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Past events and blog

Find details of past events organised by the Neuroscience Careers Network.

2021

25 January | Supervising skills for Early Career Researchers

Speakers: Valentina Spiteri, Chris Hardy, Sarah Garfinkel

This seminar aimed to help post-doc researchers develop supervision skills, understand what is expected of them both by their supervised students and their own supervisors and balance supervision duties with research time needs. Through three presentations, attendees received a 360-degree view on the challenges of supervision for early-career researchers. Talks included:

  • 'The PhD student experience: Being supervised'  – Valentina Spiteri 
  • 'The post-doc experience: Supervising students'  – Chris Hardy
  • 'The PI experience: Supervising post-docs and students' – Sarah Garfinkel
9 March | Grant Writing Workshop

Chair: Prof Dimitri Kullmann

This 2-hour workshop was to help investigators improve their applications for funding, whether they are project grants or fellowships.

It was led by the senior UCL researcher, Prof Kullmann, who has extensive experience of applying for funding and of sitting on the committees that decide which science gets funded. This was a rare opportunity to improve 'grantsmanship' skills, gain insight into how funding committees work and to receive constructive feedback on applications.

We had 5 participants in total. Each participant provided their anonymised scientific proposal (it may be a preliminary application) for a grant or fellowship application and was asked to review and present feedback on two proposals from other participants. Prof Kullmann provided general advice as well as feedback on each proposal.

23 March | Presentation skills workshop

Chair: Prof. Linda Greensmith (Institute of Neurology) 

This workshop, aimed at improving the presentation skills of the attendees, was run online. Five speakers delivered a five-minute online presentation, with diverse topics - ranging from neonatal research to the social neuroscience of online lectures. All attendees and the chair, Prof. Linda Greensmith, provided feedback and discussed the strengths and weaknesses of each presentation. This workshop has changed its target audience from those with fellowship or grant interviews to all UCL neuroscientists who wish to improve their presentation skills, and we hope that the attendees found it useful and that it built their confidence!

    20 May | Perspectives on being a PI

    This seminar showcased different perspectives on how to be a PI and what happens when you run your own lab. We invited 3 speakers to give us their perspectives on being a PI, and opened for questions and discussion. 

    Speakers:
    Dr. Anna Kuppuswamy, Movement and Clinical Neurosciences
    Prof. Josef Kittler, Neuroscience, Physiology, and Pharmacology
    Prof. Steve Wilson, Cell and Developmental Biology 

    In this seminar, the speakers covered topics including: 

    • What does running a lab involve? 
    • Strategies for managing your grantand the people in your lab
    • Overcoming adversity and managing conflict
    • Advice to those starting their lab soon. 
    11 June | Grant Writing Workshop

    Chair: Neil Burgess, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience 

    This year, due to high levels of interest in our grant writing workshops, we hosted an additional one in June. Five participants took on the roles of ‘designated committee members’, and formed a mock panel to give feedback on each other’s grant applications, which they had anonymised and submitted previously. Professor Neil Burgess expertly chaired this process, and summarised the strengths and weaknesses of the grants after each one was discussed. All participants gave very insightful comments and constructive criticism on each proposal, despite the broad range of neuroscience areas covered. Feedback indicated that this workshop was successful and met many of the needs of the participants, and also gave us areas to work on for next time – stay tuned for our next grant writing workshop in autumn 2021!

    17 June | Education and Research: A balanced diet for a successful academic career 

    This seminar discussed the importance of having a mixed portfolio with a balanced engagement in research and teaching, and reflected on the impact that the recent pandemic has had on education. 

    Speakers 

    Dr Martina Wicklein (Lecturer in Neuroscience, NPP) and Dr Sandrine Géranton (Associate Professor, CDB):  
    "Similarities between teaching and research centred careers"

    Prof Stephen Price (Prof of Developmental Neurobiology and Associate Director (Education), CDB):  
    "Reflections on the near past and near future of university biosciences education"

     

    18 October | Grant Writing Workshop

    Chair: Prof Jonathan Roiser (ICN)

    This 2-hour workshop is aimed at helping investigators improve their applications for funding, whether they are project grants or fellowships. It was led by a senior UCL researcher, Prof Roiser, who has extensive experience of applying for funding and of sitting on the committees that decide which science gets funded. This was a rare opportunity to improve 'grantsmanship' skills, gain insight into how funding committees work and to receive constructive feedback on applications.

    We had 5 participants in total. Each participant provided their anonymised scientific proposal (it may be a preliminary application) for a grant or fellowship application and was asked to review and present feedback on two proposals from other participants. Prof Roiser provided general advice as well as feedback on each proposal.

    16 November | Presentation Skills Workshop

    Chair 
    Dr Steve Fleming; UCL Department of Experimental Psychology

    This virtual, small-group workshop was aimed at giving participants interested in improving their presentation skills the opportunity to receive feedback on a brief presentation. It is especially useful for those who are in the process of applying for academic jobs or fellowships, or who have an upcoming online presentation, but is helpful even for those who not have a presentation coming up soon. The session was chaired by Prof Steve Fleming, who provided general feedback on presentations from 5 different participants. Participants provided feedback to their peers as well. 
     

    2020

    06 February | SPERO Discover: Entrepreneurial skills for Neuroscience Domain doctoral students

    One-day workshop, introductory level.

    This workshop aimed at doctoral students to enable them to develop entrepreneurial thinking in both their academic and personal life, to help them heighten the impact of your research or help them think about future career paths. The workshop encouraged attendees to develop their skills associated with their doctoral journey through a professional lens. Two training points were awarded through the Doctoral School for completing a day’s training.

    25 February | Adapt to Thrive

    Speakers: Professor Geraint Rees (UCL Faculty of Life Sciences), Professor Maria Fitzgerald (UCL NPP), Dr Ian Pavlov (MRC)

    Paper rejections stacking up? Grant proposal rejected? How do others productively deal with ‘failure’ in their careers? This event, organised by the NCN and the Academic Careers Office, featured three speakers discussing their experiences of failure within an academic/research context: Prof Geraint Rees from UCL Faculty of Life Sciences, Prof Maria Fitzgerald, from UCL Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology and Dr Ivan Pavlov, who left UCL for the Medical Research Council. After the 3 talks, we had a presentation and workshop on resilience from Dr Sue Watson, from the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences (her slides are available below). Over 30 attendees came to the event that was followed by a drink and canape networking reception.

    12 March | Interview Skills Workshop

    Speakers: Professor Mark Farrant, Professor Jonathan Ashmore (both UCL NPP)

    This small group workshop provides essential practice to early career researchers who want to improve their interview skills. It is especially useful for those who are in the process of applying for fellowships or other academic posts but it is helpful even for those that do not have an interview coming up soon.

    Each participant provided a short project proposal before the workshop.  On the day, each participant started a 5-minutes presentation to the panel members, consisting of the other participants and Prof Farrant and Prof Ashmore, followed by 10-15 minutes of questioning. In the last 10-15 minutes the panel gave feedback on the presentation and answering to the questions.

    20 April | Grant Writing Workshop

    Chair: Professor Elizabeth Fisher

    The aim of this half-day session, organised by the Neuroscience Careers Network at UCL, was to help investigators improve their applications for funding, whether they are project grants or fellowships.

    It was led by the senior UCL researcher, Prof Elizabeth Fisher, who has extensive experience of applying for funding and of sitting on the committees that decide which science gets funded. This was a rare opportunity to improve 'grantsmanship' skills, gain insight into how funding committees work and to receive constructive feedback on applications.

    We had 5 participants in total. Each participant provided their anonymised scientific proposal (it may be a preliminary application) for a grant or fellowship application and was asked to review and present feedback on two proposals from other participants. Prof Fisher provided general advice as well as feedback on each proposal.

    Due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown, this workshop was ran in an online format on Microsoft Teams.

    06 November | Presentation Skills Workshop

    Chair: Dr Oliver Robinson (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience)

    This workshop, aimed at improving the presentation skills of the attendees, was run online for the first time. Five speakers delivered a five-minute online presentation, with diverse topics - ranging from neonatal research to the social neuroscience of online lectures. All attendees and the chair, Dr Oliver Robinson, provided feedback and discussed the strengths and weaknesses of each presentation. This workshop has changed its target audience from those with fellowship or grant interviews to all UCL neuroscientists who wish to improve their presentation skills, and we hope that the attendees found it useful and that it built their confidence!

    12 November | Grant Writing Workshop

    Chair: Professor Sven Bestmann (Clinical and Movement Neurosciences)

    The aim of this two-hour session, organised by the Neuroscience Careers Network at UCL, is to help investigators improve their applications for funding, whether they are project grants or fellowships. The session runs as a “Mock Panel”, mirroring what would actually happen in funding committees. Participants are required to submit a preliminary or full proposal to be reviewed and feedback is provided by other participants. 

    This session was chaired by Prof Sven Bestmann, who has extensive experience of applying for funding, reviewing grants for funding bodies and of sitting on the committees that decide which science gets funded. This was a rare opportunity to improve 'grantsmanship' skills, gain insight into how funding committees work and to receive constructive feedback on applications. The session had 5 participants. Each participant provided their anonymised scientific proposal (it may be a preliminary application) for a grant or fellowship application and was asked to review and present feedback on two proposals from other participants. Prof Bestmann provided general advice as well as feedback on each proposal.

    Due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown, this workshop was ran in an online format on Microsoft Teams.

    04 December | Speed Mentoring

    Panel:

    • Prof Jon Roiser, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
    • Prof Aikaterini Fotopoulou, Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology
    • Prof Trevor Smart, Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology 
    • Prof Patricia Salinas, Cell and Developmental Biology

    This novel NCN event was designed to allow individuals who had career or academia-related questions to ask them to a panel of mentor-figures in a supportive, anonymous environment. This event was very well attended, and questions ranged from academia and alternative career paths, to relationships with supervisors, to advice about applications for the next stage of the career. The discussion of these questions was then moved to smaller, break-out rooms, where attendees could discuss these topics in more detail with individual panel members. I personally really enjoyed hearing about the panel members’ career trajectories, and hope that fellow attendees found that the responses to their questions gave them new food for thought. 

    2019

    30 January | Grant Writing Seminar – from the first idea to the final selection procedure

    Speakers: Professor Jonathan Roiser (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience), Charlene Perrier (UCL Research Services)

    Grant writing is an essential and vital part in any academic career. Within a few pages you need to show that you have the ideas, skills, and facilities to succeed with your project. In this seminar, Charlene Perrier from UCL’s Finance Department advised on the pre-award process – costing, eligibility criteria and terms and conditions. Prof Jonathan Roiser from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience talked about the whole process of writing your grant, providing valuable tips and tricks on how to polish your application.

    07 February | Patient and Public Involvement (PPI)

    Speakers:

    • Dr Clémence Pinel (Research Associate in Social Science & Health, King’s College London, NIHR Research Design Service London, PPI Lead)
    • Angela Wipperman (PPI Manager -Joint Research Office, UCL)
    • Dr Tammaryn Lashley (Alzheimer's Research UK Senior Research Fellow, Queen Square Brain Bank, UCL)

    Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) is an activity which is becoming crucial in securing research funds This seminar was set out to inform UCL academics on expectations in regards to PPI from funding bodies such as NIHR, on the services available at UCL to support PPI activities and on how to incorporate PPI into grant applications. We also heard about a successful experience with PPI from a UCL researcher, Dr Tammaryn Lashley.

    26 March | Presentation Skills Workshop

    Speakers: Professor Dimitri Kullmann, Professor Maria Chait

    Would you like to practice giving a presentation in a safe environment and get constructive feedback? While this workshop was aimed to be especially useful for those who are in the process of applying for fellowships, it also aimed provide essential tips to anyone interested in presentation and interview skills, even if you did not have an interview coming up soon.

    Participants provided a short summary of a project/proposal (max 1 side of A4) 10 days before the workshop and prepared a 5 min presentation. Each participant was given a 20 minute slot which started with a 5 minute presentation, followed by 10 minutes of questions (from chairs and other participants) and 5 min of feedback from the chairs. Video recordings were provided after the workshop.

    02 May | Grant Writing Workshop

    Speakers: Anne Stephenson, Jennifer Bizley

    The aim of this half-day session, organised by the Neuroscience Careers Network at UCL, was to help investigators improve their applications for funding, whether they are project grants or fellowships.

    It was led by two senior UCL researchers, Prof. Anne Stephenson and Prof. Jennifer Bizley, who have extensive experience of applying for funding and of sitting on the committees that decide which science gets funded. This was a rare opportunity to improve 'grantsmanship' skills, gain insight into how funding committees work and to receive constructive feedback on applications.

    Each participant provided an abstract, lay summary and full scientific proposal (it may be a preliminary application) for a grant or fellowship application.

    16 September | Enhancing Scientific Dissemination via Open Access and Preprint Peer Review

    Speakers: Patrycja Barczynska, Dr Vincnet Magloire, Dr Marion Mercier

    The dissemination of scientific results in biomedical sciences is rapidly evolving from an exclusive and fee-oriented publishing system towards more open, free and independent strategies for sharing knowledge. This 90 minute seminar aimed to provide information on Open Access and the options that UCL Library Services offers and supports with Patrycja; to explain preprint databases and their utility through a presentation given by Vincent, before introducing the preprint peer review initiative Peer Community in Circuit Neuroscience with Marion.

    This seminar was part of the UCL’s inaugural Postdoc Appreciation Week.

    05 November | Interview Skills Workshop

    Speakers: Dr Andrew Macaskill (UCL NPP), Dr Atantza Barrios (UCL CDB)

    This small group workshop provides essential practice to early career researchers who want to improve their interview skills. It is especially useful for those who are in the process of applying for fellowships or other academic posts but it is helpful even for those that do not have an interview coming up soon. Each participant provided a short project proposal before the workshop.  On the day, each participant started a 5-minutes presentation to the panel members, consisting of the other participants and Dr Macaskill and Dr Barrios, followed by 10-15 minutes of questioning. In the last 10-15 minutes the panel gave feedback on the presentation and answering to the questions.

    22 November | Grant Writing Workshop

    Chairs: Prof. Jonathan Schott and Prof. Tammaryn Lashley 

    The aim of this interactive 3-hour session, organised by the Neuroscience Careers Network at UCL, was to help investigators improve their applications for funding, whether they are project grants or fellowships.


    It was led by two senior UCL researcher, Prof Jonathan Schott and Prof. Tammaryn Lashley, who have extensive experience of applying for funding and of sitting on the committees that decide which science gets funded. This was a rare opportunity to improve 'grantsmanship' skills, gain insight into how funding committees work and to receive constructive feedback on applications.


    We had 8 participants in the session. Each participant provided their anonymised scientific proposal (it may be a preliminary application) for a grant or fellowship application and was asked to review and present feedback on two proposals from other participants. The Chairs provided general advice as well as feedback on each proposal.

    2018

    02 February | Alternative Neuroscience Careers

    Speakers: Dr Philippa Moss (Imperial College London)Dr Georgina Meakin (UCL)    

    One of the most difficult decisions for a PhD student or PostDoc is whether or not to pursue a career in academia. To support you in making informed choices about what to do next, we invited twospeakers who shared their experiences in transitioning from academia to other industries.

    Dr Georgina Meakin: Georgina completed a PhD in molecular genetics and an MSc in Forensic and Analytical Science at the University of Hudderfield and as since worked as a practicing Forensic Scientist at The Forensic Institute in Glasgow and was involved in over 100 cases throughout the UK and in New York. She is now a lecturer in Crime and Forensic Science at UCL.

    Dr Philippa Moss: Philippa completed her PhD in HIV-associated painful neuropathies at Imperial, and as since worked as science communicator and content manager at the Science Museum with BBC's Tomorrow's World. She is now a science communication officer based at Imperial College London.

    19 March | Teaching for Postdocs and PhD students - why and how should you do it?

    Speakers: Martina Wicklein, Talvinder Sihra, Patrick Baughan     

    Teaching during your Postdoc or PhD might feel like extra work for little reward, especially if you are not planning to pursue a teaching career. However, more and more academic research positions require some kind of teaching experience from their candidates. During this workshop we found out how to get involved in teaching at UCL, how to obtain accredited training and the hidden benefits of teaching.

    19 April | Interview Skills Workshop

    Speakers: Professor Jonathan Roiser, Professor Claudio Stern

    Are you in the process of applying to or have just submitted your application for a Neuroscience fellowship or grant which involves an interview? We are organised this workshop for the final phase of that process: the interview itself.The workshop consisted of 7 participants (postdocs and/or PIs) who are in the process of applying for grants or fellowships and therefore had written a proposal beforehand. Each participant started with a 5 minute presentation to the panel members, consisting of the other participants and Prof Stern and Prof Roiser, followed by 10-15 minutes questioning. In the remaining 10-15 minutes the panel gave feedback.Event blogProfessor Jonathan Roiser.

    09 May | Grant Writing Workshop

    Speakers: Professor Elizabeth FisherProfessor Paul Whiting    

    The aim of this half-day session, organised by the Neuroscience Careers Network at UCL, was to help investigators improve their applications for funding, whether they are project grants or fellowships.It was led by two senior UCL researchers, Prof. Elizabeth Fisher and Prof. Paul Whiting, who have extensive experience of applying for funding and of sitting on the committees that decide which science gets funded. This was a rare opportunity to improve  'grantsmanship' skills, gain insight into how funding committees work and to receive constructive feedback on  applications.Each participant provided an abstract, lay summary and full scientific proposal (it may be a preliminary application) for a grant or fellowship application.

    04 June | Global Opportunities for Early Careers Staff

    This was an event organised by a committee with members from different departments across UCL. The purpose of this event was to highlight the opportunities provided by the Global Engagement funds which support UCL academics collaborating with colleagues based in other countries, driving forward the objectives of UCL Global Engagement Strategy. In the first session, academics were invited to speak about how they obtained and spent their Global Engagement funds.

    The second session involved a panel discussion with journal editors from UCL across a range of fields explaining their experience as editors and what they look for in submitted manuscripts. Over 70 attendees came to the event that was followed by a drink and canape networking reception. The feedback was very positive and we hope to organise a similar event next year.

    17 October | Interview Skills Workshop

    Speakers: Professor Olga Ciccarelli (UCL IoN)Professor Anne Schilder (UCL Ear Institute)    

    This is our regular biannual small group workshop on interview skills, which consists of about 7 participants (postdocs and/or PIs) who are in the process of applying for a Neuroscience fellowship or grant which involves an interview. Each participant provided a short project proposal before the workshop.  On the day, each participant started a 5-minutes presentation to the panel members, consisting of the other participants and Prof Ciccarelli and Prof Schilder, followed by 10-15 minutes of questioning. In the last 10-15 minutes the panel gave feedback on the presentation and answering to the questions.

    19 October | Open Science

    Speakers: Robert Kiley (Wellcome)Daniel van Strien (UCL)Kora Korzec (eLife)    

    The open science movement has clearly taken off, but for many who may strive to be more "open" it is unclear how to start. This event covers areas such as open access publishing, open data, and funding, with talks from experts at eLife, the Wellcome Trust and the UCL Research Data Management team, followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A chaired by Prof. Nichola Raihani, Professor of Evolution & Behaviour and advocate for open science in her research group, the Social Evolution and Behaviour Lab.

    2017

    11 January | Grant writing workshop  

    Speakers: Professor Geraint Rees (Dean, UCL Faculty of Life Sciences), Dr Gemma Bilsborough (Strategic Research Facilitator, UCL Faculty of Life Sciences)

    For PhD Students, Post-Docs and Early Career Principal Investigators.

    Grant writing is an essential and vital part in any academic career. Within a few pages you need to show that you have the ideas, skills, and facilities to succeed with your project. In this seminar, Professor Geraint Rees (Dean of the UCL Faculty of Life Sciences) took us through the whole process of grant writing, and provided us with valuable tips and tricks on how to polish applications. In addition, Dr Gemma Bilsborough (Strategic Research Facilitator for the UCL Faculty of Life Sciences) summarised the support she and her team can offer when writing grants. The seminar was aimed at PhD students and postdocs that are in the process of applying or thinking of applying for grants in the future.

    2 March | How to make the most of student projects

    Speakers: Dr Maria Chait, Dr Martina Wicklein, Dr Leonor Barbosa Goncalves

    Have you ever wondered how to best design an interesting and feasible short-term project for a MSc or BSc student that is also useful for your bigger research goals?

    In this workshop we heard experiences and advice from senior and junior academics at UCL. Participants found out how to design student projects, about the requirements for supervision, how to find students, how to supervise multiple students, and what to expect from a project from the perspective of both student and supervisor!

    26 April | Grant writing workshop

    This small-group workshop was intended to help participants improve their applications for funding, whether it is for project grants or fellowships. It was led by two senior UCL researchers with extensive experience in funding applications and grant review committees. Participants had a rare opportunity to receive direct feedback on their applications, polish their 'grantsmanship skills' and gain behind the scenes insight into how funding committees work.

    Each participant provided an abstract, lay summary and scientific proposal for either a grant or fellowship application.  

    28 June | Interview skills workshop

    Speakers: Professor Antonella Riccio, Professor Steve Wilson

    We organised this workshop for the final phase of grant applications: the interview itself.
    The workshop consisted of 5 participants (postdocs and/or PIs) who are in the process of applying for grants or fellowships and therefore had written a proposal beforehand. Each participant started with a 5 minute presentation to the panel members, consisting of the other participants and Prof Riccio and Prof Wilson, followed by 10-15 minutes questioning. In the remaining 10-15 minutes the panel gave feedback. Video recordings were provided for feedback on aspects of the presentation and interview.
    4 October | Alternative career paths

    Speakers: Dr Christian Wilms (Scientific instrument development, Scientifica Ltd.), Dr Hemi Malkki (Managing Editor, SAGE Publishing), Dr Alexandre Moreau (Business Development Manager, Crown Bioscience Inc.)

    Ever thought of leaving academic research, but not sure whether it will suit you? This was an opportunity to hear about alternative career paths from scientists that made the leap. Our speakers talked about their experience in publishing, biotech and the manufacturing industry. The talks were followed by a drinks reception giving the opportunity to meet the speakers and mingle with like-minded PhD researchers and post-docs.
    12 October | Grant interview seminar

    Speakers: Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience), Simone Bryan (MRC Programme Manager for Non-Clinical Careers Strategy), Dr Lorenzo Fabrizi (MRC Career Development Fellow)   

    Getting grants and fellowships is an important requirement for a successful career in Neuroscience. In this seminar we provided important insights into the final and crucial phase of the process: the interview.
    The seminar was aimed at PhD students, postdocs and PIs that are in the process of applying or already preparing for their interviews and provided the opportunity to ask questions. The three speakers provided different perspectives, including that of a professor at UCL who sits on grant and fellowship interview committees, a representative of the Medical Research Council funding agency, and a UCL academic who was previously successful with an interview and application.
    18 October | Interview skills workshop

    Speakers: Professor Christodoulou, Dr Cooper  

    We organised this workshop for the final phase of grant applications: the interview itself. The workshop consisted of 5 participants (postdocs and/or PIs) who are in the process of applying for grants or fellowships and therefore had written a proposal beforehand. Each participant started with a 5 minute presentation to the panel members, consisting of the other participants and Prof Christodoulou and Dr Cooper, followed by 10-15 minutes questioning. In the remaining 10-15 minutes the panel gave feedback. Video recordings were provided for feedback on aspects of the presentation.
    23 November | Grant writing workshop

    Speakers: Professor Dmitri Rusakov, Professor Patricia Salinas    

    The aim of this three-hour session was to help investigators improve their applications for funding, whether they are project grants or fellowships. It was led by two senior UCL researchers, Prof Dmitri Rusakov and Prof Patricia Salinas, who have extensive experience of applying for funding and of sitting on the committees that decide which science gets funded. This was a rare opportunity to improve your 'grantsmanship' skills, gain insight into how funding committees work and to receive constructive feedback on your applications.

    To participate in this workshop, each participant provided an abstract, lay summary and full scientific proposal (it may be a preliminary application) for either a grant or fellowship application. Costing were not required.

    2016

    19 January | Internal promotions seminar

    Speakers: Professor Alan Thompson

    This seminar was run for those planning to apply for promotion but unsure when to apply, or how to fill in the application form, and also for anyone who wanted to learn more about the UCL promotions procedure.  The importance of finding out about the criteria for promotion early on was noted, in order to have time to optimize your CV and contact the appropriate people. Professor Alan Thompson, Dean of the UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences, covered all aspects of the promotion process for research staff at all levels. The event was followed by a drinks reception, giving attendees the opportunity to talk to the speaker and network with their peers.

    25 February | Setting up a company

    Speakers: Dr David Tapolczay (Chief Executive MRC Technology), Dr Alex Menys (Postdoctoral Research Associate at UCL & founder of Motilent Ltd.), Dr Rachel Hemsley (Senior Business Manager, UCL Business)

    Cutting edge biomedical research brings on scientific advancements which, depending on their nature, can have commercial value. The translation of a research programme with commercial potential into a spin-out company is a complex process that involves strategic planning from both the researchers and UCL administration. Our three speakers gave their own advice on setting up a company through their own experiences and expertise.

    16 March | Different academic paths: Perspectives from academic, teaching and clinical routes

    Speakers: Dr Adrian Isaacs (Reader in Neurodegenerative Disease (UCL Institute of Neurology), Dr Caroline Selai (Senior Lecturer in Clinical Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology), Dr Suellen Walker (Clinical Senior Lecturer in Paeditaric Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, ICH/GOSH)

    In this workshop three excellent neuroscientists presented on how they have developed their careers via different routes: academic, teaching and clinical.

    19 April | Grant writing workshop

    Workshop Chairs: Professor Patricia Salinas and Professor Dimitri Kullmann

    The aim of this half-day session was to help workshop participants improve their applications for funding, whether they are project grants or fellowships. It was led by two senior UCL researchers, Prof. Patricia Salinas (Cell & Developmental Biology) and Prof. Dimitri Kullmann (Institute of Neurology), who have extensive experience in applying for funding as well as being part of grant review committees. This was a rare opportunity to polish  'grantsmanship' skills, gain insight into how funding committees work, and receive constructive feedback on applications.

    To participate in this workshop, each participant provided an abstract, lay summary and scientific proposal for either a grant or fellowship application.

    24 May | Workshop on fellowship and grant interviews

    Chairs: Professor Elizabeth Fisher and Professor Giampietro Schiavo

    As grants and fellowships are one of the most important requirements for a successful career in Neuroscience, this workshop was organised to help attendees prepare for the final phase of that process: the interview itself.

    The workshop consisted of 5 participants (postdocs and PIs) who are in the process of applying for grants or fellowships and therefore had written a proposal beforehand. Each participant started with a 5 minute presentation to the panel members, consisting of the other participants and Prof Fisher and Prof Schiavo, followed by 10-15 minutes questioning. In the remaining 10-15 minutes the panel gave feedback. Video recordings were provided for feedback on aspects of the presentation.

    19 October | Interview skills workshop

    Workshop Chairs: Professor David Atwell and Professor Kate Jeffery

    The workshop consisted of 5 participants (postdocs and/or PIs) who are in the process of applying for grants or fellowships and had written a proposal beforehand. Each participant started with a 5 minute presentation to the panel members, consisting of the other participants and Prof Attwell and Prof Jeffery, followed by 10-15 minutes questioning. In the remaining 10-15 minutes the panel gave feedback. Video recordings were provided for feedback on aspects of the presentation.

    7 December | Grant writing workshop

    Workshop chairs: Professor Patrick Haggard and Professor Andrew Forge

    The aim of this half-day session is to help workshop participants improve their applications for funding, whether they are project grants or fellowships. It was led by two senior UCL researchers, Prof. Patrick Haggard (Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) and Prof. Andrew Forge (The Ear Institute), who have extensive experience in applying for funding as well as being part of grant review committees. This provided a rare opportunity to polish your 'grantsmanship' skills, gain insight into how funding committees work, and receive constructive feedback on your applications.

    7 December | Alternative careers seminar

    Speakers: Dr Jessica O'Neill (Consultant, Healthcare and Life Sciences Strategy Team, KPMG), Dr Georgina MacKenzie (Science Portfolio Adviser at Wellcome Trust), Dr Greg Ball - Part-Qualified Attorney at Carpmaels & Ransford    

    One of the most difficult decisions for a PhD student or PostDoc is whether or not to pursue a career in academia. To support you in making informed choices about what to do next, we  invited three speakers who shared their experiences in transitioning from academic science to other industries.

    2015

    18 February | Getting published

    Speakers: 'How to write a paper' -Professor David Attwell (Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology) 'Editorial/review process' - Dr Lesley Anson (Chief Editor, Nature Communications) 'How to respond to reviewers' - Professor Geraint Rees (Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences)

    Attendees took the opportunity to get some invaluable tips from leading researchers on how to prepare a manuscript and how to answer reviewers' comments as well as guidance from a leading journal's editor on successful manuscript preparation.

    Talks were followed by a drinks reception.

    There is more to preparing a manuscript for publication than collecting all the data. Presentation of the hypothesis and the experimental procedures in a coherent manner, as well as thoroughly addressing questions the reader might have, are of paramount importance for successful and painless (as much as possible) submission!

    24 April | Grant writing workshop

    Speakers: Professor John Wood (Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research), Professor David McAlpine (UCL Ear Institute)

    The aim of the half-day session was to help Investigators improve their applications for funding, whether they are project grants or fellowships. It was led by two senior UCL researchers, Professor John Wood and Professor David McAlpine, who have extensive experience of applying for funding and of sitting on the committees that decide which science gets funded. This was a rare opportunity to improve your 'grantsmanship' skills, gain insight into how funding committees work and to receive constructive feedback on your applications.

    29 April | Lab building workshop

    Speakers: Dr Francesca Cacucci (Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology), Professor Steve Hunt (UCL Department of Cell and Developmental Biology)

    Attendees heard how established junior and senior principal investigators, Dr. Francesca Cacucci and Prof. Steve Hunt, started and expanded their own lab to pursue their research. The talks covered topics such as Ph.D students and postdocs recruitment and supervision, strategic decision making, administrative duties, grant management and balancing academic responsibility with research activity.

    The workshop was followed by a reception to allow participants to network and have informal discussions with the speakers.

    13 May | Fellowship and grant interviews workshop

    Speakers: Professor Antonella Riccio (MRC/UCL Lab for Molecular Cell Biology), Professor Steve Hunt (UCL Department of Cell and Developmental Biology)

    This workshop consisted of 4 participants made up of postdocs and principal investigators who had written a grant proposal or fellowship application before the event. Each participant started with a 5 minute presentation before the committee, consisting of the other participants and Professor Antonella Riccio and Professor Stephen Hunt, followed by 10-15 minutes questioning. In the remaining 10-15 minutes the committee gave feedback.

    17 September | Grant writing workshop

    Speakers: Professor Neil Burgess, Professor Simon Mead

    The aim of this half-day session was to help Investigators improve their applications for funding, whether they are project grants or fellowships. It was led by two senior UCL researchers, Prof. Neil Burgess and Prof. Simon Mead, who have extensive experience of applying for funding and of sitting on the committees that decide which science gets funded. This was a rare opportunity for participants to improve their 'grantsmanship' skills, gain insight into how funding committees work and to receive constructive feedback on their applications.

    To participate in this workshop, each participant had to provide an abstract, lay summary and full scientific proposal (it may be a preliminary application) for either a grant or fellowship.

    5 October | Workshop on fellowship and grant interviews

    Speakers: Professor Nick Wood, Professor John Rothwell

    The workshop consisted of 5 participants (postdocs and/or PIs) who were in the process of applying for grants or fellowships and therefore had written a proposal beforehand. Each participant will started with a 5 minute presentation to the panel members, consisting of the other participants and Prof Wood and Prof Rothwell, followed by 10-15 minutes questioning. In the remaining 10-15 minutes the panel gave feedback.

    9 November | Grant writing seminar

    Speakers: Professor Jonathan Roiser

    In this seminar, Professor Jonathan Roiser from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience took participants through the whole process of grant writing, and provided them with valuable tips and tricks on how to polish applications. The seminar was aimed at PhD students and postdocs that are in the process of applying or thinking of applying for grants in the future.

    The event was followed by drinks to give attendees the opportunity to ask informal questions to the speaker as well as network with their peers.

    2014

    12 February | Working in Science and Family - Mutually exclusive or the perfect combination?

    Speakers: Professor Geraint Rees, Professor Linda Smith

    This talk was aimed at researchers who have worked hard to take their first steps on the academic career ladder and are trying to work how to combine their careers with a family life.

    Many early scientists find that the long hours in the lab conflict with the responsibility of a child and decide to move out of science.

    However here we presented two excellent scientists who have demonstrated that having kids and a successful career can go together. Learn from the experts.

    26 March & 03 April | Interview Skills for Fellowship and Grant Interviews

    Workshop 1 speakers: Patricia Salinas and Steve Wilson

    Workshop 2 speakers: Kenneth Harris and Nick Fox

    This workshop was tailored for researchers who were in the process of applying for or have just submitted an application for a fellowship or grant interview (or have been selected for an interview already)?

    The workshops consisted of 5 participants made up of postdocs and early-stage principal investigators who had written a grant proposal or fellowship application and submitted their application in advance to two senior professors with previous panel experience.

    Each participant started with a 5 minute presentation before the committee followed by 10-15 minutes questioning. In the remaining 10-15 minutes the committee gave their feedback. Video recordings were provided for feedback on aspects of the presentation.

    03 October | Grant Writing Workshop

    Speakers: Professor Matteo Carandini (Institute of Opthalmology), Professor Sophie Scott (Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience)

    The Neuroscience Careers Network Committee ran another Grant Writing Workshop to coincide with a number of upcoming fellowship and project grant deadlines.

    The aim of the half-day session was to help investigators improve their applications for funding, whether project grants or fellowships. It was led by two senior UCL researchers, Professor Matteo Carandini (Institute of Opthalmology) and Professor Sophie Scott (Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience), who have extensive experience of applying for funding and of sitting on the committees that decide which science gets funded.

    Attendees were given the opportunity to improve their "grantsmanship" skills, gain insight into how funding committees work, and to receive constructive feedback on your own applications.

    To participate in the workshop, every participant provided an abstract, lay summary and full scientific proposal for either a grant application or a fellowship application at the point of registration. They needed to submit this at least 10 days before the workshop. Costings were NOT required. Attendance at the workshop was free, but registration was required.

    9 December | Alternative Careers Seminar

    Speakers:

    • Dr Sally Bannan (European Patent Attorney)
    • Dr Laura Phipps (Science Communications Manager at Alzheimer's Research UK)
    • Dr Rebecca Ross (Associate at McKinsey & Company)

    2013

    15 March | Queen Square Symposium

    Speakers: Amber Hill, Dr Krishna Chinthapali, Dr Samuel Angwafor

    Organised annually in conjunction with Brain Awareness Week, the student-led Queen Square Symposium offers postgraduate students in the Institute of Neurology an invaluable opportunity to showcase and discuss their research. Everyone across UCL is invited to attend the 2013 symposium.

    25 April | Clinical Academic Careers: How to combine research and clinical practice
    Speakers: Dr Rick Adams (Clinical Research Associate, Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging), Professor Geraint Rees (Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, ICN)
    The aim of this event was to give an overview of clinical academic career trajectories combining clinical training and research and will comprise of personal experiences of clinical research careers in the field of neuroscience.
    03 May | ECN Grant Writing Workshop

    Speakers: Professor Maria Maria Fitzgerald (UCL NPP), Professor Annette Dolphin (UCL School of Pharmacy)

    The aim of the half-day session was to help Early Career Investigators (PIs and post-docs) improve their applications for funding, whether project grants or fellowships.

    It was a peer-led session in which participants gave and received critical feedback on grant and fellowship applications in the style of a committee meeting at a funding body.

    This was a great opportunity for participants to improve their "grantsmanship" skills, to gain insight into how funding committees work, and to receive constructive feedback on their own applications.

    12 September | How to write a successful grant application

    Speakers: Professor Trevor Smart

    In this highly competitive field, the ability to write a successful grant application is vital if you aim to pursue a career in academia.
    Through this seminar, Professor Trevor Smart (NPP) provided attendees with invaluable tips and insider knowledge as an expert who has been awarded numerous grants and sat on various grant-awarding panels.
    Attendees also took advantage of an extended Q and A session asking Trevor specific  questions about the grant application process.
    02 October | ECN Grant Writing Workshop

    Speakers: Professor Michael Hausser (Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research), Professor Anne Stephenson (UCL School of Pharmacy)

    We ran another Grant Writing Workshop on Wednesday October 2nd to coincide with a number of fellowship and project grant deadlines from November to January.

    The aim of the half-day session was to help Early Career Investigators improve their applications for funding, whether project grants or fellowships. It was led by senior UCL researchers, who have extensive experience both of applying for funding and of sitting on the committees that decide which science gets funded (including the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council).

    This was a rare opportunity to improve your "grantsmanship" skills, gain insight into how funding committees work, and to receive constructive feedback on your own applications.

    16 October | Public Engagement in Research Workshop: How to engage and why it is important

    Speakers: Professor Sophie Scott (ICN Deputy Director), Dr Steve Cross (Head of UCL Public Engagement), Dr Patrick Lewis (Parkinson's UK Research Fellow, ION)

    Public engagement initiated from scientists themselves is of extreme importance to the public but also to the scientific groups themselves as funding bodies are increasingly keen to see research scientists being proactive in communicating their data and its implications in the relevant field of study.

    Each speaker gave their own account of public engagement through their own experiences and expertise.

    11 December | Post-doc? Check!... What now?

    Speakers: Professor John O'Keefe, Dr Mala Shah, Dr Jennifer Bizley

    This workshop was aimed at researchers who had finished or were about to finish their postdoc, and asked the question what should you do next to pursue an academic career?

    Attendees heard about how new faculty positions are created and the strategic thinking that goes behind any new opening. Advice on how you can place yourself in a position which maximizes your chances to get that position (internal or external candidate, teaching vs. research etc.) was also be discussed.

    In addition, the talk covered which kind of positions exist and at what level each can be accessed and the selection criteria for the applicants. Attendees heard about the personal journey of colleagues from the Neuroscience Domain who are on the academic career ladder after their postdoc experience.