Secondment from Randox Teoranta to National University of Ireland Galway
ESR13 – Stuart Creedican (United Kingdom)
My secondment to the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) marked the beginning of my PhD journey with a return to university life. It was tough to get back into after a couple of years away! The shift back into an early research environment was guided by the amazing lab members of the Apoptosis Research Centre (ARC) who gave me the warmest possible welcome, which included a day out with pizza and bowling. The size and diversity of the group made the experience all the more memorable.
The Afshin Samali/Adrienne Gorman lab group is rather larger than those generally found in an academic environment meaning it was split down into smaller groups with team leaders. This was a more familiar setting than I was initially expecting. There was the occasional difference in academic and industrial mindset, with the smaller budget of the grant-driven university lab increasing a reliance on man power to overcome problems rather than potential resource intensive solutions. Similarity in the projects undertaken by those in the lab also lent itself to free sharing of ideas and acted to broaden the knowledge of all in it. Members of other labs, with more dissimilar projects, could often be relied upon to provide their expertise and knowledge too if they felt it was relevant to your project.
Overall, the time I spent in NUIG were some of the most rewarding of my career so far, having to develop new ways of thinking and overcoming problems in unexpected and sometimes complex ways. I will never forget the experience gained, the people I met and good times I had whilst in Galway on a secondment that seemed to fly by far too fast.