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Our new online Undergraduate Network launches

Published: 07 Oct 2020
Category:
By Lee Page, Steven Tucker

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The BPS Community has played an important role for the Society during the pandemic. It has allowed us to keep conversations flowing and communication channels open. Being a virtual platform, it has continued through the uncertainty of local lock downs whilst offering convenience by allowing us to catch-up on Society content at a time that suits us.

We are therefore really excited to announce the launch of the Undergraduate Network on the BPS Community in time for the new academic year. This is a place for all undergraduates from around the world studying or interested in pharmacology to communicate and connect.

We hope this new network will foster friendships and provide a place to share experiences, resources and top study tips. By being part of this network, we will share with students all relevant Society news, events and opportunities.



Creating an account on the BPS Community is free to all members and becoming an Undergraduate member at the Society is also free so why not join today!

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Reaching out to pharmacology undergraduates

With World Mental Health Day approaching on the 10 October 2020 we are reminded that the university experience is going to be very different this year. So, we are providing a place for students to connect with other pharmacology undergraduates undergoing a similar experience and offer opportunities to break the feeling of isolation. We hope that the Undergraduate Network on the BPS Community will provide part of a solution to those looking to connect and talk about what matters most to them.

Dr Steven Tucker (Aberdeen), VP Academic Development for the British Pharmacological Society:
 

The BPS community platform has revolutionised how we communicate and interact across the Society and has had an enormous impact on how we have adapted during the pandemic. The launch of the Undergraduate Network is an opportunity to engage our undergraduate members and most importantly with each other!

At a time when university experiences are going to be very different, this is an excellent channel for communicating with other undergraduates from across the world who are experiencing similar challenges and forming networks and friendships to overcome these adversities.

We have added an appendix at the bottom of this blog containing tips and links to information about wellbeing and hope these are also useful at this time.

The Society also has other offers such as free attendance at our annual conference Pharmacology 2020 as well as bursaries, prizes and careers information so engage through the network and find out more.

Therefore, to all pharmacology undergraduates, or those interested in pharmacology. Join the British Pharmacological Society and connect with the Undergraduate Network today. Here are some ideas of the sorts of things we expect to see on the network and are therefore ideas to help get you started:
  • Share useful study tips or content with others studying pharmacology
  • Reflect on the highlights of the course or the bits you are most looking forward to
  • Share challenges you are experiencing, due to the pandemic and remote teaching
  • Connect and build new friendships with other pharmacology students
  • Share news or ideas about your studies or any relevant Society support received
  • Promote any activities or educational online content to other undergraduates
Mollie, an undergraduate member (UEA):
 

I am so grateful that this network has been created. I am going into the first year of an MSci in Pharmacology and Drug Discovery and was worried that I would not be able to engage in the other BPS networks as I am so early in my learning.

I look forward to connecting with other students through this network and finding out about roles in different industries that a degree in Pharmacology can open up for me.

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Responding to the ‘new normal’

Like many of you, the British Pharmacological Society has pivoted in our plans during 2020 and responded to our ‘new normal’. As always, we have continued to work with our diverse membership to ensure a world in which pharmacology and therapeutics drive and support progress in science, medicine and healthcare.

We have provided content via our Covid-19 hub linking to many other organisations and trusted sources of information. This content is relevant to the full breadth of our diverse membership, including students, researchers, educators, doctors, and drug discoverers.

Recognising how university life has changed

Our Education and Training Committee have been active in supporting the shift in teaching provision due to the pandemic. We have established and shared information to support the rebuilding of courses for a remote or blended learning experience. We have published several blogs and shared best practice with our educator community.

We have also been able to provide free access to our eLearning resource on blinding, which is one of the topics studied as part of an experimental design module.

Wellbeing and workload tips

  • Take breaks from your screen to rest your eyes
  • Plan time away from the computer to recharge
  • Look after your health (a balanced diet and keep hydrated)
  • Build a routine – with regular breaks
  • Stay active including getting fresh air and exercise
  • Plan and manage your time and workload (avoid rushing to deadlines)
  • Timetable socialising (this could be outside or through digital channels)
  • Build a network of different groups of people (on your course for study tips but also outside your course for reflection and friendship)
  • Remember to reach out if you start to feel lonely and talk to friends and family outside of university life
  • If you start to struggle or are worried by something reach out to your university tutors or student welfare teams for advice

Useful links for undergraduates and wellbeing

University students studying during the pandemic: Wellbeing resources and charities offering advice:

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