Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Undergraduate researching in Oxford

This is the first in a series of letters from one of our undergraduates, Kati O'Brien, who has found funding to work over the summer at Oxford University.

I am all settled in now, and I have been here for just over a month. I am currently working on a study concerned with the effect of prematurity and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy on offspring and cardiovascular Health. My project is concerned with women who have recently given birth; I am testing the maternal blood samples for various biomarkers associated with preeclampsia, to investigate the post-partum cardiovascular effects on these women. I have some great results so far, and can’t wait to put the data together!

The team all work on separate projects branching from the main study, and everyone is very helpful and supportive, making my time here even more enjoyable. I work with a range of people including post-docs, research nurses, clinical leads and the professor of course. I have also been lucky enough to assist with MRI scanning and exercise testing in adults born preterm, and there are always opportunities to learn about other exciting research going on. 

I contacted Professor Lesson here at Oxford as I was interested in exploring more clinically orientated research. After submitting my university transcript, academic CV and having a couple of Skype interviews with the team here to determine my suitability, I then applied to the welcome trust for the ‘Biomedical Vacation Scholarship’ (The link for the welcome trust is: With support from the professor and Michael Jarvis, I was awarded the scholarship, which covers the cost of living etc up here for the duration.