Minutes from QSF Monthly Meetings

ISF meeting minutes 14/12/16

Present: Samuel Ellis (SE), Andrew Bell (AB), Chris Pyatt (CP), Aleena Mushtaq (AM)

Apologies: Oliver Charity (OC), Tom Wight (TW)

Handover update

a. Chair: No budget files, OC should have information from Sophie Prosolek, these files will be obtained by SE before the next meeting
b. Vice-chair: absent. AB reported TW has had problems with the ISF E-mail, which has been reported to computing
c. Secretary: nothing to report
d. Events Officer: nothing to report
e. Training Officer: absent
f. Engagement Officer: no meeting with previous engagement officer yet but this will be done soon

Budget and treasurer

a. Update on current budget plan: see above; OC should have budgets but is not present. SE: the available funds (£3,000?) have been budgeted for this committee cycle to October/November ’17 by the previous committee. CP noted that the cost of the last knowledge exchange trip was £4,000 alone but a contribution to this was made from the Roger Fenwick fund and from Paul Kroon’s budget. The budget will be re-planned at the January meeting when all information is available
b. Student Seminars: can cost upwards of £150 for catering and costs could total £1,800 for the year. It was agreed that this is a significant proportion of the budget and savings could be made (if needed) by changing to coffee and cake instead of lunch or looking at other catering options. Potential changes to the seminar structure will be discussed with the training officer at the next meeting
c. Assign treasurer: Decision to be made as to whether we have an assigned treasurer, or jointly manage the budget. AB volunteered if we choose to assign a treasurer. To be discussed with the budget planning in January

ISF computing access and use of ISF notice boards

a. Computing access: AM has been away so has not had chance to set up access to the ISF e-mail account or shared folder yet, SE to send appropriate links and information. TW E-mail connectivity problems reported to computing
b. Noticeboard: We have a noticeboard! It is underused. Meeting minutes will normally be printed and placed on the board and there is a poster of the committee. Suggestions and ideas about what to use the noticeboard for are welcomed.

Relevant information from GSE meeting attended by SE

a. Supervisor prize: other NBI student committees are considering introducing a ‘best’ supervisor prize to be awarded at their ASM, IFR is not directly involved but we could introduce something similar at the student showcase.
i. CP; relating to the JIC ASM: IFR students can submit posters to the JIC ASM, however typically only 1 or 2 are submitted. AB suggested that 1st and 2nd year students will have to prepare posters for the student showcase and should be encouraged to take them to the ASM.
b. Probation: GSO are happy with pass/fail rate being similar to that of systems at UEA, they are however aware of issues raised by students from the last round of probation reviews. Improved mandatory training and intranet guidance for assessors and students will give more clear information on what is required as well as encourage an attitude of constructive feedback rather than a pass/fail attitude which can be unnerving for students.
c. Other:
i. Student committees will be informed directly of new starters by GSO to allow events to be organised in advance (particularly relevant for students who do not start in October)
ii. GSO will encourage greater consideration for student welfare if supervisors wish to leave the institute
iii. Buddy systems will now be organised by GSO and will be set up prior to new student arrivals to help with information on moving to the area etc.
iv. David Evans has been appointed as the new DTP director and will start in May. David received high praise from students involved in the appointment process
v. Non-UK (and non-EU after Brexit) external assessors for vivas will now need to get work permits to be able to assess vivas of UEA students
vi. Scrapping of PPD points is being considered at UEA as the system does not work well across all schools (particularly humanities). However, it works well for science and PPD or a similar system is likely to be kept at NBI

Any concerns or comments about information coming from the GSE can be reported to the ISF


a. DTP interviews: to take place at the beginning of January with 12 DTP and 1 iCASE project available at IFR. Tours are usual provided by current students but no request has been made to the ISF at the moment. Students have been asked by Kelly Gibbons to give a short presentations to students and to go to talk to applicants waiting for interviews
b. New starters: No new IFR students in January, possibly 1 in March
c. Meetings requiring ISF attendance: SE has a list and will delegate accordingly
d. Handover meal: will be planned in January

Regular meeting date/time

a. It was agreed that meetings should take place monthly at lunchtime. AB will organise regular meetings beginning in January

New name for Quadram move

a. The ISF will be re-branded to coincide with the IFR formally changing to the Quadram Institute. The new name and logo will likely need to follow guidelines, SE will get conformation of what these guidelines are before the next meeting. These will be discussed by the committee in January and most likely we will ask for student suggestions followed by a vote with a prize for the winner!


a. Action points: SE requested that agreed actions points be confirmed at meetings and reviewed at the beginning of the following meeting. These will be summarised in an E-mail by AB and sent to the committee, they will also be included in the minutes
b. Website: Like the Noticeboard the ISF website is underused. The committee feel that the rebranding would be a good time to redesign the website and suggestions for how it should be used are welcomed. Current suggestions include: blogs from students (does not have to be science related) and uploading meeting agendas and minutes. To encourage greater usage, the website can be linked in E-mail signatures of ISF members once it has been updated.

Agreed actions points

– get budget files and information from Oli
– Confirm requirements for new ISF name and logo with Andy Chapple so we can start designs in the new year

– Obtain login details for relevant ISF webpages (Facebook, twitter etc…)

– Set up regular meeting date from January

– Check ISF E-mail and shared folder access, report any problems to Sam/computing.

ISF meeting minutes 10/01/17

Present: Samuel Ellis (SE), Andrew Bell (AB), Aleena Mushtaq (AM), Oliver Charity (OC), Tom Wight (TW)

Apologies: Chris Pyatt (CP),

Updates on agreed action points

– Get budget files and information from Oli. AB and SE spoke to Paul Kroon (budget holder) and got necessary information (see budget section below)
– Confirm requirements for new ISF name and logo with Andy Chapple so we can start designs in the New Year. Guidelines should now be available, SE to follow up with Andy Chapple
– Obtain login details for relevant ISF webpages (Facebook, twitter etc…) Website and twitter updated with the new ISF members, login details to be circulated to ISF members
– Set up regular meeting date from January. Regular meeting date of the first Tuesday of each month agreed
– Check ISF E-mail and shared folder access, report any problems to Sam/computing. No further issues

Budget and treasurer

a. Update on current budget plan: Following AB/SE’s meeting with Paul Kroon it was established that a budget of £6,000 is available running from April-April each year. £4,000 of the budget remains for this year, however, the trip to Ireland has not yet been taken out. Once this happens there should still be enough remaining in the budget to continue with the current spending plan until April as only student seminars need to be paid for from the budget. Once the new budget becomes available we will plan the spending and AB will become the treasurer.
 Student Seminars: Student seminars can be continued in current format until April. In April, when the new budget is discussed, the format of student seminars will be discussed. Previously the seminars were funded by IFR and not the ISF, at a cost of up to £1,800 a year, the current format may not fit into the budget. Cheaper alternatives include coffee and cake seminars instead of lunch or finding alternative catering arrangements

Careers training for postgraduates

OC will attend a meeting to discuss the current training available for postgraduates. The main issue to be raised from the IFS is raising awareness of all courses available to IFR/NRP students, particularly courses run at UEA. One option is to reinstate ISF training bulletins which would be sent to students on a monthly basis to highlight useful and relevant training opportunities. Outcomes from the meeting will be reported and discussed at the next ISF meeting

New name and logo for Quadram move

Guidelines for the design of a new name and logo for the ISF should now be available from Andy Chapple. The new name will be agreed by ISF members within a week, and once cleared by comms the new name will be revealed along with a competition to design a new logo. The competition prize will be a £20 amazon voucher and deadline for entries will be before the February meeting. At the meeting the winning entry will be selected (with input from Andy Chapple).
With the new name and branding in place we can begin work on re-designing the website (see AOB)


a. Website: The website is currently underused and in need of a makeover, it is also difficult to access. The communications team are happy to help with re-designing the website and making it more easily accessible from the main IFR/quadram page. Ideas for the website currently include: Blogs about publications/projects/public engagement, addition of anonymous feedback facility
b. Wednesday Seminars: Some of the institute seminars may be moved to Wednesday afternoon, OC will confirm this, if this occurs there is currently no time set aside for students meeting with speaker. Afternoon Tea could be an option
c. Attendance at student events: Attendance at student lunches has been decreasing. Usually very few students attend unless the seminar is directly related to a group who actively encourage their students to attend. We could encourage and record attendance, and where it’s clear people aren’t making an effort to engage we can pass the information on to supervisors or GSO
d. Handover meal: Handover meal to be organised in the next week by AM

Agreed actions points

 Find out more information about Wednesday afternoon seminar slots (frequency and whether a student lunch / afternoon tea can be organised for them)
 Branding guidelines for name and logo
 Suggest new names for the ISF moving to quadram
 Set up competition for the design of the new logo

Aleena / Tom
 Doodle poll, organisation and booking of the handover meal
ISF meeting minutes 14/02/17

Present: Samuel Ellis (SE), Andrew Bell (AB), Aleena Mushtaq (AM), Oliver Charity (OC), Tom Wight (TW)

Apologies: Chris Pyatt (CP),

Updates on agreed action points

 Find out more information about Wednesday afternoon seminar slots (frequency and whether a student lunch / afternoon tea can be organised for them) Most Seminars will remain on Thursdays
 Branding guidelines for name and logo Sam has them now
 Suggest new names for the ISF moving to quadram QSF chosen
 Set up competition for the design of the new logo competition was set up

Aleena / Tom
 Doodle poll, organisation and booking of the handover meal done


a. Logo completion judging: 2 entries have been submitted so far we can push for more entries before meeting next week to judge the competition. Sam will find out ~Andy Chapple’s availability and arrange a meeting. Sam will also discuss getting the prize money signed off from the budget by Paul Kroon
b. PGSU NBI rep: This position was previously held by Sophie due to her previous links and experiences with UEA. She is happy to continue or to be partly involved in the role if we think this role should stay within an NBI student committee. Tom and Aleena volunteered to take over the role and Tom will contact Sophie to discuss how the work will be divided
c. GSE suggestions: Sam to make GSE aware of the upcoming Student Showcase event at IFR to encourage students from across NBI to attend.


a. Training bulletin: To be reinstated to keep students aware of upcoming training events, particularly those at UEA which can easily be missed. Awareness of any events should be communicated to Oli so they can be placed in the next bulletin.
b. Blog / website: Sam is speaking to Andy Chapple about the website redesign at which time blogs can be restarted and actively promoted.

Agreed action points

 Talk to Paul to sort logo comp prize
 Judging of logo competition
ISF meeting minutes 14/03/17

Present: Samuel Ellis (SE), Andrew Bell (AB), Aleena Mushtaq (AM), Oliver Charity (OC), Tom Wight (TW)

Apologies: Chris Pyatt (CP),

Updates on agreed action points

 Talk to Paul to sort logo comp prize done
 Judging logo competition done and professional logo paid for


a. GSE feedback: GSO to be more involved with student mentors, there is a preference for instates to match new students with current (preferably first year) students. It is hoped that these can be set up much earlier moving forward so that mentors can help with issues prior to arrival such as housing and life in Norwich. The ISF comitee agreed with this, Sam to feedback to next GSO meeting.
Thesis writing: papers cannot be used as a chapter. If it is a first author paper it can be included if re-written or as an appendix.
GSO are working on new guidelines for self plagiarism
Probation training: feedback has been good, however, in future it will be brought forward to before the first interim meeting.
So far IFR have 9 confirmed new PhD starters for October.
b. All student meeting: This is an NBI wide student meeting taking place quarterly. IFR is due to host the next meeting at the beginning of April. Everyone on the committee should aim to attend and think of discussion points.

Knowledge exchange trip

Planning for the annual trip should begin shortly, an E-mail will be sent to ask for people to volunteer to form an organising committee


The committee agree that the move to the QI is an ideal time to re-purpose and re-design the ISF website. Andy Walker is responsible and keen to begin interactions. Everything should be re-branded to QSF. Hopefully the ISF website can be made more accessible from the main institute web pages.


There is poor attendance at student lunches for seminar speakers. Oli wil send an information E-mail to encourage greater attendance.
Now that student seminars come out of our budget it was agreed that it is too expensive to continue the current full lunch seminars. An afternoon coffee/tea/cake style will be trialled. All due to the increasing size of each year it may be worth starting to do 2 speakers per session, the current year is filled so this will be implemented from next year.

Agreed action points

 Organise all student meeting
 Knowledge exchange sub-committee
QSF meeting minutes 11/04/17

Present: Samuel Ellis (SE), Andrew Bell (AB), Chris Pyatt (CP), Oliver Charity (OC), Tom Wight (TW)

Apologies: Aleena Mushtaq (AM)

Updates on agreed action points

 Organise all student meeting
 Knowledge exchange sub-committee


a. GSE agenda item: Think of items that need to be taken to GSE forward suggestion to Sam
b. Agenda items for all-student meeting: Forward any suggestions to Sam, the other student committees have also been asked.
c. Terms of reference: Has been updated, committee members to check and approve.

Knowledge exchange trip

Raymond and Jess have volunteered along with Chris (as events officer). A meeting with Britt who organised lasts year’s event will be made to go over the requirements. Initially we need to decide where to go and how many people we can afford to take.

Easter Social

The event was well received. The total cost of the event was £380 with £300 funded by UEA. The remaining £80 will be split between the student committees. The IFR share will be ~ £25.

Student seminar format

The lunch for the next seminar has been ordered already so the following seminar (AB) will be the first trial of Tea/Coffee/Cake style seminar. To evaluate numbers etc… This change would dramatically cut costs which can be put towards other events eg. Away day, Knowledge exchange trip.


Tom is leaving IFR. And will therefore need to be replaced on the committee. Sam to send E-mail for nominations.
ISF meeting minutes 09/05/17

Present: Samuel Ellis (SE), Andrew Bell (AB), Chris Pyatt (CP), Oliver Charity (OC), Jessica Garnett (JG)
Aleena Mushtaq (AM)

Updates on agreed action points

 E-mail for QSF vacancy E-mail was sent, JG applied (see below)
 Knowledge exchange sub-committee meeting meeting was held with 2 of 3 organisers (see below)
 Easter social payments Tom was reimbursed


a. GSE meeting: Student mentors are to be assigned by QSF committee, SE waiting for a list of students. Students will be paired with the newest students.
A summer graduation event will be held at NBI following the UEA graduation of PhD students
GSE are still welcoming probation feedback to implement next year
JIC have held a wellbeing event for JIC students only (due to funding). This has gone down well and a formalised institute wide event is being planned.
b. Minutes reporting: Minutes are not currently circulated amongst all students, options include E-mailing all students or placing the minutes on the website once fully set up.

QSF website and Social media

– Most references to ISF have been updated to QSF, if any are found please report SE.
– Still difficult to find, AM to E-mail Andy Chapple to improve this
– Social media accounts have also been updated

Knowledge exchange trip

Meeting was held between CP and Raymond (RK). JG was absent. Options of destinations were discussed including Rohit institute in Aberdeen, Berlin and Munich. A meeting with all three committee members will be arranged by CP to agree upon a destination and being planning.

Committee Vacancy

JG will take over as social secretary with CP becoming Vice-chair. SE to get JG access to QSF E-mail accounts etc…
AM will make a new committee slide


Coffee and cake will be trialled for the next student seminar.
QSF meeting minutes – 13th June 2017
Attending: SE, CP, OC, AM
Apologies: JG, AB

1. Previous Actions
– KET Sub-meetings – CP reports meeting was held in last month with JG, CP and Raymond Kiu attending, details to be discussed in section 3
– Update social media to QSF – AM reports all social media updated to QSF, and link to student forum websites made more prominent on QI website
– Provide JG with student forum access – completed as far as attendees are aware

2. Update from Chair
– Buddy System – SE reports still no word from GSE regarding when we will be given details of new starters to match up with buddies. Will be checked at next GSE meeting

3. Events
– KET update – CP reports good progress in initial enquiries for KET, with contact being made with University of Potsdam, via Dr Michael Blaut (German Institute of Human Nutrition). Also, will attempt to engage with any student representation / committees there. Working plan is for trip around 11th September, approximately 10 students. Additional sites around Berlin considered, with Aberdeen also a backup option
– Additional Events – SE suggested thinking about ideas for summer BBQ and away day prior to next meeting

4. Training
– Microbiology Society – SE raised idea of collaborating with Microbiology Society to hold careers or training event. OC approved of possibility, both will consider ideas
– Fellowship training – SE and CP discussed whether more fellowship training could be suggested for NBI training and development. SE to raise at GSE meeting, OC also to look into options

5. Engagement
– Blogs – SE suggested a new push for student blogs now that student forum website is updated to QSF. AM to promote opportunity to students

6. AOB
– Quadram Working Environment Group – OC raised that QWEG were looking for student representatives. All agreed that a QSF member in the group would be useful, AM volunteered for position


• KET sub-committee to hold more meetings and continue work on KET organisation
• AM to promote blog submission and join QWEG
• SE and OC to look at opportunities for Microbiology Society event and fellowship training


QSF meeting minutes 18/07/17

Present: Samuel Ellis (SE), Andrew Bell (AB), Chris Pyatt (CP), Jessica Garnett (JG), Aleena Mushtaq (AM)

Apologies: Oliver Charity (OC)

Updates on agreed action points

 JG QSF access done
 Knowledge exchange trip progress (see below)
 AM blog and QWEG next meeting


a. Minutes sharing: Minutes from QSF meeting will be uploaded to the website. Any errors should be reported to AB ASAP so a corrected version can be uploaded
GSE are still welcoming probation feedback to implement next year
JIC have held a wellbeing event for JIC students only (due to funding). This has gone down well and a formalised institute wide event is being planned.
b. GSE notes: Terms of reference sent to the new UEA student committee as a guideline of what we do.
The student buddy system for new PhD students has been delayed due to confidentiality concerns following the recent breach at UEA. GSO will either have to get consent from each new starter for information to be shared or partner buddies themselves without QSF input.
New plagiarism guidelines have been published by GSO, and sent to final year students. SE to send to all students for information.
There were no probation failures this year across NBI. Feedback has also been positive. AB reported that some QIB students have had problems when UEA staff were used as probation assessors due to slightly different system at UEA. SE to report back to GSO.
UEA student support drop in sessions are likely to happen in the near future.
BREXIT: students starting in 2016-2017 have guaranteed fees. Moving forward it is unclear whether students from EU countries will be required to pay ‘home fees’ or ‘foreign fees’.
Official leave recording for NBI students is likely to be brought in. This will probably use the e-vision system. GSO and QSF think that this will not only ensure students don’t take too much holiday, but may also make students realise that occasionally they do need to take time off.

Knowledge exchange trip

6 people have been confirmed as attending the trip to Berlin. With another 2 at least likely to confirm shortly.
JG to E-mail all students to say places are available.
Hannah Wooley will help JG with booking travel and accommodation.
Paul Kroon will help with any late drop outs.
The KET committee will meet this week to discuss inclusion of a second institute.

BBQ and away day ideas

QSF summer BBQ event will be advertised shortly for the 24th August by JG.
NBI summer party will be an under the sea theme. Traditionally not many QI students attend so the contribution QSF has made has been based on the number attendees. JG will find out a per person price at the next organiser meeting for the NBI party.


New committee photo will be uploaded to the website. AM to take official photos from QI website.