The Student Voice Committee (SVC) represents the students of the Norwich Bioscience Institutes (NBI – John Innes Centre, The Sainsbury Laboratory, The Genome Analysis Centre and The Institute of Food Research).
The SVC organises several social events throughout the year, including annual Christmas and summer parties, hosted on site in the purpose-built recreation centre bar. Each year there is also a student away day, with past destinations including Banham Zoo and Dunwich Heath. In addition to these events, in the past the SVC has helped organise themed party nights, sports days, pub quizzes, open mic nights and pool-side BBQs. Through these events the SVC is at the heart of the social life at the NBI.
The SVC organises a monthly seminar series, at which students can present their current work to a casual, friendly audience of fellow students. These are great practise for giving talks at conferences or in lab meetings, and are always accompanied by cake and coffee. The SVC also runs the student poster competition at the JIC/TSL Annual Science Meeting, with the winners being invited to talk at the student-only Student Annual Science Meeting in the spring. This meeting is also run by the SVC, and is accompanied by a popular wine and cheese networking session. In addition, for the last few years the SVC has helped organise a joint conference with the University of Cambridge, called the Norwich & Cambridge Student Symposium (NoCaSS). This is a great chance to network and learn from students outside of the NBI.
Careers, Outreach & Communication
By utilising the wealth of connections the NBI has to industry and academia, the SVC is able invite external speakers to run careers events that allow students to make informed decisions about their future. The SVC also has a large online presence, with an active Twitter feed (twitter.com/JohnInnesSVC) and a student-run blog (johninnessvc.wordpress.com). The blog gives students the opportunity to communicate interesting science to the wider community in a relaxed and casual setting. On top of this, the SVC helps find volunteers for the numerous outreach opportunities available at the NBI, including school visits and public science fairs, both in Norwich and across the UK.
In addition to organising and running social, scientific and careers events, the SVC elects student representatives to the various committees at the NBI that direct policy in a number of areas. This includes representatives for central management, graduate studies, catering, the library, the Friday Seminar series, and computing. Through these representatives, the students have a real voice in the decision-making at the NBI.