DIA awardee profiles

The Dean's Internship Awards are available for Faculty of Medicine PhD students to fund a range of training and development activities, including placements, fieldwork and workshops.  Our recent awardees have let us know how they made use of their Dean's Internship Awards.  Read the profiles below to explore further, and find out how you can benefit!

Awardee profiles - Dean's Internship Awards

Leon de Boer - PhD Year 1 Department of Medicine

What opportunity did the Dean's Internship Award make possible for you?
3 day training course on Advanced Microscopy Technique

What was the value of your award?
£300

What did the training involve? What did you do?
The training course I followed was in a microscopy technique that allows me to set to track cells in response to a chemokine gradient. The slides the company provides allow me to establish a long-term chemokine gradient while the cells of interest are suspended in a 3D collagen matrix. The course taught me how to set up and analyze this kind of experiment, and is a very important aspect of my PhD project.

What did you enjoy the most or find most valuable about the course?
The course itself was very interesting and allowed me to successfully implement this assay in my work. It also taught me very important lessons in live cell imaging and proper analysis of the data generated from this, with far-reaching consequences for my future work. All in all, this course has fundamentally helped me improve my imaging of live cells. It will allow me to carry out better and more relevant research for my PhD by allowing me to ask questions with more advanced techniques.

Hamdi Issa - PhD Year 2 Department of Surgery and Cancer

What opportunity did the Dean's Internship Award make possible for you?
8 days of fieldwork in Bergen, Norway

What was the value of your award?
£1,800

What did the fieldwork involve?
It was for my PhD project - I spent the week with a host organisation where I was interviewing healthcare professionals and observing the dynamics of the work place.

What did you enjoy the most or find most valuable about this opportunity?
This was a really valuable opportunity because I needed this trip to happen so I could complete the second phase of my data collection. The opportunity allowed me to capture more data for my PhD research without feeling restricted by lack of finances - without this fund I may have had to complete these interviews by Skype which would have lost the richness and rawness of the data I collected. So I am very grateful for this opportunity being available to PhD students.

Jay Sze Yong - PhD Year 3 Department of Surgery and Cancer

What opportunity did the Dean's Internship Award make possible for you?
2 day SAS training workshop in R programming

What was the value of your award?
£306

What did the training involve? What did you do?
R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms, Windows and MacOS. R is mainly command driven. It is essentially a programming language designed for statistical analysis and this gives it great flexibility. The R language allows the user, for instance, to program a series of commands to pre-process and manipulate data and then analyse that data before tailoring, presenting and plotting the results. It allows the user to program “loops” to successively repeat the same analysis on different variables or data sets.

I attended these 2 courses in R:
Tutor: Dr Fabiana Gordon, South Kensington Campus, Imperial College
1) Introduction to R (£153 early bird discount for Imperial students)
2) Introduction to Programming Using R (£153 early bird discount for Imperial students)

These were 2 days practical PC-based workshop. The purpose of this course is to learn how to build a program from scratch: issues to be considered before writing a code and basic steps a programmer should follow to successfully find a solution.  Firstly, an overview of R tools was presented focusing on those that will be more useful when programming.

What did you enjoy the most or find most valuable about the course?
This workshop has given me a kickstart to learn R programming to learn more about commands and codings, which is really challenging to begin without any expertise in the field or any courses attended. This skill is really useful for me to organise my data for my PhD, also a skillset valuable for the future. Generally, I really appreciated the Dean's Internship Award as a form of encouragement from the Faculty to provide those who are interested to equip ourselves better. Like myself, this is a really valuable opportunity for my self-improvement for the benefits of my PhD and future career plans.

Amandip Bisel - PhD Year 3 Department of Medicine

What opportunity did the Dean's Internship Award make possible for you?
10 week study placement with the Equity Research and Practitioner Team at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

What was the value of your award?
£4,500

What did you enjoy the most or find most valuable about the course?
The placement has provided an opportunity to engage with experts in the field of social science to support and gain feedback on my research approach and thesis structure. These are opportunities not readily available at the College and that have been hugely beneficial to my research. It has also provided valuable opportunities to develop networks and collaborations in an international context allowing comparisons and sharing of best practice in selection, admissions and transitions policies across borders.