Summer students experience “a different world” at the GMRI
An exceptional group of university students has participated in the 2015/16 Gillies McIndoe Research Institute’s summer student programme, sponsored by the Deane Endowment Trust.
I really enjoyed the collegiality amongst the students and working so closely with the more senior members of the team. Giving a presentation at an international Head and Neck Cancer conference in Darwin was a challenge for me, but also hugely rewarding.
The work conducted by the team at the GMRI is well grounded in current issues facing the health of New Zealanders and is well respected throughout the research world. The opportunity to work amongst a group which is both so passionate and knowledgeable was one I knew I could not pass by. Dr Swee Tan is not only incredibly well regarded for his dedication and amazing work, he is also a humble, passionate teacher who truly believes in the potential of young people.
I really liked the hands-on nature of it and knowing that things I was discovering had never been identified before. It is a great way to get experience in research in a really supportive but challenging environment … and it’s much better than doing dishes all summer!
I have learnt that when carrying out a project, there will be many times where you get no results, but it is important to keep an open mind and keep working at it, whether that means trying again or going with a different approach.
I was fascinated by the novel research the team at the GMRI are carrying out. Their passion was infectious and I wanted to be a part of it! Both the research and the Institute were interesting and ever-changing, and the opportunity to work with such a fantastic team was a huge drawcard.
I have always wanted to get involved in research. This was a great short-term opportunity to get a taste of what research is like. It was great to be able to do this within a small research group, where I felt that my ideas were valued.
The team at the GMRI were the most supportive and encouraging team I have had the opportunity to work with. Never did they doubt our ability and knowledge as students.
The team at the GMRI made my studentship the awesome experience it was. They were all really friendly and willing to help us. Everyone had their own area of specialisation and I enjoyed learning from each of them.
It’s the fantastic team at the GMRI that really made this a great experience. I really enjoyed sitting down with Dr Swee Tan over lunch and discussing the philosophy of what makes good science. I would definitely recommend a studentship at the GMRI; it’s an excellent place to learn all about the scientific process, as well as laboratory techniques.
My goal is to become a paediatrician, in order to help tackle the issue of child poverty in New Zealand, and make a valuable difference for our future generations. I hope to be able to continue to carry out research alongside my clinical work.
I think having the opportunity to do research at the GMRI will make me a better doctor in the future because I have been trained to think outside of the box. It instills an inquiring mind and provides me with the ability to formulate hypotheses and scientific methods of investigation. It is wonderful to be able to make a contribution to the scientific knowledge that may lead to more effective treatments.
I would definitely recommend it! It is a fantastic opportunity to learn about research in an incredibly supportive environment. The team at the GMRI are not only leading scientists, but warm and friendly individuals and a pleasure to work with.
2014/15 summer students impress Lady Deane
Lady Deane and Sir Roderick Deane with GMRI summer students: from left, Ranui Baillie, Emily Keane, Max Blackwell, Elysia Tan, Lucy Sulzberger and Sam Siljee.
Lady Deane, who is one of New Zealand’s best known philanthropists, was “terribly impressed” with the young students who have completed the 2014 summer student programme at the GMRI.
She and Sir Roderick visited the GMRI to present certificates to the summer students who, she says, “should all be Young New Zealanders of the Year, they are so impressive.”
“These students are very excited about what they have achieved and learned over the summer break while being mentored at the GMRI.”
The programme allows the students to undertake projects at the GMRI, under the supervision and guidance of Dr Tan and his colleagues, from early November until the end of January, when they return to university studies.
Lady Deane and Sir Roderick have supported the GMRI summer student programme for four years through their Deane Endowment Trust.
“We love science and we love supporting outstanding students to be mentored,” Lady Deane said.
She says the GMRI provides a wonderful opportunity for these exceptional young hopefuls, all of whom worked extremely hard under the expert guidance of Dr Tan and his team.