Nicola Rogers

Favourite Thing: look down a microscope and ‘see’ what I’ve made



King Edward VI Handsworth, 1998-2005, University of Birmingham MSci 2006-2009, University of Birmingham PhD 2010-2014


10 GCSEs, A Levels: Chemistry, Physics, Geography (French AS), MSci Chemistry, PhD – Thesis submitted (awaiting viva)

Work History:

Children’s University, Mitchells and Butlers (bar staff), University of Birminham – Research Associate, Tutor, Demonstrator

Current Job:

PhD student (about to finish and become a post-doctoral researcher)


University of Birmingham

Me and my work

I make and study molecules that I can attach to tiny gold nanoparticles, to give them a fluorescent coating so that we can see them down a microscope

My Typical Day

In the lab making new luminescent compounds, or a in a dark room looking down a microscope at luminescent nanoparticles

What I'd do with the money

I’d use it to fund some fun Chemistry outreach shows, sending scientists into schools

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

passionate, witty, scatty

Who is your favourite singer or band?

belle and sebastian

What's your favourite food?


What is the most fun thing you've done?


What did you want to be after you left school?

I’ve never known what I wanted to be

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

not really

What was your favourite subject at school?


What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

See my nanoparticles flowing in blood under a microscope

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

My school physics teacher – Dr Slaski

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

probably an accountant, or with some other job ‘in the city’

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

#1 to be content, #2 to go back to Madagascar, #3 to establish myself as an independent researcher

Tell us a joke.

errr… these aren’t my forte…. what do you call a three legged donkey? …. a wonky… (?) … [see, I told you.. sorry]

Other stuff

Work photos:

myimage4 me in my labcoat and goggles…

myimage5 looking for clean glassware in the lab…

myimage3 a work colleague by my fumehood

myimage2 making gold nanoparticles – they look like red wine!

myimage1 fluorescently-coated gold nanoparticles glow with red(left) and yellow (right) when we shine blue light on them

myimage6 presenting a poster at a conference

myimage7 chairing a session at a conference