CDL21001: Research Skills in Biomedical Science

Summer Programme for International Research Internship and Training (SPIRIT).

A Reproductive and Developmental Medicine student

This programme is for students from Alfaisal University

Programme lead: Dr Lisa Parker

Dates for Summer 2022: 20th June - 26th August (10 weeks)

Programme aims:

The Department of Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease will provide SPIRIT students with the opportunity to learn and apply research methodologies to test scientific hypotheses, and to develop good laboratory technical skills in appropriate methods and safe, professional laboratory behaviour. 

This programme will teach our students how to:

  • Plan their experiments, organise their time, and behave professionally in the laboratory - including laboratory health and safety, working effectively with other laboratory members, and scientific integrity.
  • Perform appropriate research experiments using a hands-on approach, and use statistical analysis to test a specific scientific hypothesis in the laboratory.
  • Record, interpret and discuss their results and the implications of their findings in a scientific manner.

Programme outline:

Week 1: 

  • Students will attend introductory lectures designed to encourage a critical understanding of the nature of scientific research and its application to solving real scientific questions, these lectures will also introduce the importance of laboratory health and safety, scientific integrity, and professionalism. 
  • Students will see many common techniques used in Biomedical Science demonstrated in the laboratory and be guided to perform experimental techniques themselves, with help from skilled demonstrators, as necessary.
  • Students will attend tutorials on (a) how to present methods and data in a comprehensible form in a laboratory notebook (with sufficient detail to enable reproducibility); (b) how to analyse experimental results and test for significance using GraphPad Prism software (computer-based tutorial). 

Weeks 2-10:

  • Students will be individually taught by their academic supervisors, they will receive detailed supervision from day-to-day supervisors and specific training to complete methods and techniques and guided through the experimental strategy of the research project. They will also receive guidance in reporting their results correctly and in the presentation of their scientific plans and results. As students gain experience and confidence, they will be encouraged to organise their time, plan their experiments, and interpret their results. They will discuss the results with their supervisor at weekly meetings, and be encouraged/supported to contribute during research team meetings, journal clubs and departmental seminars, to learn and experience the role of a scientific researcher. 
  • During the final week of their project students will also design and present a poster of their research findings to members of the department. This will be supported by a tutorial on presentation skills for scientists. 

Development and feedback opportunities:

Opportunities for feedback will be ongoing and will occur during daily lab supervision and also during weekly meetings with the academic supervisor. Students will receive specific feedback on their skills in developing experimental techniques relevant to the project, good laboratory practice and professional behaviour (student’s aptitude, engagement, independence, etc). This will support our student’s development and allow them to assess their ongoing progress.

Contact – Dr Lisa Parker 

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