Evgeniia Rusina studied medicine in her native Russia, but the decision not to pursue a career as a doctor led her to Edinburgh where she researched Integrative Neuroscience. She is now completing her PhD in France.
MSc by Research - Integrative Neuroscience
|Year of graduation
At the moment
Right now I am finishing my PhD in Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France. Meanwhile, I am actively looking for a job and I am super excited about possible opportunities and my future career development. PhD was hard but totally worth it.
Your time at the University
I got offers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and chose the former. Well, that was (without exaggeration) the best and the most important decision I have taken in my life.
I had finished studying at the I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, and graduated in 2016 with a degree in General Medicine. However, by that time I had already realised that being a medical doctor is not really what I dreamed about. My best friend and I decided to look for opportunities to go abroad, and started applying to different universities for MSc and PhD programmes. I got offers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and chose the former. Well, that was (without exaggeration) the best and the most important decision I have taken in my life.
Neuroscience was my chosen subject as I was always interested in the human brain, and back in medical school I oriented towards neurology and psychiatry. The Master of Science by Research in Integrative Neuroscience offered a broad variety of fields within the discipline so that I could chose whatever I liked the most. The programme was intense, but with my background I did rather well and managed to get a diploma with merit. I especially liked the research part and was lucky to work for Professor Seth Grant, studying the synaptome of a mouse brain. I liked my lab and, even though I did not have any research experience at that time, my senior colleagues taught me everything I needed to know - and those skills helped me later to find a PhD position. However, it was not easy to stay in the UK, since I am not a EU citizen, and after graduation my path led me to France, where I am still living at the moment. I really miss Edinburgh though - the city gave me so many experiences that I could write an entire book of my life there. I hope to come back soon.
Your experiences since leaving the University
After my graduation I wanted to stay in UK, but as an overseas resident I faced some challenges. In particular, I was a bit late in applying for scholarships and fellowships for a PhD (it was really my major mistake - do not be like me!) and self-funding was not possible either. So in September 2017, I came back to Russia and started looking for jobs/PhDs all over Europe. I was lucky to find a fully-funded position in Marseille, France, and in November I was there working in my new lab. The topic was fairly different from my research project in Edinburgh, but my experience with rodents and skills in molecular biology helped me greatly.
My lab in Marseille is a neuroengineering lab and our research is centred around electrical brain stimulation and various disease models it can be applied to. I developed models of Parkinson’s disease and Epilepsy and tested the novel Temporal Interference paradigm which is essentially a deep brain stimulation via cortical electrodes. I'm now anticipating an exciting future, so no matter how hard my PhD is, I keep my chin up.
We are infinitely lucky to be a part of the University of Edinburgh family. No matter how hard it is, how many times you want to give up and quit, studying is never a waste of time. If you feel like you are not in the right place - talk to people! Opportunities hide everywhere and every little conversation can lead to a life-changing event. And at the University of Edinburgh, such events take place much more often than you think.