During the training year of the MIBTP PhD, I spent 3 months doing a series of training courses to ensure I make the best out of the next 3 years. These courses included, but are by no means limited to, RNA sequencing analysis, R coding and advanced microscopy. This was a great chance for me to not only explore different research skills and techniques, but also allowed me to network with other labs and colleagues at other MIBTP-associated universities.
The next 3 months, from January to March 2019, I was based in Professor George Bassel's lab at the University of Birmingham, using image analysis software to analyse cellular organisation in plant meristems. This project is something which I am very glad to have completed. I've since gone on to do a lot of image analysis work during my PhD so far, so this short project gave me an excellent insight into image analysis software, as well as the rationale behind it. For my second lab rotation, from April-June 2019, I went back to the Gifford Lab, spending 3 months investigating the role of NCR genes in plant nodule systems, as well as beginning my root phenotyping work as part of my main PhD.
Finally, for my 3-month internship I returned to my home county of Essex to work at the School of Life Sciences, University of Essex from July to September 2019. My role was to help reorganise the chemical waste disposal procedures to make it more environmentally- and economically-friendly. I was in charge of researching and choosing a chemical database inventory for the department, and setting up meetings between my manager and various companies. I also created lots of posters and internal communication documents to spread the correct information on waste disposal in this particular department. Despite being very different to my usual day-to-day lab work, I enjoyed the chance to experience a different type of job role.