Student Perspectives: Career Insights

Student Perspectives: Career Insights

In this blog series, we hear from some of the students on the 2020 Diversity Access Programme (the precursor to the 2021 Research Access Programme).  We asked students at the end of their placement to share their thoughts and experiences.  In this double-bill, Amelia and Samah tell us about their signalling projects.

Amelia: The diversity access programme was a wonderful opportunity to understand and experience how research is carried out.  Despite being unable to work in the laboratories, the BI team still managed to put together a summer placement that will help in my career aspirations.

During my time at the Institute, I had a chance to work alongside the cell signalling team on a review article.  This allowed me to conduct my own research into signalling pathways, as well as highlighting how and why review articles are carried out.  The experience of doing my own research was an important part of the placement for me as it is highly valued when planning a career in research.  The project supervisors were always happy to help and provided insight into different projects carried out in the lab by other members of staff, allowing me to see how a laboratory functions.

Apart from the research project, there were many additional sessions delivered that were aimed at giving a more rounded view of the professional research world, such as career paths, funding, diversity in science and meeting PhD students.  These sessions were extremely valuable as the work of a researcher includes many more aspects than just working in a laboratory.


A valuable insight into the life of a PhD student

Samah: Hi, I’m Samah and I’m currently studying Biomedicine at Lancaster University.  I was given the opportunity to take part in the Babraham Diversity Access programme, which I applied for through my university careers website.  The programme really interested me as I was looking for a summer placement which would allow me to gain valuable experience and skills.

Due to the pandemic, the course was taught online via a variety of methods such as talks, meetings with my group and academic supervisors and presentations from different employees that are currently working at Babraham.  This gave me a valuable insight into the life of a PhD student and the current work that goes on at the Institute.

The course also allowed me to deepen my knowledge regarding different aspects of scientific research.  I was assigned to a project about lipidomics and in particular how hypoxia (a lack of oxygen) affects the lipid structure.  It allowed me to become more aware of lipids and research further into hypoxia and the effects it has on cells.  I gained valuable experience learning about Prism, a software which allowed me to analyse large amounts of data and represent it in ways that were more understandable, so I was able to draw conclusions from the data more easily.  My supervisors supported me throughout the programme and were very helpful.

Overall, the programme has allowed me to gain further information for my future career in research, whether it be studying a PhD or gaining experience in a research laboratory.  It was a really insightful programme that allowed me to venture into different research sectors.  I also learnt about the impact the research carried out by the Babraham Institute has on society and science as a whole.  I really enjoyed my time during the programme, and it has allowed me to gain valuable skills and knowledge in order to succeed in my future endeavours.

Applications for our 2021 Research Access Programme are now open and close on Monday 29th March 2021.  For more information, click here.