IIP Internships in England
Centre for Theoretical Physics, Oxford University
Location: Oxford, England
About: Members of the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics at Oxford University work on topics that span many branches of physics - from how bacteria swim to the inflationary origin of the Universe to quantum phase transitions to the chemodynamical evolution of galaxies. Their Particle Theory Group works on particle phenomenology both in and beyond-the-Standard-Model, (lattice) gauge theory and string theory, mathematical physics and quantum gravity, early-Universe cosmology, and issues in particle astrophysics. The quantum dynamics of many-body systems, phase transitions, and strongly correlated electrons are important themes within their Condensed-Matter Group. Members of the group also do much work on soft matter and biological systems, which are characterized by a balance between interactions and fluctuations that leads to rich and diverse self-assembly and dynamics. The Astrophysics and Plasmas Group works on the structure and formation of galaxies, with particular emphasis on our own galaxy, on the dynamics of astrophysical plasmas, from solar wind to the intergalactic medium, and on laboratory plasmas, especially in application to magnetic confinement fusion.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will contribute to theoretical and/or computational projects in either plasma physics (ranging fusion theory to astrophysics), soft condensed matter physics, and astrophysics (galactic dynamics).
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in physics, astrophysics, or applied mathematics are encouraged to apply. Significant coursework in mathematics would be an asset.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here:
Centre for Theoretical Physics
Location: London, England
About: The Lancet is a leading general medical journal, published weekly, and shares office space with around ten Lancet specialty titles published monthly. The journal’s editorial mission is to publish the most important medical and health information to benefit people around the world. The staff number about 100, including people with diverse backgrounds in medicine, science and journalism. Among other tasks, editors write and commission opinion pieces on important topics in medicine and global health, select and organize peer review of scholarly papers submitted for publication, and commission educational articles for consideration and peer review. Staff are mostly based in London, close to St Paul’s Cathedral, although we work closely with colleagues based in New York, USA and Beijing, China and travel frequently to conferences.
Intern Responsibilities: Under the supervision of the Senior Editor, and the IIP candidate will become part of the editorial team. For the first two weeks of the internship, the student will meet colleagues, sit in on editorial meetings, and learn about medical publishing. During that time, specific projects of interest will also be identified. Previous projects have included critical appraisal of research papers submitted for publication, writing short commentaries, and research on bibliometric aspects of medical publishing.
Qualifications: Candidates with interests in pre-med, writing, literature, research, and evidence-based medicine and good communication skills are encouraged to apply. A track record in writing would be an asset.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of a past IIP intern): Intern #1- Along with all of the senior editors, I too was responsible for reading and providing comments for all pre-review and peer-review manuscripts for the three selection meetings we have each week, at which I sometimes present papers to the group. That's my most consistent responsibility, since much of the journal work revolves around the selection of manuscripts. But I was often asked to identify appropriate peer reviewers for papers, in addition to editing comments and case reports. Each week, I pitched news stories for their oncology and respiratory medicine specialty journals, and I've already had 3 news stories published with a byline. The weekly journal also published short news blurbs each week, and I was typically expected to write 1-3 of these blurbs, in addition to pitching other news items or editorial topics at our weekly editorial meeting. I also submitted 2 comments and a profile, which were be published with a byline. I also worked on a medical book review and a third comment at the moment. I also worked with one of the senior editors on bringing The Student Lancet website back to life.
View a PowerPoint (.pdf) by a past IIP intern:
The Lancet Intern #1
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Lancet|
Newcastle University, Institute of Neuroscience
Location: New Castle, England
About: The Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Newcastle works in the novel field of connectomics and authored the first review in this area. The core mission of the Institute of Neuroscience is to undertake the highest quality research in neuroscience that translates into patient benefit, real world application and commercial opportunity. They aim to develop vibrant and productive interactions between researchers within their Institute, with other Faculty of Medical Sciences research institutes, and with external groups, aligning with the New Castle University’s core mission of ‘Excellence with a Purpose.' Their research is grouped into four broad research themes: Neural Systems and Applied Neurophysiology; Mitochondrial Disorders; Developmental, Behavioral and Comparative Neuroscience; and Neurodegenerative, Cerebrovascular & Psychiatric Disorders.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP Interns will contribute to projects in the lab, likely under one of its four research themes. Previous projects include: Computational analysis of visual perception data in the praying mantis, computational analysis of brain activity in the auditory system of zebra finches, auditory psychophysics, behavioral assessment of taste in bumblebees, electrophysiological recording of proboscis muscles in bumblebees, human memory and movement disorders.
Qualifications: Candidates with interests in neuroscience, psychology, life sciences, and/or computer science are encouraged to apply. Skills in histology/staining/western blotting or programming such as MATLAB, statistical skills or knowledge of statistics would be an asset.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern #1: I worked on the assigned research project (usually coding in MATLAB); attended weekly lab meetings; prepared final reports. Intern# 2: Built a database for epilepsy patient data as a medical aid for clinicians to extract features from recordings and search for similar recordings based on comparison of features or metadata. The project involved designing the system and programming all the different pieces of the puzzle. A significant portion of the programming was done in MATLAB for extracting particular features for EEG recordings and MySQL was used for designing the database. I also used Perl and HTML to build a web application that interfaced with MATLAB and the database. Intern #3: I worked on implementing and running trials on a paradigm that tests human perception of spectral flux. Spectral flux is an element of timbre, a broad classification of auditory qualities that distinguish sounds from one another based on properties other than pitch and volume. Understanding human perception of spectral flux will increase our understanding of how humans distinguish auditory objects, for example how one voice can be heard from a sea of background noise..I was also responsible for updating the script I wrote to run the trial as we determined changes that should be made and came up with the practice paradigm that made the trial feasible for participants in under an hour. The paradigm I developed will also be used for macaque subjects. My other coding project was to properly modulate the stimuli for another trial so that they could be more easily used in a clinical setting...I was introduced to a number of interesting fields through talks I have been to at the Institute, for example retinal prosthetics, and I learned about primate research and toured the primate facilities. I taught my colleagues about programming which improved my communication skills. Finally, I learned a lot about MATLAB and writing clear, effective code that can be used by others. This was my first experience writing code outside of a COS class so I have been getting to apply a lot of the skills I learned in class to actual projects. Intern #4: I did a behavioral taste assay with bumblebees where I measured their consumption in response to different concentrations of KCl, Quinine, and Sucrose. Additionally, the speed of retraction of the proboscis, wing size, thorax size, and other measurements were recorded and plotted. MY next project was something more directly related to neuroscience. My supervisor and I gathered recordings from the muscle that controls the glossa of the bumblebee and then we sorted and analyzed the spikes. I learned skills in electrophysiology in addition to data analysis and collection. Intern #5: My project involved mining a large data set of data from experiments involving recordings of neurons in monkeys' visual cortex from the past 15 or 20 years. The main goal of my project was to test a theory predicting a certain correlation between receptive field size and the type of visual neurons I was looking at. What I did was mine the data set in order to test the validity of these predictions. A secondary goal to my placement was to have me create a write up to help others more easily navigate and access the data I am working with in the future. As far as the project goes, I learned quite a bit about the biology and the theory behind vision, specifically disparity and stereoscopic or 3D vision. Even though I worked in a dry lab and mostly programming, I still had to read a bunch of more biologically based papers in order to be able to better understand what exactly I was looking for. Even though I could have just blindly done the data analytics I found it both fulfilling and helpful to learn more about the data I was studying. On a more general side, I learned what it is like to work in a lab, and go to lab meetings. Even though I am the only person working specifically on my project, the lab meeting still made me feel like part of the team. It let me interact with professionals in the field on a peer to peer level.
View a Powerpoint presentation by a past IIP intern:
Newcastle University Intern #1
Newcastle University Intern #2
Newcastle University Intern #3
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Newcastle University|
University of Oxford, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine
Location: Oxford, England
About:The MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM) at the University of Oxford is one of the world’s premier institutes where basic research in cell and molecular biology is applied to the improvement of human health. Located next to the John Radcliffe Hospital, clinician/scientists and basic researchers work hand in hand with clinicians in the hospital to tackle both rare and common diseases. The WIMM incorporates programs on blood diseases and stem cell disorders (leukemia, lymphoma, and thalassaemia); immunological disorders (HIV AIDS, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and eczema); cancer (bowel and breast); infectious disease (malaria); and a wide range of genetic diseases, including abnormalities of facial development and disorders of the neuromuscular junction.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will join in the basic and medical research being undertaken at the WIMM providing an introduction to the new revolution in molecular medicine.
Qualifications: Previous laboratory experience and experience working with datasets would be an asset but is not required.
Previous work experiences (in the words of previous IIP interns): Intern #1: I worked on a project to create a circular RNA to serve as a microRNA sponge with a graduate student. He would help plan the experiments and tell me what needed to be done, but I was responsible for carrying out all of the experiments. I used a variety of different lab techniques, including cloning, tissue culture/transfection, and FACS. At the end of my time, I presented my data in a lab meeting. Intern #2: I conducted flow cytometry experiments to characterize surface. Intern #3: I worked on stem cell differentiation. This project focused mostly on immunofluorescence on E10.5-E11.5 mouse embryos and I examined the stainings using a confocal microscope...I learned mostly techniques and what the day to day work in the lab is like. Intern #4: I worked in an immunology lab that is interested in understanding the structural basis of T-cell recognition and activation. My own project aimed to elucidate what happens at the molecular level when a T-cell is triggered by a superagonist antibody that has been bound to Fc receptors immobilized in a lipid bilayer. To do this, I had to first make four different constructs of Fc receptors. My responsibilities included cloning Fc receptor genes with PCRs, ligations, transformations, and mini-preps; expressing proteins through lentiviral transfections and infections; and purifying the protein of interest with a column of nickel beads. Then, with the purified Fc receptors, I went to a collaborator's lab at the University of Cambridge to do single molecule experiments with super resolution microscopy. These experiments involved putting the Fc receptors into a lipid bilayer, binding to them superagonist and conventional antibodies, and dropping T-cells onto this configuration. The laser microscopes then show what happens to fluorescently labeled molecules as the the T-cells are being activated...I learned a lot of laboratory techniques in the field of molecular biology research. I have been taught to do gene cloning, protein expression, protein purification, and assembly of a lipid bilayer. I also learned about the basic theory of T-cell activation through the kinetic-segregation model and the proposed effects of superagonist antibodies. This experience has also taught me about the daily life of a researcher, a post-doc, a PhD student, and a PI. Intern # 5: I identified gene regulatory elements in the neural crest. This meant I did a lot of enhancer cloning. I also worked with chicken embryos...I learned the way science interacts with medicine, the way rigorous research is conducted, the way collaboration works within the lab. It's been a very rewarding experience.
View PowerPoint presentations by past IIP interns:
MRC Weatherall Intern #1
MRC Weatherall Intern #2
MRC Weatherall Intern #3
MRC Weatherall Intern #4
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: University of Oxford, Weatherall Institute|