Students’ Corner

Posted on September 30, 2015

I’d like to begin by acknowledging the great work of outgoing Student Representative, Kelsey Collins. A big thanks to Kelsey for all she has done throughout her two year term, including her efforts in organising a really engaging program of student events at the XXV Congress of the ISB in Glasgow.

Glasgow 2015

The ‘Outreach’ and ‘Cool Under Pressure’ sessions occurred simultaneously on Monday morning, followed by the very popular ‘Mentoring Session’ over lunch. Later that afternoon we headed to Aberfoyle for the ‘Student Excursion’. Fortunately, Scotland provided some beautiful weather as we made our way around a scenic tree top adventure trail. The massive zip lines were a definite highlight!

ISB Student member in the treetops in Scotland!

ISB Student member in the treetops in Scotland!

On the second day of the Congress we were treated to a ‘Mock Academic Interview’, and an informal discussion with ISB Student Awards Officer, Alberto Leardini, regarding Student Grant applications. On Thursday, the ‘Inaugural Women in Science Lunch’ was a great chance to celebrate female Biomechanists and their contribution to the field. Thank you to all who volunteered their time to present at the various events.

Advice to Students

During the Congress, I asked eight delegates for a small piece of advice I could share with the ISB student community. I’ll begin by apologising for the video quality – the clips were filmed around the Conference venue so there’s a bit of background noise…and I definitely don’t have the steadiest of hands!

However, I was personally really inspired after speaking with each contributor. Everyone brought their own unique flavour to the project, and topics ranged from conference networking, to conducting research, to having a fulfilling work-life balance.

Our first video features Dr. Walter Herzog from the University of Calgary, and can be found here.

I hope you’ll all get as much out of these short clips as I did. I will upload one with each new issue of ISB Now. If you have any comments, thoughts or feedback, we’d love to generate some discussion so feel free to comment the video or post on the ISB Student Members Facebook Group.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next video from Dr. Joseph Hamill, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Thank you so much to all who contributed.

Professor Joe Hamill giving advice during a student mentoring session.

Professor Joe Hamill giving advice during a student mentoring session.

Student Grants Update

After feedback from our Student Grants discussion in Glasgow, the International Travel Grant (ITG) and Congress Travel Grant (CTG) guidelines have been expanded. The updated descriptions will appear on our website ( shortly, with the next round of applications due in December 2015.

Top Ten from Mary!

Words of wisdom on getting a good start in research from the interview with Mary Rodgers:

  1. “My path has been a long winding road – be open to diverse opportunities in research.” It’s OK to participate in a variety of research projects and research environments to figure out your niche.
  2. Be ready to put yourself out there and develop an idea of what to do and where you want to go – this can [and likely will] change!
  3. Everyone has their own path – find good collaborators and find good mentors at every stage of your career!
  4. Mentors can be professional mentors or personal mentors! Sometimes identifying someone with a strong work-life balance can be an incredibly valuable asset to your training.
  5. When looking for mentors, think outside your lab.
  6. Good mentorship relationships manifest when the mentee expresses (1) her goals, (2) has a direction, and (3) her vision is aligned with the work of the mentor.
  7. Mentorship can result from different people in different ways. Maybe someone can’t meet weekly, but they might be willing to read over your grants, or teach you a new method.
  8. Some grants require a mentorship plan – take advantage of this commitment from your mentors and execute this plan (see below)! This may also be used as a framework to create effective mentorship relationships.
  9. If mentorship or collaborations don’t work out, learn from them. Take these experiences forward and help them guide your future guide future collaborative and mentorship relationships.
  10. Take advantage of leadership roles in Biomechanics Societies.

Need tips on creating a mentor plan? Some Advice from Mary:


  1. Description of mentors role in detail – what exactly will they provide?
  2. For grants, a letter of support – this is an opportunity for the mentor to demonstrate their commitment to the mentee
  3. Describe what the expectations are for communication. What is the frequency of communication? Where and when will meetings be conducted?
  4. Specific areas of development for mentee – what can the mentor teach the mentee? How will this relationship grow as the mentee develops?
  5. Specific training goals – grants, learning new methods, coaching to leadership positions, teaching skills to be an effective mentor, etc.

Social Media

Stay in the loop – ‘like’ the ISB Facebook page, join our Student Members Facebook Group and LinkedIn Group and follow us on Twitter for ISB related updates.

If you have any feedback, comments, suggestions or questions please feel free to contact me at

Kind regards,

Kirsty McDonald


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