Undergraduate Summer School 2023

JIF Report

International Undergraduate Summer School (JIC/TSL/EI)


We would like to thank JIF for their continued support of the International Undergraduate Summer School which enabled us to sponsor four of the students Nathaniel Strong (University of Bath), Ellie Watts (University of St Andrews), Joseph Crudgington (University of Edinburgh) and Mia Cohen (University of Oxford).

The International Undergraduate Summer School began on Sunday 25th June with a Welcome Reception hosted by Sam Lingwood (Summer School Coordinator) and Clare Stevenson (JIC Head of Directorate).  It was a great opportunity to check all the students had settled in ok and gave them the opportunity to meet two students (George Seddon-Roberts and Sofia Kudasheva) who gave them some great tips and advice about student life in Norwich.

As in the previous years the students attended Friday afternoon workshops providing them with an opportunity to meet a range of different people and hear about a wide range of topics including a tour of the field trial station, scientific computing, science communication and how to give a presentation. Each of these workshops was followed by an evening social event hosted mainly by JIC students.

The summer school concluded with a two-day retreat at the Dales Hotel near Sheringham.  All the students presented their research over the 8 weeks and all the students were encouraged to ask questions. For many of the students this was the first time they had done this type of formal research presentation and the standard of presentations was excellent. It was also very obvious how well they had integrated into the research groups they had worked in, and we want to thank all the supervisors and group members for making them feel so welcome.

In the evening a formal dinner was held, and David Seung (JIC Group Leader) gave a fascinating talk on his career journey and experiences of a research career. There were plenty of questions and then the students took in it turns to stand up and share a few words about why the summer school had been special for them.  It was clear they had bonded as a group and had really enjoyed their experiences in the lab but equally as important for them was the close friendships they had formed. The combination of the research projects, staying together at UEA, the Friday workshops and social sessions helped them to get the most out of summer school and to embrace their future scientific careers.

As in previous years the students had the opportunity to meet previous international undergraduate summer school students that have come back to the NRP to do their PhD. This year they met students from the class of 2019 (Delfi Dorussen and Max Jordan) and the class 2021 (Brenda Monika and William Bezodis, Jasmine Staples & Josh Williams). It was great to hear from the students why they chose to return to the JIC to do their PhD and it was clear that this was not only for the great science but that it was a friendly, supportive, and inclusive environment.

Finally, we would like to thank JIF again for their continued support of the International Undergraduate Summer School. It is a great experience for the students and gives a real taste of a career in research.

Samantha Lingwood (on behalf of the organising committee)