Magdalen runs remote work experience at Nuffield Department of Medicine

08 September 2020

Our Outreach Team recently collaborated with Dr Tammie Bishop, part of the team led by Nobel Prize-winning Magdalen Fellow Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe, to give 15 Y12 pupils a chance to participate in remote work experience at the Nuffield Department of Medicine.

Usually, work experience would be in the lab in person, but this year it was successfully transferred online to enable students from across the country to take part. The opportunity was offered by competitive application to students in our seven link regions.

The week involved lectures and workshops delivered by Tammie and her team, including Isobel Argles, Dr Thomas Keeley, Samvid Kurkelar, and Maria Prange-Barczynska. Students also produced their own presentations, experiment ideas, and essays.

“Students visit the lab each summer for work experience, and we didn’t want them to miss out on this opportunity – COVID-19 or not,” said Tammie. “We came up with the idea of running a remote work experience week as an alternative to try to give students a taster of research and University life. The event was extremely fun and valuable for participants and organisers alike and we look forward to running it again next year.”

Students were introduced to a range of medical courses offered at the University of Oxford, including Biomedicine and Medicine. There was a Q&A with Magdalen Fellow Professor Rob Gilbert and a mock tutorial with Samvid Kurkelar who studied Biochemistry at Magdalen. The group also learnt about Hypoxia-Inducible Factor (HIF) pathway, and recent work on the role of hypoxia in COVID-19. They even participated in a ‘live’ demonstration of lab work using cell cultures with Junior Research Fellow Dr Thomas Keeley. As part of the week, they also received personalised essay and personal statement feedback to help them with their university applications.

One participant, Jana, said, “I am very grateful for this fantastic opportunity as I have learnt so much within a week. The workshops, lectures, Q&A sessions, feedback, and the work that has been set were very informative and interesting to me. I was able to significantly benefit from and come out of this experience with some new knowledge- that is very exciting.”

Senior Outreach and Access Officer, Olivia Webster, said, “Worries about not having work experience is one of the main questions we’ve received from prospective applicants, especially applicants for Medicine, since lockdown began. This is why the work experience Tammie and her team have provided is so vital and it was made even better by the fact students from our northern schools could participate due to the digital format. We hope to continue this collaborative project in the years to come.”

For more details about our wide range of outreach and access activities, get in contact with our Outreach and Access team.