Roger Sturmey, PhD

Senior lecturer in Reproductive Medicine, Hull York Medical School, United Kingdom

“I’m the first member of my family to go to university, so when I finished my degree – being really honest – I didn’t really know what a PhD was. It was kind of another thing to do. There’s no doubt I was interested in research, and was absolutely fascinated by the menstrual cycle and metabolism. So I applied for many research projects. I had two interviews scheduled – one was at the Royal Veterinary College, and the other with Henry Leese in York. I went up to meet Professor Leese, who was so warm, gentle and generous to me, and he offered me the PhD position there and then. I didn’t accept it at first, as I always had an inkling I might want to be a vet. But Professor Leese let me know that the PhD position was industrially supported by the Pig Improvement Company, meaning the stipend would be higher, which ultimately was the deciding factor... When I was contacted by the Royal Veterinary College, I told them I had decided to accept the offer in York. I’d taken a year out between Bachelors and PhD so I was a bit unaware of who Henry Leese was, so I just got on with my work in the lab. I quickly became aware that Henry was one of the pioneers of studies in the field of embryo metabolism, which was a great combination of my interest in reproduction and metabolism. I had a really great time, but I also learned the crucial role that being a member of societies, such as ESHRE, can have in developing you as a researcher, building networks and making friends for life.”