My respiratory research into asthma is related to the research I did during the placement year of my degree. I chose Leicester partly because of the funding available to me.
My department has been very supportive; the department listens to students’ need and makes changes and improvements. The quality of seminars is very good too. I have a great supervisor who is always supportive and encouraging of both my research and my personal development. There has also been a recent refurbishment of my labs and offices. There are plenty of resources for my research; I am based at Glenfield Hospital where I am provided with my own desk and computer for maximum working output. On campus, the David Wilson Library has got a very nice area reserved for postgraduate students.
The University of Leicester is a lively place, with a good mixture of cultures. It is a campus-based university but close enough to the city centre. The social life is good too, especially now we have got the O2 Academy, new cafés and restaurants at the newly refurbished Students' Union. For me the best thing about the campus is the David Wilson Library - it is very modern and very spacious.
My first few weeks at Leicester were exciting! I was busy settling down, learning more about my projects, getting to know people and learning my way round both the hospital and the campus.
The city is a good size with some good shops; I like the old market and the stylish shops off the main streets. There are quite a lot of stylish pubs which make good cocktails. I frequently visit the Highcross for shopping. I usually go to pubs in the city centre, but rarely go to the clubs.
I have got involved in the Department Postgraduate Student and Staff Committee. We organise departmental events such as the Welcome Reception at the start of each academic year, the Annual Postgraduate Student Conference, and some social events for students and staff. I am also in the University Volleyball Team.
I would recommend becoming involved in a society because it has helped me with enlarging both my research and non-research networks. It also helps me with enhancing certain transferable skills which I don’t always get in a research environment.
I have also made use of the careers support organised by Student Development and the Graduate School. I have taken part in The Winning Team (Leicester Award for Employability); Broadening Horizons; and the Postgraduate Careers Symposium.
The Winning Team was a four-month programme focused on skills for career development, enterprise and entrepreneurship. Broadening Horizons was a one-day programme that provided me with the opportunity, skills and tools to engage proactively in my own career development; The Postgraduate Careers Symposium was a one-day event, which explored the career paths and allowed me to network with some of the major employers in my field. These programmes have enhanced and improved my transferable skills.
Once I’ve finished my research my first priority would be to stay in academic research or to find medical research related positions in private sectors. This is something I have always planned on doing.
My time at Leicester has been very busy but yet very enjoyable. The University has provided for me with many training sessions, workshops and programmes covering different areas, both inside and outside research. My supervisor has been very encouraging of my research, both financially and academically. He has also been very supportive of my personal and career development.
I would recommend the University of Leicester and my one piece of advice for a new student starting here would be to have an open mind, to try everything available to you and never say no to an opportunity.