Our first training workshop was a meet and greet session for all students and principle investigators involved. It gave everyone a good opportunity to network and learn about the various projects that will be taking place within the TRAIN programme. The first evening was a relaxed dinner and coming from different backgrounds, we (the students) all wanted to know ‘whose who, and whose where’ so we got a chance to socialise and meet everyone.
The training week was broken down into various segments of topics, giving us an understanding of the areas we are going to research as a consortium. The first day of the workshop was mainly to fast track everyone to the same level of knowledge of each project starting from the basics of the TRAIN programme and general information about tribbles proteins to more focused areas like immunology.
The morning of the second day was a workshop on communicating science. From this comprehensive scientific writing workshop, we were given tips on constructing scientific articles. For example, Stephanie taught us the correct way to attract readers in an article and how to get a person of any age to understand our research. In the afternoon of that day, we had a seminar which was focused more on the prostate cancer projects. I found them quite interesting because my project was under that category.
The third day was a tutorial on how to use the Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN) system, which we’ll be using throughout our PhDs. I thought that tutorial was great because we got to learn how to manoeuvre around the lab collector site. Also, we were given talks on good scientific practice and ethics, Marie-curie grant agreement, sharing resources and many other aspects. When the seminars were finished, we were split into three groups and given a task of doing presentations based on the information we learned in the three days.
On the morning of the fourth day each group presented and were given positive feedback. Our last talk was on experimental design and statistics, we got to participate in a group task of designing an experiment from given information. I found that quite interesting because we got to hear the different views and approaches that each group had.
The workshop was then rounded off with a peaceful and scenic trip to peak district. This was a really good way to end the programme. I enjoyed every aspect of the first workshop and I am looking forward to the next one!