. These 3 students, together with Laura Searle, were questioned in-depth about their presentations. The outcome saw 1st year students Laura and Lee ‘highly commended’ and a presentation to joint winners, 2nd year students, Helen Brown and Danni Folkard.
The day concluded with prizes awarded by IFR Director, David Boxer who congratulated the organising committee on a very successful and interesting day.