2017 Autumn School for PhD Students

2017 Autumn School for PhD Students


Autumn School logo
An enjoyable day for all neuroscience -related PhD students, regardless of background
November 1, 2017
John McIntyre Centre, Pollock Halls, University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh Neuroscience and the Centre for Cognitive Ageing & Cognitive Epidemiology have jointly organised this Autumn Training School for PhD students since 2012 and it is hugely popular.  It is open to all types of PhD students (basic, clinical, neuroinformatics, psychology) provided they are working in a neuroscience-related field at Edinburgh. It aims to:

  • Encourage interdisciplinary mixing from the earliest stages of a research career
  • Instil the skills required to aspire to the very highest research standards
  • Provide information to allow planning for the next career phase
  • Build confidence in approaching your future studies and career

It is specifically designed to encourage students to attend twice during their PhD:

  • at the start of your first year in order to meet students from across all research centres and learn about some of the fundermental principals and skills required to be an excellent researcher
  • in you final year to help you find out about different future career options and how to prepare for funding applications, plus impart some of what what you have learnt to the new first year students!

This full day event is a mixture of activities/talks for all students together, as well as dedicated parallel workshops specifically tailored for first year and for final years students.


Registration is available to first and final year PhD students at the University of Edinburgh undertaking neuroscience-related projects regardless of discipline (so includes psychology, neuro-informatics, clinical etc). It costs £10 to register, which includes all refreshments and a hot sit-down lunch.

Click here to register


08.45  Registration

09.00 Welcome from Prof Charles ffrench-Constant, Director, Wellcome Trust Translational Neuroscience PhD Programme

09.10 Speed Dating

09.30 - 10.45 Workshops

Workshop 1: What is expected of a PhD student? (for first year students)

  • Why am I doing this?, with Prof Charles ffrench-Constant, Centre for Regenrative Medicine
  • Thinking about my Project, with Prof Cathy Abbott, Institute for Genetics & Molecular Medicine

Workshop 2: Finishing Your PhD and Moving On (1) (For final year students)

  • My viva experience, Dr Dau Suminaite, Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences
  • How I advise students going into a viva, Dr Martin Pickering, Psychology
  • From the examiner’s point of view!, Dr Kathy Evans, Institute for Genetics & Molecular Medicine
  • Getting your first grant - a first hand experience, Dr Veronique Miron, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health

10.45  Tea/Coffee break

11.15  Amplification and how to handle it! (Making yourself heard and, working with microphones) with Dr Ben Fletcher-Watson, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities

11.45  Being a PhD student – what to expect, and what I wish I’d known!   An opportunity for new students to find out, from those finishing, how to survive a PhD! And here is your chance to practice using that microphone…..

12.45  Lunch

13.45 - 15.15 Workshops

Workshop 3: Being an effective researcher (for first year students)

  • What makes a good research study?, Prof Malcolm Macleod, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, and Dr Stuart Ritchie, Psychology
  • Don’t just do it because everyone else does, Dr Tom Wishart, The Roslin Institute
  • Honest data, Dr Stuart Ritchie, Psychology

Workshop 4: Finishing Your PhD and Moving On (2) (For final year students)

  • What does an academic do all day?, Prof Cathy Abbott, Institute for Genetics & Molecular Medicine
  • Working for funding agencies, Dr Helen Nickersen, Institute for Genetics & Molecular Medicine
  • Dreaming of a career in science communication and knowledge exchange, Dr Robin Morton, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine

15.15  Tea/Coffee break

15.45   How to ask a good question and network effectively, with Prof Tara Spires-Jones, Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences

16.15  Practice question session (with refreshments) A few final year students have volunteered to present 3 min talks of their work. Lots of questions please!

16.45   Close of Meeting