Preparing for PhD interviews

Your name is up. You are nearly the last one to be called. For the last four hours you have been sitting in a seminar room with a dozen other applicants that all seem much more confident and much less nerve-racked than you feel. The excitement of getting offered an interview has long past, and you attempt to go over everything you have prepared during the last two weeks in a split of a second. You take one last sip of water, dry your hands on your trousers, and make sure you still remember your opening sentence. You turn your head, take a deep breath, and swallow your nerves. “That’s me”, you reply, standing up and shaking the hand of Professor Interviewer #1. You smile. “It is nice to meet you”. PI#1 smiles back – “Let’s do this” – and starts walking towards the room where the interviews are being held. 

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Letters from my PhD (II)

It’s funny how ideas work. Sometimes a bunch of them come to you at once, and although you may manage to write some down, you usually end up forgetting most of them. Once in a while you are able to turn one of these ideas into a post, and sometimes you even think it might become something regular, like a series. Then two years later you read that post again and you smile at how naively optimist you were. But then you decide to give it a second chance. One and a half months into my PhD at UCL I wrote what I thought would “start a new section in my blog: a place where once a month(ish) I’ll try to write about how this PhD thingy is going”. Two years later, it is time for part two.

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Científicos Errantes | Entrevista a Carlos Duque

Con aires de finales de verano y acento canario nos llega una nueva entrega de Científicos Errantes, la primera en Español. Esta vez viajamos a Göttingen, Alemania,  para conocer a Carlos, graduado en Ciencias Biomédicas en Barcelona que, después de obtener un Máster en Neurociencias en Göttingen, encara la recta final de su doctorado intentando hacer posible que la luz sustituya el sonido cuando el oído nos falle. Con él hablamos sobre lo que discurre entre los bastidores de la ciencia, sobre las ventajas de dar el paso e ir una temporada al extranjero con la seguridad de poder volver si las cosas no salen bien, y sobre algunos consejos y reflexiones a tener en cuenta si te planteas la investigación como camino profesional.

Crédito: Carlos Duque

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The 2018 UCL Neuroscience Symposium

For the second year in a row I’ve had the chance to attend and write about the UCL Neuroscience Symposium. Whether you just came back from FENS and are struggling to remember what did even happen during the symposium or whether you simply would like a glance on what it is like when a big portion of the neuroscience community in London gathers in the same hall, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for my take on this year’s event or, if you are feeling nostalgic, check out the 2017 UCL Neuroscience Symposium.

On Friday 22nd of June, just under 800 researchers gathered at the Institute of Education to celebrate the 9th edition of the UCL Neuroscience Symposium. With two fantastic keynote speakers, six talks by UCL group leaders, and 129 posters spread across three sessions, the event was once again a big success that marked the culmination of another impressive year for the UCL Neuroscience Domain.

Daniel Wolpert


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Científics Errants | Entrevista a Ramon Roca

Judoka de naixement i biotecnòleg per vocació, el Ramon és el primer Científic Errant d’aquest 2018. En acabar el Grau en Biotecnologia a la UAB va prendre la difícil decisió d’omplir les maletes amb el judogi i la resta de possessions indispensables i mudar-se a Irvine, Califòrnia, a estudiar un Màster en Enginyeria Biomèdica. Bentornat a terres catalanes per començar un Doctorat en Biologia Molecular, ara aplica tot el que ha après a dissenyar, produir i posar a prova alternatives als antibiòtics convencionals. Amb ell parlarem sobre la gran amenaça que l’augment de resistències als antibiòtics suposa pel nostre futur immediat, sobre la importància de saber fracassar i d’aixecar-se de cada caiguda havent après alguna cosa, i sobre la necessitat de trobar l’equilibri entre la feina i el temps de desconnexió.

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10 long reads to make you think

Chances are that if you are a human being that has survived the lingering festive period you will be either patting your back after coming up with a remarkably-self-embettering-yet-very-much-achievable brief list of New Year’s Resolutions, or struggling to stick to them. You are not alone.

Let us assume, for the sake of the argument, that you have resolved to read more this year. Let us assume, just because it is a New Year’s Resolution, that you want this reading to be meaningful, to teach you something. Let us assume, just follow me on this one, that you want 10 long reads to make you think. What a marvellous coincidence, my digital friend! For I was just thinking of writing *precisely* about that.

[Full disclosure: if patience is neither your forte nor an item in your list of resolutions, you can find the links to the reads at the end of the article.]

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