Category Archives: Training

Postdoctoral Training – towards research independence / SURE scheme

Message from Sandrine Soubes,
  • Would you like to get hands on experience of the whole research process from grant application, through to interviewing candidates and managing a budget?
  • Would you like to be sole supervisor of a student with PI responsibility?
  • Do you need to build your research funding profile and would like your own research consumables grant?
  • Would having formal supervision experience increase the likelihood of success with your next fellowship application?
If the answer to any of the above is yes, then the Think Ahead: Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) should be of interest to you.
Information sessions about the scheme will be held on:
  • Tuesday 24th September // 12 -1pm // Barber House Boardroom
  • Monday 30th September //4.15-5.15 // BMS Conference room (Alfred Denny Building)
The Think Ahead SURE scheme has now expanded and is open to researchers in the Faculty of Science (previously only open to Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health.
The scheme allows contract research staff and research students to be supervisors and it aims to allow undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine students to experience “Life as a Researcher” during the summer for 6-8 week projects, from 16th June to August 2014.
Research staff members on fixed term contracts, or PhD students (with a research staff member), with the approval of their Principal Investigators, are invited to apply for small research projects with consumables budget to be undertaken by undergraduate students. You will receive training in recruitment, teaching & supervision, and research project management, and be given assistance in applying for funding.
Once supervisor projects and undergraduate students are selected, the partnerships will be supported in applying for external funding for the project. During the information session, we will provide information of the external schemes to funds the student summer stipend.
To participate in the programme, you should complete the SURE Supervisor Application Form 2013 outlining the aim of your project and the research training that would be provided to the student.
Your completed application form should then be submitted, to Sandrine Soubes ( no later than 1st November 2013.

Writing and publication workshops

1) Workshop for Group Leaders: Effective management of writing and publication

Are you a research fellow or young academic in the process of building your research group?

Are you an experienced group leader considering how to improve the research output from your laboratory and how to better support your PhD students and Postdocs become good & prolific publishing scientists?

(details below)

Please email <> to book a place to attend this workshop.

2) Intensive Training programme for Postdoctoral researchers: Writing for publication
(details below)


When:  22nd MAY (9.30-5pm)
Where: 301 Glossop Road

The success of a research institute or university department is ultimately dependent on the publication record of its constituent groups. It is therefore essential for principal investigators to create the conditions that favour efficient, high-impact publication of research from their laboratories. At the same time, group leaders have a responsibility to train the next generation of researchers to become independent, publishing scientists. This short workshop introduces approaches to managing the overall
publication output of a research group and working effectively with the writing of junior colleagues. It shows how a proactive, strategic approach to writing not only enhances publication success but also has a positive impact on the research itself. In addition, it reveals how effective interaction with students and postdoctoral researchers throughout the writing process can reduce the workload of group leaders
while helping junior researchers to develop critical skills for their future careers.

Participants will gain critical insights into the process of writing and how this awareness can be used not only to optimise writing and publication output but also to enhance the scientific activity of their research groups.

– Understanding the writing process
– Writing as a driving force for science
– Approaches to managing publication output in academic settings
– Getting the most out of your group to support your publication goals
– Mentoring writing

Writing for Publication- Intensive Training Programme
Training for Early Career researchers

Are you a Postdoc with data from your PhD, which never got written?
Are you a Postdoc with lots of data but who never has the time to write?
Are you a Postdoc who does not like to write?
Are you a Postdoc applying for fellowships and lectureships who needs papers to be started/ written/ finished/ submitted in order to enhancing your chances of success?

Success in science is not just about the results you obtain in the laboratory—it is also about communicating them. Without a strong publication record, you will not progress in your career. The sooner you make sense of writing, then, the more chance you will have of achieving your goals.

This training programme is intended to help you set off on the road to becoming a more effective, independent writer. It will help you to understand more about the writing process and to develop an approach to writing and publication that will be of benefit to you throughout your career.

During the programme, you will also build a support network of peers with whom you will share ideas, issues & challenges.

We are offering a limited number of early career researchers from biological/ biomedical disciplines the opportunity to benefit from an outstanding training provision.

This will take the form of a series of training packages (all are part of the same training programme):

  • Workshop: Approaches to writing and publication (20 & 21st May)
  • Writing retreat: 15th to 19th July
  • Individual coaching (this will take place via email between July- September)
  • Workshop: Intensive follow-up & coaching (30th Sept- 2nd October)

  • *******************
    Dr. Iain Patten is an independent writing consultant with more than 10 years’ experience of facilitating scientific writing and communication. He originally trained as a biomedical scientist and undertook research in neuroscience and embryology in the UK, USA, and Spain. He later shifted his attention to scientific communication, working initially in Spain as an editor and translator of biomedical science and
    later in the UK in the medical communications industry. He currently provides an integrated scientific and medical communications service with an emphasis on individually tailored training. His approach focuses primarily on helping authors to become independent, effective writers who are able to produce well-structured, clearly written articles as part of their normal professional activity.
    If you have questions and queries regarding either the workshop for group leader or the intensive training programme for Postdocs, please do get in touch with Sandrine:

    Dr Sandrine Soubes
    Researcher Development Manager, Faculty of Science

    The University of Sheffield
    Firth court, room F16
    Western bank
    S10 2TN
    Tel:  +44  (0114) 222-4220
    Fax:  +44  (0114) 222-2800


    Free workshop on communicating science

    Hi all,
    The Genetics Society is running what looks like an excellent workshop on Science communication. Well worth checking this out because:

    • It looks really good, with an excellent line-up
    • It is free to GenSoc members (those who are selected to participate)

    I’m happy to answer any queries


    The Genetics Society is pleased to announce a new workshop for PhD students and postdocs on:

    Communicating Your Science
    April 23-25, 2013 Chicheley Hall

    We would be grateful if you could advertise the above mentioned workshop by downloading the poster from the Genetics Society website and emailing it to those you think may be interested at your institution.

    Please could you copy us in on the email for our records.

    Please note that the closing date for applications is 3rd March 2013 and applications are only accepted online via the Genetics Society’s online grant application process.

    Festival of the Mind – volunteers?

    Most of you are probably aware already of the Festival of the Mind, happening in Sheffield soon (

    We (the lab) are running two events on Researcher’s Night (Friday 28th Sept).
    I’ll be helping out on Kids’ Labs, in the B1 teaching labs, where we will be extracting our own DNA and playing Genome Top Trumps.

    Andy will be showcasing research in the TABLAB as part of the Department’s Research Demonstrations.

    It is likely that both of us would benefit from some helpers, so please get in touch if interestesd.  Even if you cannot help out on the night, I’m keen to trail a fruit juice/washing-up liquid/salt method of DNA extraction and it would be great to get some volunteers for that. I’d like to try it out at 2.30 PM on Thursday. Meet in the locker room if you want to give it a go.


    Summer School “Next Generation Data Management in Movement Ecology” 3rd to 7th Sep 2012

    The summer school will be held at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Berlin, Germany). Master students, PhD students, PostDocs and researchers are invited to participate in this one-week course and to become familiar with the general framework (concepts, problems and solutions) of wildlife GPS-tracking data in the context of both research and wildlife management and to learn how to develop a basic tracking data management system for their own data sets.

    For further information, please visit:

    BBSRC Summer School – Nottingham July 30th – 3rd August 2012

    The Summer School is designed for researchers in quantitative aspects of Evolutionary Biology, looking at genetic variation both between- and within- species.

    Plenary Speakers include:

    • Brian Charlesworth, Deborah Charlesworth, Penny Haddrill, Dan Halligan, Peter Keightley, Paul Sharp (University of Edinburgh)
    • John Brookfield, John Armour (University of Nottingham)
    • Ed Feil (University of Bath)
    • Simon Whelan (University of Manchester)

    The closing date for applications will be Friday, the 20th April 2012.

    More information on the website:

    SURE scheme – Summer Undergraduate Research Experience

    The University has announced that they will be running the SURE scheme
    (Summer Undergraduate Research Experience) this year. The Faculty of Science
    will have 16 studentships.
    There are two routes for applications – a staff-led route and a student-led
    route. See  for details.
    There is a showcase event on TODAY Tues 21st Feb.
    The deadline for applications is Fri March 16th. If you’d like
    a final year student in your lab over the summer, then this is a good route
    to obtain funding.

    Sponsor Jon in the London Marathon

    Hi all,
    I am running the London Marathon in April and hope to raise money for an organisation called IntoUniversity. They do excellent work helping disadvantaged young people go into Higher Education, and therefore help to narrow the participation gap in UK universities.

    I’d be very grateful for any support you can give (financial or moral!)
    More details here:

    Many thanks, Jon

    ps – I wasn’t sure what category to put this under. Training, perhaps?

    Springboard for Women Programme

    Are you a woman researcher trying to develop your career?
    Do you want to become part of a network of other women researchers?

    The programme will support women researchers:

    * To build their confidence and assertiveness
    * To have a greater sense of direction
    * To take clear practical realistic steps to take more control over their life
    * To find out what they value
    * To make decisions and take action based on their values
    * To balance their lives better and achieve their academic/ professional potential
    * To create a supportive network of women researchers within the University

    Organised around 4 one-day workshops over three months:
    Monday 27th February
    Monday 26th March
    Monday 30th April
    Monday 28th May

    Each workshop runs between 9.00-5pm. (Lunch and Refreshments provided)

    Book your place on the programme:

    For any additional information regarding this programme, please get in touch with Sandrine Soubes <> x24220

    Training Public Communication and outreach Workshop 20/02, Sheffield

    Do you want to share your passion for Science with the public or young people, or would you like to inspire the next generation of scientists?
    Do you want to find interesting ways of presenting complex ideas to non-scientific audiences?

    This workshop is for you!

    The workshop aims to introduced researchers to some of the benefits of public engagement, from developing better communication and networking skills to enhancing profile and improving career opportunities. An experience in outreach and science communication could open many doors to careers outside of academia. It could also help researchers in becoming better scientists by communicating clearly their ideas to other researchers from different fields or disciplines. The skills and confidence researchers will gain could be essential assets in developing research collaborations. It is never too early to develop skills for excellent communication.

    Monday 20th February, 9.15am- 5.00pm, Humanities Research Institute.
    (Lunch and Refreshments provided)
    To book a place, please contact course organiser Dr Sandrine Soubes, x24220 or by email <SC Soubes <>

    The programme aims:
    – To get you to understand what it means to be an “Engaging researcher”
    – To equip you with skills to communicate your work clearly and confidently to a wide range of audiences
    – To explore how you can contribute to public engagement
    – To become aware of opportunities offered to share your passion for research
    – To help you develop ideas for a presentation or workshop about your research or scientific interests

    Programme delivery
    Aspects of the programme will be delivered by Dr Jon Copley, lecturer in Marine Ecology at the University of Southampton with extensive experience in communicating science to the public. Jon is a freelance science writer for New Scientist, Nature, newspapers and magazines. Previously a full-time reporter and news editor at New Scientist and former co-ordinator of a NERC research programme, Jon is a highly experienced broadcast interviewee, has taken part in documentaries for the BBC and Discovery Channel and frequently gives public lectures about his research in deep-sea biology.

    Academic members of staff and researchers involved in public and outreach activities will share their experiences and tips with the participants.

    You will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with other researchers about how you could in practice share your research interests with wider audiences.