A few weeks ago I was really excited to be asked to be a judge in the PhDepictions competition run by the University. If you haven’t seen any of what this is about you can find all the entrants and an explanation here, and the winners here. Some of the entries were really good so do have a look at the images and read the abstracts (some of them really enchance the pictures).
The competition was all about capturing your research in a single image. Each entry included an abstract and obviously an image. We were asked to judge the abstracts on how clear they were to someone not in the field and whether they enhanced the impression of the image and the actual images on how well they related to and communicated the entrants research. Marking them wasn’t easy to do and a huge congratulations to the winners, there were some really good entries and, while I can only speak for myself, I know some of my scores were really tight. It was also difficult because I’ve never done anything like this before!
So how did I end up doing this? Well the short story is I got asked, but why me? Well it’s mostly associated with this blog (I think). The blog in general is a great way to get writing and get comfortable putting things out there, when I started it was totally new to me but I really wanted writing experience so I applied and was accepted. This gives me a platform to show that I’m involved in student life and willing to participate in things other then just working away at my bench (which is also a valid PhD route to take – but future employers do look for other skills such as the ability to communicate and manage time, so outside the lab activities definitely have their benefits). Overall I think putting yourself out there and doing “extra’s” will only have positive benefits for you provided you don’t take on too much. For me it’s led to exciting opportunities, just like being a PhDepictions judge 🙂 hopefully if you’re thinking of coming to Leicester you’ll be able to create your own chances and become an active member of the university community.