2018 Away Day: Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Issued: Fri, 23 Feb 2018 14:20:00 GMT
Last month we held our action-packed away day to which 130 staff & students registered for, with even more coming along on the day. Energy and interest ran high, perhaps powered by the winter break from which many of us had just returned. Professor Dan Haydon, Head of Institute, kicked us off with his reflections on the past year emphasising the people-centred culture of BAHCM with a reminder to anyone who might at times feel daunted at times to reach out for help. Later in the day Rhona Philp from LifeLink elaborated further on this telling us about the fantastic available support for managing stress and improving mental wellbeing.
The introductory session then featured many of those who organise activities within BAHCM; Athena SWAN, fellowships, and REF etc. It was a good reminder about just how much is on offer, and how engaged people are. Dr Tim Parkin touched the growing collaborations with Veterinary Clinicians, reporting on several joint PhD projects. This flowed nicely into the next session in which we heard more about many of these projects in the first round of our (strictly timed!) 2 minute micro talks.
Anyone who might have started to feel tired at this point were re-energised by the bolt of lightning in the form of Fiona MacSherry, who talked about voice projecting and had us share in some exercises: sheepishly at first, but her enthusiasm proved impossible to resist! Next to great entertainment value, Fiona provided some terrific practical advice.(https://twitter.com/IBAHCM/status/949266814151876608)
After lunch we had another two rounds of micro talks with ever changing topics and participants (from students to professors). These really showcased BAHCM’s amazingly diverse activities and made a great starting point for people to recognise potential collaborations. The support staff then gave an impressive session highlighting just how much they can offer in terms of expertise and abilities with the clear conclusion being never underestimate your technician!
Next up we observed a mock grant panel meeting led by Professor Neil Metcalfe. The session provided some great insights and many agreed that we should hold similar workshops throughout the year. Following on from there, Professor Barbara Mable led us in a collective practical session for which staff and students from different research areas were put into groups to brainstorm ideas for new transdisciplinary collaborations. Fresh from the insights of the day, this inspired some fantastic ideas.
The final session of the day focused on our future outlooks. Two exciting new developments were covered: the OHRBID lab and Professor Nick Hanley’s Environmental Economics project. The final wrap-up highlighted events of the day but also the highlights of the extraordinary work taking place in the Institute. Once again, the AwayDay proved to be a huge success and would not have been possible without Professor Barbara Helm – Thank you for yet another brilliant programme!