Chris: PhD Biosciences

Chris, a PhD Biosciences student, describes his experiences of being a doctoral research student in the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham.


My name is Chris Morgan, and I’m from the School of Biosciences, where I’m doing research into plant sexual reproduction – trying to look at ways to improve crop breeding, so that we can produce bigger, better super-plants and thus feed the world.

I’m on a doctoral training partnership, so I know a lot of the other postgraduates in the School of Biosciences, which is useful because a lot of the time people will have different technical expertise. Other postgraduate researchers will have – will be experts in some techniques that sometimes I want to use as part of my research, so I can just go to one of my colleagues that I know from another lab and ask them to help me out with some of my own research. So, yeah, it’s pretty good.

I did my undergraduate degree at another university, and when I was doing my Masters project, I collaborated with a research group here at Birmingham.  I really liked the research they did. It was sort of ground-breaking, international research, so I thought, ‘What better place to come and join than their lab?’ So I applied, and fortunately Birmingham let me in.

After I graduate from here, hopefully I will go on to continue in research, so I’d like to get a postdoctoral position somewhere, either at Birmingham or somewhere else, and continue, and then go on to progress beyond post-doc – maybe hopefully get an independent fellowship one day, become a professor and then be very successful in academia.

The most exciting thing for me is actually doing the research, because when I’m in the lab, sometimes you’ll come up with very exciting hypotheses that you want to go and test, or you’ll get exciting results and it’s a bit of a thrill when you get that sort of result, and so, for me, that’s got to be the best bit – the thrill of being in the lab.