Paige Stevenson is currently in the second year of a BSc Neuroscience degree at the University of Leeds. In her first year she secured a place on the Laidlaw Scholarship research programme, this allows first year undergraduates to pursue research on a topic they are interested in, develop leadership skills and improve their knowledge, skills and experience to increase their employability.
A year ago, I had no idea about the Laidlaw scholarship or any of the opportunities that it could offer me. Fast forward to now: I have learnt so much about my subject, published an article in an online newsletter and presented at an undergraduate conference.
Not once have I regretted my decision to apply – I hope this article will demonstrate the skills and opportunities that you too could gain.
Filed under Advice, research
Ghadir Ghasemi is a Laidlaw Scholar in the final year of his Chemical Engineering degree, find out how he has developed his research and leadership skills through this funded scholarship.
Laidlaw Scholarships are open to first year undergraduates, providing the opportunity to develop leadership and research skills through a range of personal development activities and two six week periods of project work.
How did you secure your scholarship?
I initially found out about this scholarship through an email from the Engineering Employability suite. I took the time to read all the information given about this and was required to submit an initial application which consisted of four different questions-its main aims were to demonstrate my suitability to the proposed research project and to the scholarship as a whole, with regards to the leadership aspect.
The application process was very straightforward. Once I had sent my initial application, I was shortlisted to take part in an interview with the two project supervisors. The interview was not very long and the supervisors wanted to find out more about my passion for the project as well as the leadership aspect of the scholarship. Within a couple of hours, I received an email from the interviewers saying that I had been selected to receive the scholarship. Prior to sending my application, I attended an informative session which gave me tips and advice on how approach the interview. I also talked to staff at the employability office who helped me to prepare my application and subsequently practise for my interview.
This piece was written for Class of 2018 Month by Pablo Costa, a Careers Adviser at the University of Leeds Careers Centre.
As a former recruiter, I was pretty sure an interview candidate would know what skills we would talk about during an interview. After all, we highlighted them on the advert. But I wanted to see the motivation that they had for joining the organisation in the first place. Why?
Well, many recruiters worry that candidates have just applied because they think “the more I apply to, the more chance I have, right?” So how can you show motivation in an interview using research?
A really easy way is to follow the company via social media. Most organisations have LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook accounts, and you can follow them for the most recent updates. You can research the organisation’s website, but what information should you gather? A good idea would be to fully understand who they are, their sector, and any recent news, but for more in-depth points to cover in your research, read on!
Find out how Psychology students Lucy and Mayur landed their placements at Bradford Institute for Health Research. They share some useful tips on how to approach the application process and get relevant experience for research-based positions.
About the placement:
Mayur: Lucy and I have been working as Research and Implementation Assistants since joining the Bradford Institute for Health Research in September. Our work in the Quality and Safety department mainly consists of participating in a number of projects to improve patient safety in the NHS. Even though we both come from a Psychology degree, this placement has helped us to further explore the technicalities behind conducting research; doing things such as conducting questionnaires, systematic reviews, scoping and grey literature reviews, transcribing interviews, writing study protocols, attending focus groups and managing the department website. There have also been opportunities to attend lectures and conferences in Leeds, Harrogate and Oxford.
This week, Mercedes and Rocio talk about starting their own business – the online platform ResearcherSkills, and offer some helpful tips for students who are interested in staring their own business. They reflect on their entrepreneurial journey, and explain how the University’s start up service SPARK has helped them. If you’re interested in start-up, stay tuned – the ‘How I started my own business’ series will feature blog posts from different UoL start-up businesses throughout the year.
We are the team behind ResearcherSkills, the online platform that allows scientists from any discipline to connect, collaborate and outsource research-related services.
Naval Bhandari studied Computer Science at Leeds, graduating in Summer 2015. He was interested in going straight into work, but also really interested in research and doing a PhD. He wrote two posts for us last summer. In this first post, he outlines how he chose, and landed, his EngD opportunity at the University of Bath and what he found useful when considering doing a EngD.
Whilst at university, I was anxious to get into the real world and get a job, but I loved my academic studies and learning in this environment, so I was torn between a PhD and working after I had finished uni. In my second year, I had spotted a flyer on one of my lecturer’s doors and inquired about it. It was for an EngD (Doctorate of Engineering) in Computer Graphics/Digital Entertainment. EngD is similar to a PhD but aimed more at those with future interests in industry (there is further information about the differences here). The course structure had the first year be similar to a research masters degree, and the final three years in industry, whilst completing your thesis. It was aimed more towards industrial research as opposed to purely academic research. This seemed like the best of both worlds for me, as I could do full time work, as well as do research! The lecturer who advertised it explained a lot about it to me, including the hardships that come with doing a doctorate and how intense they can be. At that point I already had a placement year lined up, and I was only a second year student, so would have to wait 2 years to apply. I made sure to keep tabs on it until I entered my third year. Continue reading
Jenny Sellers studied at the University of Leeds and is now the Project Events Assistant for Leeds based Community Interest Company Luv2MeetU. Here she explains how getting involved in a range of things at university – and beyond – led to her current role.
My current job
I work for Luv2MeetU a friendship and dating agency for adults with learning disabilities. Luv2MeetU is part of the larger charity hft trust, which provides a variety of services to people with a learning disability. My role is Project Events Assistant for Leeds. I organise social events in Leeds as part of the Leeds and Wakefield team. My role also includes creating events flyers to mail out to Luv2MeetU members and attending Luv2MeetU council meetings (made up of members). My role is incredibly varied, flexible and really rewarding! I get to meet a variety of people and no two months are exactly the same, exactly what attracted me to the role and Luv2MeetU.