Bringing science to the next generation

Gary White

Published on 02 September 2019

Gary, 22, graduated top of his year with a First Class degree in BSc Physiological Sciences from the University of Sunderland this summer. Work experience with A-Level students convinced Gary that teaching was the right path for him – and he’ll be back at Sunderland in October to study for his postgraduate teaching certificate.

The University of Sunderland Postgraduate Open Day takes place this Wednesday (4 September) from 5.30pm to 8pm at CitySpace on Chester Road. Lecturers will be on hand to discuss courses, you can take a tour of the campus, find out more about postgraduate funding and have a look round University accommodation.

Gary, from Sunderland, begins his PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) course in October and has already secured a place teaching at Newcastle College in their health sciences department.

“I came to Sunderland because of the facilities,” says Gary. “I came to an Open Day for a look around, and compared to Newcastle and Northumbria universities it was definitely the best learning environment for me.

“I loved my time studying. The best thing about Sunderland is the lecturers.  You can speak to them any time you want, and it’s very informal, it’s almost like talking to a friend.”

Gary had originally planned to train to become a Physician’s Associate for the NHS, but work experience at a GP’s surgery convinced him that it wasn’t the career for him.

“Soon after that I worked with A-Level students who were visiting the University, and that refuelled my original dream of becoming a teacher.”

While he was studying Gary found he was struggling to achieve what he knew he was capable of, and approached the University’s Development Office to help him live independently, and free up more of his time for study and research. Gary was granted a Futures Fund Excellence Scholarship, part of the University’s award-winning DOSH scheme (Development Office Scholarships) which is open to all students studying at the University of Sunderland.

“The Futures Fund helped me live independently, and meant I didn’t have to take a part time job. I was able to really commit myself to my final year, so I could literally be in the labs every single day.

“My research project was on bacterial resistance, and it’s now in the process of being published to a journal. I also received the Undergraduate Physiology Prize from the Physiological Society, and I got a First.

“Those three things would definitely have not have been possible if it wasn’t for the Futures Fund scholarship.”

To find out more about DOSH scholarships go to: sunderland.ac.uk/dosh.