In a new weekly article, we put the spotlight on a PhD student at JIC and get them to share three songs in a desert island disc-style game: one song that captures their project (expect some very tenuous links), one song that captures their life as a PhD student and a final motivational song because – let’s face it – we all need it.

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Nicola is a 2nd year PhD student in Tony Miller’s lab working on improving nitrogen use efficiency. Her research focuses mainly on forage crops with her iCASE funding coming from BAGCD. Originally from Newcastle, still adjusting to life down south.

Twitter @NicolaCapstaff

The Project Song – Cap in Hand by The Proclaimers

“Although this song has absolutely nothing to do with running q-PCRs or using nitrate sensors in soil, it’s the song which most reflects my PhD. All the proclaimer’s songs have an earthy, outdoor feel to them and Cap in Hand always makes me want to go outside; as I spend some of my time on farms this seems apt. Moreover the song is about a fight for freedom (yes it was the song for ‘vote Yes’ in the Scottish Referendum), which speaks to me in our scholarly quest for more knowledge to break down those biological inefficiency barriers.”

The PhD Life Song – B.H.S. by Sleaford Mods

“This past year I’ve really struggled getting to grips with my project, basically a classic case of the 2nd year slump. This song was listened to A LOT, for the angst and also the brutal lyrics. “We’re going down like BHS while the able bodied vultures monitor and pick at us” – who doesn’t think that’s how a PhD feels sometimes?!

P.S. My project blues are behind me (for the time being at least) so if I was allowed another song it would be Black Magic by Little Mix, just to prove I’m not totally depressing all the time and it’s a wicked tune.

P.P.S. I will not acknowledge anyone who disagrees about Little Mix being the pioneers of modern British music.”

The Motivational Song – Cream by Prince

“I LOVE PRINCE and playing any of his songs gets my motivation on to work, or at least dance in my lab chair. If I get control of music in the Rec expect a sexy Prince tune like Cream.”

The PhD playlist is the brainchild of Millie, whose obsession with making playlists is almost as great as her obsession with science. Follow her on twitter: @milliestanton and drop her an email if you’re interested in being featured!



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