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Biomedical research career insight for A-Level students

 16 July 2019   Public Engagement

What is it like to work at a research institute? What sort of jobs are involved and how did the researchers get to where they are today? What exactly do research scientists do every day?

On 11 July, the MRC LMS opened its doors to a small group of A-Level students from a local school as part of a community engagement project we are working with them on in association with our new building. The day involved the students being able to have a chat about research and science careers with six of our researchers, tours of three of our labs and a workshop introducing the students to transferable skills as they prepare to apply to university, jobs or apprenticeships.

One of our researchers who volunteered to be a part of the day was Kyle Morris, who had this to say about the event:

“It was a pleasure to talk to the students. They were very engaged and it was fun to reframe my research to explain it to them.”

As part of the tour of the institute, the students got to visit three of our labs. First, a visit to the Single Molecule Imaging group to see their ‘optical tweezers’ in action – which you can read more about in this post. The next stop was to the Cell Cycle Control group to see a live cell imaging experiment before finally heading to the Epigenetic Inheritance & Evolution group to look at some fluorescent C.elegans under the microscope.

It was great to see all the students really engage and discuss career options with the researchers, and ask loads of questions whilst in the labs. It was clear that all the students were highly driven, but were seeking advice on how they could reach their ambitions, and I hope we as an institute have helped a little towards that.

With only two of the students who attended knowing someone who worked in a science career before spending time with us today, it was great to see that by the end of the careers day that nearly half of them said they were more likely to explore a science career.

Some of the students shared their thoughts with us about the day:

“The best thing about today was getting to talk to the scientists and spend some time in their labs”

“Seeing the worms under the microscope was so cool! I didn’t expect that today!”

“Chatting to the researchers was really helpful, but I wish we had more time to do more interactive and hands-on experiments”

Overall, the careers day was a huge success and we hope that the students took something insightful away from their experience, and that this is a long and prosperous partnership we can have with the local school.