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The University of Southampton
Biological SciencesPostgraduate study

Gideon Rothstein

Postgraduate research student

Gideon Rothstein's Photo

Before being my PhD at the University of Southampton, I studied a BSc in Biology here. I chose to continue at Southampton as I knew that it had new facilities for general lab research, as well as those specific to Plant Biology, such as the glasshouse and isolated plant growth rooms. The PhD I was offered was being supervised by Prof. Gail Taylor, an individual that I knew to be leading in her field, with links abroad that could provide me with research opportunities beyond the U.K. I also felt that as Southampton is a Russell Group university with a commitment and reputation for high quality research, this would translate to me coming away with a qualification that would stand out on my C.V.

I chose to continue at Southampton as I knew that it had new facilities for general lab research, as well as those specific to Plant Biology, such as the glasshouse and isolated plant growth rooms.

My particular PhD aims to contribute to the research that is being undertaken to generate drought resistant bioenergy trees, the completion of this task would allow high-quality, well watered farmland to be left for food crops. I feel that this research would advance scientific knowledge on plant biology some way, as well as potentially improving human welfare.

Postgraduate study is very different to undergraduate study, I would be inclined to say it more resembles a job, the very least I would do on a working day is 9am-5pm, and this is rare. I would also be working on most weekends and holidays. The work is very self-motivated and would be expected to seek direction in my research largely independently. However, it would be wrong to say that post-grads are devoid of fun; we have a post-graduate society and are constantly putting on events!

Southampton itself is a city that largely revolves around the university, as such much of its amenities are catered to students, for example, the university runs the bus service for Southampton and therefore they mostly go where students would need to go such as the halls, campus, train station, student housing areas and town. Southampton is a great place to be for student and really comes in to its own in summer, where its large park (‘The Common') is the place to be. As the University is a campus located in the city, you can venture or not, depending on your mood.

Once I've completed my PhD, I would like to undertake a post-doctoral position abroad, potentially in industry, as I think this is an important experience to have before decided on a career path.

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