Postgraduate Study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary Futures Await

Q&A with Alisha: PhD interview tips, how to study at Edinburgh & advice for first years!

Alisha, one of our PhD Tissue Repair students based at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine answers questions about doing a Masters before starting a PhD, the interview process and some top tips for first years.

Tell us a bit about your course and research

Hi! I'm Alisha and I’m on the Wellcome Trust Tissue Repair PhD programme. I’m based in the Forrester lab at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine, which is a part of the Institute for Regeneration and Repair. I am currently working on the role of macrophages in anaemia (specifically congenital dyserythropoietic anaemia type 4).




Did you do a Masters before your PhD?

I did! I did a Masters by Research in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at Imperial College London. There are definitely PhD students who come straight from Bachelors, but for me, I needed that extra year to learn more before starting my PhD, it’s really up to the person.


Do you have any top tips for the PhD interview process?

Make sure to research thoroughly the lab or centre you are applying for. Read their papers and make sure you really know the background, it will help to show you really want and are interested in that position!


What to include in the slide presentation about yourself during the PhD interview?

Make sure you cover your educational and research background, so your degree(s) and any research experience. Most of the time you will actually do a full presentation about a project you have done, including your data, etc.



What are your tips for first years?

If you are lab-based like me, focus on learning all the techniques that you’ll be doing correctly, data will come later so try not to worry too much. And make friends! You’ll need a good support network.


How can I study in Edinburgh?

Lots of different ways at the University:

  • Undergraduate degrees
  • Masters degrees
  • PhDs

There are even lots of summer courses you can do (currently online due to COVID). You can find more information here:


How easy is it for an international student to be fully funded for a PhD?

It’s slightly harder just because you aren’t eligible for some UK funding bodies, but I know plenty of international students in biological sciences! More information here:

Funding for international students



This Q&A was part of Alisha's Instagram takeover. Click the links below to watch the rest of her takeover and don't forget to follow our Instagram account to keep up to date with the Edinburgh Medical School community:

Alisha's Instagram takeover

Edinburgh Medical School Instagram


Related Links

Six Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a PhD

How To Get A PhD - Ten Tips for Success

Top 10 Study Tips for PhD and Masters Students

Stress Awareness - Top Tips from our students