MCR DTP studentship past studentsResearch at Imperial College London is enabled by world-class expertise and takes place in departments rated 5 and 5* in the last RAE. Students who have received the MRC DTP Studentship are now participating in a wide variety of research topics throughout the College.

We recently asked our students what they like about the MRC DTP Studentship, what made them choose Imperial for their studies and about their activities and achievements. The following were put to them:

  • What were you doing before coming to Imperial?
  • Why did you choose Imperial College?
  • What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with? 
  • What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
  • What do you most appreciate about the Lab/Faculty/College?
  • What do you plan to do after you graduate?
  • Do you have any tips for future MRC DTP Scholarship applicants?
  • What opportunities have you benefitted from outside your PhD?

Expand each of the sections below to see what they have to say.

Accordion widget - Student profiles

Abel Tesfai (Year 3 PhD)

Abel Tesfai Title of PhD project
Understanding the link between amino acids and vascular function in cardiovascular inflammation and sepsis

What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
Student Ambassador at City Year London

Why did you choose Imperial?
1. Outstanding reputation and all the benefits that come with that including good research facilities.
2. I wanted a place where great students solved new problems as opposed to being in labs that survive on 'name' or past prestige.
3. Its located in London and however more expensive that may be, there's no other city like it.

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
Problem solving with people willing to help. When the culture is supportive it makes all the difference.

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
The chance to have a rotation; I tried out Hammersmith Campus, working on oncology and also Brompton Campus working on pharmacological effects of nutritional supplements in an inflammatory setting.   As you can tell from the short descriptions, the two projects varied greatly and allowed me to be immersed in completely different lab cultures and research areas.

Do you have any tips for future MRC DTP Scholarship applicants?
Sometimes it can be frustrating going on to a 4 year programme if you have a year or two in industry or a previous masters, but I think being at Imperial is unique and in the long run the extra year offered by scholarship is vital to have a firmer grip on a subject you are interested in. The studentship allows you to match up reality with expectations. It also allows for great flexibility as you come in with funds as opposed to being tied to a particular supervisor, this puts you at a great advantage.  Also it is headed by an incredibly supportive director who has been immensely helpful at each stage of my Masters/PhD, with yearly symposium to get in touch with other students funded by the same programme.

Amy McCallin (PhD submitted)

Amy McCallin Title of PhD project
The regulation of HTLV-1 integration by a host co-factor

What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
I was an undergraduate in Biomedical Science at Imperial before I started my DTP

Why did you choose Imperial?
Imperial has a world class reputation and is devoted to research, innovation and teaching in the STEM field. I knew it could teach me how to become a good scientist.

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
I enjoy the flexibility and creativity of research. The people I work with are generally very open minded and bring new perspectives to their work and consequently to mine as well.

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
The opportunity to devote all my attention to developing myself fully as a junior scientist without having to worry about where to find financial support.

What do you most appreciate about the Lab/Faculty/College?
Diversity and quality of research.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
Find a role as a post-doctoral scientist.

Do you have any tips for future MRC DTP Scholarship applicants?
Maintain a good work/life balance. Sometimes your work will require you to work long hours or weekends, but there will be times when things are not as intense. When those times come, do not waste them! Use that time to enjoy yourself, learn a new hobby or take a holiday.  Always remember why you love science. It's easy to get demotivated or feel overwhelmed by your project, but this is totally normal and every scientist goes through this. So it's important to be able to take a step back to regain perspective and rediscover your motivation.

What opportunities have you benefited from outside your PhD?
I have benefited from many of the graduate school courses that develop transferable skills such as how to give good oral/poster presentations. I have also taken advantage of many of the sports clubs at Imperial to try new sports such as rock climbing, yoga and swimming. I enjoy attending lectures within and outside of the College. These can be good opportunities to gain a different perspective on your work or to broaden your horizons to other interesting fields.

Andrea Rodriguez Martinez (Year 3 PhD)

Andrea Rodriguez Title of PhD project
Genetic Mapping of Metabonomic Markers of CardioMetabolic Diseases.

What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
I was doing my BSc in Biotechnology at the University of Salamanca.
 
Why did you choose Imperial?
While Biotechnology can open doors to various professional careers paths, above all, Biomedical Research interests me the most. The main reason why I chose Imperial was because it is a world leading university in the field of Biomedicine, with excellent links with the industry, several hospitals, and other research institutions. Also, because of its location, Imperial gives you the unique opportunity to interact with people from a broad range of cultural backgrounds, pretty much from everywhere in the world.

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
I really like the working environment in my Department (Surgery and Cancer). People are really friendly and always happy to help you when you struggle with something.

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
My PhD is funded by 3 different PhD schemes. From the MRC program, I really like the fact that it gives you the opportunity to participate in many academic and networking activities.

Oliver Lyth (Year 2 PhD)

Title of PhD project
Role of a conserved Plasmodium complex in the invasion of host cells

What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
Masters at University of Oxford

Why did you choose Imperial?
Excellent reputation in the Sciences combined and great scope for collaborations with other groups in London

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
I enjoy working towards a greater goal. Even if something doesn't work, something can be learned. Troubleshooting problems with colleagues and taking on board their advice.

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
Additional funded 6 months write up period at the end of the research period.

Do you have any tips for future MRC DTP Scholarship applicants?
Show your passion and enthusiasm

Thomas Crellen (Writing-up PhD)

Thomas Crellen Title of PhD project
Genomics and Epidemiology of Schistosoma mansoni
 
What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
Studied at the University of Cambridge and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Why did you choose Imperial?
Imperial College is a leading institute in the research of schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease. It benefits from links with a number of Ministries of Health in endemic countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, thanks to the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative which is an NGO based at the School of Public Health.

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
Researchers at the School of Public Health have a lot of expertise in statistics and modelling so if you're starting out in these areas there are a lot of people around to help you and advise on your project.

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
The studentship allows you to take a flexible and independent approach to your research as you aren't tied to a particular Supervisor's project. The research funds are also useful for going to conferences or on fieldwork. I've been to conferences in New Orleans and on Greek Islands. I've also been able to work closely with collaborators at the Sanger Institute in Cambridge which has given me a broader academic experience.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
Hopefully enter into applied public health or epidemiology work

Do you have any tips for future MRC DTP Scholarship applicants?
It's a good idea to meet with your potential supervisors before you apply to get a sense of the projects you would be able to do and get a sense of how you will get on together.

What opportunities have you benefited from outside your PhD?
In 2014 I did three months of fieldwork in Uganda for my PhD and also went on a month long exchange to Hong Kong University.

Natsuko Imai (PhD submitted)

Title of PhD project
Refining estimates of dengue transmissibility and implications for control

What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Why did you choose Imperial?
The Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College was especially attractive as its research relies not only on clinicians and health professionals, but also laboratory scientists and population-based researchers to influence health policy. The MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling within the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology works on several of the most prominent and topical diseases of today, as well as important neglected tropical diseases. The Centre incorporates multiple disciplines and sources of data to help inform real policy decisions prospectively and in real-time as seen recently with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
The studentship is not tied to a particular project which already has very clear objectives. It therefore allowed me to really invest in research I was personally interested in.

What opportunities have you benefited from outside your PhD?
My PhD has given me the opportunity to travel to international conferences and hear from leaders in the field, as well as being able to see how global public health is progressing as a whole. Hearing Bill Gates speak at ASTMH was a particular highlight.  Additionally my department are heavily involved in public engagement and science communication. Having volunteered at the MRC Big Bang event and at the Life Game at the Science Museum, it is always great fun to teach kids and often adults how science and research can have a impact on their health in a tangible way.

Mike Paul-Smith (PhD submitted)

Michael Paul-Smith Title of PhD project
Gene therapy for alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency

What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
Medical Student

Why did you choose Imperial?
I chose Imperial College because of the focus on translational research. As a former medical student, I wanted to make sure that my research could realistically contribute to the treatment of disease and the focus on translational research sets Imperial apart from many other universities.

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
Doing research is a very stimulating experience, giving you time to think and develop your own ideas. The laboratory I work in has a lot going on including clinical trials and pre-clinical work, meaning there is a lot to think and talk about!

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
The MRC DTP Studentship has provided invaluable funding, allowing me to do research. The support and opportunities for MRC DTP students are great, and the yearly colloquiums are always rewarding learning experiences.

Harriet Gliddon (PhD submitted)

Harriet Gliddon

Title of PhD project
Engineering a novel diagnostic test for tuberculosis using nanoparticle-based detection of a whole blood gene expression signature.

What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
I was already at Imperial, studying for a BSc in Biochemistry.

Why did you choose Imperial?
I wanted to carry out a PhD at Imperial for two reasons. First, the College really encourages interdisciplinary work. It recognises the challenges that go hand in hand with working with groups from different faculties and does all it can to make it as easy and straightforward as possible. The second reason is that Imperial has a reputation for translational research and solving some of society's most pressing problems.

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
I feel very lucky to work with a very diverse group of people, including clinicians, bioinformaticians, materials scientists, organic chemists and bioengineers. Getting feedback from all these people really enriches my work and allows me to see the project from many perspectives. Day to day, I spend most of my time in the lab. I really like doing practical laboratory work and the feeling I get when I get a challenging experiment to work! I also spend a lot of my time presenting at various meetings (group meetings, departmental meetings, conferences etc.). I'm not great at presenting, but doing it so often has made me much more comfortable with talking about my work in front of large audiences.

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
I feel very lucky to have begun my 4.5 Year Studentship with an MRes in Biomedical Research, which gave me time to decide where to carry out my PhD. I also developed some important research skills during my MRes, which have come in handy during my PhD. I have recently been awarded some funding by the Imperial MRC Supplement Scheme for High Cost Training. The Supplement Scheme can also help fund a variety of other activities, including outreach and internships. This sort of funding is very rare and extremely useful! Every year, the MRC DTP holds a Colloquium for the Studentship holders. This is a fantastic opportunity to hear some fantastic speakers and meet/catch up with other students.

What do you most appreciate about the Lab/Faculty/College?
The Graduate School provides a huge range of excellent courses. I particularly enjoyed the Mini MBA Course, which allowed me to increase my commercial awareness. My Department runs an annual PhD Symposium, giving us the opportunity to showcase our work and learn about what are peers are doing. Both labs I work in provide all the resources and support I need so I can fully focus on my work without having to worry about doing too much admin.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
I would like to stay in academia for the time being, ideally starting with a Postdoc position overseas. I would then consider applying for fellowships. I would also be interested in spending a few years in industry as I think it would be a very useful experience.

Do you have any tips for future MRC DTP Scholarship applicants?
I would advise future applicants to make the most of all the opportunities available to MRC DTP Students and also to all Postgraduate Students at Imperial. Also, try to choose a topic that genuinely interests you, which will help motivate you!

What opportunities have you benefited from outside your PhD?
In October 2014, I put together a team for the Biotechnology Young Entrepeneurs Scheme (YES) Competition. We managed to get to the finals and won the GlaxoSmithKline Award for Best Healthcare Business Plan. This was a really fantastic experience and I think we all enjoyed the opportunity to be creative and not take it too seriously! I've also really enjoyed tutoring Fourth Year Medical Students on the Global Health BSc and Second Years on the Problem-Based Learning Course. Teaching experience can be particularly useful if you're planning on pursuing a career in academia. I'm very interested in science communication and public engagement, so have tried to do as much outreach as possible during my PhD. I'm a STEMNET Ambassador and an Imperial Outreach Postgraduate Ambassador, which means I often speak in schools about what it's like to do a PhD and what the advantages are of studying science subjects. More recently, I was awarded a Biochemical Society Outreach Grant to run an Infectious Diseases Workshop for A-level students, which involved lots of practicals and activities!

Edward Parker (PhD submitted)

 

Ed ParkerTitle of PhD project
Oral vaccine failure in low-income countries: influence of the intestinal microbiota

What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
I was an assistant commissioning editor for a scientific journal

Why did you choose Imperial?
I was keen on studying the ways in which vaccines that are already available might be used more effectively, and Imperial's Department of Disease Epidemiology has a group that specialises in this. I feel very fortunate to have been able to join them for my PhD.

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
The work is incredibly varied, so I am constantly facing new challenges: I may spend Monday in the lab, Tuesday as a bioinformatician, and Wednesday as an epidemiologist. It is a constant juggling act, but an exciting one. I also feel very privileged to be surrounded by people who deal with big global health problems - from the ebola outbreak to the polio eradication endgame. They do amazing work, but still find the time to be supportive colleagues.

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
I had a very clear idea about the project I wanted to work on during my PhD, and the DTP studentship helped make this happen. The MRC have also supported my academic development outside the PhD, encouraging me to enter the Max Perutz science writing award, and funding me to carry out a 3-month internship at 'Sense About Science', a charity which promotes the public understanding of science.

Tom Bond (Year 2 PhD)

Tom BondTitle of PhD project
Life course epidemiology of diabetes

What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
Studying medicine at Southampton

Why did you choose Imperial?
Imperial has a reputation for excellent work in my field (public health and epidemiology). However the main reason I chose to come to Imperial was that it gave me access to both excellent supervision in my chosen area, and unique data (from the Northern Finland Birth Cohorts).

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
I get very over-excited when I get new results. The moment when you have found a new association, and you are the only person in the world who knows about it, is very cool.

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
I most valued the fact that funding is available for four years, which allowed me to do the MSc Epidemiology before starting my PhD. I have found doing the MSc first invaluable- it has given me a broad base of knowledge which I think would have been hard to pick up during the PhD.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
At the moment I am planning to continue in academia, with post-doc jobs or a fellowship.

Do you have any tips for future MRC DTP Scholarship applicants?
I think it was useful to me to have a clear idea of the work I wanted to do for my PhD, and to have researched the options which were available to me in terms of potential supervisors as thoroughly as possible.

Helen Groves (Year 2 PhD)

 

Helen GrovesTitle of PhD project
How respiratory infections affect the gut microbiome

What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
Undergraduate degree at the University of Leeds

Why did you choose Imperial?
Predominantly because I wanted to do my PhD at a university that specialised in, or was world renown for, science. I felt that at a place like Imperial College there would be experts in almost all areas of biology which, once I'd completed my Masters year, would give me the most choice of what I wanted to do for my PhD.

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
I think the thing I most enjoy about my day to day work is having pretty much full control over how I structure my day. If you feel like getting in late(ish) but working till 9pm then you can, if you prefer to get in at 8am and leave early then that's fine too. If you want a desk day where you catch up on all your reading because you're not feeling very energetic then you can. Alternatively if you need a break from the computer, but don't have any experiments of your own that need doing, then there's always someone else in the lab who you can help and then you have the added benefit of learning a new technique. The office I work in is pretty social, most people have lunch together and there are often little trips to the pub, particularly after long days. I think it's really important to get on with your group and to feel comfortable around them as you're going to be there for at least 3 years.

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
The opportunity to "test run" two different groups in two different areas of biology. A PhD is a big commitment and you need to be fully on board with no reservations, so having a Masters year where you can try out the type of lab work you'd be doing (e.g. you might find you really don't like working with animals) and getting to know the people you'd be working with is really useful.

Sean Kassen (Year 3 PhD)

 

Sean KassenTitle of PhD project
The development and application of novel crystallisation methodology to medically relevant proteins

What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
Did voluntary work experience at the University of East Anglia and a breast cancer charity on cancer-related research. Before that, completed an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science after initially training and working in the business sector.

Why did you choose Imperial?
I want to pursue a research career and decided on completing a Master's degree and used it as a stepping stone to my doctoral studies. I was aware of Imperial College's teaching and research reputation, both nationally and also internationally and found a Master's course which ticked all the boxes. As a London-based institution, it is ideally placed to leverage its location to prospective local and international students and maximising this to enhance its status further as one of the premier universities globally. I wanted to be part of a place that values diversity and has a strong ethos of excellence and achievement. I am proud to be an alumnus of Imperial College.

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
My day to day work is varied and interesting and I get to work with very experienced researchers and my current team have taken me under their wings and nurtured and skilled me up with great care and support. I enjoy the flexible and relaxed nature of our group and value our various research collaborations, at IC, nationally and internationally, in our pursuit of our research aims.

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
Being part of a cohort of students is invaluable and allows for interactions between fellow MRC funded students through events like the annual Imperial MRC DTP Colloquium at the start of each academic year. This allows for catching up with other students on the programme which you may not see regularly and also meeting the new cohorts that joins yearly and offering them advice about life as a research student and any general input about life at Imperial etc. Also, the Colloquium is very helpful as it covers different themed topics which is valuable for us as research students and future researchers, such as a recent workshop on science policy in government; and developing a research profile and planning for a life and career after your doctoral studies. There are many other benefits which can be explored on the MRC DTP webpages.

What do you most appreciate about the Lab/Faculty/College?
The diversity. I love working with people from different cultures and backgrounds and feel that this rich mix of talented students, researchers and academic staff from all over the world is what makes Imperial what it is today. Long may it continue.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
Possibly a future career in research. If not, I am open-minded about the future and will see what opportunities come my way over the next few years. I would like to keep my feet in the sciences if possible, as it is what makes me happy.

Do you have any tips for future MRC DTP Scholarship applicants?
A bit of a cliche, but work hard, play hard is definitely a motto to adopt. Pace yourself so you don't burn out before the end of your studies. Patience, motivation and perseverance are definitely traits needed for completing a PhD, so don't throw in the towel at the first site of a problem. Keep the lines of communication open with your PI/supervisor and postdoc and if you are not happy with your supervision raise it with your supervisor. If that is not possible, seek out your secondary supervisor and/or a mentor to discuss any relationship and/or work-related issues. Don't let it drag on as it will impact your work, mood and commitment to your studies. Also, don't suffer in silence, your emotional well-being and overall mental health is just as important as your research and studies. Get in touch with free counselling services on campus in need. A problem shared is a problem halved.

What opportunities have you benefitted from outside your PhD?
I participate as part of our group in the annual Imperial College Science Festival which allows us to communicate our research and science in general to a wider audience outside Imperial. Communicating science to the general public is a public engagement activity which I thoroughly enjoy as it allows me to connect with children as little as 5 years to adults well into their years about what we do and the value of our work to society. This also allows me to try and inspire the younger generation to follow a path into science and make them passionate about it.

Additional information
A research paper written in our group has just been accepted for publication in Nature: Scientific Reports. It will appear in the journal in January 2016. I am not the first author, but am a noted author on that paper and it involves research work which I completed as part of a 6 month lab rotation whilst completing my MRes Biomedical Research degree. Hopefully, this will be the first of many.

Susanna Mitolo (Writing-up PhD)

 

Susanna MitoloTitle of PhD project
The role of the lateral cerebellum in locomotion

What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
I completed a BSc in Neuroscience at King's College London

Why did you choose Imperial?
I knew I wanted to develop research experience in Neuroscience. But the field is incredibly big, each lab focusing on a specific technique, brain area or even a single cell type. After my undergraduate degree, I knew that the techniques I wanted to develop were optogenetics, or the ability to manipulate neuronal activity with light-activated proteins, and electrophysiology. After some research I found the Neural Coding Lab at Imperial College, run by Dr. Simon Schultz. A good-sized lab, using the tools I most wanted to develop and with a solid base in neural coding analysis, was my first choice. After a year doing an MRes with Dr. Schultz, I was incredibly lucky to obtain an MRC DTP studentship to continue my research into a PhD here at Imperial.

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
I like that every person in my lab comes from a slightly different background. Any problem you might have in the practicality of an experiment or in the way you want to analyse your data, someone will know how to help you. I enjoy the advice and availability of all my colleagues. There is a friendly and cooperating atmosphere plus the communal will to work hard and do good science.

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
I am very happy with the continuous support we have received during the years, especially with events aimed at helping us choose our future career.

What do you most appreciate about the Lab/Faculty/College?
I like the friendly atmosphere in both my lab and my department. Every person is approachable and ready to give you advice if you need.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
I am still debating whether to remain in science or try something different. Science is a great open field for me. There are so many things out there, it can be overwhelming to know that my research is only a small speckle. Yet, with so much to learn and apply, there are infinite possibilities both inside and outside science. I don't think I would leave the science world entirely anyway. I would love to have something to do with passing complicated scientific facts to the general public.

Do you have any tips for future MRC DTP Scholarship applicants?
Have a solid plan, talk to all your colleagues, think of all the things that might not go as you wanted, have a plan B and a plan C. The biggest of all tips I could ever give though is to talk to your colleagues and to never be afraid to express your doubts. Experienced people always have the best advice. But in any case, use your head and be active. It is your life and your PhD, you need to extract the best experience out of it.

Miriam Ries (Writing-up PhD)

 

Miriam RiesTitle of PhD project
The role of Annexin-A1 in the control of amyloid beta clearance and in regulating blood brain barrier functionality in Alzheimer's disease

What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
Undergraduate Natural Sciences (Neuroscience) Trinity College Cambridge

Why did you choose Imperial?
I applied to a number of world class institutions in the UK that offered 1+3 PhD programmes.

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
I enjoy working in the lab, and it is always exciting doing experiments that no one has done before!

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
I value the additional perks, such as the travel funding and the MRC supplement scheme which allows additional internships or placements. It is also nice to be part of the MRC community, and seeing everyone at the MRC colloquium days.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
Unsure

What opportunities have you benefitted from outside your PhD?
Student rep Imperial College Pint of Science coordinator

Christine Styles (Year 3 PhD)

Title of PhD project
A Study of Epstein Barr Virus Oncoproteins EBNA3A and EBNA3C In Vitro and In Vivo

What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
I did my BSc in Biology with Microbiology and my MSc in Virology, both at Imperial

Why did you choose Imperial?
I originally chose Imperial due to its international reputation as an institution and its focus on research. I have remained here for all three of my degrees as Imperial remains a world leader in the fields of research I am most interested in, with excellent lecturers and labs in which I am fortunate to be a part of.

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
I enjoy the fact that I love what I do. I have always been passionate about learning and research and I am very fortunate to be able to work on a subject that interests me, to the benefit of knowledge within that subject.

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
I value the studentship as it enables me to continue my studies and is enabling me to fulfill my ambition of gaining a PhD and starting a career in research. The studentship provides considerable support through the PhD process and also provides interesting talks and networking opportunities.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
After I graduate I hope to continue working in research and plan to undertake a post-doc position to do so.

Do you have any tips for future MRC DTP Scholarship applicants?
I would recommend researching the lab groups you want to work within. Ensure you meet the PI and researchers of that group, and have a look around lab

Honor Bixby (Year 3 PhD)

Honor Bixby Title of PhD project
Urban living and cardio-metabolic risk factors for noncommunicable diseases

What were you doing before coming to Imperial?
Working at Imperial as a research assistant in the department of Primary Care and Public Health

Why did you choose Imperial College?
Having done my undergrad and Masters in Public Health both here I'd built up good relationships with people that meant one opportunity led to the next. I became familiar with researchers' work and knew who to approach with my interests. The high standard of research here made staying an obvious choice!

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
I have enjoyed putting into practice the skills I've acquired from my studies to produce hopefully meaningful work that can contribute to public health planning. This was why I chose to stay in research in the first place. I've also enjoyed delving deeper into the realms of statistics to improve my ability to produce meaningful work. Here my research group has been invaluable. Everyone on the team is highly supportive and willing to discuss any difficulties that I inevitably come across.

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
The funding that they provide for training and further development is great. There is also additional funding for if you want to get involved in outreach or other projects.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
I want to continue on with research in public health and epidemiology. I'd love to go abroad for a year or so, perhaps to the States.

Do you have any tips for future MRC DTP Scholarship applicants?
Take time to talk to the students of potential supervisors - only they can tell you what the day to day is like when working with that person.

Lucy Li (Writing-up PhD)

Title of PhD project
Epidemiological inference for sparsely sampled epidemics from both genealogical and epidemiologic data

What were you doing before coming to Imperial College London?
MPhil in Computation Biology at University of Cambridge

Why did you choose Imperial?
The Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology is a world-leader in the field that I'm interested in.

What do you enjoy most about your day to day work and the people you work with?
I can see how my work impacts public health decisions. Most people I work with are friendly and eager to help, and are very good at what they do.

What do you most value about the MRC DTP Studentship?
The freedom to shape my PhD project.

What opportunities have you benefited from outside your PhD?
Student union clubs and societies, and sporting facilities provided by the College.