My name is Caitlin and I am a 2nd-year Biomedical Sciences student, currently on placement at Cancer Research UK, working as a Student Clinical Study Coordinator.
I work in a department known as the CDD (Centre for Drug Development). The CDD is responsible for early phase cancer drug development. Clinical Study Coordinators are assigned clinical trial studies to assist on.
Working on clinical trial studies
I have been assigned three studies since starting my placement, two of which are in the pre-clinical phase. As a Biomedical Sciences student, it has been invaluable to be able to sit in on meetings and learn how clinical trials work. This includes the different stages that each trial needs to go through and the potential therapeutic benefits of the drugs that are being developed for different cancer types.
Extra-curricular activities are part of my placement
Throughout my placement, I have taken part in different activities that CRUK has to offer, such as being part of the fundraising team for Stand Up to Cancer Week and organising different events to raise money for Cancer Research.
Attending conferences and working groups
I have been lucky enough to attend conferences related to Cancer Research, which talk about the development of new cutting-edge technology, such as AI, and how this can be used to further Cancer Research.
There are different working groups that you can join at CRUK, such as the Patient Involvement Group, which aims to involve cancer patients in the development and design of cancer clinical trials.
Opportunities to further develop my skills
CRUK offers many opportunities to develop your employability skills. Getting more involved in the company shows the commitment that you have to your placement and also makes you feel like you are contributing to making a difference. Working for CRUK has been an incredible experience so far!
My advice for future placement students
The most important advice that I can give to is to make the most out of your placement year and get involved as much as you can. Your placement year has the potential to launch your career after you graduate, and I encourage every student to try and do a placement year.
Taking a year out of university may seem like a long time, but the work experience that you gain and the skills that you learn are invaluable to starting your career.
Applying for Placement Opportunities
The University offers a wide selection of placement opportunities. Before you start applying, make sure that you research each placement you are interested in. Remember that this is a year-long commitment, so choose wisely!
There are countless benefits to doing a placement year. I feel that every student should do one, as it is a sure way of making yourself employable at such a young age. I wish you the very best of luck with your applications.
My placement year has already taught me so much and has made me realise that I would like to pursue a career in clinical trials. Working for a renowned charity such as CRUK has exposed me to many opportunities that have aided in deciding a career path that I didn’t even know I wanted.