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A day in the life of a research student

Master of Science by Research (Health Sciences) candidate Neil Josen Delos Reyes gives us a behind-the-scenes insight into life as a research student.

7am: Get ready for the day

As soon as I wake up, I water my plants and turn on the kettle for a coffee. While the kettle does its thing, I make breakfast and enjoy it with a coffee before I have a shower and get dressed for the day. Then, I cycle my way to uni. I live in Varsity Lakes, very close to Bond, so it’s a short and sweet bike ride in the sunshine.

9am: Chemical reactions

My chemistry research is all about creating a molecule from scratch, so as soon as I get to the Higher Degree Research labs, I start the reactions. They take a long time to finish, so making sure everything is set up and working ensures that I will be able to purify then store my products before I end my day.

12pm: Lunchtime with friends

After meeting the chemical requirements of my reactions, I try to meet the nutritional requirements of my body by having my meal-prepped lunch at around midday. My lunch break doubles as a time to catch up with my uni friends.

5pm: Gym and wellness

My chemical reactions research is a workout for the brain, but at the end of the day I go to the gym for more of a full-body kind of exercise. As a Bond student, I can access the Sports Centre free of charge. I normally start with aerobic exercise like running on the treadmill, then pump it up with a few weights. After about an hour in the gym, I usually head back to the office.

7pm: Chemical reactions – the finale

After the gym, I finish up the reactions, which have taken the entire day, or prepare my current product for storage. Sometimes I’ll start a reaction that needs to run overnight. If everything is complete, I'll clean up my work area so I can start my reactions the next day with a tidy station.

9pm: Meal prep and rest

After a big day of synthetic chemistry, I finish my day with a quick food chemistry experiment by meal-prepping at home. I love baking banana bread and cooking Filipino food. I go to bed at around 10.30 pm and get ready to do it all again the next day! 

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