Heriot-Watt Crucible V Session 3: Day 1

The third and final session of the Heriot-Watt crucible followed the same format as the previous two with two venues, a half-day of talks and the rest of the day focused on facilitated group activities. I think by now it is clear that I am gaining more from the activities than the talks, but to someone who hasn’t heard them before and is interested in the institution specific content I am sure they would be very useful and informative.

Day one was held at Selex-ES, one Edinburgh’s biggest tech employers and suppliers of some fantastic RADAR and LASER systems to some of the world’s biggest civilian and military users of these systems. Given the products the company makes, security was more stringent than some of the other venues, and we were ushered into a suite of conference rooms separate from the main rooms in their facility in Edinburgh. Continue reading

Heriot-Watt Crucible V Session 2

The second session of the Heriot-Watt crucible was to be held at two venues across the two days. I couldn’t make it to day one at The School of Textiles and Design in Galashiels due to a lack of a sensible way to get there and back to Newcastle in a day by public transport.  Day two was held at the Moredun Institute. The Moredun is well hidden in the middle of a science park south of Edinburgh, just down the road from the lovely new Vet School. Continue reading

Open for Science

Now that the Marles-Wright Laboratory is no longer a ‘virtual’ lab, in the sense that it isn’t just me and a laptop anymore, now seems like a good time to put out a little introduction and set out the scientific culture I’d like to foster as an independent researcher and lab head.

Since starting my Chancellor’s Fellowship in Edinburgh, I’m lucky to have found and employed a really promising RA and managed to secure funding for an EASTBio PhD student for the Autumn term. I have projects, networks and staff, now we just need start doing some serious science and start thinking about output and grant income. The culture of a lab is an important factor in determining success in these terms, as well as influencing the opportunities for training and professional development of staff and students, visibility, and atmosphere of working in a lab. Continue reading

Heriot-Watt Crucible V Session 1

My invitation to participate in the Heriot-Watt Crucible V came only a couple of days before the event, so I had to put together a poster advertising my career and interests in an evening and find someone who would print it the next day. Newcastle University Print Services came through with a really smart canvas print in spite of it taking a few attempts to get a file to them that they could open. Powerpoint is really quick and makes putting a poster together simple, but it is not ideal for high-resolution prints; next time it is Illustrator all the way. Continue reading