Postgraduate Profile: Lauren Matthews

What are you studying

I am currently a final year postgraduate student doing a PhD in Functional Nanomaterials, half sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline

What do you particularly enjoy about postgraduate study in your department

I really enjoy working alongside bright and interesting students and staff members, the pace of work within the department is exciting and I find that extremely motivating. I particularly enjoy being part of the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials, a CDT based in the School of Physics, as bringing together different disciplines gives me a different perspective on research.

Why did you decide to apply for your programme

When I found the project advertised, I thought it looked really interesting and when doing a bit of further reading, I found that I was drawn into the fundamental ideas behind the project. The project was also sponsored by GSK, which I thought would help me see the difference between academic research and industrial research. 

What are the facilities in your department like?

The department hosts a wide range of facilities that are accessible to the students, most important to me is the Krüss centre, which hosts a range of equipment for surface analysis. The equipment is kept up to date and to a fantastic standard, which helps research run smoothly. 

How much support do you get from staff?

The staff are really friendly and always happy to help where needed, especially those who run the equipment for general use.  

How does postgraduate study differ from an undergraduate degree

Postgraduate study is much more self-driven than undergraduate study, there are fewer deadlines along the way, which means you have to be motivated to keep the work at a good pace throughout. However, postgraduate study does give you a lot of freedom and opportunities to travel!

Is there anything you would want to tell a prospective postgraduate student considering studying Chemistry?

Chemistry at postgraduate level is a hard and intense course, but it is worth the effort and I would recommend anyone who has a passion for science to go for it! I'd also say that Bristol chemistry is one of the best places to do your postgraduate study - but I might be a bit biased.

Lauren Matthews, PhD Chemistry
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