0+4 A*STAR Student
I am doing a 0+4 PhD in the Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences at the IoPPN. My project involves investigating experiences of affective touch in autistic individuals, and how this might relate to social impairments.
I chose the MRC DTP primarily because of the diversity and depth of opportunities it offers. Not having to fulfil project-specific criteria also allowed me to make the jump from a scientific background that differed from the general field of my project. Furthermore, as my project will involve a collaboration with the A*STAR Institute in Singapore, it will give me the chance to experience two different research cultures and gain a wider breadth of research skills.
Before my PhD, I did my undergraduate degree in Pharmacology at Newcastle University, and my master’s degree in Pharmacological Innovation at Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France. I also worked for a few years in clinical research, first as a Clinical Trial Assistant, and later as a Medical Writer at a Phase I Trial Unit.
What I like most about the MRC DTP is the level of support that is provided. Despite starting a PhD in the midst of a pandemic, I felt very well-supported by staff and student reps, and I am particularly grateful for the sense of companionship that exists within my cohort. I have also appreciated being able to attend a variety of DTP workshops, which have eased me back into the world of academia and allowed me to gain useful skills that are specific to my project, such as in R programming and statistical analysis.