My summer project was immensely valuable, a tonne of fun, and I’d definitely recommend it
"When I was first introduced to the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme, I knew straight away it was something I’d enjoy. The idea of applying the skills and knowledge from my degree to real, meaningful research in a field of my choosing really excited me. For me, a year-long placement would have been impractical, and I wasn’t sure I’d end up doing something I was passionate about – SURE allowed me to really control the project and make it my own, and the six-week timeframe was ideal.
"The goal of my project was exploring antibiotic resistance in a bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae. To do this, we grew non-resistant bacteria on agar plates containing antibiotics and isolated the ones which grew at the highest concentrations. This gave us bacteria that were more resistant, which we sent off for DNA sequencing to find the genetic changes responsible for the change. We also looked at a specific gene that some early data had linked to antibiotic resistance. We used molecular genetic techniques to remove the gene from clinically relevant strains of the bacteria and found that the bacteria were typically more susceptible to antibiotics when the gene was missing.
For me, the most valuable part of the project was increasing my confidence in the lab – at first I worked very slowly and often needed help from my supervisor, but as the weeks went on I found myself working much more smoothly and independently.
MBiolSci Medical Biochemistry
"For me, the most valuable part of the project was increasing my confidence in the lab – at first I worked very slowly and often needed help from my supervisor, but as the weeks went on I found myself working much more smoothly and independently. The skills I’ve learned throughout this project are sure to help me in my third and fourth year research projects, and beyond as I plan to pursue a career in research after my course.
"I’ve also enjoyed working alongside my supervisor and Ana, a fellow summer student in the lab. Whenever I struggled with anything, they were always there to provide help and guidance, and the lab always felt lively with everyone around and working together.
"Overall, my SURE project has been immensely valuable, and a tonne of fun, and I’d definitely recommend it!"
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