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The University of Southampton
Doctoral College

Festival of Doctoral Research Interns

Meet our 2020 Festival Interns

As we approach the 5th Festival of Doctoral Research, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome our new interns.

This will the third year of doctoral researchers taking on the role of Festival Intern to help us with the development and delivery of the Festival of Doctoral Research.

Florence Mbithi
Florence Mbithi

"Hello all! My name is Florence Mbithi. I’m a final-year PhD candidate in the bioengineering science research group in the School of Engineering within FEPS. My thesis is about development of advanced lower limb prosthetic socket design technologies with the aim of maintaining residual limb tissue health (by minimising tissue damage risk due to loading), prosthetic socket comfort and the durability of socket fit. The long-term goals of the research include advancement of availability of adequate prostheses fitting and related services for low and moderate resource settings. My other research interests include various autonomous systems. In my free time I enjoy swimming, theatre, dancing, hiking and travelling.

I am very excited to be part of the University of Southampton’s Festival of Doctoral Research organising team this year! I have enjoyed the Festivals’ events in the years throughout my PhD so far. I'm looking forward to working with the Doctoral College team in preparing this year’s events and running yet another successful and wonderful Festival! I think that the UoS Doctoral Research Festival is great for showcasing the exceptional research by PGRs to the university community and beyond & celebrating the successes and achievements of our doctoral researchers. It is also excellent for acquainting PGRs across the University with the various services, resources and support teams within the University, e.g. PERu, Enabling Services and Careers & Employability Service, for their different needs throughout the PhD journey, especially for international students."

Florence -

Sien Van Der Plank
Sien Van Der Plank

"Hello, my name is Sien and I’m trying to juggle writing up my PhD thesis with the rest of life! As well as researching coastal flood risk management in England, I play football, cycle, and am a teaching assistant for English as a second language.

During each of my years at Southampton, I participated in some shape or form in the Festival of Doctoral Research event, and every time it brought me surprise and joy, and taught me something. I hope this year I can help bring even more PGRs in contact with the Festival, so you are able to get something positive out of it too!

Is there an event you particularly enjoyed in the past and want to see again this year? Email me!

Is there a way in which we can make the Festival more inclusive and diverse? Email me!

Looking forward to meeting you."

Sien -

Festival Homepage

I felt very lucky to get involved in the Festival of Doctoral Research 2018 as an intern. It gave me the chance to work with the Doctoral College team to organise a series of wonderful events such as ‘Bake your PhD,’ ‘Three Minute Thesis’ and the ‘Doctoral Research Showcase.’ I also learnt from other events funded by the Doctoral College through the Activities Fund, such as, ‘How to improve your doctoral experience,’ ‘How does your PhD make you feel,’ and ‘Emoji Thesis.’

Along with teaching, doing this internship was certainly a good experience and an unforgettable memory during my PhD at the University of Southampton. It gave me the chance to better understand what other doctoral researchers are experiencing during their PhD, as well as connect with other doctoral researchers, academics and support staff within the University. I got to connect and socialise with other doctoral researchers and see the other side of PhD life.

Thanks to this experience, I feel my teamwork, time management and leadership skills have improved, as well as getting to see how events are organised within the University.

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