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Proteomics Bioinformatics Workshop
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

Proteomics bioinformatics is a large, and growing, complex field of computational biology. The course offered a unique opportunity to receive training using the latest software, first hand from the developers, and the potential to meet other researchers in the field.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Organisation website

Application process

Online applications requested a short biography, along with a brief description of my research and how the workshop would impact my research development. The course regularly receives ~3x as many applications are there are spaces for the course, and I was initially unsuccessful in my application. I subsequently requested to be placed on a waiting list should a place become available, and highlighted my keen interest in the course, and that I would keep the dates free up until the very last minute. Close to the start date of the course, a place eventually became available and I gladly accepted their offer of a place.

Main responsibilities

Attending workshops and seminars during the week long training course. Presenting a poster about my research and networking with attendees and staff at the EMBL-EBI

Typical day

After breakfast with the other attendees and demonstrators, workshops and seminars starting at 08:30, where we received seminars on principles of mass-spectrometry for proteomics, or were shown how to use specific pieces of software for proteomic analysis. After a short break for lunch, workshops and seminars carried on throughout the rest of the day until around 19:30 when finished with a group dinner, getting to talk with attendees and the days seminar/workshop speakers. On the first day we also each presented posters about our research.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

Getting to meet other researchers from a range of different fields and backgrounds, from within academia and industry was very interesting, and has led to me inviting a fellow attendee to give a departmental seminar at the University of Sheffield to talk about her research later in the year. Getting first hand training from the developers of each piece of software was a unique experience.

Challenging aspects

Due to the diverse backgrounds and prior knowledge held by various members of the group, group activities were somewhat difficult as different people expected results or interpreted tasks very differently. The long days posed a challenge in maintaining focus throughout the day as we changed subject very often and had to learn new skills very quickly due to time constraints.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

Now back in Sheffield, I have begun analysing the data I have processed on the mass-spectrometer for proteomic analysis.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

Spending time at a dedicated research institute has offered me insight in to what could it might be like to work at such a location. While I wish to continue a career in academic research, this kind of institute is quite different from the university environment and not as appealing to me, despite the prospects of greater research funding opportunities!

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

When applying for a place on a course/funding/etc, even if you are initially unsuccessful you should always request to be placed on a reserve list - even if there is not one advertised. Show that you are keen to attend in case a place happens to become available.

Form completed: 15 Aug 2017

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