Life Away From The Bench

Believe it or not, there is life outside the lab… even sleepy Cambridge provides a hard-up PhD student with plenty to do in the evenings or at weekends.


The LMB Graduate Student Association was founded and is run entirely by students. It is provided with a budget by the MRC to sponsor talks, discussions and other student activities.

The GSA organises regular journal clubs for in-depth discussion of a scientific paper or issue, usually on a Wednesday evening. Free pizza and drinks are an added incentive to come! The GSA also organises regular pub outings, barbecues, bowling, and other informal social events. You will be kept informed of GSA events vis the student email list, and you are welcome to get involved by organising an event yourself at any time!

In addition to social events, the GSA offers many opportunities for gaining transferable skills. Each year, LMB students independently organise a symposium, which gives us the opportunity to invite leading scientists to come to speak to a student audience at the LMB. The day also includes a dinner and discussion with the speakers, so students have an opportunity to interact closely with leading scientists from outside Cambridge.

We also have funding to host a series of career talks on topics such as science policy, women in science and commercialisation, just to name a few. In addition, the LMB teams up with three other Cambridge research institutes (the Babraham, the Dunn and the Hutchinson) to organise an inter-institute symposium.

Finally, the highlight of the year is the GSA Banquet. Held annually in one of the old colleges, it is a chance to get out of that lab coat and see what the other students look like in black tie! As well as good food and drink, we always have an invited speaker to keep us entertained after dinner with some scientific anecdotes! Past speakers have included Nobel Prize Laureates Tim Hunt, John Walker and Sydney Brenner.