Salar Ali

PhD Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Salar ProfileBefore studying at the University of Sheffield, I finished my undergraduate degree in the Biology Department at the University of Sulaimani in 2003. I was employed as an assistant biologist in the Medical Laboratory Technology Department at Kalar Technical Institute in 2003. In 2008, I completed a Masters degree in Medical Microbiology at the same university and then I worked as a lecturer at the university teaching undergraduate students in my specialised field. I had many responsibilities during my employment period, such as acting as Head of Scientific Affairs and being responsible for mission and cultural relations in the university as well.

I have chose to study at the University of Sheffield because it is one of the UK's best universities with a global reputation as an international leader in teaching and research. In addition to that, it is in the top ten of the Russell Group, with 93% of the research submitted to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise rated as 3* (internationally-recognised) or 4* (world-leading). Twenty-nine subjects were rated “excellent” in national teaching quality assessments, the third highest number of any university. According to a survey of 26 university towns and cities, living costs for Sheffield students are the third lowest in the UK and the city of Sheffield is one of the UK’s safest cities. Also, among their former staff and students are five Nobel Prize winners, and many of their graduates have gone to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world. Another important thing is the student union which is has access for supporting, helping, guiding students and especially overseas students and it is considered as the best Student Union in the UK.

In my opinion, the most enjoyable thing at the University of Sheffield is the Information Commons (IC), which is one of the largest libraries in Sheffield. The IC has a wide range of books in every field and has fantastic internet facilities for all students. You can access a web of science and knowledge, which supplies students with a wide range of scientific papers and articles and keeps students up date with current research. Furthermore, it is opened 24 hours a day and 7 days a week (24/7) and has a cosmopolitan, relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. The IC also has a nice café, you can get your cup of tea with a piece of lovely cake and enjoy your time. Furthermore, it has a great community spirit amongst the students and the students are always having a nice time with their activities.

There are many valuable aspects in my course. The most valuable aspect is how we are taught to be independent researcher in our specialised field. Secondly, thinking and analysing the findings in critical and logical manner. In addition to that, it is also provides a role to learn problem solving skills and progressing in practical experience and skills for academic research.

I find the teaching and study methods at University of Sheffield to be brilliant, effective and well organised and the education system that is followed at the university motivates students to be independent researchers and to develop critical thinking about the subjects, and students are encouraged to analyse their results logically as well. In addition, there are a lot of seminars, workshops and lectures available at the university which encourage the students to learn how to take notes and summarize them as an academic report and to gain confidence in asking questions during seminars.

There are many benefits of an education from the University of Sheffield. Firstly, it is getting an academic qualification in a highly ranked university. Secondly, It opens new doors to make a scientific relationships with academic staff in the university’s in the UK and around the world by attending or representing the university at academic seminars and conferences, thirdly, learning the English language is another important aspect in my life, because today, English is an international language and it is increases your opportunity to get ideal job in many countries in the world and you will enjoy your life.

Sheffield is one of greenest and safest cities in the UK and living costs for students in Sheffield are the third lowest in the UK, these are really three important things for students’ life abroad. In addition, Sheffield city has a diverse culture and the people are really kind, helpful and friendly. There are a lot of wonderful places in and near Sheffield such as parks, gardens, Chatsworth house, National Peak District and a lovely countryside which I go to most weekends, it is really fantastic to be relaxed and to breathe fresh air.

After finishing my course, I hope to continue for doing a lot of research in specialised areas to develop and progress my experience and skills in academic research and I hope to add a little bit information to science and find or synthesize a substance which help with the recovery of illnesses of patients and to be a lecturer at the university in my country to teach and support students and encourage them to understand science and to be an active member in the society to help other people.

My recommendation for prospective students is to be confident about the choice you have made about the university and I am sure you will never regret coming to The University of Sheffield, because the learning environment you'll get here is the best that a learner could ever imagine and studying at The University of Sheffield will be the best moments in your educational career for sure.