Question: What are some of the things that enable you to do experiments or field work?? :)

  1. The first is money! Research costs money, and usually is funded through applying for grants either from the government or related industry. Sometimes money comes from charities (eg. cancer council providing money toward cancer research) or from private donations. Basically though, you have to pitch your idea to the funding body, through a proposal and show why it is important, and why you are the right person to do that research.

    Second is knowledge. When starting a new project, it is really hard not to just go straight to the lab and start working. However, doing research and understanding the area, as well as planning your experiments is really, really important because you want your work to be successful, you need enough data to make conclusions and finally, you want your work to be useful. For me, this part involved reading a lot about how DNA is used in forensic biology, and training with a forensic lab so I could then go on to research questions that were important to the field. So good research skills are really important.

    And you need the equipment – for me, this is all the bits and pieces I need to extract DNA. Everything from pipettes for handling small volumes in the lab (, just in case you’ve never seen one) to fridges, freezers and other important bits of equipment. And you need the reagents – these are chemicals and kits we use to extract and analyse DNA.

    From a personality point of view, I would say persistence, especially when things don’t work or you are out in the field and can’t find what you need to collect! You need to be able to be organised and be able to plan ahead/for the unexpected. Being able to juggle multiple tasks at once helps, as does being able to manage time because it’s a very busy job! And finally, being creative – science is a very creative job! You need to be able to problem solve, think outside the box and sometimes come up with something completely original.

    Hope that answers your question – as you can see there’s a lot to it from the equipment through to the personality! If you would like to know more you can ask me here, or talk to me in the chat sessions!



  1. Thanks heaps!!! Really appreciate it!! 🙂

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