Dr Julia Ravey – scientist, BBC content producer & author

Once upon a time, I used to interview people for my blog and ask them a bit more about their journey in science. I had a section on my blog called interviews and, as a student, it was cool to learn from the experience of other people and how they got where they were at the time. My last interview was back in 2019, life changed since and I’m revamping that section of my website with a new scientist to feature: Dr Julia Ravey. Julia has a PhD in neuroscience and, after landing a job at Alzheimer Research UK, she became a BBC science broadcaster and producer. She also wrote a book Braintenance, an evidence-based guide on creating and maintaining healthy habits. The book brings in diverse scientific research on neuroscience, behavioural studies and human psychology and digs into interesting questions on why the human brain is resistant to change and what we can do to reverse this pattern. To know more buy Braintenance, also available on Audible.

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Dr Toyin Alli – mathematician, lecturer and entrepreneur

Hello folks, this is the last blog article before the end of the year and I decided to share my interview with one of my virtual friend Toyin. She is a lecturer at University of Georgia and earned her PhD in mathematics from the University of Alabama. Toyin is also the founder of The Academic Society, a friendly space for grad student where they can find resources on how to balance school and adulting. Since the launch of The Academic Society, Toyin launched and monetised several of the activities. She launched an online course called the productivity accelerator and self-published a book through Amazon called #gradboss – A grad school Survival guide. You can find Toyin on Instagram, subscribe to her Youtube channel, and, if you are a PhD student, you can join her Facebook group too to make the most of your higher education.

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Sophie Okolo – scientist, writer and longevity advocate

Sophie Okolo, MPH, is the founder and chief editor of Global Health Aging, a web-based publication covering the research and news dedicated to “exploring the implications of longer, healthier lives.” Sophie is a science writer and researcher with a bachelor’s degree in bioinformatics and a master’s degree in public health. She is passionate about creating a better quality of life for older adults through increasing access to preventive care and building public awareness of older adults’ perception and treatment. Her writing has appeared in Forbes, PBS Next Avenue, Massive Science, Philips, IEEE Potentials, and others. An advocate for STEM inclusion, Sophie supports various causes that improve women and minority representation. She is a TEDMED 2020 Research Scholar, and currently serves as an advisor for humanKINDER – a company that shines a light on untold stories, ideas, and solutions for systems change. You can follow Sophie on Twitter or Instagram.

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Faviola Dadis – scientist, model and entepreneur

One of the best decision I made halfway through my PhD is starting my Instagram page. By using appropriate hashtags such as #phdlife #gradlife #phdstudentsofinstagram #scicomm, I connected with a lot of incredible people who became my friends in everyday life too. None makes it through a PhD on their own, and if there is a piece of advice I can give to an early-stage PhD student is to find your community and no matter how you reach out to people, in social or virtual life. just do it! After two years of blogging, I’ve come to learn that social media doesn’t have to be an escape route from your life or substitute it, it’s complementary and, as it in my case, you can use them wisely to become more than your PhD!

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From PhD to self-employed science editor: Dr Isabel Torres

Isabel Torres got her PhD in biology at the University of Cambridge and a postdoc at the MRC Laboratories of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. She has four kids and had her first pregnancy while doing her PhD. After her postdoc, she decided to leave academia to make her own things. Her transition from academia to industry wasn’t easy but she made it a wonderful career anyway. She works as a self-employed science editor and freelance science writer. You can find Isabel on Instagram and Twitter. She just launched her blog prettysmartscience.com to support women and especially mamas in science, make science more accessible and address the problem of fake news.

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Dr Heidi Gardner – clinical trial researcher & independent business owner.

One of the best skills of a scientist is definitely creativity.

The constant challenge of finding solutions to new and stimulating problems really drives you to get creative. Creativity shouldn’t stop to the lab bench in my opinion. All the skills we learn during grad school should be implemented in our personal and professional life too.

So, what about get creative and make actual money for it? Many grad students don’t have a permanent salary, have to teach or demonstrate to support themselves or ask a loan to the bank. I think there is a better way to make a little extra money while doing a PhD and this comes from monetising your hobbies.
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Dr Daniel DiRocco – from PhD to senior scientist at Merk (MSD).

Did you enrol in a PhD programme to become a senior scientist in a big name company? If the answer is yes, you found the good place to be. I interview Daniel last month to know more about his journey and his transition from academia to industry. Daniel is is Principal Scientist in process chemistry at MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme), it’s his job to figure out the best reactions for making molecules on large scales so enough can be made for clinical trials or even for manufacturing on the metric-ton scale if a candidate compound is approved as a drug. “Everything he did turned to gold. His chemical intuition was impeccable, and he had the unique ability to extract exactly the information he needed out of every reaction that he ran without getting distracted or wasting any time,” says prof. Rovis, his PhD supervisor.
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Dr Soph Cook: scientist – travel blogger and medical writer

Today, I decided to interview Soph Cook who is, by far, my fav fashion influencer. I recently bought literally everything that it’s on her Instagram page. I like Soph because she represents me as a woman in science and fashion blogger, much better than any Kim (fake) Kardashian. Soph has got a PhD in biochemistry and currently work as a medical writer. You can subscribe to her website.

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