My first conference

Towards the end of June I set off to my first ever conference as a PhD student. I am a 2nd year PhD student in Biomedical Sciences and have spent the last (nearly) 2 years researching all about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which is also known as Motor Neuron Disease. Therefore when I saw that the European Network to Cure ALS (ENCALS) conference was happening in June I thought I would sign up. Continue reading

Being a runner in Sheffield – or trying to be!

So you come to Sheffield as a new student and think ‘Oooh, maybe I’ll just pop out for a run’, and that’s when you see it… a hill.

Sheffield is famous for its hills, resulting in glorious views and the fabulous Peak District. But to most runners, including me, the sight of a hill in front of you is one of the worst things. Unfortunately for me, I live at the top of one of those hills. You may think that this is great news. It is. Until you realise whichever direction you run down in, at some point you will need to turn around and come back up again! Continue reading

Dealing with grief whilst at university

Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be extremely hard, regardless of how old you are or your situation. But losing a loved one whilst at university can be particularly tricky; you are away from home and your family, you don’t necessarily have a strict routine to keep yourself busy, and you have numerous essays/exams/seminars to prepare for. Grieving isn’t a strict uniformed process, it is different for everyone and there is no correct way to grieve.

However, there are lots of resources out there to help you deal with your loss: Continue reading

Earning some pocket money whilst doing a PhD

Most people know that you don’t do a PhD for the money, but rather for the love of your subject. PhD students are generally paid a stipend though, a non-taxable sum of money to cover basic living costs. This can range in amount but it’s always nice to be able to earn a bit more money on the side to enable you to treat yourself every now and again. It varies widely from department to department, but especially in the Science departments, there are a great number of ways to earn a bit more money, alongside your studies, at the same time as enhancing your CV. Continue reading

Starting the long and windy road to becoming a Doctor – how to survive starting a PhD

It is coming around to that time of year again when campus will be crawling with people; excited freshers starting their university experience, 2nd and 3rd year undergraduates back again for another jam-packed year, and let’s not forget, all those new and continuing postgraduates.

It can be just as daunting for a new PhD student as it is for a fresher. Moving to a new city, having to make new friends, starting a brand new course, it can all be very overwhelming, even if this is at least the second time of doing so. But with a few hints and tips, starting a PhD can be such an exciting time for any student. Continue reading

Two nights in Norway – a perfect weekend break

As any science PhD student can probably tell you, having things to look forward to at the weekends are what gets you through the days when science seems to be taking it all out on you.

So this past weekend I jetted off with my mum for a brief holiday away to Norway. The trip was a Christmas present to anywhere in Europe for a weekend so I chose Bergen, Norway. A 1.5hr plane trip from Gatwick took us straight to Bergen and 30 minutes later we were right in the middle of the city. Our lodging for the weekend was a hostel 5 minutes from the old fishing port. Hostelling is an amazing way to save money as well as meet other travellers and we managed to stay in the best hostel in Norway! In our room we had one Argentinian lady who had been travelling through Ireland, Scotland and now finishing her trip in Norway; we wouldn’t have met her in a hotel! Continue reading

Time to switch off?

Nowadays, with modern technology the way it is, it is very easy to fall into the temptation of checking your phone every 5 minutes. What happens if someone has texted? How many people have liked my recent Instagram picture? Who has commented on my Facebook post? But recent studies have shown that we are spending more and more time looking at screens and less and less time interacting with others around us. There is even a syndrome called FOMO: Fear of Missing Out, defined as ‘anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media’. Continue reading

Parkrun? What’s that?

The thought of waking up before 9am on a Saturday may fill most of you with dread. Why on earth would anyone want to be up at that time of day? Well, if you ask that exact question to the 700+ people who make the trip to Endcliffe Park at the end of Ecclesall Road every Saturday, they will say just one thing in reply: ‘Parkrun’.

So what is it? Well Parkrun is a weekly 5km run that starts on a Saturday at 9am. It’s a completely free event run solely by volunteers. Continue reading

Stuck for something to do on a Saturday night?

Stuck for something to do on a Saturday night? Don’t fancy heading into town or nothing on at the cinema?

I think I have found a great alternative, taking a trip to watch the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team at the Sheffield Arena. They are one of the best teams in the country so well worth a watch during your time in Sheffield. So, this is exactly what I decided to do on Saturday night when the Steelers were up against Coventry Blaze in a league match. Continue reading