Rebecca Shepherd

PhD student, Lancaster University

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Keep your mind open and apply for every opportunity you can.

What do you do?

I study fat cells inside human bones to see if they contribute to the onset of bone diseases.

Why did you choose this field?

Luck! I previously worked as a Biomedical Scientist in a hospital, and was looking to change roles after the birth of my son. As I was looking for a new job, a PhD was being advertised at my local university that utilised a lot of the skills I had learnt working in a hospital. I applied and have loved every minute of my PhD!

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I won the gold medal award in Biosciences at STEM for Britain in 2019 after presenting my PhD research at parliament. It was an amazing day just presenting alongside so many incredible researchers. I ended up working after my undergraduate degree for a few reasons, partly financial and partly because I thought I wasn’t good enough to stay in academia. It was a huge confidence boost to win that prize.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love how creative I get to be. Whether designing new experiments or working out new ways to express my ideas in writing, working in STEM really can be a creative challenge!

Best advice for next generation?

Keep your minds open and apply for every opportunity you can.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

“Just keep swimming” - Dory, Finding Nemo

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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