by Melissa Hart
The most important part of my role is to support and advocate for our students and ECRs to ensure they get the most out of their candidature/contract, and this is even more important during these unprecedented, and challenging, times. I have set up a recurring zoom for every Wednesday 12-1pm for an ECR lunch. Members of our grad student and ECR community are invited to dial in if you have any questions, or concerns or issues you want to discuss, or simply want to chat.

The zoom link is

I am also more than happy to chat at other times, simply send me an email. A reminder too that we have people trained in mental health first aid across the Centre, and that all of our nodes provide counselling services for students and staff. In addition to managing our physical health at the moment, it is also so important to be mindful of our mental health. Please don’t feel that you have to go through this alone. If you are struggling please reach out.

You will find mental health resources here, including contacts of all of our mental health first aiders –

We have also had to make some changes to the Researcher Development program due to the current COVID situation. Firstly, we have postponed the winter school. This dynamics school will definitely go ahead, it just may end up being a spring, summer, or autumn, school, which may not be such a bad thing :-).

In the meantime, I will run a virtual event during that week. This will involve one to two graduate-level science or researcher development seminars a day. If you have something you would like covered, e.g. a topic you have always wanted to hear one of our CIs talk about, please do let me know. I will also run a virtual session covering the storyboarding component of our paper writing workshop on May 13. This session will be open to all, more information will follow soon.

Finally, a welcome to all of our new students! I realise this may be a difficult time to be starting a new degree, particularly for those of you far from home. During this period please take the opportunity to dial into seminars, Zoom coffee breaks, ECR lunches etc. These are all good ways to meet others in the Centre and learn more about the science we do. I will run an official Centre induction on April 29 so that you can learn more about CLEX and the opportunities we offer. Send me an email if you haven’t received details of this induction. In the meantime feel free to contact me if you have any questions.