How physics is helping the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic

A really interesting blog post from the Institute of Physics -credit to author Jon Cartwright

“Taken from the April 2020 issue of Physics World where it appeared under the title “Fighting a pandemic”.

The latest novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has reached pandemic status. While health workers and governments do their part, scientists are trying to understand the virus and develop vaccines and treatments. Jon Cartwright looks at how physics plays an important role in the fight.”

Physics World

Summer internships for students & graduates

Employ.ed in an SME – The Careers Service is working with a number of small and medium sized organisations to offer exclusive internships to our students and recent graduates. All internships are paid and some are supported with match funding from Santander Universities. If the internship is supported by Santander (details in advert), then the internship is only open to final year students and recent graduates.  

Internships are being advertised on MyCareerHub from 25th March – 7th April .  

Find out more here  

#Employ.edinanSME #ExperienceWorks #SantanderUniUK 

Covid-19 statement 

The Careers Service is continuing to operate a service and deliver this programme during the Coronavirus pandemic. We’re doing this remotely, in line with University and Government guidelines and in the interests of your health and safety.     

We understand that the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic is causing a lot of global uncertainty and the situation is constantly and rapidly changing.  You might be unsure about making an application at this time, however the organisations advertising through the programme currently have every intention of hiring for their internship. However, as you can understand the situation is unpredictable and it is possible that this will have an impact as the recruitment process progresses through these uncertain times. For example, you might have a virtual interview and/or internship, or the organisation might need to postpone the start date or cancel an internship before hiring.   

The Careers Service and the organisations you apply to will keep you updated as far as we can.  

Careers Service Covid -19 information: https://www.ed.ac.uk/careers/about-us/coronavirus-faqs 

University Covid 19 updates: https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/covid-19 

Keeping up-to-date

To keep up-to-date with our key advice, follow our main blog Inform.ed. We are posting our main updates there and using FaceBook and Twitter too.

We also have answers to FAQs on our website

I will continue to post interesting things here as and when but our main blog is important to follow. Just know we are still here to support you and you can find out how, by visiting our FAQs

Stay safe, sending best wishes

Susan

Employ.Ed on campus

Just an update – we are continuing with this programme.  We are at the Interview stage and have provided information to staff and students giving tips on video and telephone interviewing. We are encouraging staff to continue with as many of internships as possible and adapting them to virtual/remote internships where possible if it will not be possible for interns to be based on campus.

As we will not be able to offer the same face to face support we will start to adapt our support to online delivery. 

Looking for a part-time job?

If you are looking for a part time job and want something you can start quickly there are still options available. Follow organisations on social media as well as checking their website as social media may be updated faster!

  • Supermarkets. Many of the supermarket chains are looking for staff in a variety of functions. Check the careers pages of their websites or it’s also a good idea to check their social media as this may be updated more frequently. Try all the major chains – Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Farmfoods, Iceland, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose.
  • NHS – check the recruitment site relevant for your location:
    • NHS Scotland
    • NHS England and Wales (search on COVID-19 for urgent vacancies)
    • Health and Social Care Northern Ireland
  • Royal Mail. Postal services are still operating and have vacancies available. It could also be worth looking at the largest couriers such as DHL and Hermes.
  • Amazon – online retail is busy and Amazon have offices across the country. Keep a check on what’s available.
  • Pharmacies. Pharmacies will also be under pressure to maintain levels of service and deliver so check Boots, Lloyds, Well, Gordon, Superdrug and other local pharmacies. Remember that major supermarkets often house pharmacies too.
  • Check on MyCareerHub for any vacancies that involve remote working
  • Check on Student job for remote working and survey options
  • Udrafter is a site that provides micro internships and is aiming to advertise vacancies supporting business in the current crisis

If you need financial support then you can access advice and hardship funding and emergency loans information here.

Additionally – Edinburgh city council have a page available with suggestions on how you can help and volunteer during the crisis if that’s something that you can do safely and have time for.

Keep yourself and others safe out there.

Worried about careers stuff?

I just wanted to let you know that the Careers Service is now providing all support online.

I know these are challenging times so we will be looking to continue to support you in your career planning and to stay connected. You can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions, including how to get in touch with us here.

Careers Service support

We have really good online resources and in addition we can offer appointments via Skype (book on MyCareerHub)

We will also be running online sessions on various topics (book via events tab on MyCareerHub) and will keep you up-to-date on these

Success for SoPA students at the IBM Universities Business Challenge 2020

Delighted to be supporting three teams of physics & astronomy students at the IBM UBC semifinal at Teviot again!

They are honing their creativity, numerical & analytical skills, group working and entrepreneurial thinking. They are just about to present a 40 second TV advert…can’t wait!

Update: our teams placed 3rd, 4th and 5th and I am delighted that the team that placed 3rd have got a wildcard place in the IBM UBC virtual final on March 20th. Well done to Alastair, Paula and Pablo!

Networking ninjas at the IBM UBC

From uni to workplace: what I wish I’d known

Physics & Astronomy and Maths graduates share their stories on managing the move into a professional workplace. Find out about

  • the jobs they do & the environments they work in
  • their perceptions & expectations before they started and how they felt after
  • employer expectations of them in their workplace when it comes to professional  behaviour & workplace culture
  • their advice on what you can do now to help you feel more confident about the move into the workplace

This session will be useful for those who have already have a job lined up as well as for those who are still looking and planning

It will help you :

  • discover what’s out there
  • become more confident and professional

Tuesday 17th March 5.30pm JCMB

More details and sign-up on MyCareerHub

Compass colour master.jpg
Your Careers Compass

Internships at the Careers Service – get in quick!

Last year we had a second year physics & astronomy student doing a piece of research for us on the Data Driven Innovation sectors in Edinburgh

This year the Careers Service is currently advertising for 3 Employ.ed Interns this summer. 

The roles are all under the title “Research and Resource Development Intern”. Each internship has a different focus:

  • Move into Work (developing professional behaviour resources)
  • Virtual Reality
  • India/South East Asia resources. 

If you are in year 2, 3 or 4 (of a 5 year degree) you can apply.

More information on MyCareerHub

Closing date is 8 March.  If you need feedback on applications, use our online resources including CV360 and application advice.

Funding for summer projects

I have had quite a few recent questions around this recently so thought I’d highlight some key sources and thank my colleague Deborah Fowlis for her suggestions.

Some organisations offer small bursaries to enable undergraduates to work in research during summer vacation. Successfully applying for your own funding looks impressive on your CV. Your first step should be asking the School and your potential supervisor if they can access/apply for any other funding on your behalf.

The University’s Academic Affairs Scholarships Sharepoint site highlights the Research Council’s EPSRC undergraduate vacation scholarships but closing date is quite soon (20 March) according to the EPSRC.

As well as the EPSRC one, the Sharepoint site flags up the College Vacation Scholarships. Closing date 27 March. College Scholarships are good for summer research funding. Find a potential supervisor and write a proposal yourself (often with help from the supervisor).

The Wellcome Trust offers what they call biomedical vacation scholarships. Details here show that physics is one of the eligible degrees although success may be more likely for those applicants doing research with some biophysical/biological aspect or context. The Wellcome Trust also offer opportunities in science policy.

The Carnegie Trust Vacation Scholarships is one to look out for. Closing date is past for this year but one to know about for next year

The Student Experience Grants from UoE are one-off contributions of up to £5,000 to support innovative projects that will “enhance students’ social, academic, intellectual, entrepreneurial, sporting or cultural development”. Summer lab research is eligible for funding (though you need to demonstrate the benefit to others) and any current student can apply. Twice yearly deadline

Finally, my Work Experience Resource for Physics and Astronomy students on MyCareerHub has more suggestions.

The Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations and offers funded summer placements at its three sites including at Edinburgh

For some funders you need to be second year or beyond in your degree. The bursaries are administered in myriad ways – sometimes it is YOU who applies once you have found a willing academic, sometimes it’s the participating academic .Sometimes you will have to come up with your own research proposal, but the academic will usually be willing to help (if you ask nicely). 

There is advice on the process of writing research proposals on the Prospects website (UK centred, aimed at PhD candidates – just need to scale it down a bit for undergrad projects) and also the Northwestern University website (USA centred, but same structure, and aimed at undergrad projects).