Graduate Student Association

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) actively contributes to student life and aims to maintain a social and supportive graduate student community within the department. The GSA is run by student volunteers, with a broad base of support among the group leaders, from the Head of Department, the Graduate Studies Administrator and Director of Graduate Studies.

The GSA encourages a social atmosphere within the department by organising regular games nights, coffee mornings, movie nights, and beer and pizza evenings, and also coordinates a number of academic events: termly lunch or cake clubs allow students to share their expertise by presenting on their research techniques, experience and findings in an informal setting, while GradShare events aim to provide students with insight into future career paths, both within and outside of academia. Over the last year we had exciting talks from science PhDs, many of them Dunn School alumni, who started careers in secondary school teaching, healthcare consultancy, science communication, and pharmaceutical research. Everyone in the department is warmly invited to these events, regardless of their role or job title.

In September 2017 we organised a ‘Future of Science’ all-day conference which was well supported by 180 people from a range of departments. The opening speaker was Sir John Walker, Nobel Laureate winner for discovery of the mechanism of creating ATP (an energy source within the body). Other speakers came from a wide variety of areas; from museums to policy and this made for lots of interesting discussions.

In September 2016, we organised the first Medical Sciences Careers Day in Oxford with high profile speakers representing a broad range of careers, including a panel discussion on the transition to postdoctoral research. It was attended by 150 students and postdocs from 23 departments and has already led to internships and job applications.

The final role of the GSA is to provide a support network for the students, and it therefore represents a place for them to voice their concerns in an informal environment and fully confidential manner.

The GSA can be contacted through the Dunn School GSA Facebook Group, or by emailing one of the current members:

President: Heather Jeffery

Deputy President: Scarlett Harris

Treasurer: Lisa Gartenmann

Athena Swan Representative: Ana Wallis

Welfare representative: Lucia Rampazzo

Social, Research and Careers Representatives: Ulrike Kuenzel, Mariya LobanovskaBernadeta DadonaiteDerek Xu, Giulia Pilla, John Nguyen, Thomas Beneke, Nividita Natarajan, Benjamin Dodsworth, Ines Alvarez Rodrigo, Philip Kruger

The GSA was founded by Patty Sachamitr in 2012, who was also the first president (2012-2014), followed by Jessica Valli (2014-2016), Mariya Lobanovska (2016-2017) and Heather Jeffery (since 2017).