Imashi Panditha

Imashi Panditha completed her placement in 2016 at Oxford University. She is currently studying Nutrition at the University of Hertfordshire.

What was your project about?

My project involved researching interactions between plant-eating insects and their host plants, in particular moth caterpillars and oak trees.

What was the highlight/best bit of your placement?

The best part of placement was to work with professionals in the ecology field and getting to explore and learn new skills such as researching, gathering information, writing a scientist report and also lab skills.

What was the your least favourite part of the placement?

Most of the research took place in the woods and I am not a very outdoorsy person. But with the encouragement of my supervisor, I started to appreciate nature and the importance of ecology to the society.

What is your current role? If you are currently studying, what course are you doing? Where are you studying?

I am a Nutrition student at University of Hertfordshire. 

What path did you take after finishing you NRP and how has that led you to where you are today?

After completing my placement, I decided to apply for Universities to study Nutrition as I wanted to be nutrition scientist and raise awareness of health issues of the community to prevent these issues from continuing in the future.

Did your Nuffield Research Placement have an effect on the choices that you made after finishing school/college/university?

I always wanted to pursue a career in life sciences, but I wasn’t sure which area of study to choose. NRP helped me realise researching was an area I was highly interested in and I wanted to have a career in researching in the area of Nutrition.  

If you could give one piece of advice to Nuffield students about to start a placement what would it be?

Speak to your supervisor beforehand and ask lot of questions about the project you are going to conduct. Ask for some reading material to familiarise yourself with the project and put all your effort in when you are doing the project. Lastly, we are there to learn, don’t be scared to ask questions.

What would your advice be to young people thinking about a career in STEM?

Explore your options as STEM is a huge growing sector in UK and make sure to get some work experience on the sector you are considering before choosing it.