Spring 2013 Reserach at UCD

IFSA-Butler students Miah Blomquist and Tori Davis have completed the Introduction to Research module at University College Dublin this semester. Miah and Tori were placed in research laboratories which reflected their personal areas of interest. Miah was placed within the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science while Tori worked in the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology, School of Chemistry. The module gives students a flavour of life in a research laboratory. Miah and Tori told us how they got on – well done girls on an excellent achievement!

 

Name:  Victoria Davis

Major:  Chemistry

Project:  Catalytic Oxidation Using Nickel(II) Triazolylidene Complex

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Why did you choose to do the Introduction to Research module?

I chose to take this module because it gave me the chance to try different types of research in chemistry while in another country. I have previous research experience working in an organic chemistry lab, and wanted to try working in an inorganic chemistry lab. I was excited not only to be able to study abroad (which is not easy for science majors to do), but I also got to participate in international research.
Can you describe briefly what is involved with the module?
This module is perfect because it is flexible–they know that you are here to travel and experience the culture. You get to make your own schedule that works for you and the assignments are straightforward: keep a lab notebook, regularly update an electronic diary about your progress, and complete two assignments. There is one mid-semester assignment to construct a methods section for your project, and at the end of the semester, you must submit an abstract for your project as well as prepare a poster presentation.
How do you feel you benefited from taking this module?
I got first-hand experience working in another country’s scientific infrastructure–which can be quite different from the US. The Irish call Erlenmeyer flasks “conical flasks”! Though it took some adapting, I learned a lot about the importance of communicating ideas effectively in science. And I solidified my decision to pursue my doctorate degree in chemistry.

Would you recommend doing this module to others? Why?
I definitely recommend this module! This module will prepare you for your senior project or thesis when you return to your home university. It will also give you a taste of what graduate school is like, without the stress. Previous research experience is not required, and you get to meet some pretty amazing scientists from around the world.

 

Name:  Miah Blomquist

Major:  Microbiology

Project:  Effects of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) on an in vitro model of Human Marcophage Differentiation as a Target of the CLA-induced Regression of Atherosclerosis

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Why did you choose to do the Introduction to Research module?
I chose this module because I thought it would be a great opportunity to gain some lab experience and integrate more into the UCD community.

Can you describe briefly what is involved with the module?

This module included going into lab weekly and coordinating with your lab supervisor. It was also required to submit weekly learning journals, a mid-term paper outlining the protocols you were using, and a final abstract of your project along with a research poster.

How do you feel you benefited from taking this module?

This module benefited me in a lot of ways. It helped me feel more at home in UCD, and it gave me a lot of great lab experience that can be applied to future endeavours. It definitely helped me land a few interviews for summer research positions.

Would you recommend doing this module to others? Why?

I would definitely recommend doing this module to any students interested in a career in research. It gives you so much experience and teaches you a lot. This module was a huge part of my time here at UCD, and the experience I gained from it is invaluable.