I would wholeheartedly recommend participating in research projects while at school.
In Year 12, that Ellie’s quest for scientific exploration began. She was introduced to the IRIS Authentic Biology project at Tapton School in Yorkshire where students investigated the genes of zebrafish embryos. The aim was to identify novel molecular and genetic mechanisms in cardiovascular disease.
Through this project, Ellie developed the skills to design research and analyse results. It required her to think critically and independently. She also had the opportunity to collaborate with academics from leading universities.
Ellie found real research invigorating; it allowed her to dive deeper into biology, expanding her knowledge in a way textbooks couldn’t. It was also challenging, requiring her to build perseverance.
The experience stuck with Ellie. So much so, that she decided to study Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Bristol. She completed a lab-based placement at the University of Sheffield and spent a year working with a biochemistry research group at Freie Universität Berlin.
There is usually a straight-forward answer that your teacher can explain easily to you.
Ellie believes that if she had not worked on the Authentic Biology project, she would not have made it past Berlin University’s lengthy and difficult application process. It not only gave her the skills she needed to play an effective role in the research group – the ability to design research, analyse results and communicate findings – but also the confidence required to promote herself to senior academics.
“I would wholeheartedly recommend participating in research projects while at school.,” says Ellie.