Has anyone done this course before or a variant of it?
I'm just finishing my personal statement and just curious what it's like.
(Also if anyone wants to read my personal statement and give me tips that would be highly appreciated)
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Nuffield research placement (Engineering) watch
- Thread Starter
- 11-02-2018 03:02
- 11-02-2018 12:10
Hi! I did a Nuffield placement last summer, albeit it was Biology related.
Last year for my area there wasn't that many people who applied, apparently, so they extended the application deadline quite a lot. They have a quota to take in students from more disadvantaged backgrounds/schools so if you meet that then they'll give you a shot even if your personal statement isn't amazing.
I was placed for four weeks in the Centre for Life in Newcastle - you don't get a choice of where you're placed and sometimes that means you need to travel long distances. They firmly stated to travel by public transport instead of someone dropping you off (though they reimburse you at the end of it all). You can apply for a bursary too.
Even though it was for four weeks, I only was required in for 3-4 days of the week (the typical day was about 9am-3pm with lunch breaks etc).
The work was very interesting. I was in a professional lab surrounded by postgrads, qualified peeps, and lots of extremely expensive equipment, and my supervisor was very friendly and guided me through all of it. My project was a bit repetitive (as I was just mainly staining slides and looking down microscopes) but if I didn't get results I wanted I had the freedom to fiddle around with the original method I got given. My friend was in a different placement to me and she said her supervisor gave her loads of homework and papers to read. I met lots of different professionals and it was interesting to talk to them about their career and they gave me advice about working in a STEM field. My supervisor showed me her own research and we had a look around different things going on in different labs as well. They know you're only in sixth form so everyone's very patient with you.
At the end you need to write a scientific report, though you can send it to your project provider to read over and make corrections. You also need to make a scientific poster, and then you present it with the other people who did the Nuffield placement on a celebratory evening. You pin it up on a board and judges walk around asking you questions about your project. Then there's a super long bit where the organiser does a speech and hands out certificates. But hey - free pizza at the end of it all!
Judging from other posters I saw on the celebratory evening, I saw one engineering (?) based project where they made a little robot thing that crawls up walls.
Overall it was a super rewarding experience and very insightful. Plus it looks great on a personal statement for uni. I'm positive it's the reason I got offers from certain unis I applied to.
If you have any more questions feel free to ask me!