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  1. #1
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    Nuffield Science Bursary?

    This bursary seems very interesting, but I was just wondering whether it would be more useful to use the summer preparing for UKCAT and BMAT, and carrying out hospital work experience, or doing this science bursary that could last 4-6 weeks? Just to give you gus an idea of what I have done so far, its 1 week in an Orthopaedic department, 1 week in a care home, first aid course, member of British red cross and volunteering at a nursing home for past 5 months. So, do you think I should get more GP/Hospital experience, or go for the Science Bursary?

    Thanks for your help.

    Mo-Zaki



  2. #2
    Junior Member vertigo.0012's Avatar
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    I'd say hospital work experience - from what I understand, the Nuffield bursary thing is very much lab-based. Whilst I have no doubt this will look fantastic and will certainly give you something to talk about, you're applying for medicine and as such hospital experience would be much more worthwhile. On the other hand, I'm not sure I'd turn down the Nuffield stuff if I had the chance! Still seems like an awesome thing to do. Your choice in the end! Good luck.
    PCMD Medicine, year 2

  3. #3
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    In the summer after my second year of my Neuroscience degree at UCL, I applied for and got a Nuffield Bursary for a 6 week placement at a lab in my uni for pain research. It was extremely rewarding; I learnt many of the techniques that I would use in my final year project, did some original research and I got to grips with the way in which research works. My work was acknowledged in a published paper in the Journal of Pain last summer. This experience + my views on research were one of the talking points of my UCL medicine interview. I was able to talk about it with good depth, enthusiasm and knowledge, owing in part to the quality of the lab I was in. This would not have been possible without the Nuffield Bursary, and I'm sure it played a part in getting an offer for Medicine at UCL.

    I understand your situation is different because you have a limited time to do either more work exp OR a nuffield project before the application deadline and therefore have to decide between the two (whereas I applied for medicine in my gap year after uni and therefore already had my work experience, voluntary work and the nuffield bursary under my belt, and of course my degree!). The thing is, you have a reasonable amount of work and voluntary experience as it stands... Hmm, overall I would actually recommend doing the Nuffield bursary, because 1) you have a decent amount of work exp already and as long as you can reflect on that well in your PS and in interview then that's what matters most (quality not quantity) and 2) the bursary will make you stand out from the crowd. Everyone will have differing amounts of work exp, but very few will have a 6 week placement funded by Nuffield where you're doing original research and potentially adding something new to Science! For me, Research is like the younger, smarter, but more autistic brother of Medicine, haha, and to have a good knowledge and experience of it will do you good, especially at universities which have a big research focus. There MAY also be benefits later in your career if you decide to do a bit of research, as you will already have some first hand experience of it.

    That's my opinion. Just take everything into account when making your decision and I'm sure it will be the right one. I think it's hard to choose wrongly between more direct medical experience and research experience - both are proactive towards your end goal of becoming a doctor but in obviously different ways.

    Bottom line is since you already have some work experience + voluntary work, in my opinion a Nuffield bursary would add more to your medicine application. It certainly added to mine.

    Good luck in whichever you decide to do.
    UCL Medicine 2010

  4. #4
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    If you have to face choosing either Hospital work experience over Nuffield, I would choose the Hospital. If you've already had a work observation in a hospital, then I'd pick Nuffield!

    I did a 4 week project at Cardiff university and I found it really enjoyable! I talked about it quite a bit in my interview and the interviewers seemed impressed, so I'd say it's a worthwhile experience
    GCSE: A* 7As 2Bs
    A Level: AAAa (Chem, Bio, Maths, Law)
    UKCAT avg: 645

    A100 Med application 2009: Sent 15th October
    Lancaster -Interviewed 24th Nov - Unconditional offer
    Glasgow - Interview 19th Jan - Cancelled due to offer
    Southampton -25/02/10 - Unconditional offer
    Keele -18/02/10 - Rejected w/o interview
    Cardiff (Biomed) - 03/12/09 - Unconditional offer

    UCAS OVER AND DONE WITH!

  5. #5
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    the Nuffield bursary is pretty prestigious so it will help you a lot to get into research. Also helps to improve your medical applications, in particular to schools which emphasize basic research. I am sure you will benefit from it.
    2005: MBChB Medical Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong (Quitted)
    2005-2010: MSci Biochemistry with a Year in Industry/Research, Imperial College London
    2010- ? : MBBS Medicine, Imperial College London

  6. #6
    Member minnako's Avatar
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    You need some kind of work experience to get in. So if you haven't, then definitely do this above all else.

    If you have quite a bit of work experience (and the OP has), I think the Nuffield is a nice way to get involved in science (even though it's lab based) and do something a bit different to spending another 2 weeks in hospital. Many doctors get involved in research, so it definitely won't go amiss if you give it a go. Although beware, your interviewers may well ask you 'so, why not research instead of medicine', giving you the delightful task of finding an answer that doesn't entirely rule out research whilst explaining that patient interaction is the thing for you...haha

    As for the UKCAT preparation: it depends on how much preparation you feel you will need, a little practice now might give you an idea of if it is something you will need to spend a little time on or a lot. I'm sure some people manage to do it and do very well at their entrance exams, but it might not be for everyone.
    ~Biomed Grad studying Med 5 Year~

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnako View Post
    Although beware, your interviewers may well ask you 'so, why not research instead of medicine', giving you the delightful task of finding an answer that doesn't entirely rule out research whilst explaining that patient interaction is the thing for you...haha.
    Eeeeeeasy answer!
    UCL Medicine 2010

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