Dr Tammie Bishop organised a week of work experience for fifteen year 12 students in collaboration with the Magdalen Outreach Team.
University Research Lecturer Dr Tammie Bishop works in the laboratory led by 2019 Nobel Prize-winning Sir Peter Ratcliffe (Target Discovery Institute & Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research) which conducts research into hypoxia, as well as currently being involved in research into the role of hypoxia in SARS-CoV-2. Usually work experience would be held in the lab in person but this year it was successfully transferred into an online format, enabling students from across the country to take part.
The opportunity was offered by competitive application to students in Magdalen College’s seven link regions and participants joined from both the London and northern areas. The week involved lectures and workshops delivered by Tammie and her team (including Isobel Argles, Dr Thomas Keeley, Samvid Kurlekar and Maria Prange-Barczynska) as well as requiring students to produce their own work including presentations, experiment ideas and essays.
Tammie said of the programme, ‘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! We came up with the idea of running a ‘remote’ work experience week as an alternative, to try to give students a taster for 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.’
The week introduced the group to the range of medical courses offered at Oxford including a Biomedicine and Medicine Q&A with Prof Rob Gilbert and a mock tutorial with Samvid Kurlekar. The group of students were also introduced to topics they hadn’t studied before such as the 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 about the event, ‘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, where I was able to significantly benefit from and come out of this experience with some new knowledge- that is very exciting.’
Magdalen College Senior Outreach and Access Officer, Olivia Webster, said that ‘Worries about not having work experience is one of the main questions we’ve received from prospective applicants, especially applicants for Medicine, since lockdown begun. This is why the work experience Tammie and her team have provided is so vital and it was made even better by the fact our students from our northern schools could participate due to the digital format. We hope to continue this collaborative project in the years to come.’
More on Magdalen College Outreach on their website.