Category Archives: Biosciences

eDNA Laboratory Internship – Applied Genomics

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

During the course of the internship, my main role was to carry out general laboratory duties and perform eDNA testing on a variety of species from various locations. I was allowed to be completely hands on and I took part in all of the testing services that they have available as well as some of their research and development which consisted of some field work and gathering data. I also analysed various scientific journals to aid their research projects for further development.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I learnt a huge amount in regards to the business, industry and general day to day tasks that are required within an eDNA business. I also gained a huge amount of laboratory skills working 1-1 with a very skilled technician.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I aided in their research as well as assisted in the laboratory to complete daily sampling tasks.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Problem solving, focus of goals and outcomes, networking

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence, motivation, independence

 

 

Rosie, Waste Management Support Officer DCC

Degree: BSc Biological Sciences 2017

Job Role: A Waste Management Support Officer works for Devon County Council on various projects, including promoting schools waste education work, supporting the Waste@Work scheme and changing behaviour.

Rosie’s Experience: Completing a GBP is a perfect opportunity to try out a field of interest without committing the rest of your life to it. I have really enjoyed my internship but have realised that I prefer to be outside of the office. I now want to peruse a career in global wildlife health and conservation. My internship has given me confidence in all my soft skills, given me more to talk about at interviews and, I have also learnt that waste is a dynamic, interesting sector to work in and I might be interested in a more hands-on role here in the future.

Sam, Higher Education Project Officer

Degree: Biological Sciences at University of Exeter 2017

Job Role: A Higher Education Project Officer provides support for projects in the Exeter Education Incubator, supporting academics who are working on projects to reimagine how university education can be delivered.

Sam’s Experience: Applying to be a GBP arose at a difficult time post-uni, when my original master’s program was cancelled by the University and all other arrangements fell through. When I became aware of the job, I was interested immediately by the title, but when reading through the description it seemed like an area of employment I had little experience in. However, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to develop skills I have not yet used in a professional environment, as previous experience had been restricted to lab and kitchen work. The main skills I am learning so far are teamwork, meeting skills, project organisation and website design. I would encourage any graduate to apply for a GBP as they are the perfect opportunity to develop important career skills. The project and IT skills I learn should help me massively when choosing to undertake another masters next year.

Animal Care Assistant – The Flicka Foundation

horse

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I was responsible for making up feeds and administering medication to horses and donkeys, and turning out and bringing them in from fields. I also did general yard tasks such as mucking out stables and sweeping. My other tasks included assisting with office work, putting together adoption packs for supporters, discussing ideas for improving the site, recruiting new volunteers and the upcoming open day. I helped out in the tea room when needed. I groomed and picked out hooves which is important for maintaining hoof health. I helped train new volunteers and work experience students, particularly in health and safety, important points about the running of the site and handling horses/donkeys. I also gave site tours and leading a group visit to the site from NCS, as well as welcoming visitors to the site, showing them round and talking to them about the animals.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I became more confident in teaching others how to work on site. This will be extremely beneficial when running the Flicka Volunteering Project associated with FXU in the coming academic year.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to lighten the workload by being an extra pair of hands around the yard. I was also responsible for training new volunteers so this allowed the yard manager to get on with her own jobs.

Marine and Freshwater Intern – Zoological Society of London

marine

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

To support the Marine and Freshwater ZSL team, on the Penryn campus. Projects included literature review on the distribution and species of marine turtles in the Philippines; PET plastic bottles literature review and general support for the #OneLess project; Mangrove and beach forest medicinal properties; Artificial reefs and coral transplantation review for the Philippines.
I also attended a Marine conservation conference at the Penryn campus and a Marine Management Organisation Meeting with the ZSL team during my last week.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I learnt and improved essential skills needed to work with an environmental NGO, such as networking, building relationships, organisation, managing work load, communicating with international environmental groups and promoting work via social media. It was great to gain experience within an office based team, instead of out on the field, which is the majority of my experience.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to support ZSL Marine and Freshwater by completing small, but essential pieces of work as well as contributing to larger projects. This lightened the work load for my colleagues in Cornwall, London and the Philippines.

Assistant Research Scientist – College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

clinic-doctor-health-hospital

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

After becoming comfortable with the literature, my main role in this internship was to train in the Biophysics labs and learn from a PhD student before going on to help them complete research. After completing this research I was responsible for the production of a paper detailing the process and results, with an aim to getting the paper published in a scientific journal. I have also attended the regular Biophysics group meetings, as well as being given the opportunity to hear guest speakers from other Universities talk when they have visited the Physics department here in Exeter.

Overall, the whole of my internship has been an amazing and extremely rewarding experience. I have learned much more about what life as a scientist really is, got to grips with a wide variety of new scientific concepts through studying the literature, and had exposure to a thriving scientific environment where it was a privilege to listen to scientists talk about their work. I believe my biggest achievement over the course of this internship is either the growth in confidence and ability to network that I have experienced, or the production (with much help and guidance) of a scientific paper that will hopefully be published, something I did not think I was capable of at this age.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

As previously mentioned, I helped to complete a piece of novel research for my employer as well as writing the results into a paper. Moreover, having now had experience in the Biophysics labs I would be more suited to working in this department again if my employer wanted a summer student next year.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

I encountered problems as a part of the work, such as a lack of knowledge of the specific vocabulary required to understand many of the concepts spoken about daily in this department. However, I overcame these either through research or asking for assistance where necessary. Everyone in the department has been very friendly and more than happy to offer assistance where necessary which has been invaluable to me.

Research Intern – CLES, University of Exeter

report

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I had to write up first-draft reports on British mammal species to be submitted into the review. Other tasks included creating questionnaires, emailing, communicating with other researchers and assisting with the collation of the results. I also worked on developing code in R to produce species-specific population estimates from large data-sets of mammal population densities in different habitats. In addition, I researched using ArcGIS to model species distribution, and to extract habitat data to go towards initial population estimates.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I developed my skills in GIS and R, by a considerable degree. It was fantastic to potentially be the first person to know how many of a particular mammal existed in the UK! It was very rewarding to go through the process, from using GIS, carrying out meta-analyses, obtaining the estimate and finally writing up the species account. I learnt a great deal about the amazing mammalian wildlife we have here on our shores.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

The Mammal Population Review is a huge undertaking, and I hope I hoped to considerably lower the workload needed to be done. I hope others felt I became a valued member of the team. I felt that I was, and had an incredibly enjoyable time working with the others in the lab.

“Luke made an excellent contribution to the team. I believe he also gained valuable skills that will help him get a job in the future” – Associate Professor.

Research Assistant – CLES, University of Exeter

clinic-doctor-health-hospital

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main role was to assist Lisa Butt in her ongoing experiments investigating the population dynamics of co-cultured E. coli and Salmonella, including in the presence of specialist and generalist bacteriophage. This was conducted in the lab, where my main responsibilities were setting up successive generations of cultures, plating out cultures, counting colonies on those plates and preparing samples from each successive culture for long-term storage so they can be studied in more detail in the future. Preparing liquid and solid media, sterilising pipette tips and eppendorf tubes, all for use in the experiments was also a key part of my role. I also set up several growth and infection assays.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I was able to confidently perform experiments largely independently by the end, so my lab skills improved hugely.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

As I assisted Lisa Butt with her ongoing research, I was able to lessen the workload so she didn’t have to spend her time on the more menial/unskilled work that needed to be done.

Market Research Intern – Attomarker

market

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

Researching the many types of blood-testing technologies in the medical and diagnostic industry; comparing cost, method of detection, availability and accuracy into reports.
Attending meetings with my boss, where we liaised with multiple individuals within the NHS and private healthcare sector; engaged with professionals looking to improve their current diagnostics position, save money and improve patient diagnosis from a point-of-care view.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

It has really helped me understand how basic science within a research lab can be applied in a private company from academia. I have learnt lots of business and financial techniques, which will help the way I view the industry and individuals making difficult decisions to respect and mould around a market to make their product work.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I hope that I provided valuable insight into the market which will be delved into; multiple market research reports revealed information that has avoided large costs from focus group studies and professional reports. A naïve and perhaps more basic view from a student could certainly have grounded the project and provided an alternative perspective and viewpoint, which alongside tenacity from myself I hope has provided some work worth having.

Summer Research Student – The Babraham Institute

telescope-science-discover-world

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

During my internship I was independently undertaking a research project that would benefit the research of the lab as a whole. I was investigating the effects of knocking down a molecule P-Rex1 on the internalisation of the receptor S1P in rat neuronal PC12 cells. I was responsible for culturing the cells and keeping them uncontaminated, taking immunofluorescent images under the microscope and knocking down P-Rex1 via RNAi and developing the results on western blots. I was also responsible for writing up my experiment in a report and analysing the data so that it can be referred back to in the future.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I learnt how to carry out and plan large experiments on my own with little guidance and supervision.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

My results showed the optimum concentration of siRNAs and time point required to knock down P-Rex1 sufficiently. I also demonstrated that knock down of P-Rex1 does not currently show a significant difference to S1P internalisation compared to the control.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

Initially my cells were getting contaminated due to lack of experience with cell culture techniques. However with more practice and repeating the experiment they no longer got contaminated.