Most importantly this week, Liz graduated in the Winter graduation ceremony (in the video of the second ceremony at 1:37:30). Congratulations Dr Thackray!

This week’s lab session concentrated on the goals that the lab members have for the coming months, and how, as a group, we could support each other in reaching these. When we are all busy with teaching and other term-time activities the larger goals can get lost in the minutia of the every day. So what can we do to prevent this happening?

The goals offered ranged from writing a difficult paper with no target publication (or maybe even a book…) to a fellowship proposal with a strict deadline, with a smattering of conference papers and grant proposals along the way. The two things requested most frequently by way of help were people to talk through the ideas with and accountability – give us intermediate deadlines to force something to happen!

Both of these things are perfect for the lab meetings. Presenting ideas to the group forces you to think them through, to pull them into some kind of sensible and logical shape. The deadline pressure is there, because in a strange way it can be just as nerve wracking to present your ideas in front of a few people you know and see almost daily than to a room full of strangers. Turning up with nothing really isn’t an option! And we are not a reticent bunch when it comes to providing feedback or suggestions, and whether you agree with the feedback or not helps you to better hone your ideas and arguments for the future.

Suffice to say the next few lab sessions were swiftly filled, and we will be hearing more about lab members’ goals and ideas in the coming weeks. Looking forward to it!