Past Meetings

BSDB/BSCB Joint Annual Spring Meeting April 7-10 2019

The 2019 spring meeting was co-organised by the BSDB and the BSCB and resulted in an incredible variety of talks and discussion. As always the atmosphere was lively with discussions between talks, poster session and of course the much awaited conference dinner.

Postdocs and PhD students had a busy schedule starting from the Sunday where the Careers Workshop helped showcase a variety of career pathways, both within and outside of academia. The session was lead as a round table format whereby attendees could visit up to three tables during the session. Each table had a representative from the field of work whether it be industry, patent law, academia, or science communication. At the end of the session, each table leader gave a one line piece of advice to the room. This wasn’t planned but offered a positive and motivational end to the session. Even as organisers I found this part of the session particularly useful and uplifting, especially considering the ever present ideology that if you leave academia you are somehow a failure.

An impromptu ending to the career workshop where table leaders offered advice on leaving or staying within academia. Thanks to all table leaders for attending and playing such an active role in the workshop.

The ever awaited Student/Postdoc social did not disappoint, and the enthusiasm was infectious- even for organisers! The music round sparked furious debates within teams with cheers of success and sighs of defeat! Fantastic scores all round! Congratulations to the winners and of course commiserations to the now proud owners of the BSDB/BSCB wooden spoons!

Next on the Postdoc/PhD itinerary (ignoring the huge array of brilliant talks during the sessions), was the Graduate symposium. This offered a chance for those earlier within their career to showcase their work and passions for their research. This was a diverse session and included talks regarding preimplantation murine development to blood vessel formation. Again thank you to all of our fantastic speakers for sharing your work with us (not to mention thank you for keeping to time!).

Charlotte Bailey introducing the session with an array of speakers at various points within their academic careers.

Last on the Postdoc/PhD specific calendar was the networking event where we encouraged people to speak to different academics (potentially in different fields) and network with their peers. This event was a huge success and the room buzzed with discussion and introductions. If you met your future PI/colleague at this event, let us know!

We thoroughly enjoyed helping organise this event along with the BSCB representatives; Joyce Yu and Gautam Dey. Here’s to the next conference! See you next year!

2018 Advocacy Writing Competition

As part of the BSDB 70th anniversary celebrations, Alexandra Ashcroft and Michelle Ware initiated a writing competition where first prize was a free trip to and attendance of the 77th Annual Society of Developmental Biology meeting (Portland, Oregon, USA). Katherine Brown, Aidan Maartens, Ottoline Leyser and Jonathan Slack judged the competition, selecting Daniyal Jafree as the winner. You can read his winning essay here.

BSDB Annual Spring Meeting April 15-18 2018 

The 2018 annual spring meeting was held at Warwick and celebrated the society’s 70th birthday. Graduate student and postdoc talks were integrated into the main meeting as selected abstract talks (instead of the traditional symposium). Alexandra Ashcroft and Michelle Ware also assisted with the creation of a special BSDB family tree.


Building Resilience and Overcoming Obstacles

Alexandra Ashcroft and Michelle Ware organised a career workshop at the start of the 2018 Annual Spring Meeting. Eighteen of the anniversary meeting’s star studded line up of speakers kindly lead 3 roundtable discussions on a plethora of topics pertinent to a career in academia.

Find out who spoke and what they thought were important issues here. We also collated a list of questions from the participants and answers from some of the table leaders.

A complete selection of photos of the event can be accessed here.

Arts and Crafts Challenge

For the 2018 AGM’s student and postdoc social, Alexandra Ashcroft and Michelle Ware challenged attendees to build scientific models of any one of 5 themes (fertilisation, plant development, somitogenesis, cell-fate determination and evo-devo), helped along by an open bar. Megan Davey and Rita Sousa-Nunes judged the competition but had a hard time choosing winners since the models were excellent.

Prizes were donated from Abcam, Class Learning, Proteintech, Philosophical Transactions B and Biographical Memoirs, The Company of Biologists, Stratech, 2BScientific and Indigo Scientific.

A more comprehensive selection of photos can be found here!

BSDB Annual Spring Meeting April 2-5 2017

The 2017 BSDB annual spring meeting was held at Warwick, joint with the Genetics society and the British Society for Cell Biology (BDCB). Along with their graduate student and postdoc reps, Alexandra Ashcroft and Michelle Ware organised the career workshop, the student and postdoc social, a networking evening and the student and postdoc symposium. Read a little bit more about each event below.

Careers workshop

The 2017 spring meeting, kicked off with a roundtable discussion career workshop. Attendees signed up in advance and were able to attend 3 tables for 30 minute frank discussions with the table leaders. The table leaders, who very kindly donated their time, represented a diverse set of careers including the civil service, patent law, science communication, grants management, and various stages of academic such as obtaining a fellowship.

careers session 2017

Student and postdoc social event

For the 2017 meeting, guests were divided into random teams and challenged to build shoe towers for team prizes.

“Meet the speaker” networking evening

At the 2017 spring meeting, a new networking evening was organised with the plenary speakers to lead discussion with the graduate student and postdoc attendees. The event’s success perhaps arose because of all the free drinks provided!

Graduate student and postdoc symposium

Alexandra Ashcroft and Michelle Ware organised the annual graduate student and postdoc symposium at the 2017 meeting. They structured the session, with four fifteen minute talks and five four minute ‘lightning’ talks, and selected the abstracts.

BSDB Annual Spring Meeting April 10-13 2016

The 2016 annual spring meeting in was held in Warwick, joint with the British Society for Cell Biology.  Along with the BSCB student and postdoc reps, Alexandra Ashcroft and Michelle Ware organised the careers workshop, “meet the speaker” science breakfasts, a graduate student symposium and a student and postdoc social. The careers event included a range of non-academic and academic careers. For the social, all the attendees were randomly mixed up using the ‘salt and pepper game’. The pairs were then grouped into teams and challenged to build the highest tower using spaghetti and marshmallows, and later compete at science pictionary. Alex and Michelle’s report can be found here, and ‘s review, here.

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