Alumnus Profile

Mohamed El-Robh

PhD, Biosciences (graduated 2002)

What was the best thing about your time as a student here?
As an international student, I started my PhD study in prokaryotic gene regulation in the School of Biosciences. I really consider myself lucky for getting such a supportive supervisor and lab colleagues. Not only this, but the University administration eases any difficulty that I might face as a newly oriented student and at the end of my degree.

The University of Birmingham is a big University and I like this because you will find a wide diversity of people there from different cultures and you will not feel like homesick. Finally, it all depends on you and how you imagine your future.

In what way did living and studying in Birmingham live up to your expectations?
I had a family at that time and really Birmingham city is a nice city for me. Everything around me was friendly. Also, I am a Muslim and was living near Muslim area and this might be a pro or might be a con. But finding halal food was very easy and I do not face any problems at all in this. About studying, it was a real pleasure to study PhD in a calm and nice place.

What advice would you give to a prospective student who is thinking of applying for a PhD here?
First, think about your future and try to take as many courses and facilities as you can. You have to fill your CV properly and prove yourself in a good way. Tackle all the details that your character need. Master the English language (especially in writing academic essays). I say this last sentence because I am an international student and this is really important. Above all, enjoy your life and do not see your stay as you are on a mission.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now?
That I like science and I continue in this field either by reading or teaching besides doing research. It is a good thing to stay up to date and know what others are doing at the moment.

What are your notable achievements since finishing your PhD?
I get a Royal Fellowship and did my post-doc twice in the same lab and I get the opportunity to be in Birmingham again. This actually pushed my academic future later on. Also, anyone during his PhD achieve a new approach that makes one happy to the rest of the life. After I finished my PhD I was contacted by a German publisher and asked to publish my PhD thesis.

How did a PhD from University of Birmingham contribute?
Mastering different scientific techniques is a very useful handy tool that will define you and your career. It is during PhD study that you can access such tremendous variety.