Personal statements

Personal statements

Thank you letter from Duke of Norfolk school
Dear Dr Else,

Thank you for coming in and talking to us about your job.

It was really good learning about those worms and most of us thought it was fascinating. It was amazing that a parasite that lives in your gut could be twelve metres long! It was unbelievable!

We really enjoyed your talk and our minds were buzzing with questions. We think that it is very important and we want to tell you in this letter how grateful we are.

Yours gratefully,

Duke of Norfolk school.

“Watching scientists at work really bolstered my interest in research. Everyone in the lab seemed to get immense satisfaction from their careers. There was a real thrill in knowing that the work being done in that lab was on the cutting edge of scientific knowledge, I’m proud to have been a small part of that for a short time. The project confirmed my passion for Science, in particular Biological Sciences. I enjoyed the lab atmosphere and the topics we were looking into, what I found most interesting was observing how organs and tissues reacted to different stimuli, such as parasite infection.”

Michael, Nuffield Placement student

“We definitely find that the Nuffield Bursary placements are an excellent opportunity for our science students and provide an extra challenge and opportunity to motivate them into studying scientific disciplines at university. The bursary placements allow students their independence and the chance to delve into research fields that are both novel and pioneering. They enable students to gain a much greater appreciation of what being a science undergraduate and postgraduate will be like, developing not only their subject knowledge and interest, but also their practical skills, study skills, time management and general organisation. All these aspects are beneficial when students are completing their UCAS applications and it does provide them with a much clearer indication at this stage as to whether their intended courses of study are appropriate for them and their intended careers.”

Alan Matear, Oldham Sixth Form College

“I am delighted to say I have been invited to be interviewed at Cambridge!

In one of my interviews I will get the opportunity to talk about the research I did with you at Manchester and how much I enjoyed it. The time I spent there was fantastic and made me realise that I really do want to go into research.”

Niall, Nuffield Placement student

“Thank you very much for taking me on last week for my Nuffield placement. I found the lab and techniques very fascinating and will include it in my end report. Please will you convey my thanks to Rowann and Kelly for their time and support…

…Once again, thank you very much for the opportunity!”

Rajiv, Nuffield Placement student

Dear Prof. Crucikshank,

Hope you are well.

I am writing to you to express my gratitude for the work I undertook while undertaking my Nuffield Scholarship during 2009. The experience was very meaningful and I am still reaping the benefits. As a 17 year old it was the first time I had stepped in a Laboratory and something I consider my first stepping stone into the world of research. Nevertheless, your department did not look at my experience or limited subject knowledge but were very hands-on and ensured I gained the most from the opportunity I was provided. In regards to my learning of science, the time I spent at the faculty of life sciences has most definitely been the most thought provoking experience I have been exposed to.

I am now a second year medical student at King’s College London. Instead of consigning myself to learning by rote or other such measures I have been able to develop an etiquette which involves appreciating the ‘bigger picture’. This attitude has on numerous occasions aided me in my quest for real understanding and appreciation of the taught concepts. Although time consuming, I’m sure this etiquette will set me in good stead for the future. In my opinion the placement at the faculty of life sciences has been instrumental in helping me achieve this. I recently undertook a student selected component as part of the MBBS course and felt adequately equipped for the task in terms of thinking. The Nuffield Scholarship experiences at the University of Manchester faculty of life sciences in 2009 has helped me and is helping me in my goal of becoming a doctor who is both a scientist and a clinician.

Thank you once again.

Kind regards

Rajiv K Sethi
King’s College London Medical School

Extracts taken from a statement from the director of the MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS

Short Course in Immunology, Uganda

We run two, two week courses, one in March and one in September each year, entirely on site at the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe, Uganda. Both courses are modular, allowing students to undertake one or all of the modules according to their interest.

The courses are routinely oversubscribed, arguing for a need for these type of courses in resource-limited settings. Course sizes are restricted to 25-30 participants, so that we can have focused discussions and in depth interaction with our visiting Faculty. We have a 50% mix of Ugandan nationals and foreign students for our courses. Foreign students come from all over Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Gabon, Burkina Faso), as well as a few from EU countries (UK, The Netherlands). We have had applications from almost all of the sub-Saharan African countries. The academic standard for our courses are set for postgraduate students. Most attendees have a postgraduate degree (MSc or PhD), or are undertaking their PhD. We also have physicians attending our courses as well. In exceptional cases we will take students currently undergoing an MSc. In all cases, we ask applicants to identify why they wish to undertake our course. Preference is given to those that are teaching or working in an appropriate Immunological area.

People apply for our courses for a variety of training possibilities. Some (Heads of Departments, Professors, Senior Lecturers) come to get an up-to-date refresher on the Immunology of their discipline. Others (Lecturers and MDs) enjoy the insight they get from our Faculty giving modern teaching techniques. Students come to gain a more in depth knowledge of their subject area, as Immunology is not taught to any great depth in most African countries.

We very much enjoy having you here to teach helminth immunology on this course, as do the students. Experience from several worm control programs supports the fact that trained health workers and educators are an invaluable resource for improved understanding of helminth infection and distribution of health education messages and thus your contribution does have real impact on workers in endemic regions. I very much hope that you will continue to support our efforts here in the future.