Thomas Kirk's insight into the research environment
BSc (Hons) Mathematics, 2015 & current PhD Student
Thomas graduated in 2015 with a first-class BSc (Hons) Mathematics degree. He is so passionate about maths that he wanted to go beyond studying: becoming a researcher and discover new Mathematics!
He got a summer research internship in 2014 and, after that, he obtained a fully funded PhD position at the University of Central Lancashire. He has participated in national and international conferences, been invited to speak at seminars, and spent a month in Münster as part of his studies.
Thomas recalls his experience:
"My internship at the University of Central Lancashire provided me with an insight into the research environment. Being exposed to work beyond lectures and assignments was a breath of fresh air, and allowed me to experience a taste of life as a research student. I was given time and resources to explore areas of mathematics I had no idea even existed which catapulted my enthusiasm for the subject even further, cementing my desire to pursue postgraduate education.”
"To anyone considering postgraduate research, I would recommend a research internship first if possible. I found that it provided a brief introduction to maths beyond the graduate level that allowed for a taste of research without the time commitment of a Masters or PhD. The opportunity to see first-hand what it’s like to explore modern mathematics and try to teach yourself a new, difficult subject is an excellent taste of the postgraduate experience. For those already convinced they want to do a postgraduate degree, internships can also be a great way to get a feel for an area of mathematics you're interested in and learn about open problems in that area."
“I believe that the structure of the internship provided an excellent bridge for the gap between undergraduate mathematics and postgraduate research.”
"Studying for a PhD at the University of Central Lancashire is a great experience. Solving new problems is exceptionally rewarding and the sense of achievement and personal growth that comes from doing original research is unparalleled.”