Graduate School News - Archive

Graduate School News

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Engineering YES - Winners 2018!


Team 'Lactolab' made up PhD students from Newcastle, Durham and Liverpool Universities win prize at Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES)

Congratulations to Beth Gollan, PhD student in ICaMB, who was part of the successful team that has won the Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) Engineering Competition 2018, which was held at the Royal Society in London on 11th December.

The winning team, LactoLab, was supported by the Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham BBSRC DTP and was made up of students from the three partner Universities. They pitched hypothetical business plan on how to reduce non-degradable single-use plastic in labs by providing a compostable alternative using food industry by-products. Their leap of imagination was to create a plastic that is rendered chemically and biologically inert through a novel coating. LactoLab said: “Overcoming the challenge of being from separate universities really brought us together as a team, we have loved participating in YES and it has made us consider a career in business! We are so delighted to have won and will definitely be keeping in touch with our new friends from across the country.”

If you're interested in getting involved in the scheme in the future, there is a workshop happening as part of the PGR Skills Development Programme and you can book a place online here. Look out for the university wide call out for the next YES teams in April/May 2019.

NEPG 2018 Conference - Prizes


A huge congratulations to the North East Post Graduate Committee for hosting a fantastic NEPG Conference at Newcastle Civic Centre earlier this month (9th November). Opening with a keynote talk by Dr Giles Yeo and hosting workshops and events throughout the day, including the Women in Science Panel discussion and Scientific writing workshop, the theme of ‘Engagement’ brought postgraduate students together from across the country to Newcastle.

For more information on the programme please visit

Throughout the conference, presentations and a poster competition provided the opportunity for students to compete against their peers from many UK universities. This year the winners are:


Presentation Awards – Academic

1st Benjamin Clegg, Newcastle University

2nd Rochelle Hockney, Teeside University


Presentation Awards – Engagement

1st- Joseph Smith, Newcastle University

2nd – Sarah Hill, Newcastle University


qPCR Prize

Ben McCullough, Newcastle University


Poster Awards

1st Olivier Tardy, University of Sheffield

2nd Rosamund Clifford, University of Leeds


Congratulations to all the students who were awarded these prizes and a special thanks to Hannah Merrick and Siobhan Lister, lead organisers of NEPG 2018 for putting together a brilliant day. Roll on 2019!

Medical Sciences Postgraduate Research Student Public Lecture Prize


On 17th May, Clare Willis, Ríona Mc Ardle and Julia Whitehall delivered talks on their research as part of the INSIGHTS public lecture series.

On Thursday 17th May, winners of the Faculty of Medical Sciences postgraduate public speaking prize were invited to present their work to the public as part of the INSIGHTS Public Lecture Series.
The event was introduced by Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Suzanne Cholerton, who also presented the prizes at the end. 
Prize winners and talks were:
Ríona Mc Ardle (Institute of Neuroscience) - What can walking tell us about dementia?
Julia Whitehall (Institute of Neuroscience) - As we age, do our biological batteries promote bowel cancer?
Clare Willis (Institute for Cell & Molecular Biosciences) - It's a small, small world

You can see more photos from the event on the Graduate School Facebook Page

We are grateful to the INSIGHTS team for this opportunity to showcase the quality of the work being undertaken by our PGR community and the talent for science communication that exists within our faculty. 

Supervisor Support Sessions


In April 2018 the Graduate School will be running a series of support and advice sessions for supervisors focusing on research student recruitment, assessment and examination, career planning and supervisory best practice. Prospective, new and established supervisors are invited to attend any or all of these sessions. Among the topics for discussion will be how to ensure that students record their supervisory meetings and what your responsibilities are if they are not recorded adequately. There will be opportunities for open discussion and the sessions will benefit from the input and experiences of all. Lunch will be provided.

Assessment & Examinations
Wednesday 11th April (12:00-14.00)
Details and booking

Recruiting Research Students & Nurturing their Careers
Wednesday 18th April (12:00-14.00)
Details and booking

Developing Researchers & Managing Expectations
Wednesday 25th April (12:00-14.00)
Details and booking

The venue for all the sessions is the Graduate Training Suite, MG207, Ground Floor, Cookson Building. 

Medical Sciences Doctoral Thesis Prizes


Congratulations to our most recent Medical Sciences Doctoral Thesis Prize winners.

Charlotte Alston (IoN) receives this award for her thesis  ‘Improving the genetic diagnosis of mitochondrial disease using custom next-generation sequencing strategies’.  The prize is in recognition of an excellent thesis, data and high impact publications which have led to direct patient benefit.

Jessica Richardson (IGM) was awarded this prize in recognition of being an outstanding candidate whose work has given rise to a co-authorship in Nature and a first authorship in Stem Cells.  Jessica’s thesis title is ‘The effect of pronuclear transfer on human preimplantation development’.

What is the Medical Sciences Doctoral Thesis Prize?

The Medical Sciences Doctoral Thesis Prize recognises outstanding quality of research carried out during doctoral research studies. Nominations for the prize come from examiners and can be PhD, MB or DDS candidates.  Nominations are considered and agreed biannually by the Chair of the Board of Examiners and the FMS Graduate School Committee.

More information:


Image: Charlotte Alson, Photographer  Dru Dodd (


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