When I volunteered to be part of the medical student support scheme, I did not imagine that I would become part of a COVID-19 research team. When I started out in R&D, I had relatively little research experience. However, 7 weeks later and my knowledge and understanding have grown immensely. This unique opportunity has enabled me to be involved with the latest research developments throughout the COVID-19 response.
My roles in R&D have ranged from recording minutes in senior research group meetings, to searching for missing information in large datasets. I have also spent time collecting data about patients recruited to clinical trials, where my experience as a medical student proved particularly useful in understanding clinical information, such as respiratory values and inflammatory markers.
By attending weekly research facilitation group meetings, I now understand the various stages and requirements of clinical trials, from CMO approval, feasibility and set-up, through to entry of patient information onto databases. Working alongside key members of the COVID-19 research team, I have a new appreciation of the efforts that go into research trials.
Since my first day, I felt like part of the team and was warmly welcomed by everyone in R&D. The past two months have highlighted the importance of effective communication and teamwork. Working in R&D has been both a learning curve and also a highly enjoyable experience. I would like to thank everyone in R&D for their kindness and hospitality and wish them all the best throughout the COVID period!