My placement year at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew confirmed that a research career is the right path for me
“I was attracted to Sheffield by its excellent reputation for research, and the prospect that I could undertake a masters research project for the whole of my fourth year.
“As research was always a path I had considered taking, having lab experience was important to help me decide if this was something I really wanted to pursue both for a PhD and a career.
“The careers department at Sheffield have brilliant online courses, developed to help you write applications. It made the process of applying for placements much less stressful and I felt far more confident than I otherwise would have been.
“I was successful in securing a placement at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. My project was titled ‘Forest Assembly and Conservation in Melanesian Archipelagos.’ The aim of this project was to generate a genus level phylogeny that could be used to infer the floral colonisation of the Melanesian islands, and thus enable forest assembly to be studied. I spent most of the year in the lab extracting DNA from the leaves of around 300 tree species. I also learnt how to make DNA libraries and to do DNA hybridisation.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of working at Kew has been the opportunity to talk to so many people in different disciplines at different stages in their academic careers. Realising how their career paths led them to this point has provided many ideas for my future.
MBiolSci Biology with Placement Year
“During my year I discovered that Kew is much more than just a research lab. There are people interested in subjects as varied as conservation, and communication. One of the most enjoyable aspects of working at Kew has been the opportunity to talk to so many people in different disciplines at different stages in their academic careers. Realising how their career paths led them to this point has provided many ideas for my future.
“I feel very lucky to have been able to experience the reality of research without the commitment of a graduate job or PhD. I now definitely know that it is the career for me. After I have completed my degree at Sheffield I hope to find a PhD in molecular science, so I can continue learning and one day, hopefully be able to conduct my own independent research.”
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