Dr Jessica Chaffey grew up on a farm on Exmoor. She graduated from Plymouth University in 2017, with a degree in Human Biosciences. During the summer between her second and third years at university she did a placement with the team, and after graduating from Plymouth University, started a PhD here at Exeter.


Q. What does a “day in the life of” look like for you?

A. After a short uphill walk to the RILD, a cup of tea is necessary whilst I make sure I know what my plans for the day are. A usual day will include reading journal articles, planning experiments and doing experiments. When the work day ends luckily it’s a down-hill walk, then time to cook dinner and watch a bit of TV.


Q. What made you want to work in your current job?

A. Whilst I was an undergraduate at Plymouth University, I did a summer placement with the IBEX team, to get a feel for what doing active research was like – I loved it, and it finalised my decision that I wanted to do a PhD. I enjoyed the challenges that research gave and the continual questioning as to why something happens, and what impact it might have on other things. I also like how different each day is and how each day brings a different challenge, and different questions and answers.In the back of your mind knowing that the research you are doing (researching potential triggers of type 1 diabetes and disease progression) is key to ultimately helping the wellbeing of individuals makes it all that bit more rewarding.


Q. When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun?

A. When I’m not working I like to go back to my parents’ farm and help out or go on walks around the surrounding countryside. If the weather is a bit miserable I would rather stay in and play the piano / flute and bake cakes.