x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UK scholarship a dose of experience for UAE students

Three Emirati medical students spent six weeks last summer learning how to fine-tune their research skills at leading laboratories in the UK.

Alaa Galadari, a third year medical student, is among three Emirati students who spent time at the Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College, London.
Alaa Galadari, a third year medical student, is among three Emirati students who spent time at the Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College, London.

Three Emirati medical students spent six weeks last summer learning how to fine-tune their research skills at leading laboratories in the UK.

Salama al Majed, Alaa Galadari and Shaikha al Eisaei, in their third, second and fourth years respectively of medical school at UAE University, were the recipients of a scholarship grant from the British Council Research Scholarship Programme.

Since 2002, 25 students have benefited from the programme, which works jointly with the university's faculty of medicine to provide selected students with the chance to advance academically, scientifically and culturally.

"It would be an understatement to say that this experience was useful - it was so much more," said Ms Galadari, whose six weeks were spent at the department of life sciences in the Imperial College of London.

"I understand better the thinking process that goes behind every single project and the approach a scientist will take in response to it, as well as learning new techniques and analytical methods," she said.

Professor Chris Howarth, the coordinator of undergraduate medical research at the university, said medical students are encouraged to get involved in research, as part of their curriculum and during their holiday time in programmes such as the British Council's.

"Through the British Council, we've created these international links with leading educational institutions in the UK to help our students gain a useful insight into their chosen field of study," he said.

Ms al Eisai said the seminars she attended at the Centre for Diabetes in Barts and the London School of Medicine, on research in diabetes and cancer, enriched her scientific knowledge and enhanced her laboratory skills.

Likewise, Ms al Majed, who spent her time at the Bristol Heart Institute at the University of Bristol, said being aware of different research techniques is eye-opening.

Richard Cotton, the country director for the British Council in the UAE, said: "We hope they will publish papers, present at conferences, win awards, as their predecessors have done as well."

 

hkhalaf@thenational.ae