• Question: What do you do in your job?

    Asked by anon-245314 on 12 Mar 2020.
    • Photo: Stéphane Berneau

      Stéphane Berneau answered on 3 Mar 2020:


      Since my first involvement in the Career zone, I was a “research associate” in a research group and now I am a Lecturer. Therefore, now I teach biology and biomedical sciences to student at the university and also create research projects.

      As a researcher (research associate), I used to spend most of my time in the lab performing scientific experiments. I have been fascinated by images and their stories so I try often as I can to do some research experiment that require microscopy. I got some really cool pictures. On the other side, I used to work with human paarticipants and I had to advertise and recruit them.

      As a lecturer, I currently spend my time writting research projects for students to be involved in my lab and design lecture on my research area: reproductive biology.

      I hope I have answered your question.

    • Photo: Amy Cameron

      Amy Cameron answered on 3 Mar 2020:

      It varies. Alot. The past couple of days have involved a lot of work at my computer, a large proportion of that has been sending emails. There is ‘paperwork’ that needs to be done in preparation for public engagement events and afterwards to log what has happened. In equal measure you are checking that you have everything you need – we have a store room full of lots of useful items (including boxed activities) for events. They need to be checked and then everything has to be tidyed away and cleaned afterwards. In the comms part of my job, I have loaded up some news stories to our institution website and scheduled posts for social media (mainly Facebook and twitter). Today, I have written a couple of powerpoint presentations as our institution has a research retreat next week and I pull together the welcome and closing presentations. That is just a snap shot of two days in my job. More details on other activity can be found in my profile.

    • Photo: Sreejita Ghosh

      Sreejita Ghosh answered on 3 Mar 2020:

      I get data of hormone profiles of patients suffering from from steroid and hormone problems, my doctor collaborator in Birmingham. I use part of this data to train my machine learning model so that it can learn what the hormone profile of each condition looks like. Training a machine learning modelis in essence like teaching a child about objects all around.so that the child can know them. Just as we do that with a lot of example objects similarly for training a machine learning model.
      When the hormone profile of a new subject is presented to my trained model my model can say which of the learned disease condition the hormone profile is from. It even says what are the chances of the unknown subject of having condition A, and what chances of condition B, and so on. So in my job I use Calculus, Linear Algebra, Probability and Statistics, and a bit of Statistical Physics to write codes which creates the models mentioned. I am a data scientist. Just like this dataset, I have some other datasets as well. Since I like to help doctors I prefer working with medical datasets. I create maths based models which find hidden patterns in a dataset and help us and doctors know more about the conditions present in the datatset

    • Photo: anon

      anon answered on 4 Mar 2020:

      I work as a research associate at the moment, on a project that brings together a lot of people from the universities, industry, and the government, all to make UK computers and the internet more secure.

      I get to to interview important people in tech, write blogs and create digital resources (https://spritehub.org/), and do some of my own research. I also have time to learn a lot more about cybersecurity: what scientists say about it, what businesses think about it, what governments do with respect to it, and so on.

      A lot of people are interested in keeping their info safe, and working on a project that brings them all together has been an exceptional time for me!

    • Photo: Nicola Asker

      Nicola Asker answered on 5 Mar 2020:

      What I do changes a lot but at the moment I’m working on explaining all the work we need to do on our gas transmission network (all the pipelines across the country and other equipment that helps move the gas around) over the next five years so that we can get the money to pay for it all.

    • Photo: Hayley Pincott

      Hayley Pincott answered on 9 Mar 2020:

      as a department we get a biopsy and descibe it (we’ll be cutting it up so we need to know what it looked like before we did this). Any bits we take from the biopsy go into a cassette, which is a small plastic box with holes. The cassettes go on a machine overnight and there are chemicals on the machine which take the water out of the tissue in the cassettes and replace it with wax (this is why we need the holes in the cassettes. This usually happens over night so when we come in the next day the chemicals have done their job and we take the cassettes off the machine and then put the tissue into a mould and fill it with wax. We do this because we cut really thin section and if we only have a bit of tissue that is 1mm then the wax gives us something to cut while holding the biopsy. We cut thin sections on a piece of equipment called a microtome and we cut sections that are 5microns thin, this is less than half the width of you hair so really thin slices. The tissue is put onto a water bath just to help us put it on a slide better. The slides are then stained with haematoxylin and eosin. The haematoxylin is a purple/blue colour and stained the nucleus, and the eosin is red/pink/orange colour and stained the cytoplasm. The slides go out to a pathologist to look at, a pathologist is a medical doctor but has gone through years of specialist training to do what they do. They look at the slide down the microscope and decide what they think is wrong with the patient. This then gets put into a report and sometimes is discussed at a meeting where there a lots of other healthcare professionals.

    • Photo: Cheryl Williams

      Cheryl Williams answered on 9 Mar 2020:

      I am a Biomedical Scientist working in an NHS pathology lab in a hospital. My job involves testing patient samples to see if there are any bacteria or viruses in them. Current,y I am focusing on detection of coronavirus from nose and throat swabs. I am using a molecular technique called PCR to detect RNA (similar to DNA). As this is a new virus, a new type of PCR has been developed to detect it. I have spent the last week evaluating the new test and it is now ready to use in order for us to support other labs.

    • Photo: Robert Ives

      Robert Ives answered on 10 Mar 2020:

      I am an in-vivo scientist (that means I work with animals) creating new medicines for humans. A major part of my job is to test the taste of medicines for children (kids won’t swallow medicine if it tastes bad) and make special recipes which include the medicine that the children will hopefully take (kind of like making a cake). I have a special group of rats who act as my taste testers and when I give them a tiny bit of medicine in water, they will lick it and I can work out if the medicine tastes horrible or not. The rats only get a tiny bit of medicine so it doesn’t make them feel bad.

    • Photo: Hannah Tanner

      Hannah Tanner answered on 10 Mar 2020:

      I design the hospital tests that help doctors know if their patients have got an infection and what to treat them with.

    • Photo: Katie Sparks

      Katie Sparks answered on 11 Mar 2020:

      I do all sorts of things in my job. My job is all about getting people from all sorts of science and engineering backgrounds to volunteer in schools. To do that, I write newsletters, host events, work with those volunteers to give them ideas of what they could do, work with schools to show them how they can include volunteers. I use email a lot, but I also use information in spreadsheets (Excel), to help me work out what is going on and who might need some extra help.

    • Photo: Katie Sparks

      Katie Sparks answered on 11 Mar 2020:

      In my job I support people who do science and engineering to volunteer in schools.
      A large part of this is looking at where people are, where they work and the sort of things they take part in, then working with schools to help them include those volunteers in their classrooms.
      To do this, I use a lot of maps and spreadsheets. As things change really quickly, I have written small pieces of code to automate a lot of that process, speeding up things and giving me more time to help people individually.

    • Photo: K-Jo O'Flynn

      K-Jo O'Flynn answered on 11 Mar 2020:

      I assembly and Test structures for Space and then send them up to space:D

    • Photo: Miriam Hogg

      Miriam Hogg answered on 12 Mar 2020:


      So I’m just finishing my PhD. During my PhD I studied dead stars called white dwarfs (our Sun will become one in 5 billion years or so). I looked specifically at things going on around the white dwarf. What happened to the planets, what happenes if theres another star nearby, and what happens to comets and asteroids that get close to them.

      My daily life consisted on a combination of reading other research iin the area, writing code or other methods to solve the problem I was working on. I often switched between which project I was working on often to keep things interesting.
      Now I am nearly finished I spend most of my time writing all the research I did into a big book, called a thesis. Which I will defend to a panal of experts. Once i’m finished I will officially be a doctor (of astrophysics).

      I am planning on going to work for a company doing research on real world applications. I would like to use all the knowledge I learned in working with data and coding and apply it to a real life problem like the environment, pollution or health.

    • Photo: Freya Addison

      Freya Addison answered on 12 Mar 2020:

      Currently, in my job, I mainly work on the computer. I am an Electromagnetic Modeller on a very specific project called Biodar. From micro-ct scans (3d xray images) of insects, I clean them up using a piece of software; to remove all of the foam they are sitting on and any other bits which shouldn’t be there. Then I use an animation software, where I create a mesh of the insect, which is hollow. I then put this mesh into our radar simulation software, to see what the insect would look like from the radar perspective. We then see what a swarm of the same insect might look like or a combination of different insects. At the moment we are still working on the best methods of how to do this. We will then compare the simulations to real data, for example from flying ant day in the UK and our fieldwork, where we sample 1km of the air column using nets on a tethered balloon.