March 08, 2015

Post–PhD multi–tasking!


Over a month has passed since my last entry - where is the time going?!

I am still working as a research technician and enjoying the variety in my role. I am able to work on data from my PhD project in preparation for publication. This is challenging as everything is new and I am anxious about my target of delivering a draft manuscript in 3 months time. It has taken a while to get to this point where I know how to prepare and obtain the data I want to analyse from what I started with, so the analysis is only just starting, but I am hoping that once things get underway progress will be swifter!

I am also doing some lab work on another project looking at micorbiomes in dairy cattle - I always enjoyed the practical side of my PhD, so I find some time in the lab a welcome distraction and an opportunity to learn more and increase my lab competence.

Another animal welfare project in my research group requires some data entry, which admittedly isn't the most exciting, but is really valuble in terms of getting the project completed on time so I am happy to help.

I am have two meetings to present my PhD data for help and advice and to get more analysis underway which I am currently preparing for.

I am also a writing mentor for MSc students, so I meet with them from time to time to discuss their writing and how to make improvements. I always try to provide as much advice as possible from my own experience in a constructive and positive way!

At the same time I work as a mentor for a fantastic company called IGGY which runs an online social network with learning resources. This means I travel around England visiting young people at schools and introducing them to the service. I also produce content for the website, take part in live web chats, blog on different topics and debate with the young people in lots of interesting discussions. I love working for IGGY and at the same time it improves my skills in communication, presenting, outreach work, builds a network of contacts and helps me get creative with communicating complicated subjects!

Now I've written it all down, I now realize why time feels like it is rapidly disappearing! I do like being busy though and sometimes find it difficult to relax!

On the post-PhD job hunt, I am waiting to hear back on a grant where I am the named research fellow which is very exciting, but I am working on the assumption that this may not be successful so that I have other options. I've had no luck with the knowledge transfer role I applied for, but I do have an interview for a senior technician position. Ideally my goal is to get a research fellow position, but this technician role offers me the opportunity to expand my lab capabilities, get involved in some different research from my PhD and provide even more material for publication, all of which will strengthen grant and research fellow job applications.

So it's all go go go! I wouldn't have it any other way!

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