Luke Fountain – Growing skills during lockdown

This week’s blog post comes from Luke Fountain, a second year WRDTP PhD student (and a UK student space ambassador!) at the University of Sheffield.

Over the past few months of lockdown, like many of us, Luke has been trying to find new ways to stay productive while access to university sites has been restricted. Here Luke shares with you what he has been up to, from building hydroponics set ups from home to attending live Q&As with Astronauts!

Hopefully Luke’s experiences will inspire you to get creative as we slowly find our way back into a new normality.

Read moreLuke Fountain – Growing skills during lockdown

Get to know.. your WRDTP student reps – Sarah Gratton

Our next WRDTP student rep profile is here.. This week we are introducing you to Sarah Gratton, a long-standing DTP rep with a passion for wildlife conservation!

Sarah Gratton

Sarah joined the DTP in 2017 coming from Durham University. Based at the University of Sheffield, she continues to pursue challenging work within the field of microscopy with a couple of papers already under her belt. Sarah wants to tell the wider world that PhD students matter and wants to chat to YOU if you’re interested in becoming a rep too!

Check out our question and answer session in full!

Read moreGet to know.. your WRDTP student reps – Sarah Gratton

Get to know… your WRDTP student reps: Roz Latham

Rosalind Latham

First in our new blog series ‘Get to know… your WRDTP student reps’ is Rosalind Latham! Roz did her BSc in Biology at the University of York, with a year in Industry in Pharmaceutical research. Highlights of her degree were learning about biotechnology and how to genetically engineer plants/microbes for human benefit.

After gaining industrial experience in a Fast-Moving-Consumer-Goods Graduate Scheme, Roz decided to go back to science and plant biotechnology, which she specialised in as an undergraduate. She’s now 8 months into her PhD and loving it!

We asked Roz a few more questions about her life in and outside of the lab – keep reading to find out how DNA origami can help us get better crops, Roz’s favourite Yorkshire spots and what you should (not) do when growing archaea!

Read moreGet to know… your WRDTP student reps: Roz Latham

How will protein structures help us in the fight against COVID-19?


Mpro with inhibitor

Alex Holmes is a second-year White Rose DTP student at the University of Leeds and volunteers as a Pint of Science team leader for the ‘Our Body’ strand. She works at the interface of structural, computational and chemical biology, using these techniques to study a family of membrane proteins and their potential druggability.

Read moreHow will protein structures help us in the fight against COVID-19?

Dr Patricija van Oosten-Hawle – Staff Showcase

Patricia van O and Sarah Good
Sarah Good and Patricija van Oosten-Hawle

Biography

I always wanted to become a scientist, from observing microorganisms under the microscope to understanding molecular structures and how the cell works. This is why I studied Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Vienna, Austria before finishing my MSc degree work at the University of Bonn, Germany. This was followed by PhD studies at the VU University in Amsterdam in the laboratory of Prof. Saskia van der Vies and Dr. Marco Siderius, where I focussed on the interplay of the Hsp90 chaperone machinery in stress-responsive MAP kinase signalling pathways in yeast.

Read moreDr Patricija van Oosten-Hawle – Staff Showcase

Shauni McGregor – International Poster Prize

Shauni McGregor is a plant biologist based at the University of Sheffield. Her PhD, which she began as part of the 2017 cohort, is entitled The Mechanics of Stomatal Function and focuses on plant gas exchange and water use, specifically in grasses and cereals.

Recently, Shauni has gained recognition at an international level. At the Society of Experimental Biology’s Annual Meeting in Seville, Spain, Shauni received an award for the best poster in the Stomatal and Photosynthetic Regulation of Water Use Efficiency session. Generously sponsored by ADC Scientific, the award was judged not only on the poster itself but also on a two-minute ‘flash talk’ delivered during the session to a sizeable audience.

Read moreShauni McGregor – International Poster Prize

Lewis White – Student Rep

Being a DTP Student Rep can provide much fun and valuable skills development.  Read Lewis White’s journey here:

Lewis began his PhD in 2016.  Supported by his supervisor, Dr Kanchon Dasmahapatra of The University of York, Lewis is researching: Life in extreme environments: adaptation and evolution of African soda lake fishes. 

He volunteered to take on the role of a Student Representative for the White Rose BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) in his first year and enjoyed the role so much that he plans to continue the role into his fourth and final year, from October 2019.  His contribution to the work of the DTP has proved invaluable.  In particular, planning and running an annual Symposium for just under 300 PhD students across the partnership is a huge responsibility that has been capably handled by Lewis, leading the current team of Student Reps (five reps in total).  This has had the advantage of ensuring the Symposium is student-friendly, whilst retaining the highest academic standards.  The detailed project planning has been exemplary, with the added benefit of allowing the DTP Co-ordinator to have an oversight and freeing up her time for other DTP tasks.  The student feedback on DTP training courses presented to the Management Board has positively influenced the development of the training programme for the new academic year.  Lewis’s leadership skills, teamwork, communication skills, commitment and his enthusiastic approach are much appreciated by the DTP Management Board.

Read moreLewis White – Student Rep

Rebecca Hall prize winner!

Rebecca Hall began her PhD as part of the DTP 2015/16 cohort at the University of York. Her project title is: The microbiome of the tsetse.

She has presented her work at numerous local and national events to universal acclaim. Within the department at York she has won KM Stott Prizes for both her 1st year poster presentation and her final year talk as well as a Science Faculty Prize for PhD Spotlight competition at YorkTalks. She also won a White Rose BBSRC DTP prize for the best final year talk.

Read moreRebecca Hall prize winner!

Women of Achievement 2018: Dr Katie Field

Highlighting the accomplishments of Dr Katie Field

Dr Katie Field is a supervisor at the University of Leeds – an example of the high calibre staff supporting our PhD students within the White Rose BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership. 

Dr Field, an Associate Professor in the School of Biology, is a superb scientist with extraordinary capacity for interdisciplinary innovation and has internationally-recognised expertise in symbioses between plants and fungi.

Katie was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Biological Sciences in 2017 for her research on the diversity and evolution of plant-fungal symbioses. These prestigious prizes recognise the achievement of outstanding researchers, whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising.

Read moreWomen of Achievement 2018: Dr Katie Field

Advice on how to transition from PhD to Senior Lecturer

See the following link for advice from Helen Coleman, who is a senior lecturer in cancer epidemiology at the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast.

Career advice for students considering a career in academia

While you are on the Times Higher Education website, it is worth browsing as you will find plenty of advice, blogs etc of relevance.  You will need to register before you can read any articles.