Summer project success for Merton students

Every year the College offers funding to support undergraduates who wish to undertake a research project during the Long Vacation. The scheme is competitive and students must submit a research proposal to the Warden and Tutors’ Committee, who judge the applications.

This year, 12 students were successful:

  • Dylan Adlard (First Year, Biochemistry)
  • Jennifer Dingwall (Third Year, Mathematics)
  • Valeriia Gladkova (Third Year, Mathematics)
  • Tak Huen Chau (Second Year, PPE)
  • Richard Avadanutei (Second Year, Chemistry)
  • Yujing Wei (Second Year, Chemistry)
  • Francesca Lovell-Read (Third Year, Mathematics)
  • Dylan Price (Second Year, Music)
  • Christopher McGarry (Second Year, Mathematics)
  • Zheyu Li (Third Year, Physics)
  • Jennifer Friske (Third Year, Physics)
  • Charlotte Oakes (Second Year, History and English)

The projects have been extremely varied, from Dylan Price’s work on music tuition in Venezuela to Richard Avadanutei’s development of a chemistry demonstration model that can be used in secondary schools. Some students worked with established research groups on a defined project, while others used the time to design their own independent study using Oxford’s library and archival resources. A selection of reports from those who took part in the scheme are available to read here.

All of the students who carried out a summer project spoke enthusiastically of the academic and personal benefits:

“I currently intend to work in mathematical research in future, and having this taste of how such research functions has both reassured me that this is the right career choice for me, and also taught me skills such as communicating mathematics and independently researching non-obvious mathematical questions that will be very important in such a career. Even if I end up in a different career, it is likely that the communication and collaboration skills I have gained will serve me well, as these are important in almost all lines of work.”
Chris McGarry

“I’ve been able to gain various skills throughout this research project. I’ve learnt a lot about the principles behind this research project such as the spin chemistry and quantum mechanics, photochemistry, and kinetics. […]. I’ve also been able to practice laboratory skills and experimental considerations as well as being able to link experiment to theory and practice setting up and designing experiments. Furthermore, I’ve been able to experience working together with many knowledgeable scientists in the Timmel group.”
Lisa Wei

“Whilst the freedom of structuring my own project was at times daunting, it has given me an exciting insight into creating and following an independent research plan. I was able to use the skills I have developed with the guidance of my tutors to pursue my interests by combining historical enquiry and literary criticism. The experience of undertaking a project in Oxford, supported by the college, has consolidated my hopes of pursuing further interdisciplinary research at a graduate level.”
Charlotte Oakes

Applications for next year’s Summer Projects scheme open in February 2019.

Project reports