In 2022 the BSID launched the BSID Undergraduate Research Experience initiative offering one BSc undergraduate student interested in skin research the possibility to spend 6 weeks in the laboratory of a BSID member to carry out a skin focused project. The scholarship includes a £1500 stipend for the student and £500 towards consumables for the hosting lab. For the first iteration there were 4 projects offered by BSID members, spanning from inflammatory skin disease to gene editing to fibrosis; and 5 BSc students applied from all over the UK, undergoing a competitive selection process overseen by the BSID Committee.
At the BSID meeting 2023 in Glasgow, Mr. Scott Reid, a pharmacology student at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) was announced as the first recipient of the BSID Undergraduate Research Experience scholarship to carry out a project on “Fibrosis and its Impact on Diabetic Wounds” under the supervision of Dr. Catherine Wright at GCU.
Scott joined the Wright lab in June, and we recently caught up with him to learn a bit more about his reason to apply for the scholarship and what he has made of this experience. “I applied for this scholarship as I was seeking experience in a research lab- he says- but I wanted to have a key role in my own project rather than shadow someone else. I am also seeking to further my studies and go down the route of research and this scholarship combined my passion for the skin and another key interest of mine, i.e. diabetes”. Scott’s project seeks to identify key mediators that contribute to fibrosis in a slow healing diabetic wound.
We asked him what were the most and least favourite aspects of being in the lab: “I have learned many new techniques with my favourite being tissue culture – Scott says – I love the hands-on approach of this and seeing my cells grow day after day. A tricky thing I’ve had to overcome was to understand was understanding the rationale by which each treatment applied to our cells worked, but this came with time.” Overall Scott greatly enjoyed the experience, which he shared widely on social media as well. “I have absolutely loved every single second of my project.– he concludes- I would like to thank the BSID for selecting me for this opportunity and I would like to pay a special thanks to Dr Catherine Wright who came up with the project and for her supervision and support”.
The BSID Undergraduate Research Experience scholarship returns this year to select a new BSc student who will spend time in a skin research lab in Summer 2024. An email to identify hosting labs has been recently sent out to Principal Investigators active in skin research who are BSID members, and the call is expected to open to BSc students in September.