Maia Rowe-Sampson

How did you get involved in the Nuffield Research Placements Programme and why did you want to take part in the programme?

I was searching for work experience in a research lab and a professor I emailed recommended that I take part in the Nuffield scheme. It sounded like the perfect opportunity for me to get an idea of what it was really like to be a research scientist. I was so excited to be given a placement at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Sciences Centre in London.

What were the aims of your project, and how did you go about achieving these?

The aim of my project was to compare the suitability of mouse embryonic stem cells and C.elegans (which are microscopic worms) in genetic research. I removed a particular gene from cells in each of the animals and carried out experiments to check if they were successfully removed.

What did you learn most from your placement experience?

Practical skills.  It would be impossible to gain this experience in Sixth Form as the techniques are so cutting edge. They have also proved to be helpful in my A level biology course because these techniques are theoretically learnt in lessons. I have been lucky enough to put these techniques into practice during my time in the lab.

What are your longer term plans and how did your placement experience affect these plans?

I have an offer to study biochemistry at Kings College London in September. Thanks to my time at the MRC I know that this is the area of science I wish to study further and that I want to go into research science after my degree. It was also useful experience to add to my university’s personal statement.