Rory McCaughan, a student from Ballymena Academy spent Summer 2011 working on soil sample analysis with the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute.
How would you describe yourself and your interests?
I would describe myself as a hardworking young scientist. My main interest is natural chemistry, how life forms function and the chemical constituents of life. I have a wide interest into all fields of science and also read books on biological sciences and physics. I also have non-scientific interests in the form of weight training, Russian and computing!
Why did you apply for the placement?
Really for my own experience of what it is like to work in a scientific place of work and to place on my CV to help express my dedication to science when applying for university. I also thought the placement could provide me an interesting and enjoyable experience which would give me something educational to do during my summer break from school.
How did you spend your time on the placement?
I spent my time doing field work and performing analytical experiments within a laboratory.
What did you learn from your placement?
I learnt a lot of information on biological and chemical sciences while working on my placement, my placement also confirmed my desire to study chemistry to university.
What do you want to do as a career?
I definitely would like to enter a career in chemistry, and am applying to university now.
What advice would you give to others like you thinking of taking part in a summer research placement?
To do one! Placements are a fantastic opportunity to learn and enjoy your summer at the same time. After my placement I would say I would highly recommend anyone in Sixth form College or a further education college to attend a summer placement - the experience is certainly worth the time.