26/10/2018 – Post by CURIE Research Fellow Magdalini Maligali 

Interdisciplinary teams

Compass brings together interdisciplinary students to work collaboratively on their individual research projects along with a supportive mentor.  The program encourages us to openly discuss our research interests and ideas on future or current tasks. It was a safe place where feedback was welcomed in order to enhance everyone’s research skills and is an ideal place for everyone who thinks they might have a passion for research but don’t know where to begin!

The interdisciplinary nature of the team allows the spread of different viewpoints and beliefs. For example, my group consists of members from Biomedical, Psychological, IT and Science background. Being exposed to their interests helped me think about important multidisciplinary issues I never thought I would be interested in. Even though we came from a diverse background of knowledge, it was great to see that we had common interests. Our mentor also encouraged us to give feedback to each other to develop our individual research projects. Through our weekly meetings, we worked as a team to deepen our understanding of research, develop our own research projects and brainstorm ideas for current assignments. In the process, we developed social, presentation, writing, and communication skills, as well as a long-lasting friendships.

Personal gains

For me, compass was an opportunity to take the first step into research. Compass has equipped me with information about the importance of research, how it is conducted and how the results are reported in a scientific way. Coming into the program, my understanding of research was limited and only on a theoretical level. Compass not only helped me to build these skills but also helped me design my own project with the help of my mentor, as well as my group members. Within the group, I identified my weaknesses and set new goals to address them. It was also enlightening to listen to other people’s experiences and explore other potential undergraduate pathways for research through networking.  It was a really incredible experience and opportunity to learn from my mentor and everyone else around me. I can’t wait to be involved again next year!