Flow n Flux

Monthly Newsletter

By Kim Caris-Roberts
Flow n Flux
“BIG BROTHER HOUSE, THIS IS DAVINA, YOU ARE LIVE ON
CHANNEL 4, PLEASE DO NOT SWEAR!”

This month there really was only one place to begin. Each and every one of us at Flow n Flux wanted to acknowledge how scary the world seems right now, in the wake of the war in the Ukraine; watching war unfold can make us feel powerless and the range of emotions can be complex. We needed to acknowledge that.
Were there any ‘right words’ for the current climate? We concluded not.
We expressed and shared our concerns and we are thankful we have a safe space to do this.


We then began to explore March’s theme: Reality TV. Big Brother seemed to have been the most common first experience of the genre, mentioned a number of times in our individual offerings from the free-writing activity, which enabled interesting free association using 9 words to gently guide us in our flow.
“It’s always been my guilty pleasure”, a statement many of us identified with. Why guilty? We discussed the topics of ‘contestant’ exploitation, whether the burgeoning genre which shows no signs of slowing offers opportunities once unheard of to generations, we questioned does Reality TV alleviate any need for talent?, what constitutes reality TV? Perhaps one unexpected answer: Football.


Referring to The White Pube Podcast: The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, we
continued to explore our oft’ complicated relationship with this genre of TV. After much discussion one member proudly proclaimed “I am dropping my shame around
Reality TV: I love it!”.


Our last task was to create a Dragon’s Den-esque pitch for a new Reality TV show which embedded Feminist thought…Cue one group who pitched a plethora of misogyny offenders fighting it out for the opportunity to repent for their harms to cries of “In the pit! In the Pit!” that will forever echo in my ears every time I watch The Hunger Games.


For April we consider the questions of difference which have been
central to the way that the feminist movement articulates itself.
Specifically, we will explore difference among women, in particular,
along the lines of race, class and sexuality, as well as national and
geopolitical location. We will consider feminism, using Black feminism
as our centre, in order to look critically at the current cultural landscape.

Little Extras
April 1st-31st- Autism Awareness Month
April 1st-31st Stress Awareness Month
April 7th – World Health Day
April 25th-29th National Stalking Awareness Week
April 25th-1st May Lesbian Visibility Week

If you want to join FnF mailing list, please email:
flownflux@gmail.com

Call for Articles – Dandelion Journal Special Issue on Intersectionality

A core component of critical race theory, the term intersectionality was coined by American lawyer and academic Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1991 to describe the “multidimensionality” of the Black woman’s experience.

It describes how an individual’s different identities – such as gender identity, race, class, etc – intersect and overlap to create compound, interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. For example, a white woman may experience misogyny and a Black man may experience racism, but a Black woman will experience both misogyny and racism. All three experience discrimination – and, consequently, disadvantaged – but in different forms and to varying degrees.

This special issue of Dandelion Journal asks what role intersectional identities have in the arts (e.g. film, television, journalism, poetry, fine art, photography, literature, etc.), and how they impact on the production, sale and distribution of art/media objects around the world.

  • What impact do intersectional identities have on – and within – the arts, if any?
  • What can we learn from studying lived experiences in the arts through an intersectional lens?
  • How can we approach, understand and/or evaluate decision-making processes in the arts from an intersectional perspective?

We invite postgraduate research students to consider and respond to these questions within their specific disciplines and research foci, and to look forward towards a decolonised future within the arts.

Potential topics for exploration include, but are not limited to:

  • The decolonised newsroom.
  • Intersectional migration narratives.
  • Locating Black women in the history of art.
  • Intersectionality in fiction – contemporary and historical.
  • Decolonising galleries and museums.
  • Intersectionality in contemporary and historical fiction.
  • Language, identity and resistance.
  • Intersectional poetry.
  • Film and television – intersectionality on camera and behind the scenes.
  • The intersectional writer’s room (television).

Articles should be 2000 to 2500 words long. We would also be interested in publishing short works of speculative fiction between 1000 and 3000 words on the theme of intersectionality in the arts. You may also submit works of poetry or visual art pieces, accompanied by a critical reflection on your work of no more than 1500 words. We are happy to take any questions and discuss ideas with interested authors prior to the submission deadline.

Please send completed submissions to nsmith22@student.bbk.ac.uk before 1st June 2022, including a 50-word author biography and a 200-300 word abstract. All referencing and style is required in MHRA format as a condition of publication, and submitted articles should be academically rigorous and ready for immediate publication. Complete instructions for submission can be found at www.dandelionjournal.org.

British Federation of Women Graduates Academic Awards for women doctoral students

Applications for British Federation of Women Graduates Academic Awards are now being sought. The Awards are made to women doctoral students who will be in, or going into, their third year (or part time equivalent) of work for a research PhD/DPhil etc. in the autumn of 2022.
Awards are, in effect, one off prizes varying in value from £1,000 to £6,000 and are given for outstanding academic excellence coupled with written and verbal communication skills. For further details please go to:
www.bfwg.org.uk
and look up under ‘Awards/Scholarships’ where more information, including criteria for eligibility, can be found.


Closing date for applications is:
5pm on Friday 4th March 2022

BRITISH FEDERATION OF WOMEN GRADUATES
RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS DAY

Saturday 14th May 2022
10.30am – 4.00pm
At BFWG HQ: 4 Mandeville Courtyard, 142 Battersea Park Road,
London SW11 4NB

The RPD is when BFWG invites doctoral students to present their research to a general audience. Last year we were had to hold the Day as a ‘virtual’ event due to the pandemic. We hope that it will be possible to hold the Day in person this year and we invite postgraduate students to submit abstracts of their research for consideration. Abstract forms will be available on the BFWG website: www.bfwg.org.uk

Are you a postgraduate woman student? Do you have research you would like to present to a discerning audience – and have the chance of winning a small prize of £120 for the best presentation to a general audience? Or would you like to join with us, just to meet and listen to other postgraduate women students presenting their research? Our Research Presentations Day (RPD) offers these opportunities. Past attendees, both presenters and audience, have found the Day thoroughly enjoyable and helpful in developing presentation skills. If you think you would like to submit an abstract please look at BFWG webpages www.bfwg.org.uk or contact rpd@bfwg.org.uk for further details. Closing date for applications is: March 31st 2022
All -students, academics, anyone else interested (male or female) – are welcome to attend as audience. Lunch is included and there is a door charge of £10 but no charge for bona fide students whether attending as presenters or as audience.

Windsor Fellowship opportunities – studentship and internship

Syncona PhD Scholarship 2021-2025

Syncona is a FTSE 250 healthcare company focused on creating global leaders in life sciences. We operate as a hands-on venture capital, working closely with world class scientists to found, build and scale companies with the aim of delivering transformational treatments to patients. We invest in all therapeutic modalities (e.g., small molecules, antibodies, nucleic acid therapies) and currently have 11 companies in our portfolio that are developing therapies to treat diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders, metabolic disorders and inherited diseases. In parallel to supporting our portfolio companies, we are also constantly looking for the next breakthroughs in science and medicine and remain actively engaged with the academic and clinician communities.

Overview

Syncona are offering one PhD scholarship available to students conducting their doctoral research within Life Sciences at an accredited UK university. The scholarships are aimed at those from a Black African, Black Caribbean or Mixed Black heritage to support diversifying the talent pipeline in the sector.

Offer
  • Funding to cover
    • PhD fees at the home / UK rate
    • Maintenance stiped of £18,000 per annum for up to three years (£19,500 for Universities inside London)
    • Materials, consumables and running expenses up to £3,000 per annum for up to three years
  • Mentoring support from senior Syncona staff
  • Pastoral support from a Windsor Fellowship Mentor
  • Paid internship for six months with Syncona in the fourth year. This will include some dedicated time for writing up your PhD thesis if necessary.
  • Windsor Fellowship Leadership Programme in the fourth year of the programme

Eligibility
  • From a Black African, Black Caribbean or Mixed Black heritage
  • Secured a Full Time PhD programme for 2021 entry within Life Sciences
  • Have the right to work in the UK (Syncona will not be able to offer visa sponsorship)

Apply
  • Complete an online application
  • Stage 1 – Interview with the Windsor Fellowship between 12-14 July
  • Stage 2 – Final interview with Syncona on either 22 or 23 July
  • Stage 3 – Offers August 2021

If you have any questions about the opportunity please email scholarships@windsor-fellowship.org

Syncona Internship 2021 

Syncona is a FTSE 250 healthcare company focused on creating global leaders in life sciences. We operate as a hands-on venture capital, working closely with world class scientists to found, build and scale companies with the aim of delivering transformational treatments to patients. We invest in all therapeutic modalities (e.g., small molecules, antibodies, nucleic acid therapies) and currently have 11 companies in our portfolio that are developing therapies to treat diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders, metabolic disorders and inherited retinal disorders. In parallel to supporting our portfolio companies, we are also constantly looking for the next breakthroughs in science and medicine and remain actively engaged with the academic and clinician communities.

Overview

During this internship, the individual will take part in Syncona’s full operating rhythm, attend internal meetings and be exposed to all new investment opportunities explored by the team. The individual will work closely with experienced members of the team to develop Syncona’s investment strategy in specific biological, technological and clinical areas of interest, as well as contribute to the diligence of active new opportunities. Examples of currently active opportunities include novel antibody-based therapies for auto-immune diseases, cell therapies for cancer and novel nucleic acid therapies for metabolic disorders.

Experience

We are looking for applicants who have a passion for science and a desire to learn, as well as be excited by the opportunity to contribute to the development of novel life changing therapies. Syncona operates in a very dynamic and demanding environment and the successful applicant will be expected to behave as a member of the Syncona team and collaborate with other members, be proactive, and be able to work independently. The intern will be paired with a Syncona team member who will be their buddy and provide guidance. We  want to make sure that this experience is as fulfilling as possible and will therefore work with the individual to agree on the areas of focus prior to the beginning of the internship.

Location: London (Syncona office and/or remote, depending on COVID-19 restrictions)

Timing: 6 months full time, from August/September 2021

Salary:  £34,000 p.a., (pro rata £17,000 for six months)

Eligibility
  • From a Black African, Black Caribbean or Mixed Black heritage
  • Have the right to work in the UK (Syncona will not be able to offer visa sponsorship)
  • Doctorate degree graduate and excellent academic record in biological sciences or a related (sub-) discipline
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Enthusiasm, entrepreneurial drive and a genuine desire to learn

Apply
  • Apply via online application form by Monday 5 July 2021 at 9am (BST)
  • Shortlisted candidates will have an interview with the Windsor Fellowship between 12-14 July
  • Final interview with Syncona on either 22 or 23 July

If you have any questions please email scholarships@windsor-fellowship.org 

Gender Equality in Research – Learning from Portugal

Webinar banner

Register here

Together with European project MINDtheGEPs and a distinguished panel from Portugal, the EU institutions and the research community, we will deep dive into Portugal’s performance on equality, discuss what more the EU could do to deliver a gender balanced research system and consider how the gender equality implementation plans will be rolled out in Europe’s research and innovation framework.

The discussion on Wednesday 16th June will be divided in two sessions; the first, starting at 10:00 CEST, will examine the reasons behind Portugal’s success and how it could be replicated across Europe, with questions to representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Portuguese Government and the research community. The second session, starting at 11:35 CEST, will bring together established members of the research community to discuss how gender equality can be realised in practice through strategic interventions and implementation of gender equality plans. The event brings together the following speakers:

Session 1 on policy, moderated by Elizabeth Crossick, Head of EU Government Relations, RELX:
– Rosa Monteiro, Secretary of State for Citizenship & Equality, Portugal
– Ramona Strugariu, Member of European Parliament, Renew Europe
– Lesia Radelicki, Member of Cabinet of the Equality Commissioner, Helena Dalli
– Prof Analia Torres, Director CIEG, Centre of Gender Studies, Lisbon University
– Federica Rosetta, Vice President Academic & Research Relations EU, Elsevier

Session 2 on policy in practice, moderated by Claudio Colaiacomo, Vice President Academic Relations, Elsevier:
– Mina Stareva, Head of Sector Gender, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission
– Prof Maria Chiara Carrozza, President CNR (National Research Council, Italy)
– Prof Stefano Geuna, Rector Magnificus, Torino University, Italy
– Anna Wahl, Vice President Gender Equality & Values, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology)Time

Women & the Climate Crisis Symposium

Call for proposals

The Birkbeck Students’ Union Women’s Network, in partnership with the SU Environment Society, the Birkbeck Unison Environmental Representative and the Birkbeck UCU Environmental Officer, is organising a symposium to hear from women researchers on the climate crisis, to be held at Birkbeck in early 2021. 

Proposals for papers from researchers in any discipline are encouraged – we want to hear about the innovative and unique ways you can contribute to this discussion, especially those who are not traditionally given space in discussions about the environment but have meaningful contributions to make. 

Topics

To that end, scholars are invited to submit papers on any subject relating to the climate crisis, with a focus on proactive solutions.  

Topics may include but are not limited to:  

  • Feminism/gender & the climate crisis  
  • Intersectional environmentalism  
  • Politics & the climate crisis  
  • Race & the climate crisis  
  • Climate change & the law  
  • Media/journalism & the climate crisis  
  • LGBTQIA+ issues & the climate crisis  
  • Technological approaches to the climate crisis  
  • Ethical investments  
  • Neoliberalism & the climate crisis 
  • Environmental activism 

Length: Individual paper abstracts should be no longer than 500 words. Papers which require the distribution of pre-prepared materials, such as drafts, videos, podcasts, posters, etc, will also be accepted.  

Deadline

Proposals should be sent to naomi.smith2@bbk.ac.uk, no later than 31 January 2021

LGBT History Month and International Women’s Day

For LGBT+ History Month in February and International Women’s Day in March, the Access and Engagement Department is looking for two Birkbeck PhD candidates or early career researchers to deliver an accessible public lecture or workshop for an audience with little to no experience of Higher Education. If you are interested in doing this please get in contact by 12 February.

Our public lecture series, Get Started: Big Ideas, was previously delivered in Stratford Library, in collaboration with Newham Council. Through the pandemic we have been delivering the talks on Zoom and broadcasting using YouTube live.

The themes this year are ‘Body, Mind, Spirit’ (for LGBT History Month) and ‘Gender Equality in Eudcation’ (for International Women’s Day), so we will be looking for pitches that take these themes into account.

WHO? 
We’re looking for Birkbeck academics, particularly PhD students and early career researchers, whose research touches on topics relevant to LGBT+ History Month or International Women’s Day.

WHAT? 
Our audience consists of people with no experience of Higher Education, or those who have had a long break since their last HE experience. With that in mind, we will work closely with the academic to ensure the lecture is accessible to these audiences. More information on our department’s work.

We are open to pitches of lectures (roughly 20 minutes in length), workshops, virtual walks, or other formats that you feel would be engaging. This would usually be followed by a Q&A.

PAYMENT 
We are able to pay PhD candidates or academics who are not on full-time contracts. The pay is at spine point 31 (£21.15 per hour) and we would usually allow for 2 hours’ prep time and 1 hour delivery. In this case we will also be adding 1 hour to allow for familiarising yourself with any software needed. Please do get in touch if you have a proposal which would exceed the allotted time.

If you have any questions, please drop us a line at getstarted@bbk.ac.uk

Strategies and support for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour in ecology and evolutionary biology

The article below is written from the point of view of PhD students in the United States. It describes the experiences of Black, Indigenous and people of colour within a particular field of research but it is an informative framework to consider issues of importance for postgraduate researchers in other disciplines and for the wider postgraduate research community.

Click here to view article from the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution (July 2020)