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Sunshine Blogger Award

This was not what I expected my next blog post to be about, but I guess that’s life. Last week I was nominated by fellow blogger Dr Ewen Sommerville for the Sunshine Blogger Award. This came as a big surprise to me, as my blog is only 3 months old!


What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The award is driven entirely by the community, passed from blogger to blogger in recognition of their inspiring, creative and motivational blogs. Each nominee passes it on to 11 of their favourite bloggers, and round and round it goes. In my opinion, its a great way to give recognition to bloggers who maybe think no one is paying attention.

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My Research: Respiratory Syncytial Virus

“So what do you do?” 

“Have you heard of Respiratory Syncytial Virus?”

“No, never”

“What about Influenza”

“Oh yeah of course”

“Well its kind of like that…”

(The beginning of every conversation about my research)

So far, my posts have been focused on various aspects of PhD life. However I realised that I haven’t written anything about what my PhD is focused on. The big research question that I’ve devoted a few years of my life to. Well hopefully in this post, I’ll be able to explain what I’m working on and in particular, why my work is important.

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Royal Society Masterclass with Professor Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

An Invitation:

Recently, I was invited to attend a Masterclass held by the Royal Society in Dublin. There would be 9 other students attending, and the session would be in the form of an open discussion with the President of the Royal Society and Nobel laureate, Professor Venkatraman “Venki” Ramakrishnan.

So for this post I’ll share with you some of the insights I gained from talking to the very humble, very approachable professor.Continue Reading →

Public Speaking: How to Present your Project to Others

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy” – Jerry Seinfeld

Here’s a question for all those beginning their PhDs in the sciences. What’s the point in carrying out those great experiments and collecting all of that intriguing data if you can’t effectively communicate it to others in your field? Many people struggle with public speaking. There’s no magic trick to improve, it’s just like everything else, it takes regular practice.

Before my PhD, I did not enjoy public speaking, and would become increasingly anxious the week leading up to my presentations. Often losing sleep over it. However, after much practice, I now no longer suffer such anxiety, I thoroughly enjoy giving talks and seek out more public speaking opportunities.Continue Reading →

10 things I wish I knew when I started my PhD

A PhD in science can be a stressful experience. In particular, the first year. You’re thrown in at the deep end, no one’s holding your hand now kiddo. Well, fear not, as I’m about to share with you some tips and tricks that will help you in your journey. Here are 10 things I wish I knew when I started my PhD.Continue Reading →

Quartzy: A Lesson in Organisation and Teamwork

Difficulty in locating items in the -80°C freezers was a problem in our lab long before I began my PhD. It was brought up almost every week at our lab meeting. To find something, several people would be searching for about 30 minutes. The question we’d often ask was, “Why can’t the locations of our items be available at the touch of a button?” The solution was Quartzy.Continue Reading →

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