Welcome to the first (hopefully of many!) #PhDaily posts! This aims to be an honest insight into the day to day life of a PhD student.
A quick introduction for any of you who are new here, and/or don’t know me! I am Stewart (aka Microbe Stew), a 1st year PhD student at the University of Sheffield, and have recently passed my 1st year transfer review!! My area of study is molecular microbiology, in particular looking at the cell surface proteins of some pathogenic bacteria. I aim to do a post about what i generally do soon, so look out for that.
Now, on to my Monday! As for everyone else i’m sure, Monday can be a slow day sometimes, prepping for the weeks experiments, and getting started back up after a relaxed weekend. This Monday was no different! I got into work around 10 am (i was at work until past midnight on Friday night though…). After catching up on some emails, i popped across the hall to my lab, hoping to grab a chat with my supervisor. He was unfortunately busy!
My protein purification was completed on Friday, so a new ‘sub-chapter’ of research now needs to begin, which required some of my supervisors’ input. Failing that, i returned back to the office, to do a little research for a side project of mine, the Twitter-based Bioscience PhD forum @Biosci_PhD The forum has been discussing the recent policy change in Scotland regarding GM crops. I stop for lunch, and catch up on some general news.
I then get an email from a science communicator from the Sheffield Science Gateway, who is interested in discussing a few things with me. I arrange to meet with her over coffee, and we have a lively discussion, giving me plenty to think about, especially about future career paths!
Now just after 4pm, i go into the lab again, and start making a few buffers i need for upcoming experiments. In between this and helping the undergrad summer students in our lab, it’s 6pm already. Unknown to me, my supervisor wanted me to help one of the students prepare the FPLC (a crucial piece of kit for protein purification) for an experiment tomorrow. Thankfully they are prepared and a good listener, so i quickly set up the machine to equilibrate, whilst hopefully teaching them something! I grab my stuff and head out by 6.30pm. I cycle the few miles home, and i’m eating my tea by 7pm.
I’m finishing the evening by writing this, checking a few emails and looking at my twitter account! I’m also picking some photos to display at a local cafe. You can check out my photography ‘company’ (named photosynthesised!) out on twitter here: https://twitter.com/photo_synth and on instagram here: https://instagram.com/photo_synthesised/.
Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow for the next #PhDaily post!