This week was my final week completing my research project - it has flown by! I started off by analysing the fMRI data which I set out to look at in my project proposal. This proved to be the most challenging part of my project so far, as I had never analysed data like it before. However the skills I have developed will likely be really useful as I enter the third year of my studies (and beyond), as I will encounter a lot more fMRI data which I will need to interpret. Brain scans such as fMRIs are really where all of the subject areas I study (psychology, biology and chemistry) overlap, and seeing them from multiple perspectives makes them fascinating to me!
I also worked on my academic poster (which I will be uploading here in the near future) as well as a detailed report of my research. I always really enjoy creating posters to display my findings, as it gives me an opportunity to combine my passions for art design and science. Creating the report was also very satisfying, as it was a chance for me to summarise the results of the research I've been working on for the past 6 weeks, and to reflect on my whole journey so far as a Laidlaw Scholar.
This summer brought many more challenges than I expected, and I was forced to explore introspective routes I'd never looked into before. I knew my research project would be incredibly valuable for me - as a student who is really keen to do her own research in the future, getting my foot in the door this early on has been the most incredible opportunity, as has ignited a passion for research that will continually fuel me as a future researcher. However, it came as a shock to me how much personal development arose as a result of this summer. The coaching sessions and leadership development days have allowed me to view myself and my life from a whole new perspective - particularly encouraging the importance of considering what my core values are, and how these can be fulfilled in my career and personal life.
So far the scholarship has exceeded my expectations, I am thrilled with everything I have learnt, and excited to continue my development next summer. I am so thankful that I took the plunge by applying, and for all the lovely scholars and staff members that have created such a motivational and welcoming community.