Thursday, 11 October 2012

Summer Studentship Conference

Each year we offer summer bursaries to our students who are just finishing their second year. This allows them 6-8 weeks of research experience with our staff during the holidays. This all culminates in a poster conference where students present the work that they performed:

Naina being quizzed by (and having errors pointed out by) Nick

If you write Macrophage in the title, Dr Foey will be wanting to know what you did!

All of those cytokines seemed to have got to Jen
 These bursaries offer students a taster of what research is like but don't take my word for it!

Over to Naina Verma, a third year Biomed student who worked on the effect of of anti-diabetic sulfonylureas on mitochondrial activity in pancreatic beta cells with Dr Charlie Affourtit:

"What I gained from doing the summer placement was a new fascination for research which I did not entirely experience during the occasional practical sessions taken during the term period.  For the lab research my supervisor had given me a question which I had to do my research on.  Your enthusiasm builds so much for the work you do because it becomes your own project, you learn from any errors you make and become so eager find a reliable answer to your proposed question.  I liked independent study and I also understood the importance of searching a wide array of scientific papers to aid my research.  I developed an understanding of using scientific papers to support the reason for why I was doing the experiment in a certain way.  Now I know how scientists in their day-to-day jobs use scientific papers to support their research.  I can confidently say that I would have not been even close to being prepared to do a third year dissertation if it was not for me doing the summer project.  A very obvious benefit i gained within these 8 weeks was learning basic techniques which is used in a lot of research such as how to culture and maintain cells using aseptic techniques and keeping the growth environment consistent.  Cell culture might seem like a very basic technique but it does take multiple attempts to become confident to do it well.  Finally an added value with doing a summer project is the chance of getting to interact with a lot of the course lecturers.  I would hopefully like to think that it has built rapport with them and that they can see your willingness to do well.  Overall, I would recommend to everyone, if you have the chance to do a summer project you definitely will not regret it."