• Question: what exactly does you job involve?

    Asked by rachie98 to Simon, Damien, Rachael, Suzi, Tim on 19 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by elliesmith.
    • Photo: Simon Bennett

      Simon Bennett answered on 15 Jun 2011:


      I do research into how the brain develops, most days I do a disection in the morning then record from the cells and put on different drugs or toxins to see thier effects. I then have to analyse the results on the computer, this can be very boring.


    • Photo: Suzi Gage

      Suzi Gage answered on 16 Jun 2011:

      Hi @rachie98 and @elliesmith
      Thanks for the question.
      I’ve written a bit about my typical day on my profile. Most of the time I’m running statistics, or looking at my data and cleaning it, so mainly I’m sitting at a computer.
      A PhD as a job involves 3 or 4 years of running experiments and writing them up, and also going on training courses and presenting my work at conferences. At the end of the time I will have to write up my work as a thesis, then have a spoken ‘exam’ called a viva where 2 academics who know about similar research check that I understand what I’ve done and I can justify my decisions.

      Hope this answers your question, let me know if you’d like more info! 🙂

    • Photo: Tim Fosker

      Tim Fosker answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      Hi @rachie98

      Some of the things I do in my job are listed on my profile, but my job involves a lot of sitting at a computer and quite a lot of ‘thinking’ time to design experiments. I also give lectures on developmental psychology to psychology students at university and I have PhD students and Master’s students to supervise on their projects.

      It is an exciting, but busy job 🙂

    • Photo: Damien Hall

      Damien Hall answered on 19 Jun 2011:

      My job involves mainly two kinds of thing.

      – First I have to go to France and find some people to interview in the towns I am interested in, and interview them! That part involves asking them to read a list of words and a little story, and also having a short conversation with them about whatever they would like to talk about. I record the interviews – the microphone looks like one of the ones you see clipped onto people that are being interviewed on the news.

      – Then I come back to the office and analyse the speech I have recorded. This involves playing it through a computer to find out the characteristics of the sound-waves that people have produced as they have been talking to me. I collect this kind of data for a lot of speakers, then I can compare them together and make maps of where they’re different!

      The part where I go to France and do the interviews is the more fun part, but I do like the analysis as well – especially when the experiment has gone well and the results are coming out!