Male student carrying out research in the river basin room

Living a researcher’s life on placement

I was once told in an interview I conducted for an assignment that research is constant in every part of your life and have come to understand that it can become a lifestyle as much as it is a job. The reality of the vast number of hours required to develop, conduct and analyse research became very apparent in the earlier stages of this project.

As with many parts of the placement; I learned that no plan survives or works the first time around. Designing and implementing a methodology with which to conduct representative and accurate research was by far the biggest culprit for siphoning my time throughout this project. I would say that the implementation of the experimental design was the greatest challenge as the time it takes to alter and finetune some of the setups were labours and time consuming. A specific example was deciding how we would quantify the amount of sediment and microplastics were being transported at each hydrograph.

By consulting my supervisors and doing a bit more reading we decided on designing a fixed bed system by gluing sediment to wooden boards so that the only material being transported is from our samples. Though it was a challenge it came with the benefit of giving me not only a great level of insight into the nuances of conducting scientifically relevant and accurate research; but it also enforced my ability to think critically and to solve problems. Read More

Looking forward to a summer of research

I’m undertaking a six-week funded internship as part of the Santander Summer Research Scheme as a 2nd year Environmental Sciences undergraduate student at the University of Brighton. I entered university with a clear idea of what I’d like to achieve; which in the long term is to do impactful research especially relating to rivers and water issues. The advertisement for the summer research position immediately caught my attention as a fantastic opportunity to gain experience as a researcher working alongside the skilled and experienced staff from the universities Centre for Aquatic Environments. Not only does the position offer me invaluable experience which will aid in my long-term goal of undertaking a PhD, but it also expands on what I’ve been taught so far in my undergraduate modules. I felt entirely grateful and privileged to be offered the position following the application and interview process. In part I was relieved in receiving the offer as this will undoubtedly be a great step forward to furthering my academic career. Read More