Priyanka Pandey - India, 3rd Year PhD Student
In early age I had a profound inclination to be inquisitive, and, in particular, during my school and college years I enjoyed studying science subjects like Physics, chemistry and mathematics. During this time I gradually made up my mind to become a researcher and thereby contributing to the field of science and research. After completing my MSc in Physics from University of Mumbai I started looking for research opportunity to progress further in my area of interest. To join PhD program from a reputed university with good ambience and research facilities was a key to achieve my long term career goals.
While I was looking to apply for a PhD in the UK, Warwick attracted me as it is one of the top universities in the UK and to my benefit I could also find the course of my interest which was field of nanotechnology. I was interested in working on carbon based nanomaterials like carbon nanotubes and graphene so I applied for the project under supervision of Dr Neil Wilson who is an expert in the field. Fortunately I was offered a place to pursue my dream in the Warwick Microscopy Group in the department of Physics. The focus of my research is on understanding of the structure and application of chemically modified graphene, a two dimensional material related to graphene, the latest breakthrough in the field of nanotechnology. Since the discovery of graphene in 2004 there has been an explosion of research on this material. To keep up with the competition in the field is challenging and in this scenario I find my group to be well-resourced with all the expertise and equipment needed for the fast moving field. My course is not only helping me to develop my analytical and critical skills but also the skills needed for producing high quality research presentable to the international community.
Within the department we also have a postgraduate seminar series run on a regular basis which provides me with a good opportunity to communicate my research to other physicists and keeps me informed about the latest physics going on in the different groups. In most cases a PhD involves concentrating on a narrow field in a great depth. So the opportunity to maintain a breadth of knowledge is important. For overall personal development the university runs a number of courses specially designed to suit a particular faculty (viz. arts, science), ranging from IT skills to professional writing and networking. I have attended several such courses and found them very useful. And finally, I would also add that the university offers several occasions for socialising all around the year which can be easily found on the university website.
If you are thinking of studying abroad, it's worth considering Warwick because it really matters to do a course from a credible and high ranked institution.