Microbiome manipulation – full steam ahead?

By Tilly Potter, Department of Twin Research, King’s College London

TP - pic1I recently began my PhD during which I will be carrying out investigations into the human microbiome – that is, all of the microbes we harbour on and in our bodies and their genetic material. The reasons why I was attracted to this area are likely similar to those of other scientists who have entered this field; microbiome research is still in its relative infancy yet appears to hold enormous potential regarding understanding differences between health and disease, with the number of diseases or adverse health states examined continuing to increase with time. This makes it an incredibly diverse and exciting area to work within! Continue reading

The Very Best Things About PhD Life

By Gareth Raynes, Aberystwyth University

3While every PhD experience is unique, there are big areas of overlap between experiences of PhD students regardless of discipline; I’ve spent several months speaking to a number of PhD students from across the UK, all in different fields and at different stages of their projects. Despite this wide range of backgrounds and circumstances, several aspects jump out as being ever-present markers of a PhD project; the unifying factors that connect together to make PhD life what it is.
So what are these common factors? And why do they make PhD life so great? Continue reading

How to start writing your thesis

By Dr Ruth Nottingham, Impact Officer, University of Nottingham

ruth-nottinghamSo you are final year PhD student and the moment has finally arrived for you to put down your pipette and pick up a pen. It’s time to write a thesis!

This is an exciting time, it is the final hurdle of the PhD process and the finishing line is most definitely in sight. The tricky part is working out how to start, as whether you like writing or not the thought of writing something as large as a thesis can be a bit daunting.

To get past the fear of starting I leapt into the writing process, deciding that generating words however good or bad or in whichever order was the best way to get my thesis written. This worked out in the end but there are better strategies out there, so I thought I would share with you what I wish I had done. Continue reading