Meet Alice Riley – President of NTU Biosciences Society

Alice founded Nottingham Trent University Bioscience Society during December 2019. With an active social media and a busy events calendar, the society has grown to 50 members in just a year!

Running a Society in a Pandemic

When reflecting upon challenges of running the society during Covid-19, Alice commented:

"Organising events during COVID-19 has been really difficult because everything has to be online. However, we have made the most of our social media platforms, and have got creative with the events that we can hold over Zoom/Microsoft Teams to keep everyone engaged. "

NTU Bioscience Society has held several fantastic events during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • Pumpkin carving competition
  • Monthly guest speakers online
  • Weekly themed zoom calls with quizzes and games
  • Online revision and study sessions
  • ‘Cook your own meal’ social via zoom
  • Online escape room experience
  • Christmas Instagram giveaway
  • Sharing of revision notes and materials

If COVID-19 restrictions lift, the society hopes to do some fundraising, go out for a meal and hold some ‘in person’ events.

Alice and her committee went the extra mile to support and welcome Freshers joining during this strange time:

"It has been more difficult to get to know our freshers this year, as we have only ever met them through a computer screen. To help overcome this problem, we have held ‘freshers only’ zoom calls to get to know them more. We understand that our zoom calls with the whole society may be a bit overwhelming for a Fresher to begin with."
Advice for other societies

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people to feel lonely and isolated. However, NTU Bioscience Society has remain incredibly active and maintained a fantastic community over the past 6 months. We asked Alice what advice she'd give to presidents of other biomedical science and bioscience related societies:

"I think it is important now more than ever, for other society presidents to remember the importance of communication and support between our members. Encourage everyone to get involved from the comfort of their own home, and make members aware they can still have fun, but in a new and innovative way. Great creative with your online socials, and reach out to those members who may not be attending as much. I would recommend other presidents to make use of all the social media platforms available so no one is excluded. Also, Discord and Microsoft Teams are great ways to keep a constant chat going between each other, and post revision materials to help each other out too."

Affiliating with the IBMS doesn't hurt either! Alice commented on NTU Bioscience Society's experiences with the IBMS.

"The IBMS has helped support our society in a number of ways. They sent us freebies to hand out at our first ever freshers fair, and help us find relevant guest speakers for our online events. We are very grateful for this and can’t wait to see what else we can do together in the future!"


To wrap things up, Alice shares her optimistic outlook towards the upcoming year:

“As a society we want to ensure students are getting the most out of their university experience as possible and provide that point of contact that they may need, so although things look different for the year ahead, we are excited to progress the society further in this next year and bring the best online socials we can to our members! These challenges have definitely made us all the more determined to stick together and support each other in this difficult time.”

 Follow NTU Bioscience Society on Instagram at @ntubiosciencesociety