Upcoming EventsTo be announced...
The Early Career Forum (ECF) supports early career researchers (postdoctoral research staff and research fellows). We provide opportunities to listen and talk to interesting speakers from academia & industry, run open forums on topics such as funding schemes and grant applications, and generally act as a representative of the interests of early career researchers at the department. For more details see our Mission statement.
To be announced...
Dr Jorge Cham - creator of PhD comics - and Prof Daniel Whiteson - U. C. Irvine and researcher at CERN - were here in York to talk about their book "We have no Idea" on 7th of June! From procrastination and robots all the way down to strange quarks and dark matter & energy, they have explained in detail about how much we don't know. After their talk we had a nice time with some booksigning and photo session.
Head of Technology and Chief Executive Officer of Proceq, Ralph has told our audience in May 22 about his first steps in industry - going through a PhD in York - and how his career has taken some interesting twists. He brought one of the most profitable devices Proceq sells, the Schmidt rebound hammer, and showed us how it is intrinsically linked to industry 4.0 via cloud computing and smartphone apps.
Around 10 Postdocs and PhD students gathered for this tiny conference, which was very nice and informal. We had a contest for the best poster and an Amazon gift card was awarded to Jose Juan Colas by Thomas Krauss, Roland Kroeger and Rex Godby. Many thanks for everybody that took part on that event!
The panel and audience.
We had a very pleasant discussion with Lecturers at the department about what brought them to where they are today and what advice they have for academically inclined Ph.D. students and Postdocs. Alessandro Pastore, Christian Diget, Laurence Wilson, Keith McKenna, and Erik Wagenaars have shared their reasons to become academics, as well as provided some tips for those who seek these positions. Sarah Thompson, our HoD was the chair this 60 minutes session.
The feedback for this event was amazing! More than 90% of the audience said that it was excellent, and more than 80% thought that the format was simply perfect! We appreciate the feedback and we are looking forward to have more events like this. Some take home messages:
"It's hard work and luck, but the more you apply, the luckier you become."
"Just get used to (a lot) of rejection, it's normal and highly expected."
"Never give up (!!) and have a backup plan too."
David Pfau is on a mission to create artificial general intelligence at Google DeepMind. His talk took place on Friday, 24th of March. After that, David shared some of his experience working in projects at Google, and told us the differences between the company's working environment and academia.
Talking about lasers and careers.
After his talk on Friday, March 17th 2017, about how to use lasers to make lasers, Rob Eason, from University of Southampton, has shared some of his experience with us. In an informal and funny conversation, we learned about his passion for lasers since school, as well as how many things changed in HE since his PhD time at York.
Pizza and nice chats!
At our kickoff event, we asked which departments we should consider for hosting joint events in the future. Computer Science was voted top of the list, so we organised a social with the Computer Science department on February 23rd.
Kitkat is a $1bn business
On Thursday, January 26th 2017, we invited Hugh Powell from Néstle's Science department to tell us about this job and to subject himself to intense questioning. As it turns out, KitKat wafers (=glassy starch foam) are fabricated to 0.1mm tolerance in thickness and plusminus 1% in moisture content. We also talked about: Laser cleaning, the transition from academia to industry and where Néstle employs physicists.
Chatting away with Martin...
Martin Hendry is Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics at the University of Glasgow, where he is currently head of the School of Physics and Astronomy. He is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration which, along with Virgo, reported the detection of gravitational waves in 2016. We met him before his inspiring talk on January 18th, 2017 and had a chat about his career path, advice for young scientists and more.
The department's teaching efforts not only impact ranking tables, but also massively contribute to the department's income. The incoming HoD Kieran Gibson would love to see a greater involvement by ECRs, boosting the quality of teaching and the department's reputation.
We met with Kieran on December 2nd, 2016, who introduced the current pilot scheme and outlined his vision for its implementation starting next term.
If you are an early career researcher and would like to get involved in teaching, please fill out the Google-form
Mulled wine <> nice crowd!
On November 25th, 2016, the Early Career Forum kicked itself into life. We met to discuss
Plus sweet, mulled and fermented grape juice with mince pies and biscuits (for you)!
The Early Career Forum (ECF) supports early career researchers (postdoctoral research staff and research fellows). We provide opportunities to listen and talk to interesting speakers from academia & industry, run open forums on topics such as funding schemes and grant applications, and generally act as a representative of the interests of early career researchers at the department.
Many research staff wish to pursue an academic career; however, most of us end up working in industry. Some will take industry posts at the end of a PhD, whilst others will have several years of postdoctoral research experience. To address the diverse nature of this issue we aim to:
Several positions on department committees exist for the representation of research staff. These positions are an important opportunity for research staff to influence department policy and gain valuable experience. The researcher society will promote and support these positions. The aim is to:
The nature of research staff contracts often necessitates short term positions and frequent movement between institutions. It is also recognised that informal social activities provide excellent opportunities to network with individuals outside your immediate research areas. The research society will organise and support suitable social activities that:
Our events are open to all early career researchers and free of charge (unless otherwise indicated) - so just come along!
If you'd like to be informed about upcoming events, please ask the assistant of the HoD to sign you up to the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list. Of course, you are also welcome to contact us directly.
The committee currently consists of Adam Wollman (treasurer), Claudio Padilha (public relations officer), and Balati Kuerbanjiang (secretary). We meet about every two weeks to discuss and organise upcoming events. Feel free to attend any of our meetings, no strings attached!
Many of our former members have already left the department. Christian (chair), Leopold (public relations) and Andy (secretary) unfortunately are not part of the ECF anymore, so we (desperately) need new people or the ECF will cease to exist! It is much less time-consuming than most people think, and you end up learning a lot, such as how to organize events and deal with advertisement and a budget! Please drop Claudio a line, if you are interested and would like to come along to our next committee meeting!
Feel free to check out what we are currently working on.