Graduate Student Society

What do we do?

  • Provide students with information and support, and help new students to settle in to their Ph D studies.
  • Discuss student issues with the Director.
  • Organise journal clubs, where students discuss areas of science in a friendly environment.
  • Invite active researchers in mitochondrial biology and medicine to speak at our meetings.
  • Propose speakers to the Unit's Seminar Committee for consideration for inclusion in the Unit's seminar programme, and host the agreed speakers.
  • Help to organise inter-institute student activities, with students at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, the Babraham Institute and the Hutchinson Cancer Cell Unit, including an annual student symposium, an annual banquet and joint journal clubs.
  • Organise social events such as formal dinners and trips to the theatre.

What some of our past graduate students say about life at the MBU:

Student life at the MBU is both hard work and a lot of fun. I undertook a project here as part of my undergraduate degree and enjoyed it so much I decided to stay for my Ph D as well. The MBU provides an excellent working environment and a plethora of opportunities to hear from fascinating speakers. I’ve enjoyed my first year immensely and much of the experience has been enhanced by the social side of student life at the MBU. The GSS has provided a great variety of activities that I’ve become engaged in. I’ve found these particularly useful in getting to know everyone and what kind of research they do, so when you have a particular problem you’ve always got someone to speak to on an informal basis. This year I've become a member of the GSS committee and am helping to organise even more events for the future. I’ve also been involved in the annual Cambridge Science Festival, an event that provides a great opportunity to communicate science with the general public.
James Birrell - Mitochondrial Complex I Research Group

I'm in my third year as a Ph D student at the MBU and I've found it to be a challenging but rewarding experience. It's a great place to do a Ph D: the Unit is small enough that you get to know everyone, but large enough that there's always someone who can help you if you need it. In particular, I think there is a lot of support from the other students. The GSS creates many opportunities to interact with and get to know other students, both in an academic setting and otherwise, and I've found this to be particularly useful. It's nice to know that there are other people you can chat to who are going through a similar experience, and it's also very helpful if you need help or advice from other groups.  Any student will tell you that a Ph D is not the easiest of things to do, but with support from my supervisor, and plenty of encouragement and interaction with the other members of the Unit, I've found it a lot easier to keep myself motivated and moving forward, even during the times when nothing seems to be working! I have really enjoyed my time here, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who was considering a Ph D.
Angela Logan - Mitochondrial Dysfunction Research Group