Daniel P.

Research Assistant
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Daniel P.
Cognitive Neuroscience
Taught Postgraduate
United Kingdom

My employment

Research Assistant
STEM Learning
United Kingdom
Science and research

More about Daniel

Low Income Household
Commuter Student

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A day in the life of a Research Assistant in the United Kingdom

There are lots of opportunities out there but it is still competitive. Be prepared to tailor your application for each job you apply for and do some research on the company beforehand.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

STEM Learning are based on the University of York campus, next to HYMS. We offer professional development opportunities to Science Design & Technology Engineering and Maths teachers and technicians. We also have a wide array of enrichment programmes targeted at young people. Longer residential courses are delivered nationally at the York centre and we have a network of schools who deliver shorter courses on our behalf

What do you do?

I am responsible for evaluating these programmes, assessing both their quality and impact they have. I conduct data analysis using R, collate reports, liaise with external funders and more

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

I completed my undergraduate (BSc Psychology) degree in 2011 from the University of Leeds. I was able to save up and study for a Masters at the University of York, starting in 2015. Once I left this I worked in education until I was made redundant and secured my current job. I have always been interested in education and grew up in an area of low social mobility so I view the work we do as incredibly important.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

Yes and no. I always wanted to work in research which I am doing, however the day to day role is very different.

Describe your most memorable day at work

No 2 days are the same and all are memorable in one way or another. Every month we hold a staff lunch where a team gives a presentation before we have lunch. One of these sessions saw us assemble a pyramid using dowels and elastic bands!

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

The hardest part of the job for me is balancing the workload. The monitoring and evaluation team work across the entire business and are responsible for a lot of programmes. Ensuring things don't slip is definitely the hardest part of the job but I enjoy it so it is worthwhile.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

I presently work some days from home and some days from the office. Pre pandemic I was office based most of the time and had occasional travel thrown in as well. The dress code we apply is business casual but some of the staff who deliver courses wear PPE for obvious reasons.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

During my masters I took up a lot of opportunities but these were often closely linked to my course, including analysis of MRI data. As a result, the main skill which is worth sharing here would be I became a better independent learner.

What would you like to do next with your career?

I've been in my role for 2 and a half years, I want to progress within the organisation but I'm not 100% sure how it will look at this stage.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

There are lots of opportunities out there but it is still competitive. Be prepared to tailor your application for each job you apply for and do some research on the company beforehand.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

Feel free to ask me any questions and if I can help I will, if not I'll be honest and help as best I can. I've listed a few things below which I would definitely be able to help with:
working in research
report writing
interview prep/cv writing
social mobility

Next steps...

If you like the look of Daniel’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Daniel a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Daniel to be your mentor.

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