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Singer Instruments: PIPS internship opportunity for BBSRC DTP students

Calling all life scientists, bioinformaticians, programmers and engineers! Do you want to apply your knowledge to product/application development during your PIPS placement? Learn how to: design robots; make a difference by doing market research; and develop concepts for new products. Get involved in development and testing of products and party with us after another successful product launch!

You will have your own research project, related to lab-automation, where you will use internal and public data to analyse a particular gap in the market, and ultimately help shape a Product Development Proposal. You will have Scientific and Research & Development advisors who will guide you. You will be integrated within a closely knit international Research & Development team, and will have the opportunity to share ideas and try your hand at product development, product testing, software development and marketing; the business is your oyster!

You will be mentored by one of the Research & Development team members, as well as one Senior Manager, who will do everything they can to ensure you have a positive experience.

The project will need to be presented to stakeholders – including engineers, programmers, managers and other non-scientists. You will need to be able to communicate complex scientific procedures simply and effectively.

Singer Instruments have hosted previous PIPS students, and like them, you will have the opportunity to experience many different aspects of our business. We always work with you to understand which areas you find most interesting, and where possible, nurture you within those roles. You will have the opportunity to shadow different roles that are well out of your comfort zone!

You will work with multiple people across departments, discovering new tools, systems and ideas. Furthering your understanding of how lab automation can support research and vice versa. Discover how new product ideas are taken from concept to market.

Gain an understanding of working within the robotics industry, across multiple business functions and of the laboratory automation market.

A small team means a lot of exposure. You will be interacting with international collaborators and board level management. Helping to shape products that will be used by laboratories all around the World!

Singer Instruments will cover any expenses that go beyond that of what we would consider required of a normal day to day role (e.g. travel and expenses to visit a lab in a different city for market research).  The company will also contribute towards accommodation.

Lots of enthusiasm and geekiness.
A strong interest in science, technology, robotics and innovation.
Must enjoy socialising and eating home-baked delicious snacks! 
Please contact:
Jack Boyles, Sales & Marketing Manager
Telephone: 44 (0) 1984 640226 x108
Email: jack@singerinstruments.com 

Genetics Matters 2017


The Institute of Genetic Medicine (IGM) is hosting its popular Genetics Matters event again on 25th February 2017 as part of International Rare Disease Day. 

"Genetics Matters" is an annual event which serves to showcase genetic research and to give patient and charity organisations a voice and a platform to interact with the members of general public. With hands on activities, chatty scientists and lots of interesting presentations, this event attracts over 100 participants every year. Come meet researchers, touch real specimens, talk about rare diseases and hear about the exciting research at Newcastle University. 

The theme of Rare Disease Day 2017 is "Research", recognising the state-of-the-art research into rare diseases in the UK and the crucial role that patients play in research by voicing their needs and instigating change. Behind the tubes and microscope slides there is also a human story, so the organisers would like patients or members of patient families to be present on the day and actively participate, sharing the presenting with scientists. 

This event is free to attend, however, the places are limited. To register: http://forms.ncl.ac.uk/view.php?id=11873

Event suitable for ages 12 and over. 

Soapbox Science 2017

We are excited to announce that Newcastle University will once again be hosting Soapbox Science following our record breaking debut last summer. Would you like to be a part of Soapbox Science Newcastle 2017? Our call for speakers is NOW OPEN! If you are female, an academic scientist, researcher or PhD student and are keen to share your science with the people of Newcastle then apply using the following link:  http://soapboxscience.org/  The closing date for applications is Friday 24th February 2017. 

Soapbox Science is a grass-roots science outreach organisation that brings cutting edge research onto urban streets whilst also promoting the visibility of women in science. We place inspirational speakers on soapboxes and encourage them to engage in and start conversations with the public about their work. For the Newcastle event we'll be commandeering Grey's Monument in the City Centre on Saturday 17th June 2017 and wowing unsuspecting passers-by with our latest discoveries. For a flavour of Soapbox Science Newcastle 2017 have a look at our short films from 

  • 2015 https://youtu.be/lUwlqRejo-Y
  • and 2016 https://youtu.be/4Dx--qsqYNE 

Soapbox Science has been running for 6 years with events in UK cities across the country and has attracted media coverage including BBC, The Guardian, Time Out, The Times (Eureka).  

For more information go to www.soapboxscience.org or please contact the FMS Faculty Engagement team: Fms.engagement@newcastle.ac.uk 

Professional Internship: Career Engagement for Non-Faculty Researchers

BBSRC internship opportunity for PhD students to develop People & Skills strategy for the career development of research technical specialists & support staff working in academia.

The Exploiting New Ways of Working and Skills and Careers Unit within BBSRC has an opportunity for a Professional Internship for PhD students (PIPS) placement to develop BBSRC People and Skills strategy and policy with a focus on the career development of research technical specialists and support staff working in academia – called ‘Non-Faculty Researchers’.

Background to Policy Development

Towards the end of 2015 BBSRC circulated a survey requesting views on careers and skills from staff that we referred to as 'non-faculty researchers'. This group included technical staff, researchers operating instruments, facility managers, statisticians, bioinformaticians, technology developers and many others. We used the term 'non-faculty researchers' as there didn't appear to be a single job title or defining term to use, and the survey confirmed this, with a plethora of job titles returned.

We received over 800 replies, showing the size and diversity of this group and the concerns and questions they had about their careers and roles. Over the last year we have looked closely at the survey results, discussed these with colleagues within the Research Councils and beyond and considered ways to address some of these issues (see our recent letter in Nature: rdcu.be/nDjB (PDF). As part of this project, BBSRC intend to develop an action plan, and are holding a workshop on March 10th to discuss the issues with the researchers involved. 

Role of the PIPs Intern

In order to develop the action plan, BBSRC intend to draw on a number of pieces of evidence, in particular the 2015 survey and the outputs of the March 10th workshop. In addition, we will convene a steering/advisory group to help with making progress on the plan.

The main activities will be:

  1. Further analysis of the survey data to identify interrelationships, trends and commonalities 
  2. Contribute to analysis and publication of the workshop outputs
  3. Engage with other research  councils and external stakeholders with interest in the topics (e.g. Learned Societies, Science Council, HEaTED network)
  4. Help with convening and running advisory group meetings
  5. Contribute to development of the action plan


In addition to the above, there are opportunities to become involved with the generation of other outputs – including a publication of the results in an academic journal – and discussions with other stakeholders. Applicants should be prepared for some UK travel.

Questions on this placement can be directed to:

Dr Michael Ball (michael.ball@bbsrc.ac.uk)
Dr Rob Hardwick (robert.hardwick @bbsrc.ac.uk)

Download the application form here

Closing Date for Applications:  Wednesday 15th March 2017

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