Posts By / ssquelch

The Early Career Physics Communicator Award 2015

The Institute Of Physics (IOP) has recently announced its Early Career Physics Communicator Award 2015. This is an amazing opportunity for an early career physicist to be acknowledged as a leader in their field, and also to win £250!


Applicants do not need to be a member of the IOP, but should be one of the following:

  • A person currently studying an undergraduate degree in physics or engaged in postgraduate study of physics within five years of their first degree qualification
  • An undergraduate physicist
  • A person working as a physicist in UK or Eire within the first five years of their physics career


Submission of a report of their communication activities which should be no more than 1500 words long.

Further details and the application form are available by clicking the ‘Group Prize’ tab here:

Application Deadline:

Monday 5th October 2015

The Prize

The winner of the 2015 IOP Physics Communicators Group award will receive £250 and an award certificate at an event to be held on Monday 23 November. As well as providing recognition of the winner’s work through the prize money, the process will also facilitate networking opportunities for all participants.

Award Ceremony:

Four finalists will present their work at the prize final on Monday 23rd November 2015 at IOP, Portland Place, London, W1B 1NT.

The prize will be awarded by materials scientist, engineer, broadcaster and writer, Mark Miodownik

For more details, please get in contact with the Physics Communicators Group Secretary, Chris Sinclair: or click here to see a further breakdown of the results from the 2014 Prize Event.

Meet the brave, Team PhD!

In the team of three psychology PGRs are Becca (2nd year), Anna and Simon (both 3rd years working hard on their theses). They have teamed up to race in the Bournemouth International Triathlon on 5th July doing the sprint distance: 750m Channel swim, 22k bike ride, and a 5k run between Bournemouth and Boscombe piers. Tri1 (2)

Becca, Anna and Simon are raising funds for Marie Curie UK, a charity that helps people affected by terminal illnesses.

Why are they doing it? Because they want to help; one night of nursing care costs an £160, which is a lot of money for those affected and needing support. Anna, one of the team members says: “My undergraduate lecturer died of cancer last year at the age of thirty six. Nurses and staff at a Marie Curie hospice had helped him tremendously during his struggle with the illness and he was always praising them for their dedication and all the work they did. If we can provide some comfort to others by our fundraising initiative, then this is all we want to do. We’ll do all the running anyway!”

Tri 2 (2)


The team has a very successful record of supporting Marie Curie UK and has taken part in Pandemonium Obstacle Race in 2014, raising an amazing £385 for the charity.

This year so far, team PhD has collected £335 via their Just Giving page and with two weeks until the race, there is still time to raise more! If you would like to sponsor Anna, Becca and Simon, please visit their Just Giving Page on:

TeamPhD (2)

The Royal Society Pairing Scheme

This scheme gives policymakers and research scientists an opportunity to experience each other’s worlds.

Every year the scheme shows that 30 research scientists are paired up with UK parliamentarians and civil servants. The article states that you are then put together to learn about each other’s work whilst spending some time together in Westminster and the researchers lab.

The article then goes on to mention that those taking part can gain a better understanding of how research findings can help inform policy making.

“I can now see how important science is for making policies, even those that are not directly associated with science and technology issues.”

Dr Kate Lancaster paired with Anne Snelgrove MP

The pairing scheme takes place once a year, starting of with a ‘Week in Westminster’ where you first meet with who you are paired with. Part of the week includes workshops, speakers and spending two days shadowing your pair.

It is then time for the parliamentarians and civil servants to get an insight into the world of research, visiting labs from there pairs.

“My day at the University’s School of Chemistry was enormously useful, particularly in understanding some of the complex issues which affect the careers of research scientists and the funding of fundamental research”

John Denham MP paired with Dr Martin Bates.

So why should scientists get involved in this scheme?

  • Learn how parliament and government work and how you can feed in to the policy making process
  • Find out how your research can inform policy decisions
  • Build lasting relationships with parliamentarians and civil servants
  • Network with fellow scientists

To read the full article and find out more on who has taken part in previous years or the benefits of parliamentarians and civil servants taking part, please click here, or click here to start your application, the deadline is 24th May.