December 4, 2020

Reflections and Looking Forwards

Prof Carly StevensWritten by: Prof Carly Stevens

The last academic year was a very strange one, this time last year we had no idea of the challenges we would face. For students in the Waitrose CTP this has been especially challenging as projects were heavily disrupted by not be able to travel within and outside the UK to collect data from field sites, working with business partners who had had so many obstacles to overcome, and even not being able to work in laboratories as universities closed. Whilst the second lockdown has permitted universities to remain open there are many challenges that we continue to face. I am constantly impressed by our wonderful students and I have been amazed at their resourcefulness and resilience.

At the moment we are two months into a new academic year and we were delighted to welcome a new cohort of students to the Waitrose CTP. We would normally have held a face-to-face event in October to welcome our new students and then take them to Go Ape for a bit of team building. Unfortunately this year we couldn’t do that but we did host our new students in an online welcome event. I really enjoyed meeting the new students and I really hope that we will be able to bring all of our students together in the summer so that everyone can get to know each other more.

I am sure that next year will bring us more challenges, both those related to Coronavirus and those that are not, but there is also a great deal to look forward to. Personally I am very much looking forward to hearing about all the new and exciting results that our students generate and, at the end of the academic year, seeing the first CTP students submit their theses (no pressure final year students!).

Best wishes for Christmas and the new year!