Careers › PhD Studentships › Life as a postgraduate
As an undergraduate, you will appreciate the importance of pursuing studies that will assist your career aspirations whilst at the same time having time to enjoy the varied social life that universities offer. At RRes, we also want our postgraduates to develop their independence of thought and to progress their ideas as individuals and to learn to contribute as part of a research team. We hope that our postgraduates will be enriched by working within an acknowledged centre of excellence and that they will enjoy and remember RRes as a productive period in their personal development.
Ben Webster – Biological Chemistry (started 2005)
After spending 2 years working in an office after my undergraduate studies I felt I wanted to return to science. I found it very easy to settle in here. The social life is great and I found a real sense of community at Rothamsted. The Pavilion is a bar owned and run by Rothamsted staff and a great place to meet on a Friday after work. Starting out at the Manor is a great way to meet people when you first come here as it’s where most people live when they first start work. Rothamsted also owns a lot of property in the area which is rented to staff at very reasonable prices. This means that although Harpenden is normally an expensive area to rent, I didn’t have problems finding somewhere affordable.
One of the things I like most about Rothamsted is the focussed research environment. I think the main difference between studying at a research institute like Rothamsted and a University is that the work here is much more applied – research looking at practical solutions to real problems. It makes it a very exciting place to work knowing that your research may be of real benefit to people. The supervision and training you receive here is excellent. It isn’t just about having one or two people to go to for advice and guidance – everyone in the department may play a part. If you need to learn a technique you can learn it from the resident expert. Some of the worlds leading experts in your field may be just down the corridor!
Stephen Pearce – Plant Sciences (started 2005)
Rothamsted Research initially appealed to me as a place to do a PhD because of its reputation in agricultural research but I think the attention and support you receive as a student here are very important. With a focus on applied research and no teaching commitments, my supervisors are happy to help with any problems arising in my research, in addition to advice provided from other members of our group. The number of people within the department that have helped me to learn techniques and solve certain problems is huge and is testament to the friendly research atmosphere at Rothamsted, which is perhaps not so strongly felt at a university. In addition, Rothamsted has excellent facilities, with well-equipped labs and technical support – an important part of any research.
I settled quickly at Rothamsted, largely due to the accommodation provided when I first arrived. Starting out living in Rothamsted Manor was a great place to meet students in the same situation as me. With the many organized sports at Rothamsted, there is a lot to do socially. Studying for a PhD at Rothamsted has been a very positive experience for me, largely because of the friendly, helpful research environment and the people I have met here.
Sarah Lee – Plant Pathology and Microbiology (started 2005)
I originally came to Rothamsted as part of a vacation studentship, but very quickly decided that this was somewhere to pursue my PhD. The main attraction for me was the large concentration of plant pathologists working at the same institute. At my previous place of study, there were only a couple of plant pathologists, but at Rothamsted there is a wealth of knowledge and expertise in plant pathology readily available. As part of a larger research group, there are plenty of people for me to talk to and exchange ideas about my work, as well as contributing to other people’s projects. For me, another big draw was the opportunity to do a PhD which had a practical element with yearly field trials, so I could not only examine the causal organism in the lab, but also study the effects of the disease in the field. Although Rothamsted is small by university standards, there is a large enough student intake each year to mean that many good friends are made and this also makes for a vibrant social life.
Rebecca Nesbitt – Plant and Invertebrate Ecology (started 2005)
As an ecologist, it was clear to me that Rothamsted does some very interesting and topical research. My group also has some unique and exciting equipment which I am using in my PhD. Not to mention that the people who developed it are just down the corridor!
There are ways in which I have a very different lifestyle here compared to my friends spending all their time at universities. My supervisors have no teaching commitments so are able to help me with my fieldwork. Harpenden may not be a vibrant university city, but with our on site bar, lunchtime sports, and London just half an hour away, it is a great place to be. Rothamsted is also very international; I have really enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. We’re a relatively small group of students, which means we support each other- everyone knows everyone else. I have some great friends and colleagues here.
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Operates two national networks for monitoring insect populations in the UK. More...
Provides the research community access to a range of in situ state-of-the-art instrumentation in hydrologically isolated fields and farms to better address key issues in sustainable agriculture. More...
A database of interactions between pathogens and their hosts maintained at Rothamsted Research with international input. More...
These have been running since the mid 19th Century, provide a unique experimental system and archive of soil and plant samples. More...
Rothamsted Research receives
strategic funding from the BBSRC
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