CANCELLED - Growing Up in Research, with Gail McConnell
When: Wednesday, November 27th
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: SW106, Stenhouse Wing, Strathclyde Business School



Unfortunately, the 'Growing Up in Higher Education' event, planned for this Wednesday (27th Nov 2019), will be cancelled.

The Researchers' Group is fully supporting the academics and researchers in our community who are engaging in the USS industrial action this week, and we thus look forward to holding the event at a later date.

Thanks to Gail McConnell for being so willing to postpone her session and thank you for your understanding.
More details about the re-scheduling of the event will follow soon, stay tuned!


Gail grew up in a housing scheme just outside of Glasgow. She enjoyed science at school, but she was not particularly focused. She was accepted to study Physics at Strathclyde through the clearing process. She wasn’t a top flight student, but realised that she only had one shot at a degree. While working around 35 hours/week over two jobs in a bank & a bar, she spent the rest of the time on her studies.
She took a summer placement at an R&D company, which was transformative. There she learned about research, and that a PhD was a good way to proceed. She graduated from Strathclyde, and accepted a PhD position there. She was told to look elsewhere and she did, but for both personal and professional reasons she wanted to stay in Glasgow.
She didn’t enjoy her PhD at all, and so she decided to get out of academia as soon as possible. She accepted a job in industry. However, world events in September 2001 meant that the company panicked and rescinded all job offers. Her PhD supervisor offered her 3 months of post-doc funding, to work in a new lab called the Centre for Biophotonics. She accepted, because she was otherwise unemployed. During this time she realised that her preconceptions about post-doctoral research were wrong, and a 3 month appointment turned into a 2 year appointment where she was working with biologists to help them take microscopic images of their specimens (she had never used a microscope before). She really enjoyed it, and began to see the possibilities for new biophotonics research using her knowledge of nonlinear optics.
She was encouraged to apply for a fellowship by her boss, and, to her surprise (still), she was successful. Had she known what this involved, she probably wouldn’t have done this. But somehow it worked out, and she was awarded another follow-on fellowship, then a readership and became professor in 2012. She loves lab work, especially when it involves learning something new or solving a problem, she almost tolerates paperwork and bureaucracy, and she strongly dislikes funding application rejections and inequalities in academia.
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