Finding a family home from home: postgraduate student profile

As a recipient of our President’s Doctoral Scholar Award (PDS Award), Jack (PhD Polymer Chemistry) receives funding and additional training from the University. He finds networking at training sessions and other events to be of particular benefit for his research – and future career.

On learning without boundaries

"The PDS Award leads you into many leadership roles and offers interdisciplinary training sessions for all the PDS holders across all the Faculties. That is something Manchester is passionate about: interdisciplinary networking.

"Just being able to meet with those people opened my mind to all sorts of different ideas and points of view. As a scientist, talking to someone from humanities really opens your mind."

On attending conferences

"Manchester is very good at encouraging you to attend sessions and conferences. I’m going to the Young Researcher Conference, connected to the Royal Society of Chemistry.

"Meeting people with the same expertise as you is great and you find out a lot – but meeting people who do things which are slightly different gives you professional connections which are more likely to lead to collaborations because they don’t have the particular expertise that you have."

On building industry connections

"I have an industry-funded PhD, so networking with my company is very important. During meetings I get the opportunity to talk to my industry sponsors socially and make a positive impression.

"This will be supplemented by opportunities to take a placement with this company – a great way to see how working for them would be."

On seeing the bigger picture

"Your PhD project shows you one problem that is usually part of a greater whole, and researching this really gives you an idea of the problems faced by whoever your project will affect.

"Manchester really gets across to you how important social responsibility and ethical leadership is, from having a female President and Vice-Chancellor, to the courses, workshops and general attitude you feel and experience at the University. Manchester is such a varied, multicultural place, and that really shows in the postgraduate communities."