Usually my blogposts here are about topics that interest me (on Science, policy, equality and diversity etc.) and my own research.
Today I feel especially proud writing about my PhD student, Swetha. Swetha entered the UK ICT Pioneers competition of the EPSRC in the information overload category. She made a short film about her research work, which took her to the finals of the competition and was amongst only 15 chosen, with only 4 including her in her category. There she presented her work on a poster and explained it to a rather tough panel of judges drawn from EPSRC, companies like Hewlett Packard, Samsung and Facebook.
As a student only in her first year of PhD she was the youngest (in research age and stage of PhD). So this was a huge achievement. It has also spurred her onto believe in her own merit and that she can do great Science.
It was a lovely experience for me as a supervisor to attend the awards night and see my student feted and acknowledged.
Academia is a strange life: for a very long time we work hard to reach the lowest rung of this ladder (10+ years of study to finish postdoc and get a first faculty position in many cases). We are regarded as junior for so long that it is often not till much later when we supervise PhD students that the realization of the end of our student days dawns upon us.
Having one’s own students do well is the best possible way to realize I am no longer a student!! So my thanks to Swetha.