Yimeng Zhu is a current third year student pursuing a BSc in Biomedical Engineering. She worked as part of the King’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship (KURF) scheme as part of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at King’s College London.
Why did you apply for KURF?
I applied for KURF because I wanted to gain research experience in the field of depression study to enhance my future research career prospects, such as for MSc or PhD applications. As a student who is passionate about research, I believed that KURF would be an excellent opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a real-life research setting.
What kind of research did you do during the application process that allowed you to choose a suitable project for yourself?
During the application process, I conducted extensive research to identify a suitable project for myself. I searched for research titles that piqued my interest and checked the supervisor’s research interests in their recently published papers. By doing so, I was able to identify a project that aligned with my research interests and expertise.
What prior experience did you have in relevance to this project? What new experiences did you take away from it?
Before the project, I only had theoretical knowledge about depression studies from lectures. However, during the project, I gained valuable quantitative research skills that were crucial for designing and conducting the research project. Additionally, I gained practical experience in conducting a research project from start to finish.
What was your day-to-day like on KURF? What type of research did you do?
During KURF, my day-to-day work involved designing a questionnaire to investigate postnatal depression based on previous models provided by the supervisor’s recommended papers. I also conducted a literature review, recruited participants, and conducted statistical analyses on the collected data.
What was the highlight of your experience?
The highlight of my KURF experience was when the first person answered my questionnaire. It was exciting to see the research project take shape, and I felt a great sense of accomplishment.
What’s the progress status of the project you were working on now?
I am not sure about the current status of the project, as I have not been in touch with the supervisor or research team in a while. However, I am hopeful that the research project was successful and that the findings will contribute to the field of depression studies.
Has KURF given you the notion to continue towards research and academia as a career? Or are you looking towards other career paths currently?
While KURF was an excellent opportunity to gain research experience, I have realized that I want to do more wet lab work rather than dealing with data. Therefore, I am exploring other research opportunities that will enable me to work more closely with laboratory experiments. However, I am still interested in pursuing a research career in academia in the future.
Any last words?
I would like to encourage you to continue pursuing your passion for research and to explore all the different opportunities available to you. Whether you choose to continue in academia or pursue other career paths, your experience with KURF and your passion for research will undoubtedly serve you well in your future endeavors. I wish you all the best in your future pursuits!