Holly Evans completed her Nuffield Research Placement in 2005 in the Haematology Research Department of the University Hospital of Wales. She completed a BSc in Molecular Medicine at the University of Sussex, and is now studying for a degree in Medicine at Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry.
What was your project about?
Developing new therapies for the treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.
What was the highlight/best bit of your placement?
Becoming more skilled in lab work. I felt like I’d improved in these skills everyday, and that even though I was a tiny cog in a massive research machine, like my work was contributing to something.
What was your least favourite part of the placement?
The realisation that a lot of science means repeating experiments time after time, and also a LOT of writing up.
What path did you take after finishing your NRP and how has that led you to where you are today?
I went into a Biosciences degree at Sussex – my experience in my NRP meant I was assigned a dissertation project in a similar area, which was great! Following that degree I went into postgraduate medicine, and am due to graduate in July
If you could give one piece of advice to Nuffield students about to start a placement what would it be?
I would go for it! I never expected to enjoy it so much, but I met some lovely people and it gave me a really good insight into what is required of a career in research. Additionally the write-up gave me great experience in how to write a proper lab report before starting university, and as a bonus I was also match-funded by the Leukaemia Research Fund, which helped in saving towards my gap year travels!
What would your advice be to young people thinking about a career in STEM?
It’s never too early to start thinking about careers, and NRPs help develop a good insight into what is really required from a career in STEM.