The trials and tribulations of a girl trying to make her way in the wide world of science

50 shades of animal research

An interesting article posted on The Guardian website today about the rise in the use of animals in research. Cue massive sweeping statements from the against and for camps. 


It’s now official! After months of hard work, sleepless nights and endless anxiety I have earned my degree and have the grades to continue on in this crazy world of science. I am absolutely over the moon about it all and celebrated in the appropriate fashion: drinks and a midnight showing of Prometheus. Hopefully I’ll be able to update more often now I have some time on my hands till I start at The Trop Shop in September.

Heres a nice photo of most of us celebrating our hard-earned 1st and 2.1’s with one of our favourite lecturers:

If you don’t already own it, I implore you to go out and get your hands on a copy of Mark Henderson’s The Geek Manifesto. A great read that highlights whats happening and whats wrong with science policy in the UK today. You can follow Mark Henderson on twitter here:

And on a final note, good luck to Tarsier Sally in her forthcoming adventures. She has set up what will no doubt be an amazing blog.


The results are in…

I have officially been offered a place on a masters at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, or I am now going to affectionately call it: The Trop Shop.
More details to follow but I can confirm that I am going to be spending nearly every waking minute from now till December raising the 8 grand it is going to cost me in fees. Once again, I ask for your luck.


A wall has been hit in the planned career path.

Due to the overall lack of postgrad jobs and exacerbated by the lack of funding available, the prospects of a happy postgrad life are beginning to look a little bleak.

Originally, my plan was to go straight into a Phd following my undergrad studies. Being a mature student I wanted to go head first, guns blazing into the industry. However, that is now looking less and less likely.

I have now applied for quite a few Phd studentships, ranging from advertised 4 year placements to emailing prospective supervisors whose work i am interested in. All these have come back with one of two replies:
1. “I am sorry, but we do not currently have any funding in place to be able to offer any positions”
Or 2. “Due to the high standard of applications this year…”
I have found that with the latter, my friends and myself tend to be up against other applicants who also have a masters, a load of work experience and a few publications under their belt. In short, people who a lowly undergrad cannot compete with.

Now of course, with that much experience they should get the position, but I cannot help but feel slightly disgruntled at the prospect of not being able to compete for ANY Phd studentship. However, a year or two ago, these high fliers probably felt exactly the same way.

So, I have resigned myself to doing a masters degree to be able to compete for positions at a higher level. Now it is not the extra year of study that has put my off till now, it is the shear amount of money that they cost. Now, unless a rich distant aunt is feeling particularly generous, not many people can afford the near £10,000 fees for a year plus living expenses. Funding for these courses is also inadequate, with some offering no funding, most offering sparse funding for a fraction of the amount of money needed and a very small number offering full funding for a small number of select students.

It feels like we have gone back in time, to when a career in science was the luxury of a select few who could afford to do so.

Now, with some very careful budgeting and a career development loan (Oh yay. More debt) I should be able to make the financial grade. I took the plunge by applying to The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine last December. The decision is expected by the end of this week…..

I ask for your luck academically and financially. And perhaps a cardboard box donation.


And….. She’s back!

Once again, I find myself apologising to my (possibly non-existent) readers for the prolonged absence. I have no excuse apart from my complete lack of time management skills of late, which is not what my CV says 😉

So, to get us back on track, have some light relief in the form of this extremely cute cartoon


A referral back to an early post now. This interesting article comes courtesy of one of my lecturers. Enjoy.

Glad that she is not an American, or a Republican follower.

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