My name is Elisa Bandini. I’m doing a PhD in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham, and I am working on human cognitive and cultural evolution.
I chose Birmingham to do my research because it’s got a great reputation for psychology, and also when I came to the campus to visit it, it had such a great buzz and everyone was really friendly, and I thought this was really the place I wanted to be.
Being a research student is a lot of fun. It’s a lot of work, but you get to do so many different things and every week is a bit different, so some weeks I’ll be in the office; some weeks I’ll be organising a conference; some weeks I’ll be working at the zoo.
The postgraduate community in my school is really good. We have lots of different events that go on, we tend to spend a lot of time together, which is great, because you get to hear about different research, but also there’s a big support network, so not only from your supervisors but from lots of different people that are there to support you for anything you need, even if it’s non-academic issues.
After I graduate, I hope to continue to be in academia. I will probably do a post-doc and I will hopefully go on to be a lecturer. But before that I will probably take six months out and go traveling.
My favourite thing about being a postgraduate researcher at Birmingham has probably been how diverse my job is, so I get to go to the zoo, which I absolutely love, spend time with animals, and then I can come home and work on something that I’m really passionate about.