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Jonathan Bard
Biomedical sciences


r uo I really want to do a Phu

r tions: 3 year, 4 year, MRes
r Advertising
r Tyes of studentshis + Finance
r Choosing a roject
r Writing a CV
r Interviews
r Vetting a lab

r Questions
r Public now
r Private afterwards

r | 

Bad ay -you will never catch u with an MBA
Hard work with long hours
Need to move regularly
Unclear, insecure future
Lonely - sometimes socially, but you should want something intellectually Ơyoursơ!
r | 

A chance to find out if you like doing science
If it goes well, you can have a wonderful time
ortunities for travel
Surrising degree of freedom
Exciting oortunities for later outside of academe
Nature is worth the effort


r Academic career - 2 ostdocs, fellowshi, lectureshi ƦƦ.
In UK, USA, Euroe
r Industry - research and then administration
r Academic administration (Wellcome Trust, MRC etc)
r Civil service (scientific and administrative)
r Journalism (Science & oular journalism, BBC etc)
r Profession - atent agent, teaching
r Abandon science and do something else

You need to know what you actually enjoy doing so that you can work out
what route you want to take and, if you go one way, you can reare for
 !" #

The standard funding - choose a roject, do it and get out!
3 years of money - hard to comlete in time!

Usually have a training year and an oortunity to choose
your roject after you have seen something of local labs
Gives you a chance to work out what area you want to work in
r !" (MSc by research)
Check out htt:// - MSc Life sciences)
A formal year of training in research
seminars, minirojects, skills etc
A good taster for eole who
arenƞt sure if they want to do research
arenƞt sure what area they want to do a Phu
An MRes will hel you get a 3 year Phd studentshi
˜   #2

r "
 $ %&&'"$()*+!"$(,-*.

Covers fees (UK = EU), maintenance (UK only), + minimal lab costs

r $

'0 1(, */u0.

Covers fees (UK/EU level), maintenance

maintenance levels deend on charity

Lab costs as agreed on grant alication - Wellcome is high

r   (at least for Edinburgh)

Cover fees (UK/EU level), maintenance (UK + EU students)

Minimal lab costs

r *  - for non EU students

RS award: covers difference between EU (£2K) and Ơworldơ fees (£9K)

r Studentshis are being advertised ever earlier

r Check websites, Nature & New Scientist etc etc regularly

r Not every roject carries funding

Funding bodies have still not made some decisions

r As soon as you find something interesting, check all details

The funding status of the roject

Are you eligible (coming next!)

Are you likely to be a lausible candidate

LMB will exect a 1st , other laces will be less icky

What is the closing date etc.

r Aly to several laces - allow for things to go wrong!

1. Is the roject interesting

2. uoes the lab seem good (check PubMed for recent work)

3. uoes the lab have a good reutation $ 4

4. What is the RAE rating of the deartment ' 

. Is it the sort of lace that you would want on your CV

. uoes the deartment/lab have an interesting webface

. uoes the university rovide good PG training

(comare with 555


8. Can you face sending 3 years in that university/city

|  #  
r Write to or email the suervisor soon saying that you saw his/her (get it right!) roject
and PubMed aers and would like further information

r The CV: its real urose is to get you onto a shortlist




r nly use academic referees who are likely to write nice things

r No one cares about your rimary school
r Highers and A levels are what matter
r Give all university course grades - articularly year 3
r Emhasise any vacation jobs in labs - it shows commitment
r Make yourself sound interesting


r Be very business like and make the CV easy to read (show it to others)


r Have a good talk that you have racticed alone and in front of others
r It should be on an honours roject or a summer roject
r Start with aims/questions and take time to set out roblem, assays etc
r end with conclusions/answers
r If the roject is not finished, give a rogress reort + exectations
r Use clear t slides - do not be fussy - the message for each must be clear
r Be on to of the literature and the techniques you will use
r Practice gives confidence - $ 

r Have something u your sleeve to talk about aart from your roject

r Be reared to say why you have chosen this roject/rogramme

r A common question is Ơwhat is the best aer you have read recentlyơ -


r Have sensible questions reared

r Exect to see the lab and to send time with the suervisor and PGs


r A good roject

Interesting area of work, oortunities to learn many techniques,

soluble roblems, research that yields ublications, can finish on time!

r Lots of ostgraduate training

Seaking, bioinformatics, time management, statistics

Technical skills, grou work etc etc etc

r Good colleagues and oortunities for networking

r Journal clubs & regular lab meetings

r Contacts abroad for future ostdocs


r Is the lab the right size
a ostdoc, technician and 2 PGs is fine - but with links to other labs
too large and you may get lost
too small/isolated and you wonƞt get roer training
r Are you encouraged to talk to the lower levels, articularly PGs
r Is the lab well-funded (and how long does the funding last)
r Would be a second suervisor and what would s/he have to offer
r Who would suervise you on a day-to-day basis
r Are there regular talks, lab meetings, seminars etc
r uoes the lab roduce a lot of aers
r uoes the lab seem like a leasant lace to be
r What does the graevine (e.g. PG students) say o
r Are their transferable skills on offer
r uoes the suervisor have colleagues and collaborations

:6  ;

r Check that the roject and lab suit you - does it all Ơsmell goodơ

uo you like the eole that you meet there

uo they like you

r You will only enjoy doing a Phu if the lab is good and leasant

r After, you will need a good CV so that you can get the right job/ostdoc

will the lace add/subtract

are you likely to roduce aers

have other eole from the lab done well

r Would you have a good future after being there




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