Real research experience for SLS Vacation Scholarship students

Published on 14 August 2023

Summer placement students celebrate their achievements

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Poster prize winner Ana Jurado and two runner-ups Jennifer Anderson and Adam Bryson.

Earlier this month, our annual Vacation Scholarship Symposium brought together the undergraduate students who have had placements in research laboratories in the University this summer to celebrate their achievements.

53 students from Dundee and further afield joined laboratories in the Schools of Life Sciences and Medicine. This opportunity gave the students the invaluable experience of working in real research laboratories during the summer vacation months. They were based within the SLS research complex, the James Hutton Institute, Ninewells Hospital, and our new Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation. Their placement typically took place between the end of May and July for 8 weeks.

40 students presented posters during the Symposium; some of whom had returned especially for the event even though their placement had ended. Prizes were awarded with first place going to Ana Jurado and the two runner-up prizes awarded to Jennifer Anderson and Adam Bryson.

Summer School academic lead, Paul Davies said ‘This year we were able to offer over 50 places to students from Dundee and the rest of the UK. The symposium really highlighted to me and the many academics that joined us for the event the huge range of topics covered by this year's programme. I was struck by the quality and impact of the research which was carried out across disciplines including microbiology, immunology, protein signaling and degradation, crop science and computational biology. Many of our students have told me the programme has given them the confidence and motivation to undertake further study and aim for a career in scientific research.’

Placements are competitively awarded with 170 people applying to take part in this popular opportunity with shortlisted applicants interviewed by Paul Davies, Sheriar Hormuzdi and Constance Alabert. Successful student applicants are then matched with a supervisor, with the aim to place them with their preferred option.

The summer placements are funded by: Wellcome Trust, MRCPPU, School of Life Sciences, Lister Foundation, Dundee Research Interest Group (Parkinson's), Medical Research Scotland, plus a few independently funded students.

Thanks goes to key people involved in the programme, Linda Cunningham who provided vital administration support, Paul Davies who was Academic Lead, Sheriar Hormuzdi who was Programme Lead and Constance Alabert who helped with short listing and interviewing.

Find out about the different research traineeships and internships available in the School of Life Sciences. Applications for the next session will typically open in December.