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After accepting a faculty position in , the Reaxys PhD programme offered a travel award for club members to get together for a research exchange.


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Thus, I got in touch with Dr Miyamura and his mentor, Dr Shu Kobayashi, and we arranged for a visit where I would travel to Tokyo and learn specific techniques about the synthesis and characterisation of both the nanoparticle catalysts and the polymers used in their synthesis. I also made excellent friends and solidified contacts and collaborators that will continue to benefit my research for years to come. The trip also gave me a valuable insight into Japanese education and culture, and I got to see the similarities and differences in the way that research groups are run in the United States and Japan.

These experiences have influenced the way that I run my research group today. For example, I found his research into using oxidants in synthetic chemistry fascinating. More generally, the ability to swap experience and knowledge with a peer is always something to jump at. As David has shown, something you learned several years ago can provide a vital insight in the present day.

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As a result, I have been able to develop a much more rounded view of the chemistry and research industries, which in turn helps me to develop a greater understanding of my own work. He was so motivated by what he experienced in our laboratory, and brought back a significant amount of research that he has since expanded on; and that has subsequently shown us how to start to tackle completely new research and development.

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For instance, he recently published a very interesting paper based in part on his work that began with us, which has in turn helped inform our own research and given us new ideas to explore. This was so great. Instead, I think it has been a chance to encounter new knowledge and cultures, and to develop new things that I could not accomplish by myself. These connections not only provide advice about how to do experiments and what experiments are valuable, they can also provide critical feedback about early publications, or the design of early experiments.

New research groups also have limited resources and personnel, and collaborators can provide support and resources instruments, analysis and so on that are not otherwise available. Generally, the ability to travel, meet others, network and greatly expand your knowledge in this way is something that happens later in a research career.

By doing it while we were still PhD students, we could get a huge advantage not only in terms of social contacts, but in being exposed to potential new fields of research and making valuable connections. The ability to make such connections is something that students should always aim to take advantage of, no matter their discipline, as otherwise they might not have another chance for several years.

Work culture in higher ed?

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March 25 Share on twitter Share on facebook Share on linkedin Share on whatsapp Share on mail. Why did you seek new perspectives from someone with a different cultural experience or academic background? What have you learned from one another?


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  • How did the partnership benefit the outcomes of your work? Have there been any difficulties working with a partner overseas? Stigma, reluctance to seek help for mental health needs, and cultural mistrust of mental health professionals among students of color are barriers that often lead them to suffer in silence. In fact, a disparity in seeking counseling services exists between students of color and white students—students of color are half as likely as their white counterparts to seek help.

    The Steve Fund has focused its efforts on reducing the risks that students of color face and removing the barriers to seeking help, before, during, and after college. In the past few years, a number of organizations and universities have developed programs and resources that focus on the mental health and emotional well-being of the student of color population. Examples of programs, some of which are in partnership with the Steve Fund, include:. A few key points to keep in mind and suggestions for how to support the mental health and well-being of students of color:.

    Help ensure that mental health is brought out of the shadows. Create forums in which mental health can be discussed openly among students, faculty, and staff. Knowledge is power. Help educate faculty, staff, students, and others about mental health, such as through the Mental Health First Aid training program. Have a trainer who can tailor the training to the culture of the audience. One size does not fit all. Programs, services, and resources may need tailoring to meet the needs of different cultural, racial, or religious groups. Treatment works. Many types of mental health services, including various types of psychotherapy and medication and other approaches can help treat and manage mental illness and psychological distress.

    Mental health concerns or psychological distress may not require psychiatric care or psychotherapy. There are many things that students can do for themselves to support their mental health and well-being through self-care strategies, such as exercise, healthy eating, supportive friendships, relaxation, yoga, mindfulness, and more.

    Psychologist Howard Stevenson suggests that when confronting micro-aggressions and racial insults, learning how to respond with a comeback on the spot is a great way to help prevent hurtful encounters from festering in the mind and triggering a lingering sense of victimhood. Care for the caregivers. Seek out opportunities to equip families with knowledge about mental health and culturally sensitive resources available on campus for students of color.

    Culture counts. Recruit and retain faculty, staff, and mental health providers of color if possible; at a minimum, provide cultural competence education and training. Nothing about us without us. Involve students of color on an ongoing basis in developing programs and resources for them. Utilize trained peer supporters because students often are more receptive to suggestions to seek help from their peers. Use technology. Take advantage of available technology to help increase access for young people of color.

    And possibly most importantly, keep in mind the adage risk factors are not predictive factors because of protective factors.


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    • Proactive policies and procedures that support the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color and counteract negative forces that alienate and marginalize them can make a difference in the lives of many students. I feel that any and everything that brings out racism and discrimination is valid. To get to the point, I must ask who is the victim and why are people of color singled out and by whom?

      Who is supporting white privilege? Who is sponsoring white supremacy? Most people of the Caucasian persuasion have no idea! I call it unconscious bias.

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      Most so-called white people do not even realize that racism is still in their hearts and minds. Start a practice of talking about how and why they fear the black man? Commit themselves to examining themselves closely as to how come they are behaving in the they chose? I have personally experienced it. One actually told me that he was jealous of my accomplishments. He said he felt less than me and wanted to be like me.

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      He admitted to being unconscious of his feelings! If anyone reading this comment disagrees with me, I am open for discussion. Why do white people tolerate white ignorance?