On Thursday 24th January, the first South West Doctoral Training Partnership cohort meeting was held at the University of Bristol. This consisted of over 20 PhD students from Bath, Exeter and Bristol.
The meeting began with a presentation from Samantha Cathro and Hannah Mossman, the University of Bristol’s Career Service Advisors. This presentation was to encourage the students to start thinking about their Professional Internships for Postgraduate Studies (PIPS). This is a three-month full-time internship, to encourage students to use their doctoral training skills in a broader range of careers and to broaden the scope of their employability post-graduation. The University of Bristol already run a successful internship placement scheme and help fund over 100 student placements. This includes a number of local companies within Bristol in areas such as web design and digital marketing, aircraft design and construction, PR consultancy and banking, to name just a few.
This was followed by a talk from Prof Leo Brady (Chair of the SWDTP Management Committee) and Dr Andy Bailey (SWDTP Academic Coordinator). Leo Brady’s research focuses on probing crucial biomolecular interactions that are central to a variety of diseases, with the aim to help the development of new drugs and therapeutics, but he also talked about his career path and the sorts of things that impacted on how he got to his current position. Andy Bailey talked about some of his research into secondary metabolites from fungi and how a multidisciplinary approach helped to make the research more productive.
To finish off the meeting, Andy Bailey gave a talk about Professional & Personal Development. This focused on the sorts of skills that an effective researcher ought to develop, and how these are of use not just in academic research but also in the wider employment arena.
We hope to be arranging many more cohort activities in the future!