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Research Career Insights for University of Edinburgh Undergraduates at Roslin

Last month thirty undergraduate students from the University of Edinburgh's Biological Sciences degree program were welcomed to The Roslin Institute as part of Innovative Learning Week 2015.

Dive In! To a festival of creative learning logo

By Mari Pattison, April 2015

The Bioscience Careers event started with a tour of The Roslin Institute's £60.5m research building, which included a visit to our state-of-the-art Bio-Imaging Facility and opportunities to glance into the labs and see scientists at work, followed by presentations by postgraduate students and research staff.

I was joined by two other Roslin PhD students, Andrew Mason and Graham Lough, to give an overview of the PhD experience at The Roslin Institute. We described the path we took to get to Roslin, the skills and experience we've gained and emphasised that not all science PhDs are lab-based.

The final talk was delivered by one of the Roslin Institute's postdoctoral researchers, Dr Laura McCulloch, who having completed her PhD, was able to give a more comprehensive outline of the skills she has gained, with particular emphasis on the important non-lab skills that are easily transferable to other careers. Additionally, she talked about what it's like to be a more independent scientist, with the challenges of being responsible for your own research budget and getting your name out there in the academic world.

The University of Edinburgh website describes Innovative Learning Week as a "chance for students, staff and alumni to develop skills, meet new people and celebrate innovation in our academic community" and our event really seemed to fit the bill, with opportunities for us to develop our communication skills and a chance for our visitors to meet new people and share in a part of the ground breaking, innovative work we do here. I believe that we gave the students an honest insight into the life of a research scientist, and can only hope we've inspired a number to realise science as the challenging, yet rewarding, career path that it is.

More information on the Innovative Learning Week.

This article was written by Mari Pattison, a third-year PhD student in The Roslin Institute's Division of Neurobiology.