For me, deciding to do a PhD was a natural step after my undergraduate degree. I had really enjoyed my final year project and I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in science. More difficult decisions were deciding where to go to do my PhD and what I wanted to do it on?
I was particularly keen to join a PhD program, as I didn’t want to go straight into a project. Instead, I wanted the chance to try out different labs and different areas of research before committing myself to three years in one place.
What made the LMCB really stand out for me was not only its reputation, but also the level of support that you get throughout your PhD. Tutorials in your first year quickly get you up to speed with unfamiliar areas and help you learn to read papers critically. Once you have chosen your PhD project, regular meetings with your chosen committee help to give you new ideas and provide an alternative source of support asides from your PI. Doing a PhD is both rewarding and challenging and having that level of support can make a big difference to that balance!
After my three rotations, I chose to return to Stephen Nurrish’s group. I am looking at neurotransmission at the neuromuscular junction in the nematode work C. elegans. Weekly lab meetings keep me focused on my own project, while twice monthly meetings with other C. elegans groups around London, gives me a wider perspective on the field.
There is a very strong community feel at the LMCB, with monthly cocktail parties and student evenings throughout the year as well as yearly student retreats. The friendly atmosphere means that if you are ever short of a reagent, or want to learn a specific technique, there are plenty of people who are only too happy to help you!