NHLI Olympics Summer Social for Students

Written by Ms Katherine Strong (Research Postgraduate Student, Treasurer of the NHLI Postgraduate Committee) and Mr Liam Couch (Research Postgraduate Student, Chair of the NHLI Postgraduate Committee).

Olympics Social_photo_2016-08-31

As an end of year summer event, the National Heart and Lung Institute held an Olympic themed social event for students at Eastside bar in South Kensington. The aim of this event was to encourage interactions between students based at different campuses and to improve the student experience in NHLI. As the department is spread across five different campuses with a lack of common social space, some students can feel isolated. Holding cross-campus social events helps build networks between students in different research groups and campuses and promotes an informal support network for students.

Olympics Social_photo2_2016-08-31

Following the success of a previous event in May and to celebrate the Olympics, we decided to hold an Olympic themed social event, where students enjoyed pizza and Brazilian snacks while watching the Olympics. Around 45 students from across all NHLI campuses attended the social, which received good feedback. Students suggested creating a Facebook group for NHLI students to keep in touch and to provide a support network for students. We are looking forward to our Christmas social event, which the Graduate School has provided funding for.


Research Councils’ Diversity Data Reveals Worrying Gender Differences

Over the past few years, Research Councils UK (RCUK) have begun to systematically collect and report diversity data – and the findings regarding gender differences in grant application and success rates are worrying. The latest report can be found here: Research Councils Diversity Data (April 2016).

RCUK have stated that they are committed to ensuring that the best potential researchers from a diverse population are attracted to research careers. The report on diversity data includes information on gender, age, disability status and ethnicity and the data is generated from grant and fellowship applications submitted to each of the research councils. This report makes interesting reading and I wish this data was given as much publicity in the national media as some of the more positive ‘new medical cure for…’ stories that research councils and journalists make sure to highlight.

As a female academic, I was shocked by the scale of the difference between female and male submissions to research councils and the results are even more alarming when viewing the gender of PIs who are actually awarded grants. Some of the differences may be attributed to the smaller number of women PIs employed in academia and encouragingly the most recent data from 2014/15 shows evidence from at least some councils that the gap is closing between the percentages of awards made to women versus men.


By Dr Charlotte Dean, Lecturer in Lung Development and Disease

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