(un)Blank pages .1

This is a sentence. And this is no longer a blank page. And just like that, I started writing. Why am I doing this? Who am I doing this for? That is hardly relevant, but if you must know, I am doing this for me, and I am doing this just to exercise the muscles of writing. I’ve just started the process of ending my thesis, or in other, better words, writing up. So I must write.

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A thesis template in Word

It’s been *checks calendar* over four years since I started my PhD, which means it is time for me to start writing up my thesis. Don’t get me wrong, I really like this part. I had a great time writing and putting the figures together for my MSc thesis. And one of the things I’ve enjoyed the most besides getting beautiful recordings from tiny midbrain neurons has been to write, edit, and revise abstracts and manuscripts before publication.

But here’s the thing. I am the kind of person that keeps pointing out how that figure is not *perfectly* aligned. I’m also the kind of person that takes courses on “Designing Academic Presentations” and “Writing Compelling Abstracts” and takes notes on how great and effective the slides and figures of that seminar were. So one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted my thesis to look good. To have a nice-looking typographical style. And this inevitably took me to LaTeX. So yes, I ended up taking a course on “Using LaTeX for Academic Writing” too.

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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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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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