The University of Southampton
Course: PhD in Physics

Studying for his PhD in Physics has helped student Paul realise that academic research is where his future career path lies.

Paul Gow

Studying at Southampton

“I was attracted to study at Southampton because I really liked the amount of green space around campus and all the facilities that are available. The Physics department has an excellent research rating and really fantastic resources for learning and research.

“I found the staff here really friendly and helpful and their wealth of knowledge is also a goldmine, so I decided to stay on to do my PhD.

“The highlights of my time so far have been getting my first paper published and winning the three minute thesis competition.

“I would definitely recommend Southampton to any prospective students as the available facilities, the knowledge of staff, coupled with the student facilities onsite, make for a great atmosphere where there is always something happening.”

My research

“My research is based around developing emitters for terahertz. This is the light between infrared and microwave frequencies and is used for various applications from security and quality control, to art conservation and scientific research. My work is on improving the devices that emit this light.

“I was fortunate to be among 21 Southampton PhD students and Early Career Researchers who got the opportunity to present their research to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges at the House of Commons as part of the SET (Science, Engineering and Technology) for Britain poster competition and exhibition.

“The competition encourages, supports and promotes Britain’s early stage and early career research scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians who are an essential part of continuing progress in and development of UK research and development.

“SET for Britain was an amazing experience. It was great to meet researchers from all over the UK and talk to them about their work. It was also brilliant to communicate my work to MPs from all over the county.”

The future

“I have really enjoyed moving towards independent research. Being able to plan experiments, carry them out and publish papers on my findings has been a really great experience.

“During my PhD I have really developed as an independent researcher and I now know that this is what I want to do. The next step is for me to graduate from my PhD and find a postdoctoral research position to continue my work.

“After a couple of postdoctoral positions I hope to be able to apply for a fellowship and get a permanent research position.”