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PhD Inspiration - Boo Virk, The Babraham Institute
Posted on 3 Apr '18

PhD Inspiration - Dr Boo Virk, The Babraham Institute

Considering a PhD, but wondering what you'll actually get out of it? We've sat down with some of the UK's top academics to hear their experiences and thoughts on postgraduate study. Dr Boo Virk is currently studying for a PostDoc in Epigenetics at The Babraham Institute. Here she shares some advice for new students.


Video Transcript

Why did you do a PhD?

For me, it was always something I had in my mind. As soon as I did my degree, I was like, “right, I want to do a PhD, I want to see as far as this goes.” But then after my degree, I actually took some time off, because I wanted to make sure I really wanted to do a PhD. It was a big commitment to take. So, I went traveling and then I still was like, no, I need to do a PhD, I need to know what it's like to have my own research project, my own kind of thing, have some freedom in what I'm doing and get real big picture of science.

What did you get out of doing a PhD?

So, from my PhD, I learnt that science isn't as clean as they make out in your degree. Things don't always work, but I also learnt that I'm actually quite a tough character, and in science that's really helpful. So, I've learned that projects don't always go the way you want.

What was the biggest challenge during your PhD?

I was joining a new lab and I was the only student so it was a lot of pressure. I was lucky in the sense that I kind of knew a bit about the project beforehand, but jumping in and just kind of being put on the bench and then “OK, then go.”, it was like, “what? Where are my directions? What's happening?”

What's your top PhD tip?

You need to definitely find the supervisor for you, the kind of supervisor that works in the same style as you. So, my supervisor was not, for example, "you need to be in the lab from nine to five." It was flexible working.




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