Students who would like to go to a conference might apply for reimbursement of the conferences fee. They need to send their request to Chiara Robbiano, in which they specify how attending this conference fits in living out their Liberal Arts and Sciences vision at UCU.
An enthusiastic mail from a UCU student who attended the annual neuroscience symposium at Cambridge University with the focus “Neural Networks in Health and Disease” (September 2017)
Last weekend I returned from the symposium I attended at Cambridge. It took me a while to write this email since I needed to get back on track, plus I wanted to organize my thoughts beforehand [i.e. I had to let my excitement wind down, so that I could write something that was not the word fantastic over and over].
To start out, I can only say that the entire experience was amazing. It was such a wonderful thing to be able to hear all those scientists talk about their most current research. Of course, some talks were too removed from my current level of knowledge for me to fully understand them. Nonetheless, it was a great exercise to constantly try to at least get their global message. (It was also a bit of a relief to hear other attendees say that they found them difficult too, if the topic was very new to them).
However, I still found most talks accessible, and I really cannot describe how stimulating it was to learn about brain networks in a research domain different than the one I am used to. This really tickled my curiosity and made me want to be able to start 5 other theses (or wish that I had more hours in a day to read all those amazing papers).
I also loved talking to graduate students at the poster session. It made their research quite accessible and allowed me to grasp concepts I had previously struggled with (as the students were often very enthusiastic about explaining their projects). This part was a lot of fun!
To me, the highlight of the symposium, was to be able to a talk with a couple of researchers whose work I adore. They were super approachable and we spoke for over an hour. They even gave me some advice on what steps to take in the future in order to pursue a PhD. It was nice to be reminded that those whom I look up to are also human (which I tend to forget when reading their work).
I also managed to end up having a dinner with a bunch of PhD students who shared their experiences with me. This gave me a little more of information on what to expect for my future, which was quite comforting.
Again, I am super grateful for this little scholarship (not sure if I can call It that). This was a deeply valuable experience to me.
Many, many thanks!