Posts Tagged ‘nitrates’

PhD Week 1: Done

October 8, 2010 1 comment

My first week of my PhD research is now over. I now have a (slightly) better idea of what I will be doing over the next couple of years and am settling in. I have finalised most of the admin work involved and I look forward to next week, when I can start getting into a routine of work, where I can focus on my PhD more than getting papers signed and forms filled.

This week I had my first lab meeting. The lab meeting is held every week between the students and the supervisors of the Environmental Biotechnology lab. We get to present (and discuss) the results and work carried out the week before, and plan for the coming week. This week, being my first week, my presentation consisted of describing what my project is about. This was mainly so that the other members of the research group could understand what I will be talking about in the coming weeks and years. It did not go as good as I hoped it would, since I was quite a bit stressed out. However it was not horrible, and the other students said that it seemed as if I knew what I was talking about, which I guess is a good thing.

I have now started my literature search, where I have started searching for papers and documents on the subject, and inputting them in Refworks. I have already saved around 100 different papers on the general area I will be following. However this was based solely on a quick search and the title of the paper. In the coming week I hope to start reading the papers in greater detail and making note of what is relevant or not to my general project. In this process I will undoubtedly increase the list of references, and will also remove some of those I downloaded which are not useful.

As part of my project I have two main themes: pharmaceuticals and nitrates in water. I will be trying to split my time on the two areas each week, so that I do not get too bored doing the same thing. I also hope to start doing some work on the HPLC soon, and will get training in the coming weeks. I will not start any lab work related to my project. However based on the experiences of the other research students, it makes sense to start using the equipment slowly and passing standards. So that when the project is ready to start, I would have most issues sorted. Will see how it goes.