Whether you are planning to remain in academia or will move to senior roles in other sectors, you will be expected to hold a range of skills beyond research. Both the School and the wider university offer opportunities for you to develop these professional skills through courses and experiences that you can take part in during your time with us.
Proficio is the university’s unique development scheme for postgraduate research students.
Depending on your degree type you will have access to a pot of funding (ranging from £1000 to £2500 per person for fulltime students) which you can use for a range of professional skills courses. Many of these courses are offered by the university, but if you identify a suitable external opportunity then you may be able to use some of this funding to cover costs. Courses range from personal management and research methods, to impact and professional conduct.
Some of your Proficio funding is ringfenced for conference attendance. Academic conferences are an essential part of your research degree as they help you build your professional network and showcase your research. You can use this money to cover attendance costs such as travel or registration fees.
School of Life Sciences Postgraduate Training Programme
This programme starts in Week 1 and continues throughout the year. We have created this training programme to help students bridge the gap between undergraduate and postgraduate study or help those who are returning to academia from fulltime work become familiar with advanced study.
Taking part means that you will join in with tailored scientific training sessions, covering topics of common importance to all life sciences research students including scientific writing, ethics in research, statistics training and preparing for the viva as well as more research project specific training courses.
Pint of Science festival
This annual festival sees expert researchers head out of their labs into a variety of pubs within Colchester. Diverse discussions on topics such as how TOWIE-style Botox filler effect the ability to read emotions, why we desire antibiotics, and the gender pay gap, will fill the busy barrooms.
The nationwide festival is a grassroots non-profit organisation that aims to bring cutting-edge research to the masses. This international celebration sees thousands of scientists speaking to the public in over 500 cities across 24 countries. Founded nine years ago by two UK researchers, the festival brings a unique line-up of talks, demonstrations, and live experiments to the nation’s local pubs.
At the University of Essex the organisation of this festival is managed by postgraduate research students, with several life sciences research students working as members of the committee in the past. This helps you build your organisation and outreach skills and is a great activity to have on your CV due to its international recognition.