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Life as a Leeds Chemistry research student

Life as a research student

The School of Chemistry offers a structured training programme to help you develop your skills effectively and ensure you gain the most out of your research experience to produce outstanding research and further your career objectives.

The School supports you throughout your studies in a variety of ways.

Invariably supervisors meet informally with their students several times a week in the laboratory or at a group meeting in addition to more formal review meetings. This friendly and supportive approach is designed to help you develop your research skills and other generic skills like planning and organisation such that you can become an independent researcher producing outstanding research outputs by the conclusion of your studies.

In addition to your supervisor, the Director of Postgraduate Studies and Postgraduate Progression Tutor are available to meet with you and provide independent advice and support on all aspects of your studies.

Graduate School
Research students can take advantage of the broader generic skills training offered through the Faculty Graduate School, which provides courses to help develop research, interpersonal and life skills.

You also have every opportunity to practice and implement your generic training. You will prepare regular reports which help to develop your scientific writing skills and you will receive feedback on these from your supervisor and an internal assessor.

For PhD students, the report at the conclusion of your first year forms the basis of the ‘transfer’ viva which simulates a thesis examination and provides you with the opportunity to evaluate your progress on the road towards your PhD degree.

Each academic year concludes with the postgraduate conference during which you will have the opportunity to celebrate the excellent work of your peers. As an active participant in the conference you will also develop your presentation skills through poster and oral presentations with prizes awarded for the best contributions. Many students have the opportunity to travel to and present at major national and international conferences. Significant numbers of our students participate in exchange visits and field trips to fantastic locations such as Antarctica!

Supportive environment
You will be encouraged to take part in the life of the school and to contribute to the full range of academic and social activities available. Our students are as friendly and supportive as our staff and will be an enormous source of support for you. In turn you may have the opportunity to share your enthusiasm and new found expertise through demonstrating in undergraduate laboratory classes allowing you to develop skills in teaching. Our friendly and vibrant atmosphere extends beyond research: many students are active in our postgraduate society which runs an annual postgraduate social, following on from the annual conference, in addition to numerous other activities such as football tournaments and quiz nights.