I officially started my placement in early September. I had carried out practical work throughout my first and second year and I had enjoyed it, so I was excited to see what awaited me in the next few weeks.
I met my supervisor and he provided me with an outline of the year and my role within a laboratory setting. I was informed of the importance of following the health and safety guidelines at all times and about laboratory etiquette. I was also informed about the importance of behaving in a professional manner and confidentiality, as the research being conducted cannot be discussed outside the laboratory setting which I would be working in.
I was also introduced to the rest of the team. I found that the other researchers and PhD students were very friendly and welcoming. I was soon working in the lab and it was great to learn new techniques which I had studied or read about in the first and second year. Initially, I observed my supervisor carry out the techniques and I was also provided with the necessary protocols. Then, I was given the opportunity to carry out the technique myself.
I was grateful for the chance to get hand on so soon and although I had made some mistakes, I was able to make note of the process, so I could improve the next time I carried out the same technique. I found that once I had established the basics, I was able to work in a more efficient manner.
In addition to the practical work that I have carried out, I had the opportunity to use the latest software to analyse the data obtained to help me to prove or disprove my hypothesis. It was great being able to analyse the data obtained from particular techniques as sometimes it took up to 3 days to obtain the necessary data.
I have thoroughly enjoying working within AMRI, the other researchers are always willing to offer support, advice and answer my questions about various techniques. I am excited about the current research being carried out and its future implications.