Charlotte: Between my 1st and 2nd year, I helped on a research project run by my current supervisor. We chatted about possible areas for new research and popular trends and, after debating over the importation of rescue dogs we wanted to know more. My superior suggested that I do a summer project between my 3rd and 4th year. I had not heard of these opportunities before but I was really excited by the prospect. It was a chance to investigate something I was interested in, manage my own project, it counted as weeks CEMS and I could apply for a stipend (fixed weekly income) for the 8 weeks of the project.
What made you apply for the AWF student grant?
Charlotte: The AWF appealed to me as their grants are trailered towards supporting the development of students through research opportunities.
What did you learn while doing your research project?
Charlotte: The summer project gave me more skills than n I ever thought it would. I started with little to no research experience so both terminology and research processes were new to me. I learnt how to write and pilot a questionnaire, how to advertise the project and communicate with participants and industry leaders, how to analyse the data and how to write a scientific paper. I also had the opportunity to present the research at 4 different conferences, which really helped develop my confidence in public speaking. Talking about my project, which I knew inside and out, to audiences with no prior knowledge of the project or the practice of importing dogs was a great way to develop my confidence and competence at public speaking.
What advice would you give to future applicants?
Charlotte: My advice would be to go for it- do a summer research project or intercalate! You learn so much, not only the research but communication and presenting, you meet lots of new people, have a set summer income and it’s great to have on your CV. I am now open to the possibility of undertaking research as part of my career in the future.
The AWF Student Grant Scheme is open to those studying veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing, agricultural studies and animal welfare, who will have completed 2 years of study by the start of the project. Students studying for an MSc can also apply. The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 24 November 2019.