Graduate profile

Rebecca Ellerington

"I'm currently completing a PhD, while gaining experience in jobs that involve developing partnerships between industry and academic research."

Graduation year
2015

My course

I studied on the BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science course and graduated in 2015. I loved how many contact hours my course had and my lecturers were always on hand to help or answer questions. These both made such a difference to my overall experience.

My placement

I wanted to do a Professional Training placement to gain experience in a working laboratory, however I chose to go abroad for this in order to immerse myself in another culture and try to learn another language.

I worked in a forensics lab in Leuven, Belgium, on a research project looking to develop a new technique to identify someone from their DNA in very small and degraded blood samples. Doing a research project made me consider research science as an option for my career and my supervisor on placement encouraged me to consider a PhD.  I still keep in contact with my supervisor who helped me with references and advice when I was applying for PhDs. I also had a chapter published in a text book (‘Forensic DNA Typing Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology’ by William Goodwin) based on the work I conducted. This gave me an advantage in interviews and allowed me to proceed straight to a PhD without first getting a master’s degree.

My placement was by far the best part of my course. I learnt so much being in a working lab that you can’t learn in lectures or teaching labs. It definitely helped me to get my PhD position and my work was even published in a textbook!

Do a placement year in a lab - the practical experience really sets you above others in interviews!

"My placement was by far the best part of my course. It definitely helped me to get my PhD position and my work was even published in a textbook!"

My career and development

I'm currently completing a PhD, while gaining experience in jobs that involve developing partnerships between industry and academic research as this is what I would like to do after I finish my studies.

My advice

If you have time over the summer, you could also try asking a lecturer if you could shadow them in the lab for a week or two as this will help you to obtain the best placements on offer. Also try your best in first year to get a good overall grade as it helps when applying to placements, don’t write off first year as not counting for anything just because it doesn’t go towards your final degree mark.

Find out more about our biomedical science course

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