Sharing by Amit Kumar Khan
The conference was held in a cruise. As it was my first time on a cruise, I felt nervous and lonely. To overcome those feeling, I met with other participants to discuss about our research areas and progress. The discussions were also platform to networks with overseas researchers, discuss on possible future collaborations and receive valuable suggestions from professors. One of the memorable moments during the conference was when we watched movies on the top deck of the cruise after the presentations in the day. I was extremely happy when my names was announced for the best oral presentation award as it was unexpected and many professors as well as post doctorals presented their work. My advice to fellow students who are preparing their conference paper is to rehearse as many times as possible. This is to avoid stumbling during the presentation, especially during the introduction when you can grab the attention of participants to your work.
Sharing by Chew Guan Pin
The student best poster was challenging as it was judged on a three minute flash speech and a single PowerPoint slide to convey the most important ideas and findings of our research work. It was also a great opportunity for us, students, to build up our oral communication skills. To ensure that I ace this three minute flash speech, I first prepared my script a month before the conference. This allowed me to have ample time to practise and perfect my speech. I practised my speech regularly and added hand movements, expressions and varied the elements of sound for emphasis as delivering an expressive speech always stands a better change of winning an award at any conference. My key take-aways from the conference is to never be afraid to ask questions and get the opinion of people who are working in the same area as you are, stay grounded and remain modest even if you were to win an award, do not rest on your laurels and thinks that the work is done and continue to work hard and strive for better results. Some advice for IGS students is to always prepare your poster at least 2 - 3 months before the conference so that there is ample time for your supervisors to wet through it. Their advices/suggestions are often invaluable.
Sharing by Antareep Sharma
The conference is organised by the Materials Research Society and is one of the most reputed Materials Science Conference in the world. I decided to go ahead and submit an abstract for the symposium as there was a topic on biomaterials. During the symposium, there were plenty of here were plenty of opportunities to meet and network with people working in the same field. I also had the chance of meeting Nobel Laureates speakers. The biggest challenge I faced was the sheer size of the conference and the number of parallel symposia held. There were too many good talks that clashed. Thankfully with the conference app, I was able to schedule my day during the conference. The most memorable moment was when I approached Prof CNR Rao, one of the plenary speakers, to introduce myself. I was surprised but happy to have won the best poster award in a big conference as a 1st year PhD student. My key take-aways from the conference is that it does not matter how 'beautiful' someone's poster looks, it boils down to how well you explain your work. My advice to fellow student is to focus their talk/poster topic more relevant to everyone as that is what makes our research interesting to them.