The main expectation from a master’s program is to learn enough and be able to apply knowledge in real life situations. For most of the biomedicine students, it means, to be able to work independently in a lab. In this blog, I have listed the different opportunities we get to gain practical experience during the Master’s program in Biomedicine-
Laboratory Animal Science
If you have never handled rodents, then brace yourselves! You will have to start working with them sooner than you thought. The course includes an online module, which must be completed. This will provide you with a certificate that is mandatory to be able to work in animal facilities across Europe. There was hands-on sessions with mice and we were trained to handle and restrain them and also administer drugs. Some of us did get very attached to the mouse assigned to us and were almost in tears when we had to sacrifice it during the last session.
Junior Research Project
Is there some subject you think you could be interested in but are not sure if it is really your thing? The Junior research project is the best way to find out. This is offered as an elective in the second semester. The project is for 6 weeks. I feel the duration is good to test if you really belong in some particular field. If you are already sure of the type of subjects you are interested in, this is a really good opportunity to get well versed with a new technique in the field. We are also allowed to combine this with one of the bigger projects we will be doing in the later semesters.
The project is expected to end just before summer so you could even ask your supervisor if you can continue the same during summer. That way, you will get more time in the lab. You are ofcourse free to get into another lab in the summer as well.
This is a mandatory project to be conducted in the third semester. The duration is slightly longer and there is also a possibility of going on an exchange program during this term. Since we also have certain theoretical courses that run in parallel to the project, if you plan to go on an exchange always ensure that similar programs are available in the other university as well.
This is the master’s thesis that spans the entire fourth semester. It is good to choose the lab and the topic wisely. Most of the professors I spoke to have advised that if we intend to do a PhD, we must always pick a lab for our degree project that could potentially let us continue with doctoral education.
All three projects can be done in labs of your choice be it in the academia or in the industry. If you plan to go to an industry, ensure that the results can be used for your report since many companies have confidentiality agreements. Project reports and oral presentations are extremely important in order to obtain credits. You can also pick any subject as long as it is under the field of Biomedicine in general.
Also remember that you need not have it all figured out before you begin the program. You have ample time once your classes start to first understand what your passion is. Well, isn’t it great to do some ground breaking research in your dream lab?
I hope you now have a clear idea of what to expect during the program. If you have any questions, please feel free to mail me.