Covid Chronicles is a series of stories from KESS 2 participants in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here is a video response from Tasmia Tahsin (Swansea University). You can read the video transcript below:
My name is Tasmia, and I am a KESS 2 funded PhD student at Swansea University, which also collaborates with Cardiff University and my company partner is North Wales Clinical Research Centre. My project involves understanding the biology of cancer cell signalling in order to develop tailored drug combination therapy to selectively kill cancer cells and reduce the toxicity in healthy cells.
Has the global pandemic brought opportunities that would not otherwise have presented themselves?
I would say yes, the pandemic has been disruptive to my originals plans and focuses but it has been an opportunity to pause the intense activity of acquiring experimental data in the lab and to re-channel my efforts into focusing on a literature review; also analysing the data that I have already attained from my previous experiments.
Presently, I find myself in a similar situation of being prevented from working in the lab as my company partner is running a COVID-19 vaccine trial in the facility; and obviously, I will use this time effectively to finalise my review for the publication, perform analysis on my newly acquired data and begin to write my thesis as I have learned to adapt.
Has the challenge of Covid-19 opened doors and triggered novel ways of working?
To be honest, not commuting to work and working from home was a significant benefit of the COVID-19 lockdown. Since I am based off-campus in North Wales, it was a bit complicated for me to take part in training sessions, meetings and face to face communications around Wales. However, due to the lockdown, they have all transitioned into their online versions, which allowed me to engage with these activities in a more efficient manner.
In particular, the Zoom meetings with my supervisors, who constantly supported me and always kept in touch in this difficult time; I would like to give them a big ‘thank you’.
Finally, I would like to finish on a positive note by wishing for an end to this COVID-19 situation but also to express my hope that returning to ‘normal’ is the ‘new normal, which includes the best new ways that we have adopted for working during the lockdown.
KESS 2 are keen to collect many more stories relating to postgraduate research during the pandemic. If you are a KESS 2 participant and would like to contribute your story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to take part.
You can follow more Covid Chronicles stories here: http://kess2.ac.uk/category/news/covid-chronicles/