Parade Profile: Millie Race (BSc Biochemistry 2020)

Posted in: Parade profiles, Science

Biochemistry graduate Millie Race credits achieving her fully funded PhD position at the University of Cambridge to the support she received from Bath’s Faculty of Science placements team. With their guidance, she was able to participate in the placement year that sparked her passion for developmental biology. She reflects on how Bath gave her the best start to her academic career. 


A brunette girl in a red dress and graduation gown smiles in front of a courtyard of greenery and roses.Why did you choose to study at Bath?    

I chose to study at Bath because I had visited the city in the past and remembered really liking it. I wanted to go to a campus university because I felt like it would be more welcoming to new students. On the Open Day I got a great impression and felt like the campus was very green! 

 I then looked into the course content for biochemistry, and found that a lot of modules looked interesting to me.  

Did you have a particular career in mind when you chose your course?   

I didn’t know what career I wanted to branch into; I thought the opportunity to do a placement would be a really helpful experience in that sense and would allow me to see what I could do with my degree. 


Can you tell us about your experience of studying here? Any favourite memories, or places to go on campus and in the city?   

The main highlight of my university experience was Bath University Mountaineering Club (BUMC) which was an amazing way to make friends and become acquainted with the local area (and their pubs!).  

I went on a trip to the Brecon Beacons, to countless indoor bouldering sessions in Bristol and on Sunday walks around Bath. My favourite place on campus was the lake with the ducks – I remember taking breaks in the library to visit the ducklings in the summer. I also really enjoyed walking the two tunnels circuit in the local area.  


Describe your career journey since graduating.  

Straight after finishing in Bath, I started my PhD at the University of Cambridge, where I am studying how tissues and cells change shape to form the brain during embryonic development, using the zebrafish as a model organism.  


What is a typical day like in your current role?    

A day in my life involves: planning experiments and analysing data, reading papers, attending group meetings and department seminars, performing experiments using the microscope, and doing some undergraduate teaching for the medical and veterinary students.  

I am in my fourth and final year now, so by the end of 2024 I will have my doctorate! After my PhD I think I want to stay in science, either in a research role at a different university or at a biotechnology company working on cell therapies or regenerative medicine.  


Tell us about your placement experience. 

The academic highlight of my time at Bath was the amazing placement at the Francis Crick Institute in London. During my placement, I learnt about being a research scientist, how to plan my own experiments, analysing data and writing up my findings. I found an area of research that I absolutely love: cell and developmental biology.  

One of the most helpful parts of my placement was the networking, being able to speak to lots of different people about their experiences working in academia and their career paths. Being able to say that I had carried out a 12-month research project and develop all the skills this brings allowed me to get a fully funded PhD position at Cambridge straight after my undergraduate degree without needing a master's degree.  

The Faculty of Science placements team at Bath was instrumental in helping me to apply and doing practice interviews with me.  


What advice would you give to prospective students thinking about studying your course at Bath?  

The advice I would give to a prospective student is that the placement opportunities at Bath are made so amazing because of the placements team. A few other universities encourage students do a placement, but the amount of advice and support provided by Bath is unique.  

I would also say that the city where you study is important and for me Bath was a perfect combination of beautiful scenery, lovely history, restaurants and shops, and connection to bigger cities like Bristol and London.

Posted in: Parade profiles, Science

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