Robert's story

PhD Molecular Microbiology

Portsmouth is the place I completed my first degree and my experience was so positive it was an easy decision to engage in further studies here.


I am passionate about pursuing a career in academia, both in terms of teaching in Higher Education and conducting high quality research. I was awarded a faculty bursary for my PhD. I have always been supported by the staff in my department and I will certainly stay in contact with them after the completion of my PhD.

Currently living on the Isle of Wight, I spend each morning walking down Ryde Pier looking out at the Portsmouth skyline. After stepping off the ferry I make my way to my office at the university and I can honestly say no two days are alike from then onwards.

I often involve myself in a broad range of tasks and activities throughout my day such as planning and performing experiments, teaching undergraduate project students, analysing my data and conversing with my colleagues.

My research group is very socially active too, and we will meet up outside of the lab at least once a week to go to restaurants and bars in the evening.

My undergraduate project supervisor and PhD supervisor have both been crucial in getting me where I am today. Without the opportunities they have given me access to I would have found it more challenging to find success in my research career so far.

Robert Lawrence, PhD Molecular Microbiology

The specific career support I have received from my supervisor has made me far more confident in pursuing my career ambitions.

Since starting my PhD, I have been lucky enough to publish twice and visit three different conferences, one of which was held at Cornell University. These opportunities will prove invaluable in my career going forwards, in academia.

I have learned how to use realism to strengthen my ambitions rather than hinder them. I have learned the importance of proper career support. I have learned how to teach and manage students, invaluable skills for my future career prospects.

So use the career services as much as you can. Always arrange to meet with staff to discuss things rather than email. Take full advantage of Portsmouth’s compact city centre. And visit the Isle of Wight as it’s fantastic!

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