Meet our students and graduates

We asked some of our students and graduates to share their experiences of studying for a PhD in Animal and Plant Sciences.

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Goh Hoe HanGoh Hoe Han

Country: Malaysia

Studying: Leaf development

"I appreciate the opportunities this department provides for its PhD students: if you put a lot in you get a lot out. It's very friendly and supportive and I have never felt I have been treated differently because I am an overseas student. My working environment is excellent, and Sheffield is a great city. Its very hilly, which gets you fit if you walk to work!"

Serina AkhtarSerina Akhtar

Country: UK

Studying: Club-root infection

"My lab has a great mix of home and international students and this brings a really important perspective to my working environment and research. The induction process for new PhD students was really useful and helped me settle into my PhD quickly. As well as being a great department, this city is really friendly and safe– the best thing about it is that it doesn’t feel like a city. You have all the convenience of city life and none of the downsides."

Adam DobsonAdam Dobson

Country: UK

Studying: Microbial resistance evolution

"The department has really provided a stimulating and nurturing environment for my PhD. The lab facilities are superb and the academic environment is very, very strong with plenty of seminars and opportunities for discussion and interaction. Moreover there is a vibrant postgraduate community. One thing you cannot separate from the University is the city – Sheffield is a great place to live. It is a big city right next to the biggest national park in the UK and its cheap compared to other British cities."

Xiaojia YinXiaojia Yin

Country: China

Studying: Co-tolerance in Arabadopsis

"I found it very easy to settle into my personal and scientific life in Sheffield: The Sheffield Society for Chinese Students (CSSA) was very important in this. The department is very friendly and I really like living in Sheffield because it is so close to the Peak District National Park. Even though it is a big city, the cost of living is very cheap."

Kang Wook KimKang Wook Kim

Country: South Korea

Studying: Genetic basis of colour polymorphism in the Gouldian Finch

"The department is very nice and exceeded my expectations as a place to work. My lab is state-of-the-art and there are many people from different scientific and cultural backgrounds working here. I like living in Sheffield but it is rather hilly!"

Dr Claire HumphreysDr Claire Humphreys

Programme Manager
Sensory Dimensions

"My PhD has been a brilliant asset to my career so far. It helped me stand out from other candidates when applying for my first role after academia. I think it was a fantastic stepping-stone to a career in science, especially developing crucial skills such as project planning, report writing and scientific analysis. I think I learnt a lot of these skills during my undergraduate; however, becoming confident in my research ability occurred during my PhD. Most importantly I learnt independence, and I think that's something industry is really looking for, people who take ownership over their projects and have the determination and persistence to deliver."

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Dr Thomas YoungDr Thomas Young

Research Manager and Business Developer
Sport Turf Research Institute

"As my PhD was co-sponsored by an industrial company I gained a lot of experience of researching topics that were directly applicable as well as scientifically robust for my industrial partners. Direct knowledge of my PhD subject area has proved to be important as the biological fundamentals have been very transferrable. Becoming used to regularly presenting data to a range of audiences has been vital as clear presentation of data to clients who may not have such a technical backgrounc is very important in my role. Important indirect skills from the PhD included learning how to project manage a research project with a budget for three years."

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Dr Jen VanderhovenDr Jen Vanderhoven

Scientific Project Manager
The University of Sheffield

"The scientific techniques I mastered during my PhD definitely helped me secure my first job as a laboratory manager, as did the transferrable skills I gained such as project management and report writing. My PhD also helped me to decide that a career as an academic was not for me and helped steer me towards finding a job working in industry in the 'real world'!"

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Dr Nicola CollinsDr Nicola Collins

Graduate Environmental Research Engineer

"The transferrable skills gained whilst completing my PhD have been invaluable in my current position. As the role is not directly related to my PhD, the ability to research new subject areas has been very important. The ability to present confidently and write good presentations to provide training, as well as working on my own initiative to improve current methods of work practice have also been important."

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