Some summaries and presentations from Society organised events are available to members.
Annual Conference 2019, Professional Development presentations
During the Microbiology Society Annual Conference 2019 we hosted a series of Essential Skills sessions. Here’s a summary of what took place including the presentations by our invited speakers.
Essential Skills: Managing a research laboratoryThe first day of the Conference kicked off with the session Essential skills: Managing a research laboratory. The session was designed to allow attendees to learn about key skills involved with running a successful research group.
Nicola Stonehouse, Professor in Molecular Virology at the University of Leeds, presented managing projects and spoke about the importance of establishing a work-life balance and prioritising different tasks, whether personal or work related.Managing a research laboratory, Nicola Stonehouse
Managing assets, Nigel Brown
Attendees were then taken through managing assets and more specifically, funding. Nigel Brown, Emeritus Professor at the University of Edinburgh, highlighted items to consider before and after applying for funding and described running a research lab as like running a small company.
Best practices in laboratory management, Lindsay Murray
We then heard about best practices in the lab and Lindsay Murray, Health and Safety Manager at the University of Edinburgh, talked us through some of the psychological hazards such as lone working as well as practices and policies to help us remain safe in the lab.
Managing people, Lindsay Hall
The day concluded with a session on getting the most out of your team which was presented by Lindsay Hall, Research leader at Quadram Institute. We heard about how the Hall Lab keeps morale alive with team building outreach activities and Lindsay gave some tips on how to approach difficult conversations.
Staying resilient in your careerWe invited a careers coach to provide participants with a practical toolkit for staying resilient in the face of frequent challenges in their careers. We then heard from members who had been invited to present their experience of successfully navigating challenges in their academic careers.
Sarah Rourke, a careers consultant from the Henley Business School provided participants with methods and techniques for better ‘bouncebackability’ and on how to influence their ‘inner monkey’.Resilience, Sarah Rourke
Arikana Massiah, Clinical Scientist at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, UK talked about the challenges that she had faced throughout her career, including the realities of getting back into work after maternity leave.Resilience in Science, Arikana Massiah
Douglas Browning, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham gave his insights into how he had developed his resilience in the form of a postdoctoral researcher survival kit.Resilience in an Academic Career, Doug Browning
Always have a backup plan: Resilience in the world of fixed-term contracts, Christopher Randall
Christopher Randall, Teaching Fellow at the University of Leeds, provided an insight into the career path of a teaching focused microbiologist and spoke about the importance of exploring different career options.
CV WorkshopDuring this session, participants were taken through common issues that come up with putting together a CV and covering letter. Miriam Windsor from The Pirbright Institute offered her extensive experience of reviewing CVs for different laboratory positions and Maria Fernandes from the Microbiology Society for reviewing non-scientific roles. Participants reviewed their own CVs and learned the importance of tailoring each application to each role.
CV Workshop presentation slides
Teaching Microbiology in Higher Education Symposium
The second Teaching Microbiology in Higher Education Symposium took place as a satellite meeting ahead of the Microbiology Society Annual Conference. The day was filled with demonstrations of innovative teaching practices and ways of creating a supportive and stimulating microbiology degree.
The symposium opened with an inspirational keynote talk by Joanne Verran, Professor of Microbiology at Manchester Metropolitan University, who gave attendees an overview of the ways she has stimulated student learning through art and literature.Mixed Cultures: Developing Skills in Microbiology Undergraduates using Art and Literature, Joanne Verran
Developing graduate employability in a subject context, David Coates
Professor David Coates from the University of Dundee spoke about the importance of developing graduate employability skills and how degree accreditation through the Royal Society of Biology could help departments develop competence in the necessary areas.
Microbiology in Primary Science, Lisa Crossman
Attendees then heard from Lisa Crossman, Honorary Lecturer at The University of East Anglia, who talked through her experience of the benefits of engaging primary school students with microbiology.
iChips, nanopores and virtual collaboration spaces, James Chong
We then moved on to postgraduate education and James Chong, Professor at the University of York presented the use of iChips, nanopores and virtual collaboration spaces.
Final Year Undergraduate research project OR a “Capstone Experience”, Dave Lewis
Dr Dave Lewis, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology & Bioethics at the University of Leeds presented final year research projects and the benefits of an alternative capstone experience where a research project is delivered with a form of novelty, such as public education.
Offering an alternative research experience within a taught masters programme, Louise Horsfall
The last of our invited speakers was Louise Horsfall, Senior Lecturer in Biotechnology at the University of Edinburgh, who presented her experience with iGem as a teaching resource and alternative to research projects within taught masters courses.
Microbiomes Underpinning Agriculture
Workshop summary:Microbiome Methods Workshop Summary
- Prof. Chris Creevey, Identifying genomic signatures of niche specialisation in the rumen microbiome
- Dr. Orla O'Sullivan, Exploiting sequencing technologies for agriculture
- Leighton Pritchard, Pathogen communities in agriculture