Meriame Berboucha, Research Postgraduate, Department of Physics

“We’re all in this together, and my supervisor at Imperial and here at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have been so supportive.” 

I’m currently a Plasma Physics PhD student but I’m based at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, so being in quarantine in the US has been interesting. On top of that, I only just started my PhD at Imperial a few months ago ago! It’s not only weird tuning in to lectures at 2 AM, but not being able to meet other PhD students at Imperial has been a little hard. 

I’m the only one in my research group here at SLAC but being able to sign into Teams meetings with my research group and feel a part of the team even though I’m miles and miles away has been nice. At first working from home was nice – you could make as much tea as you’d like, go for walks when you like and work in your pyjamas too. As the weeks went by though, I really started to miss working with others.  

I’m glad my research group at Imperial host coffee mornings which help me through my night shifts whilst I’m on experiment here at SLAC. I must say that because of the pandemic I do feel like my research will be ‘delayed’, so there is that worry about not progressing enough in my first year, but we’re all in this together, and my supervisor at Imperial and here at SLAC have been so supportive. Being at home has also allowed for more time to research papers and really get a good grounding in the field of my PhD 

I have no idea when I’ll be able to go back to Imperial since the restrictions in the US are quite bad for travel. To help me through the homesickness, I’ve adopted new hobbies – my most recent being rollerskating! I’ve also started making more art pieces, my last being some pendulum art that has now decorated our living room! 

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