7:30am - 8:30am (Leave for UEA)
After getting ready, I check the weather. If it’s fine, I’ll walk but if it’s pouring with rain I head for the bus stop. I live about 30 minutes’ walk away from campus in an area called Threescore. It’s quiet, surrounded by green spaces and just far enough from UEA to feel like a different world when you need it to.
8:30am - 10:30am
My research is desk (or computer) based, so the first thing I do when I get to the office is turn on my PC. For my research I use a few different computer models to see how the climate, water resources and biodiversity in a river basin in Kenya might change in the future. I might spend most days in front of a computer but it’s actually rare to be doing the same thing 2 days in a row. My PhD is what’s known as interdisciplinary, which means I have lots of different sections to work on.
10:30am - 11am (Coffee break)
By 10:30, the computer screens are getting dull and coffee is calling my name. Luckily the ENV coffee club (or on Wednesdays, Tyndall Centre tea break) is able to oblige.
11am - 12:30pm
Revitalised, it’s back to the computer and, after a brief side-track to check my emails, back to work.
12:30pm - 1:30pm (Lunch time)
If it’s Friday, you’ll find me in the Sportspark sweating my way through a BodyPump class. On other days, there are lunchtime seminars so you can keep up to date with other research going on in the School.
Other than that, I’m usually still at my desk. I’m also the editor of a website about motorsport, so sometimes there are updates to that that require my attention.
1:30pm - 5:30pm
There’s usually a meeting or friend to catch up with that breaks up (or takes up) the afternoon. I’m also involved with helping out with undergraduate modules, invigilating exams and designing outreach activities which adds variety to the day (and provides a little extra money at the end of the month).
One of the best things about my PhD is that I can decide when I’m done for the day. Every day is slightly different so you run out of energy at different times. Some days, the technology just won’t play ball and staying would be like continuing to fight a losing battle. Other times I’ll be just about to finish for the day when something new or interesting pops up and I’m motivated to continue. This can be anything from a notification about a relevant conference or a script that I’ve written finally running without error messages.
6pm - 10pm (Evening)
After walking home, I normally start cooking. Soon after starting my PhD I joined a local Slimming World group, so cooking a decent meal has become important. Luckily there are still lots of quick meals to make when things get busy! That group is where you’ll find me on a Thursday evening. In the summer, I’ll do evening classes at the Sportspark too as it’s not too dark to walk back afterwards.
After eating, I’ll ring my family to tell them any news and hear about what the cat and/or puppy got up to that day.
The rest of the evening is spent watching TV or reading.