PIPS student profile

Miriam Hares

University of Liverpool

PIPS Internship Organisation Name 

Cultech Ltd.


Baglan, Neath Port Talbot

When deciding on your internship, what did you want to experience and what did you hope to gain from that experience? 

My PhD relates to the microbiome and parasitology but I wanted to experience how microbiome research is conducted in an industrial/commercial setting as well as broaden my knowledge on research topics outside of my PhD niche. I wanted to gain contacts in the microbiome field in order to open up the possibility of future collaboration as well as gain an insight into the differences between academic versus industrial research/work culture.

Did you get the experience you were expecting and did you achieve the personal development you had hoped to make? - Yes, I expected to gain valuable lab/technical skills and make some useful contacts along the way. I gained many transferable skills that will be useful in my career as a scientist as well as being relevant to my PhD project. I feel that I improved my organisation and experimental planning as well as my time management and general interpersonal skills during my time at Cultech

Did you discover anything about yourself or make any achievements that you were not expecting? 

I discovered that I was able to integrate into the company very easily, working and getting on well with everyone in the department. An achievement I was not expecting was the success of the initial research I conducted for the company, providing the department with the preliminary data required to pursue the project further.

Has the internship made you feel differently about potential career options and has it helped to put the skills from research into a broader context? 

Yes, it has shown me how transferable a lot of my skills are, regardless of the field I work in. It has also made me realise what is important to me in my future career and has definitely encouraged me to go into industry after my PhD, though I hope to still have the opportunity to collaborate with universities/academics as Cultech does with a lot of their R&D work.

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