HRI welcomed Summer Scholars from both Australia and New Zealand to experience a research career at HRI for seven weeks.
The scholars, who were undergraduate students in their second or third year of university, participated in the scholarship from January to February 2021.
The scholarship gave students hands-on experience in HRI’s Sydney laboratories, providing the opportunity to practise real-world research with state-of-the-art equipment, something difficult to duplicate in an academic environment. The students were mentored by HRI’s global leaders in cardiovascular disease in various aspects of medical research, while also participating in research with their nominated groups. They also shared their learnings across all research areas amongst themselves, giving everyone a taste of the variety of research paths available.
The students kicked off their experience with an induction day, where they were introduced to HRI’s research groups and scientists. They were also taken on a tour of the facilities, while being inducted on health and safety aspects to ensure they stayed safe during their time at HRI – all conducted in a COVID-safe manner.
Each student was paired with a buddy – an existing HRI student or researcher – to provide mentorship and extra support throughout their experience. A personalised timetable was also developed to consider each student’s research interest and to maximise their learning opportunities. This included techniques such as metabolomics and lipidomics analyses, microscopy, microfluidics, in-gel fluorescence imaging, 3D printing, heart rhythm and stroke, tissue culture and vascular physiology, as well as informative career sessions.
The rewarding experience has inspired five of the Australian and two New Zealand students to continue their careers with HRI by remaining to complete their honours studies, and a further two students to pursue their PhDs with HRI.