Translational Research Experiences

Have you ever wondered what it is like to work in a research lab? Read what some of our volunteers and students have to say about the experience.

Helen Ray-Jones spent one year abroad from Bath University in the UK working with our Translational Research team. As her internship is nearing its end, she reflects on her time spent here and what she has learned from the experience. 

“I began working in the Translational Neurotrauma lab in November 2012. At that time, as a third year undergraduate student, I had very little experience of scientific research. I expected to be able to quickly design and carry out a study that would answer all the questions that I was posing. I soon discovered that science does not work this way. Research requires plenty of patience, hard work, and the ability to interpret data that do not often support the initial hypothesis. In neuroscience in particular, there always seem to be more questions than there are answers. This is what makes it such a challenging and compelling area of research.

Now that I am nearing the end of my internship, I realize how much I have achieved in the past 10 months. I have learnt and applied new lab skills, improved my communication ability and acquired plenty of knowledge. I have even had the opportunity to attend a national conference and present my findings to my peers. My final challenge is to write up my study in the form of a peer reviewed paper, which feels like an overwhelming task. However, I am sure that it will be a rewarding experience to contribute to the medical literature in some small way. My undergraduate studies did not fully prepare me for the realities of scientific research, but now I feel armed and prepared to finish my bachelor’s degree and move on to higher learning. I feel extremely privileged to have spent the past year working with such exceptional scientists.”

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