During the second year of my degree I decided I wanted to do a PhD, the problem I had was deciding what to do it in. Every area of research appealed to me in some way or another and 3 years was a long time to commit to something if I made the wrong choice.
One afternoon I was searching for postgraduate opportunities and the MRC LMCB 4 year studentship popped up on my Internet search engine page.
It was perfect; - excellent location, acclaimed research facilities, decent stipend and most importantly the chance to test-drive 3 research projects (and groups) before choosing to stay there for 3 years. Also as it was a programme it meant I would start at the same time as 5 other students. I hadn’t considered it before but starting with some other people at the same time so I wasn’t the only ‘newbie’ felt a lot less scary!
The LMCB is perfectly situated in central London with ties to the MRC and UCL. The MRC prides itself on communicating science efficiently and effectively whilst UCL is a huge institution with immense resources to help its students cultivate their passions. I quickly realised this flurry of potential opportunities on my doorstep.
My participation in the LMCB programme as helped me to become the student columnist and representative for the British Society of Cell Biology, a science writer at BioNews, complete an internship with Sense about Science, participate in the MRC Nobelini design competition, volunteer at the Cheltenham science festival, become a student lecturer, sit on a student committee to begin, plan and promote UCL student workshops as well as writing articles for peer reviewed journals like UCL Opticon and Prometheus.
I am now in my final year of the programme and looking back on it all I can say it has been interesting, challenging and a lot of fun. Being part of this programme and having the opportunities and experiences I have had has allowed me to explore science in the lab and as a community.