Kate Ryan, an undergraduate medical student at Keele University, took part in the Cystic Fibrosis Trust’s Summer Studentships programme in 2014, where she worked on a PhD project on cystic fibrosis-related diabetes. Following her placement in the academic holidays, Kate won first prize for her poster presentation at the UK CF Conference.
Initially I wanted to complete a studentship over the summer as I have been interested in research ever since my first year of medical school. I gained a lot from participating in a summer project funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust with regards to lab skills, working as part of a team and becoming more familiar with the process of research; from planning, right through to results and presentation.
This particular project allowed me to present at my first conference which was a great experience for someone considering a career in research and helped me recognise areas I did well in as well as those I could have improved on. I also got the opportunity to meet some of the top names in cystic fibrosis research and to attend workshops about exciting new treatment options.
Although I have had some experience in medical school, working in a lab was a relatively new experience for me. I was taught about general lab safety as well as the relevant techniques needed for my project. This hands-on approach to research was the part I found most enjoyable.
This research project has led me to consider intercalating next year and possibly considering further research in my career. It has helped me realise the importance of research and how enjoyable it can be.
I would highly recommend this to any medical student, whether you are interested in a career in research or not.
Thanks to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust for such a great opportunity last summer!
Find out more about the studentships programme at cysticfibrosis.org.uk/studentships.